Negotiation Conference 2022: The 5%
Mapping out the way out in difficult negotiations
As defined in the previous article, difficult negotiations occur when your counterpart:
- confronts you with irrational demands
- does not show any willingness to cooperate
- is not eager to reach an agreement
- is avoiding you
- resorts to exerting pressure.
Furthermore, we defined several common attributes that characterise difficult negotiations:
- Irrational demands
- Non-reciprocal concessions
- Greatly differing views on an acceptable outcome
- Atmosphere of tension and distrust
- Personal attacks
- Internal stumbling blocks
- Time pressures
IMPORTANT: all of the below-mentioned elements will be described and explained in separate article series.
There are six main elements you have to consider while paving your way for success in difficult negotiations:
Your strategy is the guiding principle for the tactics you will use. There are 5 strategies one can opt for in negotiations:
Competing – high demands, no cooperation.
Cooperating – strategy that turns both partners into winners.
Avoiding – playing for time to prevent the impending conflict.
Giving in – avoiding conflict at all costs.
Compromising – typical “meeting in the middle” scenario.In the most difficult 5% of negotiations, we recommend starting with competing and later shifting to cooperating.
Follow our article series to learn more about each strategy.
Tactics are the hands-on implementation of your strategic planning and, therefore, essential tools in negotiations.
Beware that not all tactics will suit your personality or your negotiating style. Choose a tactic that allows you to be authentic and feel comfortable in the process.
Among tactics we will be touching upon in the following article series are: Storytelling, Exerting pressure, Setting rules, “Putting the fish on the table,” Contradictions, Handling stumbling blocks, etc…
The Schranner Concept® encourages you to set up a negotiating team for difficult negotiations.
A negotiating team, according to the FBI-model, consists of: a Negotiator, a Commander and a Decision Maker. The suggested setup ensures that all the team members know their roles and execute tasks accordingly.
What is the role of a leader or a decision maker in negotiations, in crises or under pressure? What qualities should a leader possess and demonstrate when leading a team in difficult negotiations?
Furthermore, as a leader, you need to manage expectations of your external partners as well as internal associates and be ready to negotiate not only with the opposing party but also with your stakeholders or executives.
The right mental preparation should put you into a spot where you “play to win.”
Use positive terminology to describe the process and the opposing party. At the center of a difficult negotiation is a conflict that needs to be resolved. We have the freedom to interpret a conflict in a positive way, where we look forward to the challenge and approach it curiously. Or we can look at the conflict in a negative way, where we are forced to enter negotiations to find a solution. Never label your opponent as “difficult” or “irrational”, it will influence how you perceive them.
Based on what information should you make decisions under pressure? Is a disagreement better than an agreement? Should you walk away from a process if you cannot reach the desired outcome? If so, when and how to walk away?
As a non-agreement becomes a new standard due to the increasing complexity of negotiations and a multitude of different compliance requirements, you need to accept this possibility and communicate it to your shareholders.