Negotiators made the impossible possible

Negotiators made the impossible possible
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It is through negotiation that the impossible can be made possible no matter what negotiation styles or negotiating techniques are being used. A deal has been brokered between Iran and the rest of the world in regards to their work on creating an atomic bomb. For more than a decade Iran has been willing to put up with crippling international sanctions in order to continue to pursue its goal of creating an atomic weapon. However, recently everything has changed. How were the negotiators able to create a deal?

Change Opens New Doors In Negotiation

The reports on the state of Iran’s nuclear program have always been mixed. Research has been going on since 2003. A 2011 report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Board of Governors seem to indicate that Iran had started to perform specific tests that were designed to allow it to start to create nuclear weapons.

For years Iran has been engaged in a significant government backed program to develop nuclear weapons. They had made no secret of their plans. The world had reacted to this by levying significant sanctions against Iran. Life in Iran had become very difficult for many of its citizens; however, the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was deeply committed to the country’s nuclear program for a variety of reasons.

The election in June of 2013 in Iran has ushered in Hassan Rouhani as the country’s new president. As with all change, this opened the door to a new round of negotiations. The West saw this change in government leadership as a new opportunity to try to determine if there was a possibility to negotiate an end to Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Using A Two-Track Negotiation Strategy

These types of negotiations are always tricky to do – the spotlight of world attention would be on them. Within all of the countries involved in the negotiations, Iran especially, there would be many powerful forces who would be both for and against any deal being reached.

The U.S. played a key role in having the sanctions imposed on Iran and they would have to play a major role in any deal that would be reached. The U.S. had decided to peruse a two-track negotiating strategy. One track would be the one that was done publically – every step of the process would be reported in the papers and discussed endlessly on television. The other would be done in secret.

At the direction of the U.S. president, Barack Obama, the U.S. had been secretly reaching out Iran for the past 5 years. In August of 2013 things started to move faster after a letter was delivered from President Obama to Iran’s new president Hassan Rouhani. The secret talks were designed to build a foundation that would allow the public talks to move forward. The secret negotiations were successful in creating the elements of a deal and resolving the differences between Iran and the world powers. With the recent announcements that a deal has been struck, it’s clear that this two-track negotiating strategy has paid off.

What All Of This Means For You

The leadership of the country of Iran has finally agreed to a deal in which they will halt their development of nuclear weapons in exchange for having international sanctions against them lifted. This is an amazing event because for the past decade no such agreement had been possible.

The reason that negotiators were able to reach this deal now was because of changes that have occurred within Iran and the negotiating strategy that was used. Iran has a new president who has come into power promising that he would make changes that would make life easier for the citizens of Iran. Getting the international sanctions lifted is a key part of this. The negotiating teams knew that they needed to create a foundation for the negotiations to use. A secret two-track negotiating scheme was used to allow this foundation to be created.

Every principled negotiation can be judged by the results that it creates. The negotiations between Iran and the rest of the world have been nothing if not miraculous. What had seemed to be out of reach for so long is now almost a reality. The ability of the negotiators to continue to negotiate for such a long time clearly goes to show that in negotiating, it’s not over until it’s over!

- Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Negotiating Skills™

Question For You: How important will verification be to this negotiated agreement?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Although we can spend a lot of time talking about the best negotiation styles and negotiating techniques to use during a negotiation, sometimes just getting the appropriate parties together can be the biggest challenge of all. We live in busy times and the more people that have to be involved in a negotiation, the more complex organizing it can become. As a negotiator, we need to be aware of this and learn to work with it.

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The Power Of Delays In A Negotiation

by drjim on July 18, 2014

Sometimes a delay can be a good thing

Sometimes a delay can be a good thing
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We all hate delays, right? No matter if it is when we are in traffic, waiting in a line at a store, or waiting for the next web page to load, any sort of delay is a bad thing. Or is it? It turns out that in a negotiation, sometimes a delay can be a very good thing. We just have to learn how best to deal with them.

How To Use A Delay In A Negotiation

Every negotiation has its own timeline. Every negotiation follows a somewhat standard path of starting, wandering around for a while, and then moving towards either a successful conclusion or aborts. As is the case with the rest of life, delays can enter into any negotiation at any time. This is where an opportunity may make itself available to you.

You have the ability to slow down the negotiation at any point in time. When you do this, the other side will react. Their reaction will tell you a great deal about their situation. They may start to complain that the negotiation is now taking too long. If they do, then you now have an opportunity to renegotiate what they would like to trade speed for: more money, a better delivery schedule, etc.

What this means for you is that if the other side of the table tells you that they can’t handle any delay in the negotiations, then you now have more negotiating power. Their only choice at this point in time, outside of walking away, is to make concessions to you in order to get the negotiations back on track.

How To Build A Fire Under The Other Side In A Negotiation

However, in a negotiation, you may not be the only one who is slowing things down – the other side of the table may have decided to delay the negotiations. If this happens, then you are going to have to find a way to motivate them to speed things up.

The type of motivation that you choose to use will depend on the negotiation that you are currently involved in. It could be you reducing the price of your product, it could be a change in some aspect of the timing associated with the deal, or it could mean you walking away from the deal altogether.

Ultimately you are going to have to develop your own personal sense of timing for each negotiation that you are involved in. You are going to have to be able to detect when a delay is occurring and you’ll need to be able to evaluate your options on what steps you would like to take in order to get things moving once again.

What All Of This Means For You

In any principled negotiation there are a wide variety of negotiation styles and negotiating techniques that can be used. In addition, delays are another tool that an experienced negotiator can use to control the flow of the negotiation.

Every negotiation has a timeline associated with it. You can control how the other side of the table behaves by either delaying the negotiation or working around a delay that they are causing. When the timeline starts to deviate from what the other side wants, they will become more willing to make concessions in order to get it back on track.

The ability to understand how best to use delays is something that comes with negotiating experience. Once you have this you’ll know how to get your next negotiation to move towards your ultimate goal at the correct speed.

- Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Negotiating Skills™

Question For You: When the other side wants to speed things up, should you make them make a concession first?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Negotiator Blog is updated.

P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Negotiator Newsletter are now available. Learn what you need to know to do the job. Subscribe now: Click Here!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

It is through negotiation that the impossible can be made possible no matter what negotiation styles or negotiating techniques are being used. A deal has been brokered between Iran and the rest of the world in regards to their work on creating an atomic bomb. For more than a decade Iran has been willing to put up with crippling international sanctions in order to continue to pursue its goal of creating an atomic weapon. However, recently everything has changed. How were the negotiators able to create a deal?

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What The FBI Can Teach Us About How To Negotiate

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When it comes to negotiating, it’s always a good idea to find somebody who has done it before and learn from them. A good example of this would be Chris Voss. Chris worked for the FBI and was once the FBI’s chief international kidnapping negotiator, working on about 150 cases worldwide over his 24-year career. […]

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