Extreme Negotiating: How To Do Your Best When Under Pressure

by drjim on June 14, 2013

High pressure negotiating situations exist, make the most of them…

High pressure negotiating situations exist, make the most of them…
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Those of us who deal in the world of negotiations know that not all negotiations are created equal. One of the biggest differences is the amount of pressure that we find ourselves under during the negotiation. The bigger the stakes are, the more pressure that we feel that we are under. How we deal with all of that pressure is what separates the good negotiators from everyone else…

How To Get Real Buy-In From The Other Side

High pressure negotiations can cause us to change how we behave — we often start to use different negotiation styles and negotiating techniques. When the pressure goes up, it is a very natural reaction for us to start to play hardball with the other side of the table. This can even lead us to start to use coercion in order to make deals happen.

There is a downside to us behaving this way. The other side of the table will react to our behavior in a negative way. What will happen is that they will start to resent us and our negotiation style. This is going to lead to conflicts later on in the negotiations. If we have to negotiate with the other side of the table again in the future, then those negotiations are going to be that much more difficult.

In order to get real buy-in from the other side, take the time to appeal to their sense of fairness. Ask them “what should we do to resolve this situation?” Try to appeal to logic and legitimacy and keep in mind that they are going to have to be able to justify any decision that they make to their critics after the negotiations are done.

It’s All About Trust

Time always seems to be in a limited supply when the stakes are high in a pressure filled negotiation. If we’re not careful, we may end up taking the quick & easy path in order to make progress in the negotiation. This is almost always a bad idea.

It may seem like a good idea to trade resources in order to get the other side of the table to do things that we need them to do. We may be tempted to do this because we don’t have a lot of time to spend on the negotiation. However, all too often what then happens is that the other side of the table starts to extort us for more resources or they now disrespect us.

Instead of trying to buy a good relationship with the other side using resources, instead take the time to find out why a break-down in trust has occurred and start to look for ways to fix it. Treat concessions as valuable items. Only make them if your team didn’t do something that was promised or if commitments were somehow broken. Always treat the other side of the table with respect and you’ll earn their respect.

What All Of This Means For You

Pressure is a part of all of our lives. During a principled negotiation, pressure is always going to be there. However, there will be some negotiations in which pressure plays a significant role – we really care about how the negotiation comes out and we can feel the pressure growing.

In order keep the negotiations on track, one of the first things that you need to do is to get genuine buy-in from the other side of the table. This will help them to defend their decisions to their critics after the negotiations are over. Taking the time to deal with any relationship issues at the start of the negotiations will boost trust and cooperation during the negotiations.

Nobody likes to have to operate under a lot of pressure. However, if we realize that this is just a fact of life in some of our negotiations, then we can focus on finding ways of dealing with it. Use these suggestions and you’ll be able to get more out of your next high-pressure negotiation.

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

Question For You: Do you think that you have a role to play in helping the other side to defend their decisions?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Would you like to be a better negotiator? Sure, we all would. The trick is finding out just exactly how to move from where our negotiating skills currently are to where we’d like them to be. It turns out that it’s not all about who has the best negotiation styles and negotiating techniques. There’s got to be a way to do this…

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