Planning Negotiations With Multiple Parties

Coordinating multiple schedules can be very difficult
Coordinating multiple schedules can be very difficult
Image Credit

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.

The Power Of Planning

All too often it can be very easy for a negotiator to focus on what will be happening during the actual negotiation itself. What this means is that we tend to think that somehow, magically, everyone will just show up at the right place at the right time to start the negotiations. It turns out that things rarely happen this way.

Negotiating between two people can be challenging. When there are multiple parties involved it can get a lot more complicated very quickly as you try to set things up. The reason that this can be such a challenge is because there is always at least one person who needs to be part of the negotiations whose schedule makes it hard to plan a meeting where everyone will be able to attend.

The key to starting any negotiation off to a good start is practice good planning. This means that you’re going to have to get everyone’s schedules for the near future and determine what the best time for everyone to get together will be. Doing this before the negotiations are scheduled to start will help you to avoid any delays.

If it turns out that if you’re just not going to be able to get everyone who needs to participate in the negotiations together by the planned date, then you’re going to have do one of two things. Either you’re going to have to move when the negotiations are going to start or else you are going to have to get the person who has the schedule conflict to designate someone else to attend for them.

When you are setting up a negotiation, the very last thing that you want to have happen is for there to be a delay that is caused by poor planning. This would simply show disorganization on your part. A delay like this can end up costing everyone money and, in the worst case, may actually end up killing the deal itself.

Although scheduling a negotiation is no fun, it can change how both sides of the table will eventually approach the negotiations. You can use the scheduling to control the negotiations: you can potentially either slow down or even speed up the negotiations depending on when you schedule them to start.

What All Of This Means For You

No principled negotiation is easy and yet sometimes just getting the required people into the same room in order to start the negotiation can be one of the biggest challenges. Taking the time to coordinate among multiple schedules is the right way to start things.

The one thing that we all want to avoid is not knowing the schedules of the people who have to be involved in the negotiations. If this happens, then delays that are out of your control will get introduced into the negotiation. Moving the date and time of the negotiation is always an option. Remember that you can use when the negotiation occurs in order to either speed things up or slow them down.

In order to boost your chances of reaching a deal, you need to make sure that your next negotiation starts off correctly. A key part of making this happen will be taking the time to ensure that the schedules of all of the involved parties have been accounted for. Do this right, and the negotiation will start off on the right foot!

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

Question For You: When multiple parties are negotiating, who should be in charge of scheduling the negotiations?

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

All too often in a negotiation we encounter a situation where no matter what negotiation styles or negotiating techniques we use, we are told to “take it or leave it”. This can be a big roadblock when it comes to finding a way to reach a deal with the other side. The good news is that there is another way. If you know how to use parallel negotiating tracks, then you just might still be able to reach a deal.