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Dealing with new set of dynamics in negotiations

In view of the global changes in dynamics due to the pandemic, it has become a new normal to negotiate remotely. In this post, I have highlighted some challenges and views to manage this new normal.

1. Difficult to connect and read body language - It is difficult to connect remotely the same way as in person meetings. Presence is so badly missed. Do you know the amazing story of how Google founders won the AOL ad contract in Europe by being present and active? More on this story in the book Negotiation Quotient. The next best to live negotiation is video conference. Choose video as the preferred option when you negotiate. It builds connection, enables observing body language and reactions.

2. Collaborating with your team and other party - Prior to negotiation and during negotiation, it is a bit more difficult to manage the interactions with the team. As we all know, it is critical we prepare well for a negotiation. It is generally much easier when the whole group is in a room to prepare for the negotiation. Now, with the new dynamics, it is important to have the same interaction levels via online media. It is important the whole team is on the same page. Use breakout rooms, whiteboarding and other collaboration tools. Also, it is important to be able to take breaks.

3. Getting the deal closed - In person meetings provide the incentive to the participants to build solutions and make a decision since people have made the effort to meet. The same incentive might not be possible available in online negotiations. A special focus and attention needs to be given to closing deals in online negotiations.

4. Relationship building - In live meetings, specific planning is done for celebrating progress and success after meetings by having meals or drinks together. There is nothing to stop doing that online. Celebrating with drinks online is an idea that is acceptable, important and becoming a norm.

5. Confidentiality/security - In live meetings, you are in a room and able to see everybody in the room. In online meetings, the big challenge is to know who is on the other side. It is something that cannot be controlled. I agree that you need to trust the other party to do the right things. However, there are some available options to ensure you have all bases covered. Ensuring that the session is recorded and sharing meeting notes immediately after the meeting provides the comfort that negotiation outcomes are well documented.

Anything you would like to add? Share in the comments.

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Great post

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