Updated: Nov 14, 2021
In this time of lockdown, social distancing, work from home, and remote meetings for more than 3 weeks now. How do you manage negotiations effectively in this time? Read 5 important engagement aspects of navigating remote negotiations below
Video is better than phone or email - The next best to an in-person negotiation is a video negotiation. Use of technologies for video conferencing such as Zoom, Skype, Webex etc. will enable you to at least see the other person and observe their expressions. Ensure the technology works seamlessly.
Focus on communication essentials - It's important to focus on attentive listening and clear articulation of all points. Use effective communication skills such as asking open ended conversations, repeating what you heard to avoid misunderstanding what you heard, and proper conclusion of all agreed points. The video environment should facilitate proper communication.
Alignment within the group - If you are in a group to group negotiation, ensure you have completed your intra-group alignments via video conferencing and have agreed on all negotiation points, before going into the negotiation with the other group. If multiple people are in a negotiation, ensure that the exchanges and conversations are clearly understood.
Document everything - Properly document the negotiation objectives in advance and the closing details. An email to follow up discussions is crucial. Do this immediately after so that the discussions are still fresh in the mind.
Appropriate behaviors - Appropriate behaviors such as respect, flexibility, ethics etc. are as important in remote negotiations as in face-to-face negotiations. In the absence of body language, Minimize distractions during the engagement to focus on the person on the video. Never escalate conflicts in remote negotiations as they are not likely to end well.
Read more in my book "Negotiation Quotient: Opening the door to a successful deal" now available across multiple platforms online.