Sometimes business negotiations are straightforward affairs, where both parties can reach an agreement quickly and painlessly. However, sometimes negotiations take place under less than ideal circumstances. There is a looming deadline or the threat of a strike. Those circumstances lead to negotiating under pressure.

Negotiating under pressure can lead to strategic mistakes or unwanted concessions. It may also lead to bad agreements.

Katherine Bell discusses negotiating under pressure for the Harvard Business Review blog in an article called “Extreme Negotiations: Putting the Idea Into Practice.” In it, she discusses an article “Extreme Negotiations” by Jeff Weiss and Jonathan Hughes that appeared in the printed Harvard Business Review last year. The authors drew lessons from military negotiations in Afghanistan and Iraq and applied those conclusions for business negotiations.

The article focuses on five effective negotiation strategies to help you negotiate under pressure:

  • Understand the big picture by soliciting the other person’s or group’s point of view
  • Learn what’s motivating the other party, then come up with a variety of possible solutions and invite critiques
  • Use facts to persuade
  • Build trust over time
  • Focus on actively shaping the process of the negotiation

What have you learned from negotiation under pressure? Please share your experiences, tips and strategies in the comments.

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