Negotiating in Life, Negotiating Tips, Business Negotiation February 17, 2010

Distracted?

Is it possible to conduct business negotiations if you are distracted? Sure, but probably without achieving the best results. Whenever you are distracted, you cannot focus on the task at hand.

There are many distractions to deal with during a business negotiation:

  • Fatigue
  • Interruptions
  • Personality conflicts
  • Discomfort
  • Emotions

Most of these distractions are inherent in any long meeting. To overcome these, you may have to preplan for these contingencies: making sure to schedule breaks, having a defined agenda, selecting a comfortable room for the negotiation, and preparing for any personal issues.

However, some parties may use distraction as a negotiation tactic. These parties may create some sort of diversion such as a fake emergency or an important phone call. These distractions will alter the rhythm and flow of the conversation, and could create room for error. Some of these planned distractions, also called detour maneuvers, are used to create time to learn more about the other party.

If the other party is attempting to distract you, you should resist being distracted. You will need to be disciplined and sharpen your focus. You should also learn to recognize when the other party is using a detour maneuver (some, like the scrambled eggs tactic, have been discussed here on Negotiation Space).

Sometimes your environment can distract you. Many people try to conduct business on their commute, for instance. This is not a good idea. Science News reports the following:

“Routine driving impedes a person’s ability to relay information from a cellphone call accurately to a conversation partner and to remember key elements of that information, say psychologist Gary Dell of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his colleagues.”

Read more: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/02/driving-distracts-cell-phone-users/#ixzz0fo33BFlt

The bottom line is that avoiding distraction will help you conduct a better negotiation.

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