Business Negotiation September 25, 2013

How Body Time Can Make a Good Negotiator Into a Poor One

Human beings are governed by natural rhythms that determine how they think, feel and react at different times of the day. Research into the influence of time on behavior is relevant to negotiation. The following recent findings are worth keeping in mind:

  1. Performance is tied to body rhythms. People perform best between 8:00 AM and 7:00 PM and worst between 2:00 AM and 6:00 AM.
  2. People suffer serious mental discomfort when their work schedules shift. They become confused and accident prone. They develop ulcers and begin to suffer from hypertension.
  3. Jet travel has introduced special stress problems. Doctors have reported premature aging amount pilots flying east to west runs. They also find that it is easier to fly west than east.
  4. One doctor studied crew members on a long flight and found that senior pilots had learned to cope with jet lag by staying on their “at home” time. It also helps them to preserve their biological and psychological stability by eating the same foods they would have eaten at home.

In her book Body Time, Lucy Gay observed that “businessmen may be negotiating with a body whose heart rate indicates a state more like sleep than waking.” Those of us who have negotiated at nine in the morning in New York after flying all night on the “red-eye” from Los Angeles know how hard it is to pay attention or add simple numbers. We fall victim to the triple threat of west-to-east travel, a changing sleep routine and a mixed-up work-eat schedule. Time has a profound impact on performance. To get the most out of yourself, pick the time that best suits your body.

Body time is especially important when we negotiate in Europe or Asia. Research indicates that it takes a person approximately one day to adjust for jet lag for every time zone flown through en route. While it is rarely possible to take so much time to adjust, a sensible rule would be to give yourself a full day or two before engaging in serious business overseas.

It is never wise to go into a negotiation without considering body time in your planning. Neville Chamberlain, Prime Minister of England in 1938, made the mistake of dealing with Hitler after traveling long and far to meet him. Hitler was fresh, Chamberlain exhausted. Hitler won Czechoslovakia and World War II started a year later. The verdict of history agrees that Chamberlain got the worst of the negotiation. His disorientation contributed to the results. Tired negotiators make poor agreements.

THE PROGRAM WAS GREAT! MY SEMINAR LEADER AND THE STRUCTURE OF THE COURSE KEPT ME CONSTANTLY STIMULATED. I NOW AM BETTER PREPARED TO GO INTO AN IMPORTANT NEGOTIATION MEETING AND STAY IN CONTROL, WHILE FINISHING THE MEETING SATISFIED.

Deanna D.
CASE MANAGER at THE JACKSON LABORATORY

IF YOU HAVE THE TRAINING BUDGET AND TWO DAYS TO SPARE, YOU'LL STRUGGLE TO FIND A PROGRAM MORE FAR-REACHING, ON-POINT, AND INSTANTLY IMPLEMENTABLE.

Jeff G.
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER at THE M.K. MORSE COMPANY

EXCELLENT COURSE, BRINGS MORE CONFIDENCE IN MY ABILITY TO NEGOTIATE. I THINK THIS COURSE IS A MUST FOR ALL EMPLOYEES WHO DEAL WITH CUSTOMERS.

John S.
CHIEF ENGINEERING MANAGER at EXXONMOBIL

THIS WAS VERY EFFECTIVE WITH A STRONG FOCUS ON BOTH-WIN NEGOTIATING.

Kathleen L.
SENIOR ANALYST at BLUE CROSS/BLUE SHIELD OF MICHIGAN

THE KARRASS CLASS WAS THE SINGLE BEST TRAINING CLASS/SEMINAR I HAVE EVER ATTENDED. EVERY TIME WE DID AN EXERCISE IT TAUGHT YOU WHAT TO DO DIFFERENTLY NEXT TIME. THANKS.

Kim C.
PROCUREMENT at AMERICAN EXPRESS

THIS PROGRAM HAS GREATLY INCREASED MY CONFIDENCE AND ABILITY TO NEGOTIATE FOR MYSELF AS WELL AS MY COMPANY.

LaDonna E.
SENIOR STRATEGIC BUYER at HALLMARK

THE NEGOTIATING CLASS WAS VERY INFORMATIVE. THE INSTRUCTOR PROVIDED AN INSPIRATIONAL MESSAGE THAT CAN BE APPLIED TO EVERYDAY LIFE.

Mary S.
INTERNATIONAL SOURCING at FMC TECHNOLOGIES

WE NEGOTIATE EVERY DAY OF OUR LIVES, BOTH PERSONALLY AND PROFESSIONALLY. THIS COURSE DEFINES THE PROCESS AND PROVIDES TECHNIQUES TO ACHIEVE SUCCESSFUL RESULTS.

Phillip H.
VICE PRESIDENT at GE

PRIOR TO THIS CLASS I FELT AS THOUGH I WAS GETTING EATEN ALIVE BY INTERNAL NEGOTIATIONS WITH SALES REPS. NOW I FEEL PREPARED TO CHALLENGE WHAT THEY ARE SAYING AND BET TO THEIR REAL NEEDS.

Steve Q.
PLANNER at HONEYWELL

MANY PEOPLE FAIL TO ACHIEVE THEIR POTENTIAL BECAUSE THEY DON’T SEE THE OPPORTUNITIES TO NEGOTIATE A WIN/WIN AGREEMENT WITH THEIR COLLEAGUES. THIS CLASS IS AN EYE OPENER TO THIS DYNAMIC..

Stuart B.
CONTRACTS MANAGER at HEWLETT-PACKARD
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