Negotiation Strategies, Planning for Negotiations, Business Negotiation January 20, 2010

Indirect Information

Last week, we discussed closed-door business negotiations, which can sometimes also be secret negotiations. In these business negotiations, both parties want to keep the content of their discussions quiet. However, sometimes information between the two parties is also kept quiet, or off the record. In any business negotiation, parties communicate directly at the table, yet there may also be indirect communication going on. Indirect communication supplements what is being said at the table. Indirect information can help provide better perspective and build a stronger negotiation position. Indirect information is exchanged for many reasons:

  • To keep up appearances
  • To share conflicting motives
  • To build kinship between the parties
  • To make information flow easier
  • To avoid loss of face
  • To allow organizational and personal goals to be changed quietly

You may be wondering how indirect information is exchanged. Sometimes information is exchanged outside the room where the negotiation is held, and sometimes, information is exchanged in a more surreptitious manner. Here are some indirect communication channels:

  • Secret discussions
  • Rumor leaks
  • “Lost” memos or key documents
  • Third-party intermediaries
  • The media

How have you dealt with indirect information? Have you found it useful or not useful in your negotiations?

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PROCUREMENT at AMERICAN EXPRESS

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INTERNATIONAL SOURCING at FMC TECHNOLOGIES

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PLANNER at HONEYWELL

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CONTRACTS MANAGER at HEWLETT-PACKARD
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