Negotiating in Life , Negotiation Tactics April 01, 2011

Outside moves, inside pressure

Many business negotiations are straightforward affairs, where both parties are trying their best to reach an agreement that is mutually beneficial, a both-win negotiation. Disagreements are discussed and resolved, making everything go fairly smoothly...

Many business negotiations are straightforward affairs, where both parties are trying their best to reach an agreement that is mutually beneficial, a both-win negotiation. Disagreements are discussed and resolved, making everything go fairly smoothly.  However, there are some negotiations that do not go smoothly. There is drama and there are threats. There may even be events—or moves-- outside the negotiating room can exert pressure.

Types of moves that can create pressure are:

  • Wildcat strikes

  • Lawsuits

  • Boycotts

  • Demonstrations

  • News reports that affect either party

  • Press releases that share sensitive information

  • Rumors about a product or service

  • Rationing of materials

  • Changes in credit terms

  • Sending out requests for quotations


Some of these may be more serious than others. If two countries are in diplomatic negotiations, and one country’s military makes moves to ramp up presence, clearly, there will be pressure in the room. A sudden strike during a labor negotiation could pressure management into concessions. Rumors however, could be summarily dismissed, as could news reports. Of course, it will depend on the content and what is being alleged.

According to Dr. Chester Karrass: “A move outside the conference room adds emphasis to the words. It escalates risk.” He adds: “Moves affect the expectations of the parties and alter the balance of power.”

How do you deal with outside moves? Please share in the comments.
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