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Breaking the Deadlock

  • Time is a crucial element in any negotiation. Don’t lose control over time. Plan your negotiations, including how much time you want to spend on any given topic. A lead negotiator is the time keeper – until the very last second of the negotiation.
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  • If your negotiating partner shows resistance or escalates the conflict, warn them. Be concrete, be forceful, but always show respect.
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  • Exploit your negotiating partner’s contradictions. Write them down and use them in the right moment – state the contradiction and then remain silent. Ideally, the other party will clarify the contradiction, which will allow you to gain a better understanding of their motives.
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  • In negotiations, failure is not an option. So, avoid thinking about it and focus all your energy on finding a solution. If the opposite party’s actions put the negotiation at risk, warn them. If they keep sticking to their position despite your warning, break off negotiations.
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  • Crises are common in difficult negotiations. The important thing is that you prepare a detailed crisis plan, including a crisis team, before the negotiation. Sometimes you may find that it is beneficial to turn the crisis into a dead end on purpose, so you can reach an agreement after reopening negotiations.
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  • Difficult negotiations often reach a critical point that results in a dead end. That doesn’t mean the negotiation is over. Use three simple sentences to allow both parties to re-enter negotiations.
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