What is Crisis Negotiation?
A crisis negotiation in the business world usually involves a high-stakes situation with heightened emotions and the participation of multiple parties.
In a crisis negotiation, parties often feel desperate to reach a deal at any cost, and quickly. However, this type of short-term thinking often limits us from considering the various eventualities that could unfold down the line. Yet even as you approach the problem with intensity and a sense of urgency, there is value in working methodically.
As a negotiator in a difficult situation, how can you manage the exhaustion, time pressure, and stress that typically infects such high-pressure talks? Planning for a crisis, particularly in international negotiations, can help negotiators develop strategies before a crisis emerges.
If you do find yourself in the midst of a crisis negotiation, take time before you begin substantive talks to establish the ground rules. Ground rules establish a foundation for trust, and they also give you room to say no to extreme demands.
Additionally, don’t rush things and take time to explore the emotions behind a position. Business negotiators often assume that a crisis negotiation needs to be conducted as quickly as possible, but remember that time spent exploring the emotions behind a counterpart’s stated positions is never time wasted.
In these situations, it can be especially important to emphasize the importance of cooperation to reduce the odds that parties will blame one another and become overly competitive, resulting in less than desirable outcomes.
Be sure to download this free, valuable report, Business Crisis Management: Crisis Communication Examples and How to Use Police Negotiation Techniques, from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. In it, you’ll uncover proven strategies and techniques for turning hostile situations into collaborative negotiations, being forward-thinking during negotiations, and working with counterparts to find an agreeable solution
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