What is a Negotiation Team?
Building a negotiation team requires careful consideration and planning, but the benefits may be well worthwhile.
Some negotiations are simple enough to handle on our own, but those deals are increasingly rare in the business world. These days, to thrive in negotiation, you often need to be able to work effectively as part of a negotiation team.
Working as part of a negotiation team can bring many benefits. As compared with solo negotiators, teams are better at effective negotiation strategies such as developing tradeoffs among issues. Teams tend to be better than solo negotiators at exchanging information with counterparts and making accurate judgments, and they tend to reach better outcomes.
However, there are some compelling questions about the best way to manage conflict in a negotiating team when it emerges.
To prevent conflicts among diverse, strong-minded team members from overshadowing group goals, Professor Elizabeth Mannix of Cornell University advises the negotiation team to spend at least twice as much time preparing for upcoming talks as they expect to spend at the table. Because the other side will be ready and willing to exploit any chinks in your team’s armor, it’s important to hash out your differences in advance.
Before official negotiations begin, devote ample time to discussing the substance of the negotiation, assigning skills and roles, and planning the process with your team. Choose an overarching goal that will drive your negotiating strategy, such as reaching a deal that will contribute to your organization’s long-term health, and decide on fairness standards and decision-making rules for your group.
Discover how to build a winning team and boost your business negotiation results in this free special report, Team-Building Strategies: Building a Winning Team for Your Organization, from Harvard Law School.
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