Critical Negotiations Skills : The Value of Time in Negotiation

Critical Negotiations Skills The Value of Time in Negotiation


Pareto's Law of the 80-20 Principle has many applications, and negotiation is no exception. Twenty percent of what you do produces 80 percent of the results. Conversely, 80 percent of your negotiations skills produce 20 percent of the results.

In negotiation, this means that 80 percent of your results are generally agreed upon in the last 20 percent of your time. The outcome of the negotiations skills will largely rest upon the solid 80 percent research foundation that has been set, as to how much has had to be conceded of the original plan.

Below are some necessary strategies for successful negotiating outcomes considering time management elements.

Have patience

A lot of preparation has been entered into prior to the negotiation process taking place, and a lot more additional research will be required as the negotiation process progresses.

All parties are investing a lot of time, energy, personal and spiritual commitment, and negotiations skills to ensure the best possible outcome. So, it is important that each person feels that sufficient time has been accorded them to present their case.

Most concessions and settlements occur in the last 20 percent of the negotiation process, when everyone feels that all parties have been heard.

Be persistent

Your counterpart is hardly going to concede to you at the beginning of the negotiation, nor will s/he obligingly give you everything you ask for at the first request.

If your first submission is unsuccessful, try a different approach, reword it, change negotiations skills strategy. You may need to provide additional information that would persuade your counterpart to see your good intentions for a win/win for both of you.

Move quickly when possible

Staying alert and looking for opportunities to arrive closer to a finalization brings momentum to the negotiation. The negotiation atmosphere should be abuzz with expectation, everyone being alert and proactive.

There will be times when one or both parties will benefit if the negotiations are resolved quickly. If this is so, use good negotiations skills and have behavioral flexibility to indicate to your counterpart how beneficial a speedy resolution would be for all concerned.

Deadlines can be changed, or even eliminated

There is nothing that is not negotiable, not even deadlines. As the deadline comes near, do not panic, it can be changed.

Know your counterpart’s timeline

It is preferable that you know the deadline your counterpart is working to and that s/he does not know yours. As you near the deadline of the other party, his stress level will increase, and there is the likelihood of his making more concessions. You can use your good negotiations skills to advantage here.

Make time work for you

As a general rule, you will not achieve the best outcome quickly. Although there can be some exceptions, you will usually be better off moving slowly with persistence, even if it means that the deadline needs adjusting.

It is important to remember that, for at least the duration of the negotiation process all of you are working as a team to arrive at the best possible resolution. Building rapport and empathetic behavior will ensure that the negotiation will be a pleasant advantageous process for all involved.