We all negotiate, all the time - at home, at the office, among friends and in public.
It is partly because negotiating is so much a part of our daily routine that many see it as an intuitive activity and do not adequately appreciate what is necessary to achieve the desired result. A bad outcome is frequently attributed to the unreasonableness or deviousness of the other party – seldom to the negotiator’s own lack of preparation or skill.
However, in business as in politics, negotiation is a high transaction-cost activity. A single inept negotiation can undermine years of diligent corporate and/or career development.
Despite this, many senior executives and officials insist that they are perfectly capable of conducting negotiations on their own, and many are. However, successful negotiations invariably hinge on diligent research and careful planning, and few senior figures have the time to prepare adequately.
Some assume that the qualities which propelled them to high office are the same as those commonly found in successful negotiators. This is akin to assuming that fiercely competitive lawyers are also skilled peacemakers.
Others overlook the extent to which disagreements behind the table – within their own negotiating team – can be as important as those which takes place over the table.
There are numerous other reasons why principals should not engage directly in negotiations, or at least not until the final stages, and why it makes sense to use professional negotiators to achieve the desired result.
What negotiators often overlook
How to re-start deadlocked negotiations
What we do
At EEE, we have vast experience of negotiating on clients’ behalf, gained in an unusually wide range of circumstances, business sectors and political contexts. A particular strength is our understanding of the cross-cultural misunderstandings which so often bedevil relations in Sub-Sahara.
Individual negotiators are nominated for their suitability for the particular type of negotiation, be it commercial or political, formal or informal. We also assemble entire negotiating teams, including experts from relevant technical fields.
We liaise closely with you through all stages of the process – from preparation and strategizing to actual negotiation and eventual settlement – to ensure that you are as fully informed as if you were present throughout.
Alternatively, we can provide support, training and advice to in-house negotiating teams. Such assistance can prove invaluable both during the preparatory stage and at critical points during fraught negotiations, when the mere availability of objective and informed advice can transform the outcome.
We have coached numerous senior officials, executives, lawyers, community leaders and others in negotiating skills. This has greatly sharpened our appreciation of the diverse perspectives which often shape negotiations, and of the strategies and techniques which are most likely to work best in any particular situation.