Managing Complexity in Negotiation

When it comes to negotiation, there are different elements that can be complex for you as a negotiator. Managing complexity in negotiation involves handling situations where:

  • Multiple negotiators are involved.
  • There are different negotiation phases.
  • There are multiple negotiating parties.
  • There are various cultures present.

In this article, we will briefly discuss them and provide you with some specific tips that will help you overcome them.

Group negotiations

In a business negotiation, working in a group is common. Doing so involves advantages and disadvantages, as well as a special strategy in which everyone must collaborate. You must avoid improvisation in the group at all costs because if it is difficult to improvise individually, it is even more challenging in a group.

Before starting the negotiation, you must be clear about:

  • The objectives.
  • The strategy.
  • The non-negotiables.
  • What you know about the other party: objectives, limits, fears.
  • What you will do if…
  • What role each participant will play.
  • If you will share the obtained result.

To avoid improvisation, we present you with a list of aspects to consider when negotiating in a group:

  • Share a common idea of what you want to achieve.
  • Define who will be the spokesperson.
  • Develop the role of each participant.
  • Propose a provisional agreement.
  • Decide the operating rules. …

Negotiations in multiple phases

Negotiations with multiple phases and the perspective of future transitions offer significant advantages to the parties that cooperate and transmit confidence with a future projection.

In these negotiations, the first phases allow you to establish a good relationship, familiarize yourself with the other party, and lay the foundations for the following negotiations.

If the first agreements are not respected, the rest of the negotiation will become complicated, causing discomfort and mistrust among the participants.

Multiparty negotiations

Negotiations usually involve more than two negotiators and more than two parties. Multiparty negotiations differ from traditional negotiations by a significant element: the possibility of creating a coalition. There are two types of coalitions: natural (those in which many interests are shared) and opportunistic (those in which associates share a particular reason).

In this type of negotiation, keep in mind that:

  • Preparation for this type of negotiation is more complicated.
  • A natural coalition is difficult to break because it is usually very solid.
  • The opportunistic coalition is more comfortable to break because it is more fragile.

International negotiations

These negotiations are divided into two groups: private (between companies) and public (between diplomats). The complexity depends on the multiculturalism of the parties involved. In case you find yourself in a negotiation, always keep the following tips in mind:

  • Avoid stereotypes, clichés, etc.
  • Accept the standardization of the global negotiation culture.
  • Identify the method used by negotiators.
  • Manage linguistic difficulties.
  • Although English is the language par excellence, not everyone speaks it correctly, and misunderstandings and contradictions can occur.

Some solutions for this type of international negotiation are:

  • Prepare more than ever.
  • Listen more than ever.
  • If necessary, it is better to be accompanied by a local expert.
  • As a last resort, let another local negotiator represent you with whom you prepare the negotiation.