You Should Not Always Negotiate

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October 9, 2016
Approaches to negotiationIt is important for leaders to negotiate but it is not mandatory.

In business relationships, differences will arise from time to time and during these times negotiation helps. It helps you win the other party and make them see your point of view. Leaders, in some ways, almost always have to negotiate to put their point across but experts say that great leaders know when to refrain. It is important that you look at each situation differently, analyze it, and then make your call about negotiation. Whether you should negotiate will depend on a few factors such as your relationship, empowerment of the other party, and just how important the issue at hand is.

There are times when negotiation is healthy and there are times when it is nothing but a waste of time and effort.

Times When Negotiation Is Not Recommended
  • When you really can’t converge at any point: It so happens at times that two parties share completely different views and there is nothing common in the ideas shared. At such times, you shouldn’t negotiate.
  • When you don’t have the time: Negotiation is more like a skill. It needs a lot of time to work. If you don’t have the time, there is no need to negotiate.
  • When the power is not balanced: If the other firm or party is way more powerful than you are and has more control than you do, there is actually no point in negotiating until you are able to gain at least some power for yourself.
Times When Negotiation Is Recommended
  • When the issue is important enough: Critical issues are always worth the extra time and effort. However, you shouldn’t just negate any issue because it seems unimportant presently. Think of the future consequences as well. Analyze each issue carefully before making a call.
  • When you know you won’t win: You know you can’t win but you need the party’s cooperation. Go for it.
  • You require a long-term relationship: If you want a long-term relationship, it is highly recommended that you be very strategic. Negotiate to show commitment and trust. Also, at times you may think that a particular relationship is not fruitful. So you don’t think much of it. While the relationship is not sustainable presently, you could need the cooperation of the other party at later stages. Think about this and if at any point you think you might need the support, experts say that you should negotiate.

Be smart and strategic while negotiating.

Entrepreneurial Learning

Negotiation is something that every leader must do almost all the time. However, there are some times when he or she can do away with it. It is important to understand what those situations are so that you don’t waste time and effort only to gain nothing.

Image courtesy of [Ambro] /

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Read How to negotiate while buying a business by Joe Maina
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Watch How to negotiate effectively

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