Why do negotiations fail?

"The art of good negotiation is to be firm on the fundamentals, steadfast on the things you really care about, but flexibility in the details.”
Theodore Roosevelt

In this Business Watcher video, negotiation expert Barney Jordaan talks about some of the main mistakes that he thinks people make when they negotiate. Both for themselves professionally, as well as on a global scale such as Brexit or the crisis in Syria.

First of all, we use the wrong tactics. We use threats, for example, to try and get the other party to move in our direction. But that can be very dangerous, because you have no control over how the other party might react.

Secondly, we use power instead of persuasion. Similar to threats, you have no control over how the other side might react. If you leave them feeling like a victim, the risk is that they will become the aggressor. As Abraham Lincoln said: ‘if you want to reveal somebody's character, you just give them power’.

A third problem is the lack of preparation and planning. The Nissan case illustrates that very clearly. The CEOs or the chairmen of the two companies have negotiated a potential deal. They thought this could be an ideal marriage. The French and Japanese governments however, were not consulted from the start and therefore felt excluded. They came with their own demands, which led to the deal not going through up until now.

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