Negotiating: Understanding the Logic of the Other Side
There may be times when you wonder why you must play the game of negotiation at all; really, doesn’t logic say it would just be easier for both parties to say what they want and get on with it? Many times, that is what they do in the beginning, but without hopes to give up the farm. Negotiations often involve high stakes and the process can become a stressful game as both parties are extremely concerned about their property, finances, personal and professional well-being, and overall—their future. From the outside looking in, negotiating may appear to be a tiresome process, but if you are the one involved, there could be a grave matter at stake, even if only in your mind in the end.
As an attorney, finely-honed negotiation skills will serve you well, bolstering your reputation and credibility with clients (who will then refer their friends to you), but there is a lot that happens behind the scenes before a streamlined negotiation takes place—and that begins with understanding the value in a win-win, rather than just a win for you and your client. Research, always your friend in the legal arena, will prepare for you for having control in the negotiation process. But don’t just research the other side! Have a deep understanding of your client before you walk into the room. Why is this dispute or need for a settlement occurring? How important is it to them to reach a resolution? Would they be okay if the other party walked away from the deal? After that, gather all the data about the other side possible. This includes information about their personal and professional lives, whether they are doing well financially (how much do they need this negotiation to go their way?), and what their overall attitude is toward your client.
Understanding your client’s vulnerabilities and those of the other side helps you win, but it is equally as important to gain empathy and sympathy for whatever plight or need is involved. And while having a specific intuition about your client is vital, understanding human nature in general will continue to help you act responsibly in others’ stead, stepping away when emotions may begin to take over, advising your client calmly, and discussing other methods of resolution with them when the going gets tough at the negotiation table.
Are you interested in becoming a skilled lawyer and negotiator? Our mission at CDTA College of Law is to educate, train, and develop extraordinary legal advocates. Your legal education will be comprised of bar-tested academic subjects, skills training, and values reinforcement. Upon completion of your 4-year course of study you will be fully qualified to take and pass the California Bar examination. Call us today at (760) 342-0900 or find out more online here.