Negotiating When Tempers Continue to Run High
Acting as negotiator can be one of the most fulfilling jobs you will experience as an attorney, as well as one of the most challenging; unfortunately, this process can also become infuriating at times, with tempers coming to a head. Losing your temper during a professional discussion is not where you want to be, and as you gain experience over the years, you will learn to avoid such situations—along with giving in to the temptation to express such emotions.
The key to expert negotiating is in knowing the other side. This means taking time out to research them as much as possible, and in understanding as many details about them, even having compassion regarding why they may be involved in a legal dispute requiring negotiations. Although many attorneys or negotiators may draw a hard line and adopt a very aggressive persona while negotiating, that may not always be the best route for your client, or for you professionally. You may find yourself coming up against the same legal team again (and again and again!), and it is in your better interest to be known as someone who is fair and has gained credibility through being willing to seek a win-win rather than just a win.
Emotions are often running high during legal issues and consequent negotiations, and in some cases, you may just be dealing with an outright hothead. As hard as it may be, it is critical to be the one who keeps their cool by taking efforts to defuse the situation. Obviously, everyone should try to avoid raising their voices. Keep maintaining eye contact with the other parties in a calm and cool manner, treading lightly until you have assessed whether it may be possible to get back on track—or whether it might be time to call for a break, or even walk away altogether.
Someone losing their temper may not be the impetus for deciding to walk away from the negotiating table though, whether temporarily or for good. Before you even start discussions with the other party, know what the end game is by having a clear strategy outlined with your client and understanding what the bottom line is for them, without any gray area. This will make the process much more streamlined from your side.
Are you interested in becoming a skilled 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.