Playing Hardball is Not Always the Best Choice in Negotiation

Playing Hardball is Not Always the Best Choice in Negotiation

playing hardball

Negotiating is not just an art, but a multi-faceted one. A tool for reaching agreements through what is sometimes extended and even difficult discussions, negotiating is often used to break through disagreements, with the hopes of avoiding further arguing or dispute. And although it may seem manipulating to hone your negotiating skills for the sake of ‘winning,’ in the end being a skilled negotiator just means being a master listener—and communicator.

There are many different techniques you can employ as a negotiator, but some may be more applicable to your personality overall; for instance, you may have a more aggressive or competitive style overall. This may work in some cases but can seem overbearing and completely focused on the win-lose dynamic. While there is a chance you could intimidate the opponent into submission, negotiations may spin out of control, communications may break down, and the other side may walk away. Your reputation may be at stake too, unless that is the persona you intend to continue in negotiations, with a take it or leave it attitude.

You want to please your client, and depending on the circumstances, you could be forced to play hardball—but more often, shooting for a win-win is the most positive route, allowing everyone involved to walk away as pleased as possible. The win-win can also safeguard against the loss of business relationships you (or your client) may have maintained over the long-term, or even decades. Keep in mind also that you may be dealing with the reverse, with the other side using aggressive tactics. It is key to remain calm, reiterate the focus of negotiations and stick to those points—without allowing any buttons to be pushed or any tempers to be lost during the interim.

Balance is central to walking away from a negotiation and feeling good about it, while understanding that the average negotiator can usually push harder without fear of damaging a business or personal relationship. The other side is most likely extremely focused on their own agenda too, and not worried one iota about the other party or how the outcome will really affect them.

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.

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