Setting the Scene Before Discussing Terms
Like most of us, you may not appreciate being labeled controlling or domineering in your personal life, but in your career as an attorney you will find that having as much control over a case as possible is necessary to a favorable outcome, and especially in discussing terms. This is especially true in negotiations. And while taking over proceedings in an overly aggressive manner is not usually recommended, everything you can do to set the scene for success is a bonus.
Preparing the room means you are that much more headed toward success, and before negotiations even begin! This gives you significant advantage, allowing you to get your head in the game, knowing exactly how the stage will be set as you begin to rehearse strategies in your mind. Consider how the atmosphere will affect the discussion overall. If you are in a more corporate setting, the negotiations may proceed in a stiffer, more inhibited manner. Do you prefer an extremely business-like mode, or would a casual and relaxed atmosphere promote better resolution to the dispute at hand?
While the client and the stakes at risk in the negotiation are critical to helping you decide how to set the scene, keep in mind that processes like mediation are extremely successful due to the more laid-back setting, often accompanied by more flexible scheduling too. If you are taking a firm, hard-nosed approach, a more severe setting could be in your best interest—but if you are working in a more cooperative capacity as the negotiator, all parties involved may be much more motivated to reach an agreement if they feel comfortable.
Consider how you want to set the general mood and tone, as well. If you can arrange this, more power to you! Again, this depends on your objectives. If that is to appear cold and intimidating, map out a corresponding scene and mood. If you are planning to create a warmer mood, refer again to what makes settings like that of the casual mediation so successful. In terms of tone for the negotiation, it is important to match your style with that of the needs of your client.
While your personality will undoubtedly shine through no matter what, you may need to adjust your style accordingly—but in most cases, drawing on a sense of humor and working to create a win for all sides is the most positive route. This also leads to greater success in the future should you have to enter negotiations with the same team.
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.