“Are You Cruel When You Weaponize Time In Your Negotiation“ – Negotiation Tip of the Week

“Time – a precious commodity that should never be misused.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert (Click to Tweet)



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“Are You Cruel When You Weaponize Time In Your Negotiation“


For the last three months, the two teams negotiated fiercely against each other – they were vicious – they lost the pretense of civility after the first month. At times, flared tempers had driven them to cruelty. Then, out of frustration or despair, the lead negotiator of one team said to his counterpart, in an extremely cruel tone, either you accept our offer within the next three days or we’ll leave this negotiation and never return! With that edict, time was weaponized. He’d unleashed a ticking time bomb that would blow the negotiation up unless someone defused the situation. And, the way he made his pronouncement left him no wiggle room to save face.

How do you use time to advance your negotiation position – it’s one of the most precious commodities a negotiator has. The following thoughts are ideas about how you can use time to enhance your efforts.


Time Deadlines:

Some negotiators attempt to use time to create a sense of urgency (e.g. sale ends tomorrow, get it now – I only have ‘x’ amount of time to conclude this deal). In those situations, its use is an attempt to force the opposing negotiator to take immediate specific actions. The challenge is, what to do if the action sought doesn’t occur by the stated deadline – you’re left in a weakened position if you must present a lame excuse for why the deal is still available. Unless you’re ready to confront the consequences, don’t make hard-time declarations like the leader of team one.

When you use time deadlines to create a sense of urgency, leave yourself wiggle room to escape if your demands go unmet. To do that, instead of stating a hard deadline (e.g. the sale ends tomorrow) state a softer one (e.g. the sale is ending soon). The sense of urgency is not as great in the second situation – but you’re less likely to back yourself into a corner.


Overcoming Imposed Deadlines:

Deadlines can lead a negotiation to a slow death. Thus, you must be careful when they’re issued. When confronted by a time deadline –



In every negotiation, negotiators seek actions to control their counterpart – weaponizing time is one of those actions. To be more successful in your negotiations, be observant of time, know what to do when you’re confronted by time deadlines, and be cautious when issuing them. Time is a negotiator’s precious commodity, use it wisely … and everything will be right with the world.


Remember, you’re always negotiating!


Listen to Greg’s podcast at https://anchor.fm/themasternegotiator


After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d really like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com


To receive Greg’s free “Negotiation Tip of the Week” and the “Sunday Negotiation Insight” click here https://www.themasternegotiator.com/greg-williams/



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Posted by Greg Williams in Strategies for Successful Negotiations, Negotiation Tips, Difficult Negotiations & Conflict Resolution, Social Media and Negoiating, Emotional Intelligence, Negotiation Psychology and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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