Do You Assume an Advantage Simply Because You Negotiate on Your Territory

Many people believe they gain an automatic advantage by negotiating in their environment. That’s not necessarily true.

There are factors to consider that could cause you to lose an advantage, by negotiating in your environment. Before negotiating in your surroundings, consider these points:

1. Consider the level of your negotiation skills, compared to the other negotiator.

  • If you’re negotiating against a significantly stronger negotiator, she’ll glean information in your environment that she’ll be able to use against you (i.e. the number of people working in your environment, the appearance of the environment, an assessment of the resources at your availability, etc). People make ‘snap’ decisions based on their perception. If you’re going to have the negotiation in your environment, shape the environment based on the perception you wish them to have.
  • When negotiating against a stronger opponent, seek ways to decrease his advantage by determining how you might dissuade him from adopting positions that are favorable to his cause. Look for leverage points to accomplish this.

2. Determine why you wish to negotiate in your surroundings.

  • Be very specific as to the reason you wish to have the negotiation in your environment. If the reasoning is not plausible, based on the outcome you seek, have the negotiation somewhere else. Such non-plausible reasoning might be, ‘because I want to be in a stronger position’. Examine what that means and how your negotiation efforts will be enhanced by doing so.

3. Think about the ambiance that you need to set, if the negotiation is in your arena.

  • Depending on what ‘signal’ you wish your environment to convey, you have to ‘set the stage’, which means you’ll have to spend time and resources to do so. Then, you have to determine if the ‘extra work’ is worth the effort.
  • Consider the amount of effort that will go into creating the ‘right’ environment for the negotiation and calculate the return on your efforts, versus the time being spent planning on the strategies and tactics you’ll employ during the negotiation.

You can enhance your negotiation abilities and one small determining factor in that equation is where you choose to negotiate. Prior to allocating the space in which you’ll negotiate consider the possible advantages and disadvantages. If you can’t gain a decisive advantage, as the result of negotiating in one environment versus another, negotiate in a neutral setting.

You can determine how good of a negotiator you’ll become, based upon the effort you’re willing to put forth to do so. Increase your odds of winning more negotiations by increasing your negotiation skills. In so doing, you’ll get more out of life, gain more respect … and everything will be right with the world.

The Negotiation Tips Are …

  • If the other negotiator insists on having the negotiation in your environment and you’re not prepared to do so, seek an area that is neutral.
  • If the other negotiator is amicable, tell her you’d like to meet in her area, because she has better surroundings. By catering to her before the official negotiation begins, you’ll begin to endear yourself to her. Be careful not to use this strategy with a negotiator that might perceive this tact as weakness.
  • If the other negotiator is a better negotiator, prior to negotiating, get assistance and negotiation training to increase your negotiation skills.
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