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Negotiating tip : How to summarise during the bargaining process. Summarising during the bargaining process in a complicated negotiation is crucial 

Make sure both parties understand what has been agreed.

Make notes of concessions gained and granted as you go along. Stop for periodic summaries of the position. This avoids any misunderstanding and avoids people going back on what they have already agreed.

 I might often use a flip chart in a big meeting so people can see what has been agreed on the big piece of paper. One of the reasons for this is so that people who are not listening can see what is written up. Unless they immediately disagree you have got agreement by default.

I would always put a flip chart in a negotiating room, just in case you need to use it on the spur of the moment. All part of the preparation

If you have no flip charts then use an A3 or A4 pad and put it in the middle of the desks so everybody can see it all the time

If this doesn’t happen then make sure you make your own clear notes, in case they come back and disagree and you can’t remember. Clarity is important.

I was in a negotiation, acting for a client and the other side didn’t seem to have the integrity that I expected. At the end of the meeting we both said we would write the contract. They insisted and I smelt a rat. In our debrief we wrote down exactly our perception of what had been agreed during the negotiations. When the contract came in 10 days later, they had materially altered one of the clauses outside our agreement. We called them and re-opened the negotiation of the clauses.

The Negotiation Speaker – Mr Negotiator