How Technology is Changing the Way People Negotiate
Technology has changed the way we navigate through almost every aspect of our lives. It has given way to new forms of communication allowing us to connect with people from all over the world. Technology removes physical barriers when it comes to events, people and places. In an instant, we can access the latest news at any time of day and the same goes for our workplace.
One thing that has drastically changed is the way we handle trade wars and conventional negotiations. The way we prepare, contribute and improve our negotiations is significantly different than it was in the past. Smartphones and tablets have provided us with more information than we could have ever imagined, and this means that more than half of the negotiation process has already been completed long before both parties have even communicated.
Information. Given that we live in the information age this is probably one of the most integral parts of the negotiation process. Information holds the power it allows both parties to research their counterpart and find out almost everything about their background, reputation and negotiation tactics without ever having met them. In the past, hours of research and phone calls would have maybe garnered half the information you could gather today if any at all. Nowadays we have LinkedIn, Facebook, Google and a slew of other sites that can provide us with invaluable information on our counterparts.
Many organizations even offer negotiation courses or have databases dedicated to chronicling intelligence that can be used in future negotiations – tools that no doubt adds tremendous value.
Technology has also expanded how negotiations are conducted, no longer are negotiations subject to a face to face meeting. There are multiple forms of technology that allow negotiation to occur over the internet such as email, instant messaging and video conferences. While email is widely used and reliable it is one of the slowest forms of communication which often leads to a drawn-out negotiation process.
However, this can be a positive for those who prefer to take a more methodical approach. Since the pressure associated with face-to-face negotiation is no longer a factor, parties can take time to do more in-depth research instead of relying solely on pre-prepared research. Instant messaging is a real-time solution that allows parties to do text-based negotiations instantly. This can be a beneficial option however it is not conducive to building lasting relationships. Video conferences are the most effective form of communication when it comes to time and cost. It allows parties to make and reject offers in real-time as well as share multimedia content. Video conferencing also feels the closes to in-person negotiation as you can still see facial expressions and body language.
Despite changes in technology, the essence of negotiation remains almost the same. The only difference is that negotiations can happen much more quickly than before. Technology has completely changed negotiation and incorporating technology like negotiation courses into your strategy will improve efficiency and allow you to make the best deals possible.
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