Partner, CEO INCS Ltd.
Stefan Kühn is a negotiator, mediator and experienced in high-risk and high-stakes negotiations in sensitive markets. He conducts national and international multi-party negotiations and consults organizations and governmental bodies in demanding and conflicting situations.
Many negotiators react with disappointment, resignation or even anger to a negotiation course that they perceive as negative. Emotions, real or fake, almost always trigger a reaction from the other party.
An important investor welcomes you in a conference room and you sit opposite each other at the negotiating table. Twenty minutes later the conversation seems to go very well. Coincidentally, you notice that you and your potential investor are sitting in the same position, mimicking the hand gestures and leaning back with your legs crossed. You feel self-confident, in good spirits and wonder whether you should change your position.
Many Negotiators have more or less clear ideas of how existing negotiations should run and mostly feel in retrospect that their foresight is confirmed. This often has less to do with analytical or clairvoyant abilities and rather more to do with psychological influencing factors.
Apart from the case of single person owned company, it seldom happens that only one person is involved with a business or business unit in negotiations. Usually it is between a few and many persons who lead negotiations on behalf of the company, whether this be in sales, purchasing, partners, authorities etc. The more people who are involved in negotiations, the more varied the negotiation results turn out to be. What are the reasons why companies often cannot target an overall success and how can the performance, consistency and predictability of all negotiations led be improved and stabilised?
Following negotiations, trained negotiating teams are used to reviewing the process applied in terms of strengths and weaknesses. Whether good or bad, what has happened can no longer be changed. The more are lessons learned from completed negotiations of enormous value for future deals. Where do the classic mistakes now lie?
In business as well as in the private every day from time-to-time the question arises, whether negotiations should actually take place, or whether it would not save time and nerves, to abort the fruitless discussions in question. Difficult and supposedly futile situations can trigger off enormous amounts of stress. Wanting to withdraw from it is understandable. So, does aborting negotiations therefore make any sense? Where do the risks and opportunities arising from non-negotiations lie?