Negotiation of credible sanctions

One of the questions that entrepreneurs often ask me during my negotiation workshops is how to achieve the implementation of the agreements reached. In other words, sometimes business people face a situation when, after reaching an agreement between two parties, one of them does not fulfill it.

I say that during negotiations it is necessary to pay enough attention to the implementation of the agreement (especially the oral one), discussing and including in it sanctions that would work in case of non-compliance with the agreement. In this, the sanctions must be reliable (it would be useful to verify the credibility of the threat, according to the Thomas Schelling). Of course, it is better to discuss/negotiate the difficult and sensitive issue of sanctions in the friendliest way possible. Otherwise, the negotiations themselves may turn into an exchange of threats.

Are you ready for difficult negotiations?

The upcoming difficult negotiations (as well as public speeches, debates, and the like) strain many. Well, of course: there is a lot at stake. In such a situation, usually the state of readiness is associated with a certain tension. For example, preparing for an important meeting (or exam), many strain their muscles and brains, put themselves in a state of tense expectation. But from here arises, oddly enough, a state of rigidity, inflexibility, unwillingness to react quickly, because physiological and psychological stress turns into a retarding factor.

The best readiness – for everything – is a state of non–tension, relaxation. Being relaxed, we can quickly respond to external stimuli or threats, be flexible in our thinking and behavior. Therefore, good martial artists are always calm and relaxed, and this means that they are always ready to repel an external attack.

And wisdom is usually associated with calmness. And great actors can improvise beautifully if they are not stressed. And the mind becomes clear when it is in a calm state, that is, in a state of readiness. Only calmness and relaxation can cause real concentration of the mind. And brilliant ideas are visited only by such minds.

So, the best state before difficult negotiations is a state that combines concentration and relaxation. It can be called in another way: Mindfulness. However, mindfulness is the best condition even during negotiations.