Thursday, November 25, 2010

3 Golden Rules About Time in Successful Negotiations

In my earlier blog post ‘The Power of 'Power' in Negotiations’, I presented the importance of power in negotiations as explained by Herb Cohen in his book 'You can Negotiate Anything'. In this post, we will have a look at ‘Time’ as the second most crucial aspect in negotiations.

Herb describes 3 golden rules about time.

Rule #1: The passage of time affects negotiations in a very significant way. In any negotiation, the consensus or settlement action happens close to the deadline. So be patient. Patience pays. Wait for a favorable moment to act. When not sure, do nothing.

Rule #2: Never reveal your real deadline to the other side. Deadlines can be flexible. Never blindly follow a deadline but evaluate the real benefits. The ‘other side’, no matter what they try to show, always has a deadline.

Rule #3: Don't take an extreme action unless it is advantageous for you, cautions Herb. Many a times, as the deadline approaches, you might observe a sudden change in power. Because, as we know from rule #1, with the passage of time, although people remain the same, circumstances do change!


  1. @Amitabh: Thank you! I am glad you liked the post.

  2. Very well summarised. Some of my own experiences in some tough negotiatins and learnings from them.
    #1. Never let the parties/person involved know how much you know them and how much homework you have done to know them....with TIME this should become better and advantage.
    #2. Always and at ALL TIME, let them feel they know you and your offer but use your TIME to never reveal the real....let them remain comfortable and it works to advantage with TIME.

  3. @Manoj: Thanks for such great practical tips!

  4. Real good tips for all. Have observed this in many years of experiencing in dealing with people