Poor Negotiating creates Dangerous Risk – You Pay in the End!
A key objective (and responsibility) of a good negotiator is to reduce and manage risk. The professional negotiator see these as fundamental responsibilities.
- To protect the security and safety of the organisation.
- To make sure that in doing a deal with other parties, those parties will not put at risk the security and safety of the organisation.
- To ensure that there is adequate conditional protection built in to the deal.
- To make sure all parties are clear about the penalties for not honouring the agreement in full.
- That there is no doubt that the organisation and its servants have the determination to go through with the penalties and that is clearly understood by all parties to the agreement.
- That all parties understand that subject to the above, the deal will be honoured in full as agreed.
However, in politics, being seen to negotiate may be more important than agreeing a deal. Sometimes there is no intention of going through with a deal anyway; it is enough to be at the negotiating table to buy into a club. During the process objectives, strategies and responsibilities become confused. Instead of negotiating to clearly defined outcomes, the game is corrupted by conflicting agendas – the original goal becoming lost in a fog of politics and vested interest.
Politicians sitting around the negotiating table add risk by allowing their own personal objectives to influence their party’s objectives, their sponsor’s objectives and their country’s aspirations. With this level of complexity at work, simple mistakes and hidden agendas can have very significant consequences! In politics we often see a reliance on trust – but trusting politicians is risky business.