Negotiations going badly? Know how to break off discussions

When It’s Time to Break Off Discussions in a Negotiation Gone Wrong

It started with the best of intentions and most standard of ways. Both parties came to the table to negotiate a deal or offer a counter-proposal, but now, it’s threatening to veer off the road. It may be time to think about how to break off discussions and leave the situation without any hard feelings.

What to Do when Negotiations Go Wrong

Part of a solid negotiation strategy is a contingency plan: what to do when something goes terribly wrong, and leave the table intact. If negotiations are going wrong, it’s important to realise that people’s personal interests and egos are vested in the situation. The first thing to do is ask questions that will help to understand if everyone is on the same page. The deal may be dead in the water but the relationship might still be worth preserving. By all means, express displeasure or disagreement – but in an amicable way that makes the issue plain. Bluntly, each party’s needs are currently at odds and there doesn’t seem to be a way to reconcile them at this point.

Break Off Discussions Without Burning Bridges

Use a mediator or third-party legal team for guidance if necessary. Firstly, lawyers can help break down a deal or contract and give advice on how to proceed, without incurring loss or damages. But, if in the process of using third party mediation, it’s discovered that the deal can be salvaged, then this legal team can amend the previous proposal. They can help create a new deal, complete with a legal fail-safe in place should issues arise again.

Effective communication is at the heart of breaking off discussions. Remember the initial intent: to bring two parties together. The context of the negotiation matters as well and plays a big role in choosing whether to walk away, or try and meet in the middle. Be cognizant of the context of the communication at all times.