How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
The Building for the Negotiation
After you have settled on the geography for the negotiation, the next choice is the building in which the negotiation will take place. Here are just a few of the places you can meet.
Company buildings are often convenient and may offer good general accommodation, but are invariably 'your place or mine', with the accompanying effects of defence, discomfort and so on. Many negotiations are best carried out on neutral territory, at least from one person's point of view and certainly when you want to make it a collaborative experience.
Hotels are often a useful alternative as they provide meeting rooms and as much service as you care to pay for. They also are available anywhere, including in the countryside.
You can also choose different styles of hotel, from old-world leather-and-wood comfort to new-world efficiency and whiteboards. Again, make deliberate choice to suit your purpose.
Restaurants provide a particularly useful environment for negotiation as food and wine relaxes and distracts people, lulling them into a comfortable place where you can coax them in the direction you want them to go.
If you are paying the bill, then going to a restaurant creates an exchange dynamic, where they feel obliged to give you something back after you have given them a nice meal.
Do remember to make the meal appropriate and fitting in with their culture. Too cheap (Sam's Caff) and you imply they are not worth much. Too expensive (the Ritz) and you make them feel coerced (against which they rebel). Also remember to check whether they are vegetarian or have dietary constraints -- and pick an appropriate place.
You can even take the person into a home environment. Invite them to your place for a barbecue or evening meal. Stop by with them
Going home shows you to be a human -- just like them. Giving them your food makes them feel a part of the family -- with the obligation of family members.
Be careful, of course, that you match your home to their thoughts. Taking a 50-year-old single man into a house full of chaotic children can be a recipe for failure.