The more prepared you are for a negotiation, the fewer surprises there should be and the better able you should be to respond by offers, demands or actions by the other side. One way to prepare is to make a game of it, much like the military does when training its officers and service members. You may not have tanks to drive or planes to fly, but that doesn’t mean you can’t war game.
A war game has rules, procedures, and conflict, all part of recreational games and military exercises.
4 Ways to Prepare for Negotiations Like a Warrior
- Single tactical battles or entire wars from any historical era or the in an imaginary time and place can be gamed.
- These can be replayed over and over again, allowing for rematches, the use of different tactics or orders of battle in a similar situation.
- If a game is historically accurate, students can witness a battle as it happened to better appreciate the situations both sides found themselves in.
- Gamers can use their own skills and imagination to change the outcome of the contest through different tactics and a little luck.
War games often translate directly to the battlefield, to be validated or corrected. War games started in 1933 lead to the successful “island hopping” campaign in the Pacific during World War II. The invasion of Luzon in the Philippines in 1944 was played out at the National War College fifteen years earlier.
One way to prepare for a negotiation, especially a high stakes negotiation, is to play out the negotiation with a colleague. Have another attorney from your firm, or a trusted attorney with another firm, to get involved. Just as attorneys practice in mock trials, you could also practice in mock negotiations.
- You may find objections to possible offers you hadn’t thought of.
- Your colleague may test your tactics, allowing you to find weaknesses before the main event.
- If the opposing party or counsel in your case is known to be especially abrasive or obstinate, the person portraying him can make the practice that much more realistic.
- Your client may get a better flavor for the emotions and stress that can come with negotiations or mediations and be better able to handle them.
Though you’ll have to bear the cost of creating your opponent for the exercise, your client may get an excellent return on the investment if the settlement is favorable.