Neuroscience, Negotiation and Decision Cycles
(N.B. There's a permanent link to Neuromarketing in our own left-hand column if you'd like to follow these developments yourself).
Time's article Marketing to Your Mind, tells us about P. Reed Montague's work on the way trust, altruism and feelings of obligation can divert and modify the steps we ordinarily take to make decisions.
Of the speed with which neuroscientists are increasing our knowledge of how and why we think the way we do, Montague is quoted as saying,
The capacity to use brain responses and relate them to behavior has accelerated at a breathtaking pace over the past four years and yielded an incredible amount of information.
That's exciting news for the Negotiation Law Blog because "being inside the other guy's decision cycle" (Colin Powell) is the best way to maximize your negotiating advantage.
As the simplistic chart above confirms, most of us already know what questions to ask about our negotiating partner before and during any bargaining session. To whom does he report; what is his personal stake in the outcome; why does he (or his organization) need the advantages he's angling to obtain; what damage to his personal/professional interests or his organization's well-being would be done by walking away from the bargaining table; under what time and other pressures are he and his business operating, who are the true "stakeholders," both internal and external, and the like.
(Remember -- google everyone and search every public source of information on your bargaining partner and her organization before any negotiations begin).
Adding to these largely business considerations, an understanding the way all people tend to make decisions could well be the difference between negotiation success and failure. That's why your Negotiation Blog follows developments in neuroscience and evolutionary biology so closely. So you won't have to.
Look for our next post on the way Dr. Montague's insights can assist you in closing your next deal.