Digital Negotiating: Email

We are often asked about negotiating using email. The questions are something like these: “Is it okay to negotiate through email?” “What is the best way to negotiate by email?” or “What are the difficulties in email negotiations?”

Listed below are three links to discussions about email negotiations. Although it is best to  read these essays yourself, here are some takeaways:

  1. Email negotiations tend to be more “hardball” so it is difficult to establish a collaborative atmosphere.
  2. It is common in email negotiation for misunderstandings to develop.
  3. Status and other equality factors are often neutralized in email negotiations.

The Links:

Watershed Associates on Email Negotiation

Harvard’s Project on Negotiation about the Pitfalls of Email Negotiation

Jack Nasher in “Forbes” on the Effectiveness of Email Negotiation

There are many articles about this subject on-line.  Good advice is available.

Here are three actions to consider when planning for and conducting email negotiations: Maintain civility, try to have some face-to-face sessions, make sure your internal discussions are off-line, and nail down agreements in writing.


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