The Art of Small Talk in Negotiations

As we traverse the complex landscape of negotiations, one crucial aspect is often undervalued – small talk. Yes, that preliminary chit-chat that sets the stage and often frames the outcome of discussions. Why is it essential, you may ask?

  1. Establishes Rapport: Building a rapport with your counterpart isn’t about swapping stories of your favorite holiday destinations. It’s about showing a genuine interest in their perspective and understanding their approach.
  2. Uncovers Insights: Small talk can often reveal hidden interests or concerns, thus providing an edge in the negotiation process.
  3. Fosters Trust: One study revealed that negotiations prefaced with small talk were more likely to reach agreements. It’s not just about making friends; it’s about cultivating an environment of mutual respect.
  4. Sets the Stage: Discussing the process, like the intended timeline or stakeholder involvement, helps create a shared understanding of the negotiation framework.

Reflecting on my own experiences, I remember relating to the charm of Uttarakhand or discussing the impact of heat waves in Lucknow or London. Discussing a LinkedIn post or marvelling over the thoroughness of a 6-page Bezos-type reading document – these conversations laid the groundwork for productive negotiations.

The key? Genuine interest. Being well-read, curious, and genuinely invested in the success of your counterpart makes all the difference. Authenticity shines through, and it certainly cannot be faked.

Authenticity First in negotiations.

So, the next time you negotiate, take a moment to engage in small talk. You might be surprised by the doors it opens. #NegotiationStrategies #BusinessCommunication

Rajesh Soundararajan on LinkedIn –

By Rajesh Soundararajan

#Author #CEO #Dad #Engineer #Entrepreneur #Farmer #Humanoid #IQ156 #Marketeer #MensaClub #MBA #RoadTripper #Photographer #Tech #Volunteer

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