INTRODUCTION Negotiation involves communication or dialogue between two or more parties over one or more issues to settle existing conflicts relating to issues and achieve a beneficial outcome. Negotiation usually involves solving a conflict. (Trotschel et al, 2011). For a negotiation to be effective it must: • Result in a quality agreement that is wise and satisfies both parties. • Foster good interpersonal relationships. • Be efficient and consume less time and money. A conflict refers to a competitive or opposing action of incompatibilities or a strong argument between parties as a result of discord or disagreement arising from a difference in beliefs or resistance of actions of one party by a member or all members of the opposing party (Steve, 2011). A conflict can be between members of the same group which is known as an intragroup conflict or be between two or more groups known as intergroup conflict. A conflict can in some cases be internal, a mental struggle within one’s self arising from opposing or incompatible needs, drives, desires or wishes, internal or external pressure. This type of conflict involves just one person or party. Examples of conflicts includes labour strikes, disagreement or quarrels between individuals or an armed conflict which involves violence, it is an extreme kind of conflict that can lead to loss of lives if not contained at an early stage. Solving a conflict is aimed at resolving the point of difference between two parties and developing approaches that will enable one or both parties gain advantage in order to arrive at a meeting point where various interests are satisfied. Negotiations can be just between both parties but sometimes when they are not able to settle the conflicts a neutral third party is involved. The third party could be a professional negotiator such as hostage negotiator, peace negotiator or on a personal level it could be an elder or other members of the family and in some cases, a divorce lawyer. Negotiation can occur within and/or between governments and in informal settings; from settling dispute amongst friends to family dispute, marriage, parenting etc. The parties involved have to be satisfied so as to reach a consensus. When a party feels cheated in the course of negotiating, it could lead to delay in the negotiation process. Trust is however essential to implement the negotiated solution to bring about a successful negotiation process. Negotiation involves different forms of communication and attempts to get the two parties to get the most out of the situation being resolved. It is however antagonistic in its approach. The outcome is usually a win-lose as one party wins and the other loses and the party that lost is aware that he lost like in the case of bargaining in a market (Brazeal, 2009). DELAY TACTICS IN NEGOTIATION Delay is a tactic in negotiation that involves a deliberate stalling in the negotiation process, whether at the start or finish of the negotiation. Delaying can help one to regroup and rethink. It is a very vital technique in the negotiation process. As much as possible, no one wants to be delayed at any point be it at the check point or in a traffic jam or even commonly surfing the net and waiting for a web page to load. You realize that our minds begin to devise media of escape out of the situation because delay quickly builds impatience. But when it comes to negotiation, delay can be considered more as a blessing than a curse. Delay, synonymous to “Stalling”, refers to approaching issues in a dawdling manner while making certain decisions or making a deal within the realm of negotiation. Typically, a negotiator will employ this tactic in order to inspire uneasiness and doubt in an opponent. Being able to recognize this tactic in a negotiation is very vital. For example, if the other asks you to look at further documentation when all of the necessary information to begin negotiation is already present, there’s a good chance he’s up to something. Similarly, you know you’ve got a “staller” on your hands he the one you’re dealing with all of a sudden claims he is in no authority to proceed further with any negotiations and that the rightful negotiator, probably his boss, is out of town for the week. Also, always be on the lookout for recycled questions and ideas. Delay tactics include: ? Left at the altar/ Suddenly losing interest In this delay tactic, the other party feigns backing out of a deal just before you are ready to complete the agreement in a bid to bring the other party closer to their position, this tactic often yields last minute concessions. Your countermeasure: The party can however counter this strategy and circumvent the bait if they let the deal drop and go through a quiet period then attempt to resurrect the deal after no less than 30 days, or when the other party decides to call back. At this point, the tables have been turned. ? Calling a higher authority It is common for a negotiator to delay reaching an agreement by claiming that his or her authority is limited. The other party will become impatient and give in to the earlier demands. Alternatively, it gives the negotiator an out if the settlement is not desirable. The other party says that they are unable to make a final decision or won’t tell you who the final decision maker is. Example: “Well, your proposal sounds interesting but I will have to take it back to my boss for final approval.” Your countermeasure: Stop negotiating until you are discussing directly with that decision maker. You are wasting your time and energy or appeal to the person ego and say, “So you don’t have any authority. And I thought you had some power.” ? Bring in the dancer This is when a member of the other party talks for a long time, completely veering from the topic at hand and not saying anything relevant to the real issues. This is usually intended as a distraction. This can also be a snow job, bringing in unnecessary data to support the other party’s position. Your countermeasure: Ask, “Specifically, what does this have to do with what we are talking about?” Repeat several more times if necessary. ? Re-trading the deal/Starting over in the middle of negotiations Reversing progress to keep and gain position. The opposite party attempts to reopen points from the negotiation after agreement has been reached. This is also called “forgotten issue.” Your countermeasure: Simply say no. Call them out for breaking the agreement. This may become “left at the altar” (#1). ? The walkout The walk out is characterized by deliberately walking away from a negotiation to show disinterest. We often see this in the market setting in Nigeria between the meat vendor and a buyer. In the course of bargaining the buyer tries to beat the price to what he desires and the vendor equally ensures he does not get ripped off. The buyer then walks away after much bargaining to mount pressure on the seller as he is aware that the seller is desperate to sell, sometimes the vendor lets go of the customer but in most cases, the vendor calls him back and accepts the deal even when it is not in his favour. Your countermeasure: Let them walk out. If they do not come back, leave. Do not call them for a month. By so doing, the counterpart is now put in a position where he imagines he will lose the deal and will most likely return to accept the deal. ? Surprises Bringing up new issues when you think everything has been settled. This often destabilizes the other party and sometimes affect their sentiments. How to Use Delay Tactics in Negotiation You have the ability to slow down the negotiation at any point in time. When you do this, the other side will react. Their reaction will tell you a great deal about their situation. They may start to complain that the negotiation is now taking too long. If they do, then you now have an opportunity to renegotiate what they would like to trade speed for: more money, a better delivery schedule, etc. However, in a negotiation, you may not be the only one who is slowing things down – the other side of the table may have decided to delay the negotiations. If this happens, then you are going to have to find a way to motivate them to speed things up (Rahim, 2010) The type of motivation that you choose to use will depend on the negotiation that you are currently involved in. It could be you reducing the price of your product, it could be a change in some aspect of the timing associated with the deal, or it could mean you walking away from the deal altogether. Ultimately you are going to have to develop your own personal sense of timing for each negotiation that you are involved in. You are going to have to be able to detect when a delay is occurring and you’ll need to be able to evaluate your options on what steps you would like to take in order to get things moving once again. Advantages of Delay tactics in negotiation 1. Its enables you to research the other party 2. It allows you to consider your alternatives 3. It enables you to Unbundle the item to be negotiated 4. It allows you to anticipate the other parties wants and needs 5. It enables you to Establish your barging range 6. Enables you to Identify your leverage point and what you can give up 7. Identify the decision maker Disadvantages of delay tactics in negotiation 1. Time consuming 2. Parties not in control of process or decision i.e. outcome uncertain 3. Public process 4. Onerous evidentiary burden 5. Available remedies limited 6. Expensive process The possible outcomes of delay tactics in a negotiation (like all the other forms of negotiations) are: 1. Win – Lose: In a win-lose outcome scenario, both parties attempt to win without any regard for the outcome of the other party, but in the end one party wins and the other loses. This can happen when one party keep negotiating against their own interest or do not have the best alternative in reaching their desired outcome. The negotiation outcome is not a favorable for both parties where the party that lost still has unsatisfied needs that can eventually lead to resentment and possibly termination of the relationship which automatically puts an end to any form of future negotiation. Instances of such negotiation outcome is buying meat from a meat vendor in a market somewhere in Northern Nigeria, the buyer and the seller continue to bargain until one finally gives in. it could be the buyer who is now tired and exhausted from walking under the sun all day or the seller who has not made any sales for the day and is desperate to sell. At the end of this negotiation, one party walks away dissatisfied as the desired outcome is not met. Most times the buyer never returns to that meat vendor to purchase meat. Another example of such outcome is the Oyo state civil servants strike in 2016 because of eight months delay in the payment of salary. After a two months strike, much agitation from the civil servants and series of meetings, both parties (the Nigeria labour congress (NLC) and the Oyo state government) finally held a meeting where a deal was made which was not in favor of the civil servants, the government promised them a month’s salary out of eight month which they took probably out of frustration. The initial desire of the civil servants was to get their full pay but they had to settle for much less in the end. 2. Lose – Lose: In this type of negotiation, nobody makes a gain. Most often than not ego comes to play and no party is willing to concede to any deal that is outside or below their target, no party is willing to make a compromise. In this kind of outcome, they may both end up walking away from the negotiation without reaching an agreement. In some cases where both parties are quick to make concessions or are mistaken about the benefits of the bargain, they are likely to end up regretting that agreement. An example of this kind of conflict is when employees of an organization embarks on a strike for increment of salary. In this case, if the organization is recalcitrant and reacts to the threat posed by not adhering to the threat of the employees. In the end, the employees go back to work without a raise and lost income while the organization loses a large amount of sales revenue. 3. Win – Win: Both parties in this kind of outcome walk away from the negotiation satisfied as their needs and interests have been met. This is mostly because they leave the table with more than they came with. Trust is built as they have established a positive relationship and their relationship is strengthened, they both look forward to further negotiations (Loo. 2012). CONCLUSION When you have increased tension of some sort in the other person, whether it is desire for something you may give them or some negative consequence of not agreeing, then a delay can serve to heighten that tension as they focus on the good and bad possibilities. In any principled negotiation there are a wide variety of negotiation styles and negotiating techniques that can be used. In addition, delays are another tool that an experienced negotiator can use to control the flow of the negotiation. Every negotiation has a timeline associated with it. You can control how the other side of the table behaves by either delaying the negotiation or working around a delay that they are causing. When the timeline starts to deviate from what the other side wants, they will become more willing to make concessions in order to get it back on track. 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