Get Multiple Parties in Sync During a Negotiation

Many negotiations involve more than two parties, and all of them need to agree on a solution. But more people being involved means more interests to meet, more options to sort though, and more alternatives to consider, so getting everyone to commit takes longer. You can accelerate the process by clarifying roles and making sure everyone focuses on only one draft of an agreement. First, list out the decisions to be made, and then identify the decision makers in the room — the other people present are either advisors or those who must simply be informed about the decision. Next, choose a drafter to be responsible for drafting and editing the agreement. Have the drafter elicit interests from all parties and create a rough draft. Then people can offer critiques and suggestions, and the drafter can revise. After a few rounds, you should have something concrete to present.

Adapted from the HBR Guide to Negotiating.

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