Is negotiation as an art, dead?
Has digital conversation usurped all the emotion of doing business?
As a keen negotiator and business developer, I spend a lot of time listening to people, mostly prospective customers with awesome ideas and interesting concepts, with whom I would like to provide a service and which I have a business in supporting, or at least trying to…
Preferentially all of my initial conversations with people take place face to face. An office setting, a restaurant or sometimes a pub. I believe it’s important to meet and talk directly to people so that you can first understand their personality traits, how they present themselves and listen to how they talk. The art of good conversation isn’t just about the words.
Most conversations will include the offer of a coffee. I always like to think that this is the perfect start to any negotiation and if the conversation and coffee are satisfactory then a trade of sorts has already commenced. Negotiations can continue smoothly, (like the bean) and with a comfortable openness, we can move forward to a future of shared digital personalities… and this is where it seems to get tricky.
We are all just about old enough, (or young enough) to fully understand that you cannot share emotion via text, (or email). Any attempt in doing so normally ends in a tirade of miscommunication and wasted effort, hence why emotion detection research is also closely related to online sentiment analysis. Using A.I to detect positive, neutral, or negative feelings from online social feeds has become the new norm and Google even have teams building their DeepBreath technology into Gmail.
So this almost brings me to the end of my digital download, to the point of my story, to the bottom of my cup.
If negotiation is the effort to achieve something as beautiful as art itself, a mutual agreement, then it deserves much more than an email, it requires conversation, it requires compromise and most of all it requires caffeine.