It’s fair to say negotiations take place every day in places ranging from board rooms to hotel bars. We have come to expect that negotiations are generally handled behind closed doors between parties who are generally aiming to get to an agreement of some kind. Even though negotiations are inherently conflict based, negotiators share an interdependence as each engages with the other to achieve some mutually acceptable outcome.
What happens, though, when the parties in a negotiation don’t share these fundamental attributes of mutual acceptance? What if, instead of give-and-take exchanges happening behind closed doors, the arguments and assumptions are aired in public? In public settings – in the news media, for example – the complexities of a negotiation increase exponentially because factors like power and face saving become magnified.