Negotiating The EU – 3 Ways To Break Deadlock


David Cameron will resume negotiations later today on Britain’s future relationship with the European Union after a long and inconclusive night of talks in Brussels. With negotiations between Cameron, the European Council President Donald Tusk and the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker stuck in deadlock, what steps should each party take to make sure they negotiate successfully?


We all know that when passions are running high, it’s very easy for negotiations to become heated, causing one party or the other to walk away from the table, so here is our expert advice on how to break deadlock and secure a deal.


3 Ways To Break Deadlock


1. Before The Re-match

While you are away from the table you need to be creative about how you will break the deadlock. Often the deadlock has been caused because there is not an overlap in positions. So think creatively about any new variables you can bring to the negotiations for both you and your counterparts.


2. Coming To The Table

Be clear in your mind what the end game is. Not only do you need a winning mindset when you come to the table, you also have to believe you can reach an agreement that is acceptable to all parties. This will help you resist the temptation to put up barriers or throw in unnecessary curve balls that back the other parties into a corner.


3. During The Re-negotiations

There is often a huge amount of pressure to break deadlock but don’t be in a rush to close the deal. Call time outs when you need them – they are a powerful way of helping you gather your thoughts or change the mood of the negotiations. Time outs can also help you stay aligned as a team and give you the opportunity to prepare a fresh proposal.


Our final piece of advice for David Cameron is to remember that communication and the art of trading are the most powerful way of banishing the 3 D’s of negotiation – deadlock, disagreement and disappointment.

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