Socializing is Part of a Negotiation

Sociologists have studied the ways primates learn. One of the studies included very young chimpanzees and children. The combined group was given a basic demonstration on how to open a device. Afterwards the chimps and children were given their own devices.

The chimps diligently tried to open the devices. They applied their proven skill of random experimentation. The children, on the other hand, applied what they had been shown and tried to open the device with that technique. The children were far more successful.

We, humans, learn through socializing. We observe others, collect those observations and store them away to use in the future. Chimps, on the other hand, attack each new task with vigor but with little application of what they have just observed.

Negotiators must develop the social skills to promote social interaction as part of the early negotiating process. From this interaction will come insights useful in the actual negotiation discussion. In today’s fast paced environment, too often building a relationship is omitted in the interest of saving time and getting to the point. This can be a costly strategic error.