Ways to mess up an email negotiation

On the off chance you find yourself negotiating over email, here are a few tips on how to really mess up the negotiation:

  1. Make your emails as long as possible.
  2. Don’t respond in a timely manner to emails you receive.
  3. Learn to stalk, if warranted.
  4. Never resort to synchronous means of discussion like instant messaging or god forbid, the telephone.
  5. If you suspect you have been insulted, you probably have – respond immediately in kind.

For my part, I don’t believe that email should be the sole form of communication when negotiating anything.  Preferably initiate the process (or at least conduct a meaningful part of the process) in person or if that is not possible, do it over the phone/voip.  It is easy to dehumanise a person if all you ever see from that person is text on a page.  It is impersonal and if you hope to achieve anything, you really want your negotiation partner to see you as a person he/she could identify with.

But that is just me …

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