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Negotiating at Work by Jessica L. Porter, Deborah M. Kolb

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5Building Rapport and Shifting Gears: The Power of a Good Opening

Openings matter. It's one thing to get the other party to the table where negotiation might be a possibility; it is another to actually get the process started. The way that negotiation gets started can have a significant impact on the agreement reached and the process by which it is reached. Research on traditional negotiation contexts—buyer-sellers, employers-applicants—demonstrates that what happens in the first few minutes of a negotiation not only predicts the process that will be followed but also foretells the outcome.1

Such research gives us insight into several dimensions of openings. They help us understand something of the strategy of opening offers: who should make ...

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