… Go to Picton!

The Harvard Negotiation Project calls this “Going to the Balcony” – taking a step back. I call it Going to Picton – a serene shoreline town on the north coast of New Zealand’s South Island.

Stepping away before agreeing a deal is an important, often overlooked, stage in negotiations.

This technique also has its place when conversations start to go poorly, for instance when the other person gets emotional or when our strategy isn’t working.

This doesn’t mean that we give up and retreat, but does mean that we take some time to excuse ourselves gracefully, let both parties rethink their positions, and come back together. It prevents a meeting from spiraling downwards and losing its focus.

More importantly, it buys us time to gather our thoughts and reconsider our options.

What’s Your Personal Picton?

It could be a special moment with a loved one, your favorite retreat, a relaxing location – anything that has you taking a deep breath and feeling at peace.