5 Minutes Till the Meeting | Professor Freeman

5 Minutes Till the Meeting is a regular feature of Better Negotiating. Here you’ll get ideas about how you can put your negotiating training to work when you discover you’ve got five minutes to prepare. Here we look at the Research by Rolodex- a simple way to get readier when you have no time. ^^

If you have a colleague who knows a lot about something you have to negotiate in five minutes, call her and ask her to tell you everything she can in four minutes about the problem you’re facing.

To make the best use of your time, use highlights of the I FORESAW IT mnemomic* to ask her crucial questions. For example, “can you fill me in on their likely INTERESTS? What OPTIONS might work here? WHO else do I need to keep in mind here? What ALTERNATIVES TO AGREEMENT do they have? Do they fear we have?”

To be prepared for your next crisis, consider teaching a colleague or family member the I FORESAW IT mnemonic*, so she’s ready to work with you immediately when you call her. You can teach it in an hour or two at your leisure.

One other thing. Research by Rolodex is for emergencies. If you use it, plan to Go to the Balcony (i.e., get out of the negotiating room) as soon as you reasonably can so you can prepare better for the rest of the talks.


*I FORESAW IT is a mnemonic that lists ten questions a negotiator should ask and answer before a negotiation. For details, go to the Home page, move the mouse to the heading “Articles,” and you will see a subheading for “I FORESAW IT” where you can read how it works. You can also find a copy of a handy I FORESAW IT template by clicking on the I FORESAW IT tab on the left side of the Home page.