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  • Erin Gleason Alvarez

Why Taking a Break is a Valuable Negotiation Strategy

Hi there negotiators,

Anyone who has ever been in a negotiation has felt some combination of tensions building, anger festering, and anxieties creeping in. Because, let’s face it, negotiating often comes with stress. It’s important to remember that you can always ease these symptoms by taking a break. Taking a break during negotiations is not only completely acceptable, but it can also be beneficial when it comes to making you a better negotiator. Furthermore, taking a break is one of the best negotiation strategies since it will help you reset and regain your composure. Here are some considerations on why you should take a break during negotiations and what to do when you are on that break.

Time to Think

While you are negotiating, it is easy to get caught up in your own mind and to start overthinking, or thinking about issues that are not particularly helpful at the negotiation table. There may be volumes of information to take in while you are negotiating, and it can be difficult to have time to analyze the impact or veracity of that material. Taking a break allows you to assess your position, whether you need to adjust your strategy, or request additional time to make these decisions.

Practice Mindfulness

Negotiations can be vexing. Each party to the conversation has their own interests and objectives. When these ideals are in conflict, tension, frustration, and strained communications can result. By taking a break, you give your mind and body a chance to recuperate and regain your center. This, in turn, helps you return to negotiations with heightened clarity and purpose.

Mindfulness is a powerful tool that can greatly assist when taking a break in negotiation. Here, you have the opportunity to clear your mind and to calm down so that your decision-making process is restored to a more even cadence. Once you are feeling more centered and grounded, it is easier to see what it is you want to achieve out of the negotiation – to appreciate what is really important.

So, now that we know why taking a break is one of the best negotiation strategies, what should you do when you take a break?

When taking a break, you can do simple things such as taking a brief walk, listening to calming music, or sitting in silence. So, before you enter into a discussion that has the potential to set off your trigger points, you should figure out what is relaxing to you.

Personally, the best thing for me to do in a break from negotiations is to meditate. Meditating on your negotiation break will calm your emotions as you will be focusing on your breathing and inner peace. With just a few minutes in meditation, you can feel more grounded and be prepared for anything that comes at you in the negotiations.

If you are interested in learning more about taking charge of negotiations and how to make the best use of your energy during a negotiation break, try out our guided meditations for negotiation. This includes a three-minute meditation, specifically designed to help you find some cam amidst a trying negotiation.

Together we can use positive energy and thoughts to achieve our desired outcomes.


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