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Are Virtual Negotiations Harder Than Face-to-Face?

Consider these lessons on virtual diplomacy, whether you’re hammering out new F&B protocols or an increase in meeting space to maintain social distance.

As you look toward restarting your meetings and events, will virtual negotiations be harder or easier than in person? According to Leigh Thompson, professor at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, negotiators face a number of pitfalls working via email, phone, and video conference.

“It's harder because oftentimes we just use at the virtual table what has worked in person, and then we kind of scratch our heads and wonder why things didn't quite go the way they would have had [the negotiation] been face to face,” says Thompson on a new Harvard Business Review podcast called Adapting Negotiations to a Remote World

If you aren’t familiar with trust-inducing tactics such as “e-charisma” and “language style matching,” the 24-minute audio episode is worth a listen.

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