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Negotiation Geography


Disciplines > Negotiation > Activities > Location Management > Negotiation Geography

Home or away | Town or country | The journey | See also


When you are setting up a negotiation, the whereabouts in the country may not be your first thought, but the larger context can have a significant effect on the proceedings.

Where you are in the country plays sets the broader context of the feel of the place, whether it is inner-city or outback countryside.

Town or country

One of the main geographic choices depends on the degree of urbanization (or not) that you want to utilize or avoid.


A high-rise environment, such as a city center, has energy and bustle that speeds people up. In some cities and places it can also cause fear. Depending on the emotions you wish to create, this may be good or bad.


In smaller towns and suburbs, the environment can be friendlier and more relaxed. This setting can make the person feel at home.


Out in the countryside or even in city parks, the greenery and sounds of nature contribute to feelings of calm. By the sea, the gentle rocking of the waves and splashing on the rocks makes it a popular destination for holidaymakers. If you are near the sea, you can also use it to relax the other party.

If you want to slow the other person down, for example, go for a walk with them. Sit on a park bench. Use the metaphor of nature to support your argument. For example, you could point to the birds and trees and talk about freedom and growth.

Home or away

Negotiating in a home environment has different effect from going elsewhere.


We have a sense of geographic home: thus I may feel home is a building, a town, a country. This often depends on the other party. If negotiating with foreigners, anywhere in the country may feel like home, whilst negotiating with the car sales person down the road, the sales lot may feel like a foreign country.

Home for you may not be home for the other person. When we are not at home, we are not as relaxed. So if you want them to be tense, take them away from home, whilst if you want them relaxed, go onto their territory.


When you get away from home you are also getting away from all the cues and triggers the that prompt familiar behavior. Away can be refreshing and delightful, going into luxurious or beautiful surroundings that may seduce you into feeling good about conceding all kinds of things. Away can also be strange and frightening, that can scare you into giving way where you would not otherwise.

The journey

When the other person has to travel to the negotiation place, even if they are moving within a single building, consider the journey that they will take to get to their destination and the effect it will have on them.

Will they travel through ghettoes or leafy lanes? Will they be whisked in the comfort of a limousine or have to grind through heavy traffic? How will they park? What is the approach to the building like? What about inside the building, walking to the room?

Their whole journey to their negotiation destination is going to have an effect on them, so manage this as well.

See also


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