How to Conduct Effective Telephone and E-Mail Negotiations

23 Pages Posted: 7 Oct 2015

See all articles by Charles B. Craver

Charles B. Craver

George Washington University - Law School

Date Written: October 6, 2015


Attorneys negotiate regularly, frequently on the telephone or through e-mail exchanges. Many wing it on the phone, ignoring the fact their counterparts can easily hear their verbal leaks and read their nonverbal signals associated with the pitch, pace, tone, volume, inflections, and pauses of their voices. They fail to appreciate the fact that when they are talking on their cell phones, their counterparts may be distracted by what is going on around them, and confidential client information may be overheard by total strangers. It is easier for persons to negotiate more aggressively through e-mail exchanges than in person, and easier to reject offers being transmitted. It can be highly beneficial to conduct brief Preliminary Stages on the phone to enable them to establish good relationships with their counterparts before they begin e-mail exchanges, and to phone their counterparts after they send them proposals to hear their questions and responses. Many also fail to appreciate the fact that when they exchange Word files, every key stroke made in their files have been recorded in the electronic meta data, and their counterparts can mine these meta data and see every change they have made -- and even communications they may have had with superiors or clients. It is thus critical for them to use scrubbing software, now included in Word files, to eliminate such meta data before they send files to others.

Keywords: negotiation, bargaining, telephone interactions, e-mail interactions

Suggested Citation

Craver, Charles B., How to Conduct Effective Telephone and E-Mail Negotiations (October 6, 2015). Available at SSRN: or

Charles B. Craver (Contact Author)

George Washington University - Law School ( email )

2000 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20052
United States

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