Here is some great material by By Thomas Noble of Law Offices of Thomas Noble, P.C.
"A negotiation is an interactive communication process that may take place whenever we want something from someone else or another person wants something from us."1
"Take it or leave it!" "This proposal is non-negotiable." "Don't ask me to go back to my client on this. This is all we are going to do." "This is it. If you don't want to accept it at that price, forget it." "Negotiating with you is a waste of time. We'll see you at the courthouse!" How do you feel when you hear statements like this? How do you feel when people are belligerent; when they hang up on you, literally or figuratively; when they let you know that they do not want to have a dialogue with you about such ethereal subjects as your needs, interests, or concerns about a proposal or a transaction?
If you react negatively to ultimatums, inflexibility, and statements like those in the preceding paragraph, you may come to the realization that other people feel the same way. Unless you are in the military, or subject to some similar hierarchical organization, you will conclude that, if you want to have a relationship with the party on the other side of the table or the other end of the phone, you must negotiate. Negotiation is unavoidable.
Most of us negotiate with one another frequently. Once we realize this, theoretically, we have two choices: accept the fact that negotiation is a way of life in our culture and improve our skills so that we can negotiate with confidence; or, do nothing about it. Some may argue that negotiation is an art, that it is intuitive; or, that we all know how to negotiate, learning basic skills on the playgrounds of life. Perhaps there are naturally gifted negotiators. But, as a lawyer and a mediator who has spent over 20 years litigating, negotiating settlements, negotiating transactions for clients, and negotiating personal transactions, I can attest to the fact that a lot of negotiators are not naturally gifted.
"... most people simply don't know how to negotiate. Our parents don't teach us how to negotiate, probably because their parents didn't teach them how to negotiate. And despite the fact that negotiating is a vital skill, we're taught nothing about it in school. That leads to the second reason there are so few negotiators: people don't think it's possible to learn how to become one. Since we're not taught how to negotiate we just assume it cannot be taught. The third, and I believe most powerful, reason is fear."2
We can all improve our skills as negotiators. But, how? Conjure up two individuals: the "Master Negotiator" and the "Novice Negotiator". The Master Negotiator is not someone who works miracles, who can pull off remarkable "swindles" or hypnotize his or her opponents into barking like dogs and doing other things that they would not ordinarily do. The Master Negotiator is simply demonstratively better than the Novice Negotiator. The Master Negotiator's skills are obvious. While he may not walk on water, he will consistently get the best deal possible under the circumstances. On occasion, perhaps even frequently, he will get remarkably good results. Why?
What sets the Master Negotiator apart? Why do we consider him a master? What does he know that the rest of us do not? What can we learn from him? My purpose is to address these questions and to provide some answers. My hope is that, if we can observe how the masters do it, the rest of us will improve by following their examples. In trying to formulate a picture of the Master Negotiator I have surveyed the current literature on the subject and added my opinions based upon my own anecdotal research. I have concluded that Master Negotiators follow certain rules that novices do not understand or that they do not implement. I have attempted to state these rules and discuss their corollaries.
This is a work-in-progress. Interested readers can find a copy of this paper and all future evolutions on my web site.
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