The Negotiator Magazine

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The book is truly a compendium of information, advice and carefully crafted illustrations. You will find the entire family of who, what, when, how, where and why always brilliantly represented no matter what the topic. Easy access to the material is through a carefully constructed index as well as through the table of contents.

Want to know more about: how to ask questions, reading the meaning of non-verbal signals, opening a negotiation, or crafting and carrying-out a concession strategy in various stages? It is all here and I do mean all. Facial signals? Twenty-nine are described. Negotiating techniques? Twenty-nine separate techniques are described, their risks illuminated and defenses appropriate to each tactic are suggested. Negotiating via e-mail, telephone, letters? Advantages, disadvantages and risks of each method are clearly spelled-out.

All that suggested, let me focus briefly on a single area in Professor Craver's work by way of illustration of what you will find in this book. Every negotiator and every sales manager, corporate executive, government or non-profit leader, every union leader needs to know: how to conduct a meaningful and instructive post-negotiation assessment. There is no single area of more importance to managing one's organization than improving it's negotiation performance.

Professor Craver is correct when he writes that "win or lose it is only through objective post-mortems focusing on every negotiating stage that individuals can continuously enhance their negotiating capabilities" (p. 308). Now, here is the real stuff of improving the results of your organization. You must know, whether or not you got the agreement, if you did the best possible in the negotiations. In these times of fractional point margins, you have to know the answer to that question about this deal and from it learn how to better prepare and conduct the next deal.

Craver tells you how to conduct that essential review, the questions to ask, the areas to focus on. The rest of the book is, of course, the prescription, but first you have to have an accurate diagnosis.

The author guides the reader quickly through the essential aspects of a professional evaluation process. First, we explore the stages of the process and then we move into specific topics of importance in evaluating the performance. He suggests that focus should be placed on some specific elements. For examples, Craver directs the evaluator to a review of the concessions; an assessment of the impact of time pressures; a look at the techniques used, including deceitful ones; an assessment of which party got the most beneficial results; and of course, and study of the mistakes made and new tactics employed. Readers will find a valuable three page checklist for post negotiation reviews at the end of the section.

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March 2005