The Negotiator Magazine

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95% of people spend 95% of their lives entirely in their own heads. Negotiation is getting inside the other person's head.

"I really need this deal."
"I must let him know my position."
"It's my agenda that counts"
"How can I possibly understand what he thinks?"

Lack of any consideration of the other side's needs, priorities, urgencies, weaknesses.
Asking no questions.
Opening the bidding with our minimum position in mind, not theirs.
Assuming that the other side sees the negotiation just as we do.


So much in negotiation is about feeding ego rather than achieving the best deal, which usually demands leaving ego at the door. The other person's ego can be our biggest opportunity or our greatest threat.

"These guys have got to see who's in charge."
"I'd rather blow this deal than be seen to be weak."
"This'll get me noticed in the board room."

Wanting the first word.
Wanting the last word.
Mistaking talking for dominating.
Inability to listen.
Looking for humiliation of the other side.
Susceptibility to flattery.
Focusing on winning the symbols of victory.
Giving away money as a sign of importance.
Inability to accept subordinate role in team negotiations.

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May/June 2005