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4. Beware of ego and arrogance. Commentators were saying that snowboarder Jacobellis' twist in the air and subsequent fall will live in infamy in Olympic history. I don't doubt it.

I also know that showing off in a negotiation -- and/or letting arrogance or ego play a major role -- can get in the way of achieving your best possible deal.

5. Consider a negotiation "coach." Every major-class athlete in almost every sport has a coach.

It's certainly true in the Olympics. Why? Largely because these athletes always are striving to improve and learn and be the best they possibly can be.

This takes not only individual talent, but also experts to help mold and shape that talent. Coaches provide expert knowledge of what works and doesn't work.

Much has been noted about gold medal speed skater Shani Davis' efficient technique. No doubt it was the result of hundreds of hours of coaching.

In the business world, we call coaching a form of consulting. And in negotiations -- as in the Olympics -- the right coach can make or break the deal.
So, whether you're negotiating a minor or an Olympic-sized deal, use these tips and tactics to go for the gold.

Marty Latz, a negotiation columnist for The Business Journal of Phoenix where this column originally appeared, is President of Latz Negotiation Institute, a national negotiation training and consulting firm based in Phoenix, Arizona. He has developed and taught negotiation training programs and seminars for corporations, cities, bar associations and law firms nationwide. Participants at his courses leave behind the intuitive and instinctive -- along with their inherent uncertainties -- and develop the strategic mindset that’s at the heart of successful negotiation.

A Harvard Law honors graduate, Marty is also an Adjunct Professor-Negotiation at
ArizonaStateUniversityCollege of Law. He also negotiated for the White House nationally and internationally on the White House Advance Teams. Marty is the author of Gain the Edge! Negotiating to Get What You Want (St. Martin’s Press, 2004). For more and for previous columns, see or email Marty at


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June 2006