The Negotiator Magazine

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Key steps to putting together an effective strategy include:

Developing an Action Plan

Finally, however much the other party believes that negotiation is in her best interests, she still wants to conduct the negotiation on her terms. This chain of action and reaction characterizes all negotiations. It is the way bargainers communicate with each other--primarily in the shadow negotiation. The strategic responses the other party makes can be probing tests to discover points of weakness or real threats meant to fluster or provoke. More often than not, these tactical moves put you on the defensive. They challenge experience, cast doubt on judgment, or question competence.

Moves like these change the dynamic of the shadow negotiation. On the defensive, one reacts defensively, governed more by the other person's actions than personal needs. Once a negotiator is on the defensive in the shadow negotiation, it is difficult to reclaim the initiative when talking about the issues at hand.

The strategic moves and turns of effective advocacy establish balance in the shadow negotiation and lay the groundwork for dialogue on the issues.

Building an effective advocacy pays handsome dividends-it means better results from your negotiation efforts.

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