Tea and Empathy: Don’t Confuse Empathy with Sympathy in Negotiation

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The Chinese general and military strategist Sun Tzu famously wrote that the “supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”  Using empathy at the negotiation table is the modern-day embodiment of this strategy. A fundamental human need is to feel accepted, validated, and understood by others.  This reality means that negotiation strategy is really a lesson in psychology.  To get from Point A to Point B, the skilled negotiator must exploit psychological principles – and this means

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