Blog Posts

Eat First, Negotiate Later! (And Other Overlooked Negotiation Tips)

Plate with sad face

Before you take your seat at the negotiation table, invest some time at the breakfast table. That’s the takeaway from research conducted at Cornell University (reported by the Harvard Program on Negotiation) that suggested people feel a greater sense of entitlement when they are hungry vs. when they are not. (The study defined “entitlement” as “the sense that one is more deserving of positive outcomes than other people are.”) In the first experiment, researchers asked students questions as they were

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Power in Negotiation: Why You Need It and How to Get It

Businesspeople shaking hands

pow·er /ˈpou(ə)r/nounthe capacity or ability to direct or influence the behavior of others or the course of events Negotiation research is a real thing – and this evolving area of study is fascinating. Recent research has revealed not only some of the key ways that channeling power makes negotiators more effective, but also that attaining that power in the first place is within any negotiator’s reach. After analyzing negotiation research from around the world (sounds like my dream job), the Program on

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Negotiating with Difficult Clients

bad review

Whether you’re a business owner, in sales, a provider of professional services, or a member of just about any profession that deals with the public, you’re going to deal with “difficult” clients. I don’t believe that professionals need (or should) give in to an unreasonable client’s every demand. However, we’re operating in a time when a bad Yelp review can tank your business – so it’s important to have the proper tools, training, and support in your negotiation toolkit to

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How to Negotiate with North Korea

When handling an important negotiation, the parties must take it seriously and be prepared. This approach is a must whether you’re negotiating a small business deal or about to engage in diplomatic negotiations. As I’ve previously discussed on LI News Radio 103.9 with Jay Oliver, the United States needs to carefully handle its sit-down with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and determine a roadmap for the negotiation beforehand. Here’s a great preparation checklist from the Wall Street Journal. 10 Tips for Negotiating with

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Mastering the Psychology of Negotiation

blue puzzle pieces with silhouette

Anyone can learn the mechanics of negotiation – preparation, active listening, and knowing your BATNA, to name a few – to become a good negotiator. But it’s not enough to be good. Mastering emotions is the key to effective negotiation and involves not only understanding and taking control of your own emotions, but also those of your adversary. Are you willing to make an investment into the emotional realm to become a truly great negotiator? Negotiation is an exercise in

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7 Habits of Highly Effective… Negotiators

person adjusting tie business suit

As Stephen R. Covey’s groundbreaking business book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People approaches its 30th birthday, I still find it to be more relevant than ever, particularly with regard to becoming a more effective negotiator. Rediscover this classic – or get to know it for the first time – when preparing for your next negotiation. Here, my take on the seven habits from a negotiator’s perspective: Be proactive. This habit acknowledges that we are all responsible for our own actions. You need

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Preparation in Negotiation

instant photos with the words who, what, why, when, where, and how on wooden background

“Why do today what you can put off until tomorrow,” or even “why put off to tomorrow what you can put off to the day after tomorrow,” go some oft-quoted and well-loved maxims about procrastination. I’ve pulled as many all-nighters as the next guy, but when it comes to negotiation, it’s preparation – not procrastination – that’s your friend. Preparation is key to effective negotiating and is the number one factor that will give you a competitive edge. Here, the

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Don’t Be Afraid to Have a Plan B in Negotiation

crumpled up balls of notebook paper with notebook and pen on wooden desk

There are many myths in negotiation.  Among them: effective negotiators are born, not made.  Experience is all you need to be a good negotiator.  The strong negotiator never exhibits empathy.  And perhaps the most stubborn myth?  That having a Plan B makes you weak and gives you an easy out, preventing you from ever achieving your Plan A. In their iconic bestseller Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement without Giving In, Roger Fisher and William Ury coined the term “BATNA” – or

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

manicured hand holding phone over laptop on desk with flashdrive

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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Negotiating Marine Corps Style

CMC Speaks to Camp Pendleton Marines in semi circle

It’s always a source of pride and amazement for me how applicable the lessons I learned in the Marine Corps are to so many aspects of civilian life.   Indeed, many of the eleven Marine Corps leadership principles lend themselves perfectly to preparing for and engaging in a negotiation, another one of my favorite subjects.  Before combat, Marines diligently prepare and train. The same type of persistent preparation is needed for a successful negotiation.  Here are a few leadership principles from

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