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Negotiate This!: By Caring, But Not T-h-a-t Much by Herb Cohen

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Would highly recommend this interesting book about negotiation. Initially outlines that any negotiation style requires you to be a nice person, that is able to get on the right side of people rather than just hammering down to the hard facts.  After all people will remember the manner in which the negotiation occurred irrespective of outcome.

Discusses various tactics for example asking for help “what would you do if you were in my situation” this can be a good way of buying time and establishing their views, then say “I see it differently….”

Realise the impact of emotions on negotiation and therefore bear this in mind and attempt to not make rapid decisions.  Don’t let time pressure you into an agreement prematurely, the desire to get closure can often be a poor bargaining point.

Consider providing some concessions for minor things, this may lead to the other team to reciprocate with giving you things in the negotiation. When deciding the location of negotiations do so reticently and then push forward with pressing major things.  Also the value of giving a small amount can very useful as allows them to save face but still allows you actually get what you want.

Attempt to see from the other person’s perspective and realise that it is a not all a win or loss. Book suggests 85% of people are able to compromise when it comes to negotiation, whereas 15% have the binary thinking style of ‘you win then I lose’ versus ‘I win then you lose’.

Uses an example of trying to buy a kitchen and states of budget is £125k and the best quote is £135k non negotiable.  The agreement was made by setting up a payment strategy of £75k immediate payment and £50k on completion that is held in escrow.  A solution is not immediately apparent but if you think rationally you can often produce one.

It is important to know what you want when entering a negotiation.

Use analogies relevant to your audience, mentions Ronald Reagan who as a politician who appeared genuine, natural and could be easily related to. This tactic of being human and asking for their help such as I forgot a pen at the start can be useful.

The good cop, bad cop strategy is discussed, this is an example of you being encouraged to take an inferior deal by framing it against something far worse.

A whisper from the side of your mouth makes the offer sound more believable.

Learn as much as you can about your counterpart, as then if you have more information available it’s easier to achieve congruence. Relates information known to you as the tip of the iceberg.  What is unseen is what you don’t know, this tends to be large and complex.

Has section about parenting, suggests allowing children to attempt to resolve their own disputes.  Make certain a good moral code is demonstrated, but hold fire on intervening on various smaller things such as clothing disputes, these will resolve in the end. Make the child suggest their own punishment, they may often suggest a too harsh punishment.  Then reduce this punishment, which allows you to appear generous. Suggests punishing children if they do things simply because others were doing it, but if they made an informed (bad) decision on their own after thinking about options don’t be too strict.

Power is to know how to influence the behaviour of others, to get them to do what they would not otherwise do. The key is to always believe you have power, the other party may not understand the actual power you have.  The other party may have a tendency to over estimate power in others and underestimate their own power.  They may be fearful of the powers that they think you have.

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