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Improve Your Negotiation Skills
Linda E. Ginzel, clinical professor of managerial psychology at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business, describes the fine art of negotiation as "the essential leadership skill for those creating a different future, and it is the ultimate exec skill for problem solving." She offers a half-dozen negotiation tips for decision makers eager to achieve the best outcomes. The first is to "prepare, prepare, prepare." This entails identifying issues, prioritizing interests, and discussing best- and worst-case scenarios. Second, place the most emphasis on interests, not positions. "Build trust, share and assess priorities, ask lots of questions about interests, and listen carefully," she urges. Tip No. 3: Look for tradeoffs as a means of creating value. Wise leaders know that joint gains are possible with many issues and that differences can be a good thing in negotiations. To this end, the rule of thumb should be to avoid sequential bargaining and single-issue offers in favor of keeping all options on the table.

Ginzel's fourth piece of advice is to "enlarge the pie before dividing. Think creatively about putting new issues on the table; add side issues that benefit both parties." Next, adapt your strategy to your counterpart's style. Sometimes, it is necessary to switch strategies when no progress is being made. Finally, practice conditional cooperation. Ginzel concluded, "Be nice (don't be the first to defect). Be provokable (reciprocate defection). Be forgiving (reciprocate cooperation). Don't be envious (don't compare your success relative to other players). Be clear (don't be too clever)."
Inc. Magazine (10/15/14) Rovner, Michael
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NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014 EDITION
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