The first step in becoming a successful negotiator over the long run is to understand precisely what negotiation is—and what it is not. Let's start with a definition of what it is:

  • Negotiation is communication between two or more willing parties with conflicting goals in order to achieve mutual gain.

That eighteen-word sentence contains a lot of powerful ideas, so let's break it down phrase by phrase.

  • Negotiation is communication—It's a forum for exchanging thoughts, messages, and information. It's not a sport or a battle or a magic act. It doesn't require any special tricks or even oratorical genius. It is simply an attempt at connection.

  • ...between two or more—The key word here is "more." Even ...

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