Chapter 6

Begin the Negotiation

Establish how you’ll work together.

Budding negotiators often wonder whether they should open the conversation at the first meeting. Should I make the first move, or should they?

Most people choose a negotiation approach based on what the other party does: They wait to see how their counterpart is going to negotiate, and then follow suit. Instead of sitting back and waiting for your counterpart to make an opening move, lead the way.

Similarly, if your counterpart takes charge, but does so in a way that you don’t feel is helpful, there is no need to follow. If he opens your conversation by tossing out a position, or perhaps making a subtle threat, take a deep breath and ignore it. Explain that you’d rather work ...

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