Truth 5. Four sand traps in the golf game of negotiation

My dad has been a golfer for as long as I can remember. He had a golf analogy for almost every aspect of life. The first time he took me golfing, I hit the ball straight into the first hole’s sand trap. “Is that good, Dad?” “No, it’s not. It’s hard to get out of there. You need to stay OUT of the sand traps in the first place.”

When I started seeing patterns in the underperformance of otherwise smart people at the negotiation table, it occurred to me to think of these problems as sand traps. Every negotiation table is like a golf course: We may not have played a particular course before, but all courses have sand traps, and it helps to know where they are. If we know where the problem spots ...

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