2Put the Right Issues on the Table

Many people fear negotiation. They fear they will lose the deal, that the other side will walk away, or that the conversation will become contentious. These fears are rooted in the fact that many people have a narrow view of the negotiation. They may be focused on discussing a single issue with the other side, such as price, and recognize that on this single issue, the two sides will have completely opposing preferences; no wonder they worry the discussion will become contentious, conflict laden, and may result in an impasse. The key to eliminating these fears is to think about the negotiation more broadly and to become well prepared for the discussion. This chapter will provide you with the tools to prepare, help you put the right issues on the table, and reduce your fear of the interaction.

The better prepared negotiator always does better. You actually add power to your side when you prepare appropriately. Information is a significant source of power in any negotiation; the more you know about the other side's interests, objectives, and options, the more power you have. Likewise, the more information you have about your own interests, options, and priorities, the more power you have in the negotiation. Information is not the biggest source of power in a negotiation, but it is the source of power over which you have the most control. You decide how well prepared you will be and how much information you will secure, and when you do this, ...

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