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Negotiation Madness by Peter Nelson

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2. Phase Two: How to Debate

(i) Negotiation is like a debate with different rules

If we talk about negotiation, we really deal with two sides debating toward an outcome, except that unlike in a formal debate, there is no chairperson.

In formal debating, there is a question or a proposition (the ­Olympic movement has lost its purpose); one side must speak for the positive and the other the negative. Sometimes, such as in the legal question, answer YES or NO, “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?” there is no answer. Or the one side is obvious, while on the other it is difficult to justify. In negotiation, however, there are overall clear objectives where one person wants something from another.

Yet, in all negotiation, you make your points ...

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