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Practical Negotiating: Tools, Tactics & Techniques by Tom Gosselin

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How to Determine Your Tactical Orientation

Now that we have a handle on negotiation tactics and countertactics, the next set of questions emerge:

How will I approach this negotiation?
Will my behavior (tactics) involve win-win, adversarial, or some combination?
What behavior (tactics) can I expect from the other side?
How should I behave and respond?

Every negotiation is different, and the tactics used in one negotiation may not be appropriate for another. When both the issues and the relationship are important, we tend to use win-win tactics. When the relationship is less important, we have a greater range of tactics to choose from. Compare a used car negotiation to one with a colleague at work. With so many negotiating tactics to choose from, how do you know which ones to use in each negotiation? Determining your tactical orientation will provide you with general guidance in selecting the tactics consistent with your objectives and your intent. To assess your tactical orientation, ask yourself the following key questions:

Do I trust them? Do they trust me?
Am I under time pressure? Are they?
Is reaching a win/win agreement desirable?
Am I open to alternative outcomes? Are they?
Do I want a long-term relationship? Do they?

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