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Practical Negotiating: Tools, Tactics & Techniques by Tom Gosselin

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Internal Negotiations

Nothing, of course, begins at the time you think it did.

—Lillian Hellman

Internal negotiations pose a special set of challenges. First, you are negotiating with people with whom you have an ongoing, day-today relationship. Second, you may have to negotiate on a regular basis with the same resource owners. Third, you work for the same company, so the strategy, goals, and objectives may be common, but the resources allocated to achieve these are not.

The concept of internal negotiation also applies to sales or customer-facing individuals. Remember the equation 1E = 3I? For each external deal with a customer, there are usually three internal negotiations with resource owners.

All of the models, techniques, and tactics that we have presented thus far can be applied to both internal and external negotiations. However, in internal negotiations, developing your influence skills can help immensely. A complete treatment of influence skills that are useful in internal negotiations is found in Influence without Authority by Bradford and Cohen.[3] In this book, the authors list numerous currencies and skills useful to internal negotiators.

The challenges described earlier can foster organizational gridlock or lead to higher quality win-win outcomes if the following general guidelines are used:

  • Highlight areas of agreement at the beginning and throughout the negotiation. Consider how much common ground the parties share and acknowledge it. Underscore previous agreements ...

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