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Practical Negotiating: Tools, Tactics & Techniques by Tom Gosselin

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Key Principles of Practical Negotiating

Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate.

—John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961

As I was finishing the book, I realized something was missing. On reflection, I thought about similar books that I admired and discovered that all had a common characteristic—a set of key principles. So here are 12 principles to keep in mind when negotiating:

  1. Conflict is inevitable! Therefore, negotiation is a survival skill than can be learned.

  2. Negotiate from need not greed. Strive for a win-win outcome.

  3. If you must, compromise on your wants, but not on your needs.

  4. Be aware of both business (substantive) and personal needs in the negotiation.

  5. Develop a settlement range including:

    • Desired settlement point

    • Opening position

    • Walk-away point

  6. Be creative in developing currencies and use them to add value to the deal.

  7. Concessions are essential to the give-and-take process of negotiating. Watch how you make them.

  8. In negotiation, power is a function of alternatives:

    • Alternative sources

    • Alternative currencies

    • Alternative skills

  9. Use the Negotiation Stages Model as a road map.

  10. Be aware of your negotiation style. Use the key skills to expand your repertoire.

  11. Assess your (and the other’s) tactical orientation.

  12. Choose the best tactics to accomplish your objectives. Every behavior communicates.

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