NATURALLY, IN NEGOTIATING WITH third parties, we must assess whether they can be trusted. We trust our lawyers to be fiduciaries for our interests in third-party negotiations, but there are lots of internal negotiations that are more like conversations—discussions where we’re not represented by lawyers but where trust underpins the exchange.

It’s helpful to think of negotiations as conversations around trade-offs. Every conversation has a purpose. When your mindset is that you want the other party to “win”—to get something it wants, too—you’re on the road to successful negotiations. Whether being asked to pick up the kids or to come in under budget, people are constantly making trades with each other—in business, ...

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