“The best way to show that a stick is crooked is not to argue about it or to spend time denouncing it, but to lay a straight stick alongside it.”
– D. L. Moody1
This book has set out to do what Mr. Moody suggested. Instead of telling people the value of negotiation, I sought to show them its usefulness through a series of real-world negotiation examples. Through the use of case studies, the reader might easily envision not only that the difficult problems herein could be solved, but also how the negotiators involved went about solving them. This demonstrative approach was necessary because when the average person thinks about negotiation, they conceptualize the process with a very limited view of its utility. However, after reading the cases in this book it should be very difficult to maintain this perspective.
The case studies themselves were laid out in a fashion that generally mirrors how negotiations often unfold. The cases began with background and the preparation the parties engaged in. The preparation phase is an absolutely critical aspect of any negotiation and one in which people do not spend nearly enough time. After the preparation phase, the parties come together – often on multiple occasions – to try to solve a difficult problem or to work on a deal that will benefit them. That is followed by the implementation of the deal and the lessons that the parties learn after the fact that they must manage as the process unfolds.