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Prep like a scientist to improvise like a maestro

Negotiation is both a science and an art. When people say that, it usually means that they can explain only part of something.  I am no exception.  The artful part of negotiation is something you feel with your guts. You know it is right when you witness it.  What’s different with my perspective? I argue that by focusing on the scientific part of the negotiation, you will unlock the artful part.

Here is my secret sauce.  It has worked for fortune 500 companies, startups, bloggers and my kids. There are 3 parts:

1. Define your objectives, what you need, and what you want

2. Craft your key message, the expected response and your counter

3. Plan your concessions

This is simple, right? But try to remember the last time you had all that information going into a negotiation? Now also think about how confident you would be with all that insight. Exactly. That’s my point! Once you are well prepared, you will become a negotiation maestro! The right words will flow out of your mouth. The beauty of it is that you do not need to prepare for every single plausible scenario – please do not even try.  You need the base cases, to rehearse and trust your instinct.

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