Negotiating Tips


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  1. Do your homework beforehand - research the opposition, the topic, and your own team’s blind spots or hangups - so you don’t waste anyone’s time.
  2. Identify your priorities, your needs, and your top- & bottomline beforehand so you are much clearer in your communicating skills.
  3. Come prepared with all necessary documents and agreements.
  4. Arrive promptly.
  5. Maintain the formality/informality set by the meeting chairperson.
  6. Greet and treat everyone with respect.
  7. Remember the likeability factor (like likes like). If the opposing side likes you, you stand a much better chance of achieving your goals within reason. However, don’t make that your primary goal.
  8. A mind is like a parachute; it must be open to be effective. Listen actively & keep an open mind rather than deal from a position of entrenched antagonism.
  9. Keep your emotions in check. The other side will try to make you lose your cool to gain the controlling edge.
  10. Don’t browbeat, denigrate, or insult the opposing team.
  11. Deflect rather than respond to personal attacks.
  12. Don’t insist that the opinions and positions of the opposing team are wrong. Suggest that they look at it from another perspective.
  13. Don’t threaten.
  14. Cooperate rather than agitate.
  15. Avoid manipulating because it creates bitterness rather than harmony.
  16. Don’t be greedy; work toward a win-win result.


  • don’t keep rehashing moot points


  • attacking the other side and putting them on the defensive


  • asking closed rather than open-ended questions
  • asking "why" - it can be interpreted as confrontational
  • assuming you understood what was meant without paraphrasing


  • when the other side is dishonest, lying, or cheating
  • when a problem is impossible to resolve

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