Monday, September 24, 2007


I'm currently doing a little negotiating, so it was timely that this month's HBR has an article in it about negotiation. Entitled Investigative Negotiation, it resonates with me because it is loaded with examples and techniques about understanding the motives of the people you are negotiating with, rather than trying to "win". It somewhat reminds me of advice on selling by Jeffrey Gitomer, and consulting by Jay Conrad Levin and Michael W. McLaughlin. They all advise: quit talking and start listening. People may not be forthright in telling you what their needs are; that's your job, to learn those needs. The HBR article even gives examples of how you can make simultaneous multiple offers and use the response to learn about their motivation. One of the techniques is to offer information first, but make sure the other party knows you want them to provide information in return. I think this article helps define negotiation as a cooperative and even fun undertaking, as opposed to a competition. Good stuff.

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