Thursday, January 11, 2007


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In entering into any endeavor, discussion, negotiation, or conflict resolution involving other parties, significant information is generally required, not the least of which will, of necessity include:

  • knowing who the other parties are, in terms of weaknesses and strengths;

  • knowing what the other parties' objectives are;

  • knowing the other parties' true parameters for settlement acceptance (e.g., settlement points, deal killers, non-starters, and "non-negotiable" items);

  • knowing the time and resource constraints of all parties;

  • knowing the other parties' alternatives and recourse positions;

  • knowing which of the parties is the leader, and ultimate, authoritative decisionmaker;

  • knowing which party is the most likely "deal killer" or prospective adversary, as well as why this may be the case (oftimes the factors are more emotional than rational or economic);

  • knowing how much the other parties know about you, and your ultimate position;

  • knowing the facts about the matter or matters to be discussed;

Most important of all, however is to cite, at least within the sanctuary of your own mind, your ideal target objective, and to visualize it in no uncertain terms. You must also be able to clearly and assertively articulate precisely what your target is, even though in certain types of negotiations, your opponents should not be fact, the matter may be deliberately kept a mystery to them for strategic advantage. This type of thinking (whether reaffirmed by mantra, hypnosis, NLP) will enable all of your senses to operate toward the attainment of your objective.

Remember: You can never state your case regarding any matter of importance if you do not know what your own stand is. Before going into that meeting, making that decision, starting to speak, know your target!


Douglas Castle


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