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Learning to negotiate

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Negotiating Is Not the Same as Haggling

There’s a popular misconception that in a negotiation you can either “win” or preserve your relationship with your counterpart — your boss, a customer, a business partner — but you can’t do both. People assume they need to make a choice between getting good results (by being hard and bargaining at all costs) or developing a good relationship (by being soft and making concessions to build the relationship). Thinking that way is dangerous, however, because you need both: You have to be able to stand firm and maintain important relationships.

Too often, a typical negotiation goes something like this:

Party 1: Here’s what I want.

Party 2: Here’s what I want.

Party 1: OK, I’ll make this small concession to get closer to what you want. But just this one time.

Party 2: OK, since you did that, I’ll also make a small concession. But just this one time…  MORE

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