Negotiation Skills Company, Inc.
Negotiation Skills Company, Inc.

The Negotiation Skills Company -- Newsletter March 2002

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The occasional newsletter of
The Negotiation Skills Company, Inc. (TNSC)

Number 20, March 2002


The occasional newsletter of The Negotiation Skills Company, Inc. (TNSC)


Back in the wild and woolly 1960s, Hippie guru Abbie Hoffman wrote a book which he titled 'Steal This Book'. Stealing books, or other things for that matter, is not a recommended negotiation tactic.

This month McGraw-Hill is publishing my book, NEGOTIATING SKILLS FOR MANAGERS in their Briefcase Books series. You can buy - rather than stealing - the book by clicking on the link to our TNSC products page.

NEGOTIATING SKILLS FOR MANAGERS is written in a down-to-earth style and is based on my work with people from more than forty countries and a wide range of business sectors. In it, I tell stories about negotiations I have experienced or heard about from friends and clients.

Like other titles in the Briefcase Books series, NEGOTIATING SKILLS FOR MANAGERS is formatted to make it easily accessible for people reading it for the first time as well as folks wanting to look at particular negotiation issues again. Each chapter ends with a checklist relating to its learning points and the book itself ends with a detailed index of covered topics.

While there are many negotiation books on the market, NEGOTIATING SKILLS FOR MANAGERS differs in that it is derived from practical experience rather than academic analysis. It does not present a litany of personal triumphs, but rather a broad range of practical analytical suggestions.

The preparation process included in the book, as well as in TNSC's training programs, The Interest Map(c), has been assessed by a French-based management consulting firm. According to their analysts, for each 15 minutes a negotiator spends developing an Interest Map s/he is likely to save about four hours of negotiating time.

The book is not meant to replace an interactive workshop, but it offers fundamental information to those who have not participated in one of our programs. For people who have taken a TNSC course, the book provides a refresher of the seminar's learning points.

NEGOTIATING SKILLS FOR MANAGERS should be in bookstores in the United States by April 1st and in other countries by the end of May, After you read the book, we would really appreciate any comments you send us.

Often people talk about the people with whom they negotiate as their 'opponents'. When the issue(s) under discussion are about a serious conflict, negotiation may indeed appear to be a substitute for battle. It is critical to remember that negotiation is a collaborative means for making decisions about the future. Unless you and I address the problem in a creative, civilized way, the unpleasant reality we both want to change may not be resolved.

We have to take what can be a difficult step in order to benefit from negotiation with parties we don't particularly like. In order to increase the likelihood that the process will yield a mutually accepted agreement that the parties will fulfill, we need to modify our own view of the other negotiators. If they are seen as opponents, our job is to beat them, to win on the negotiation battlefield. If we look at them as folks whose help we need - and who need something from us in return - that attitude can plant the seeds for collaborative approaches more likely to yield productive results.

Our emotions should not be swept under the rug, but we need to control them rather than letting our emotions control us. Effective negotiation requires careful thought and analysis. Each negotiator has the primary obligation of focusing on her/his interests. If your interests are at the forefront of your analysis and strategy, you won't waste energy looking for ways to beat up opponents. Rather you will find ways to derive benefits from the process.

Since we started sending out this irregular newsletter and the more regularly published quotations, Tim Dubuque's name has been the one you've seen as the sender of the information. Many people have contacted me and asked why TNSC's material comes from Tim instead of Steve. We've modified the sender information on the emails, but Tim remains our webmaster and the person responsible for all that is good about TNSC's website. Hope the change isn't too confusing.

"The hero is commonly the simplest and obscurest of men."
Henry David Thoreau

Good luck and good negotiating,

Steven P. Cohen

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