It’s important to have a plan. It’s important to have assumptions. Just remember your assumptions are wrong. Wait…not all of them are wrong. The problem is you don’t know which ones are wrong. So don’t fall in love with all of them. Successful negotiators understand it is a process. Michael Wheeler describes it as learn, adapt, influence. You can learn more about his strategy from his book “The Art of Negotiation” or watch this short video.
As you prepare for your next negotiation take time for research, to understand your alternatives, and make a wish list. Next make careful assumptions about your counterpart on each of these same categories. Just remember the more effort you put in, the more seductive they become and the harder it is to emotionally disconnect. Make your assumptions just don’t fall in love with them.