One of the most common mistakes in a negotiation is underestimating your position. Giving away power. The best way to avoid underestimating your position is preparation. Gather as much information as you can about your counterpart. Sit with someone in a mock negotiation. Take the position of your counterpart. Understand the constraints, wants, needs, must have points from the position of your counterpart.
A recent Tom Hanks movie “Bridge of Spies” gives a perfect demonstration of the benefit of understanding your counterpart’s position. Right up to the last minute exchange of spies – Mr Donovan [Tom Hanks] holds strong to his position. He delays the exchange. Clearly he understood the constraints, wants and must have position of his counter part. This movie also gives a perfect demonstration of the power of silence.
It’s a good movie. A reminder “don’t underestimate your position”.