Begin by sitting down in a quiet space. Affirm to yourself and team members that you will be effective listeners. Affirm that you are skilled at being highly creative, open-minded negotiators. Seek to understand all the interests at stake. Start thinking this way from the start.
Preparation can be fun and entertaining, particularly these days when access to information is easier than it has ever been. Your job at this stage is to delve into a fact-finding mission. Don't underestimate how valuable this investigation time and deep creative thinking can be to the entire negotiation outcome.
When you prepare, think broadly. Become an explorer. Here are four concepts to help you move outside of your traditional boundaries:
- Make assumptions that you can test later
- Investigate red flags and assumptions (use many sources and dig deep)
- Analyze strengths, risks and connections
- Be creative about how to solve the other side's interests