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Negotiate better than Kissinger did

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in Leaders & Managers,Workplace Communication

Henry Kissinger, one of the greatest negotiators of our time, once said: “Effectiveness at the conference table depends on overstating one’s demands.”

The problem is, overstating your demands can be heard as “Take it or leave it” unless you state your high demands flexibly.

Here’s what we mean:

Inflexible approach. “You want $20,000 a year for your service, but I’m offering you only $12,000.”

Flexible approach. “You want $20,000 a year for your service, but, based on my research, I believe it’s worth only $12,000. Perhaps you know something that I don’t?”

The flexible strategy nets you new information, and it prolongs negotiations instead of shutting them down.

—Adapted from Secrets of Power Negotiating, Roger Dawson, Career Press.

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