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HBR Guide to Negotiating by Jeff Weiss

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Chapter 2

Question Your Assumptions About the Negotiation

Develop new, more empowering expectations.

As you launch into the preparation process, you may already have a lot of assumptions about how your negotiation will go, many of them negative. You may suspect that there is only one option the other party will agree to (because your counterpart has never budged from his stated policy) or that the negotiation itself will be unpleasantly contentious (because that’s always been your experience).

But assumptions like this can be dangerous and limiting: They hinder your creativity. For example, if you think the other party is going to cling to a specific policy, you’ll be focused on combating it directly and unlikely to throw out more-inventive options ...

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