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HBR Guide to Negotiating by Jeff Weiss

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Chapter 3

Prepare the Substance

Understand interests, brainstorm options, research standards, and consider alternatives.

To be agile and creative in a negotiation, you need to prepare for both the substance and the process—what you will say and do and also how you say and do it. You’ve been introduced to the seven elements and used them to define what success looks like. Now you’ll use the same elements to prepare. In this chapter, we’ll focus on the first four—interests, options, standards, and alternatives—which outline the content of your conversation. The other three—commitments, communication, and relationships—are more about process, and we’ll cover those in the next chapter.

One note: While I lay out the elements here in a logical order, ...

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