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Albright on Communication, Information and Negotiation

Tuesday, June 21st, 2005

[notes from article in CIO magazine, January 15, 2005]

Remember two things when negotiating:

  1. You have to know what it is you want. “You can’t go into a negotiation without clarity about what your objective is.”
  2. You must understand what the other person wants. You must try “to get into the other person’s shoes.” “If you don’t understand what they have to get out of it, you can’t figure out what steps they can take to give you what you want.”

Go into any negotiation as well-prepared as possible. If for some reason you don’t have enough information, make sure you listen first to understand the other person’s position.

If you have to deliver bad news, “deliver it straight”. Don’t allow any equivocation into your delivery and make sure your position is understood.

There are times when it is useful to have someone else present an idea that you both espouse. Give credit when credit is due.

When in a potentially unfriendly environment (e.g. a woman in a man’s world), don’t set yourself up as a victim. “If you set yourself up as a victim, you become a victim.” Remember who you are representing and develop a support network.

Sometimes you need to take the data that is given to you from multiple sources and “triangulate”–figure out where the meat is through a comparison of perspectives. Competing sources that disagree on the meaning of data are not a bad thing in and of themselves. There is potential good to be had from the competition.


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