Monday, January 1, 2007

Building the Breakthrough Toolbox

Now that you are familiar with the foundations of the break- through approach, you are ready to augment your toolbox and try putting it to use. The following five chapters will present strategies and tactics for dealing with common challenges that confront real- world negotiators: Overcoming power imbalances: What do you do when you are on the wrong side of a power imbalance? You will probably have to deal at some point with counterparts who enjoy substantially more bargaining power than you do. Chapter Five offers guidelines for such situations. Building coalitions: When a negotiation involves many interested parties, influential coalitions spring up and shape outcomes. How do you build supportive coalitions and prevent opposition from coalescing against you? Chapter Six lays out how to analyze influence dynamics and build coalitions. Managing conflicts: Many negotiations involve disputes rather than deals. What do you do when conflict is, or could be, a barrier to negotiated agreement? Chapter Seven looks at how to manage conflict while negotiating. 115 116 BREAKTHROUGH BUSINESS NEGOTIATION Leading negotiations: Negotiators are often called on to represent others who are absent from the table and to lead teams of people. What does a skilled negotiator need to know about leadership in such situations? Chapter Eight looks at the negotiator as a leader. Negotiating crises: Finally, managers inevitably confront crises, but few are well prepared to deal with them. The skills of negotiation and coalition building turn out to be central to effectiveness in crisis situations. Chapter Nine looks at how to prepare for and negotiate your way through crises. As you begin to apply these ideas to craft specific strategies and tactical plans, always keep in mind that negotiations are by nature fluid. Strategies need to be carefully designed, but they also need to be flexible enough to allow for changes in tactics in response to evolving circumstances.

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