admiral_adama: (Connection)
[personal profile] admiral_adama
What are the five steps to a successful negotiation?

Steps? We're not talking about a frakking dance here. Commit yourself to some fixed set of steps in a negotiation and you'll find yourself knocked on your ass by an opponent who's allowed himself more flexibility than you did.

But if you want guidelines, those I can give you.

1. Learn the opposition. Learn them in detail, their strengths, weaknesses and routines. Even a minor detail may prove more useful than it seems. Never underestimate those who appear weak, nor overestimate those who appear strong.

2. Learn the field. The field, in the context of a negotiation, is that which is being contested. Learn its importance, not just to the two sides contesting, but to anyone else with an interest.

3. Never make any claims you're not prepared to back up. This does not mean don't lie, bluff or otherwise bullshit. Just be prepared for the consequences if the opposition finds out about it.

4. Watch your opportunities. There may be more than one way to achieve your goal, or even more than one goal that will suit your purposes. Never get so focused on one process that you blind yourself to other possibilities.

5. Know when to cut your losses ... or allow your opposition to cut theirs. Of course, the man who taught me always claimed that if you followed the first four directions well enough, you'd never have any losses to cut. Most of the time he was very annoyingly right.

The man who taught me all of the above, by the way, was not some instructor of military strategy in officer's training. No, I absorbed those guidelines half-unwillingly, by growing up as the son of the master of persuasion and verbal tactics, Joseph Adama. When I was a kid I swore I'd never put myself in a position to have to use those lessons.

Funny how things work out.

Muse: Admiral William Adama
Fandom: Battlestar Galactica '03
Word count: 313
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