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Persuasion Through Preparedness

From the blog of Nancy Hudgins

I laughed out loud when I read in Negotiation Genius (now in paperback!) that in a negotiation, if you are not prepared, you should at least look prepared.

I laughed because it’s true.

Think about a situation you’ve been in, in which acting the part was as important as being the part. It happens all the time in social settings and in business settings. It works at trial.

Malhotra and Bazerman believe that paying attention to detail and being systematic in approaching negotiations give the impression that you are prepared. They also note that if the other side believes you are prepared, it is less likely they will to try to deceive you, because they think getting caught would be too risky.

Sometimes the press of work leaves us less prepared than we’d like to be going into a mediation. Preparedness is the key to a successful negotiation, but, if you haven’t had time to prepare for that mediation, try looking prepared.


Nancy Hudgins

Nancy Hudgins, a San Francisco mediator and lawyer, began specializing in civil litigation in the 1970's. She has represented both plaintiffs and defendants, chiefly in personal injury, medical malpractice, elder abuse and product liability lawsuits, but also in a wide variety of complex litigation, including civil rights, fraud and class… MORE >

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