Negotiation Ground Zero

As the 2004 recipient of Harvard’s Great Negotiator Award, Richard Holbrooke, noted in his acceptance speech, “Negotiation is like jazz. It is improvisation on a theme. You know where you want to go, but you don’t know how to get there.”

As much as we strive to make the process of negotiation linear, once you sit down at the negotiation table, anything can happen. The good news is that your preparation or “improvisation rehearsal” constructs the platform on which you stand. The platform is the ground under your feet, the stage on which you perform the magic of interest-based, mutual benefit, principled negotiation.

So here at ground zero, surrender yourself to this question:

What do you want? What do you want to improvise today?