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Negotiating is not a matter of intuition. Difficult negotiations require strategy and tactic. Following your gut feeling in a difficult negotiation is very risky.

In negotiations, strategy and tactics are way more important than intuition. Imagine a police commander who is confronted with an armed bank robbery. What would be your first instruction? You would cordon off the perimeter of the bank and block off the roads, thereby cutting off any escape routes. Only after you have blocked all exits would you actually call the special forces to take position at the crime scene.

You will agree that it would be irresponsible to leave too much room to manoeuvre to the bank robber. In everyday negotiations you should try to approach things in a similar way. Try to limit your opposite’s room to manoeuvre and control their escape routes. Negotiate with a clear goal in mind and from the driver’s seat. Plan your negotiation – both strategically and tactically.

In police jargon, taking the lead in this way is called “stabilizing the negotiating partner”. The aim is  to control your partner’s actions and to keep them in check. This is not an easy task and requires following a few rules – intuition will not suffice. You need a detailed strategy and tactics to achieve your objective in difficult negotiations.