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Lawyers know that a case based upon a weak set of facts can be won by an astute lawyer.  They also know that a case bottomed on seemingly unassailable facts, can be lost by an unskilled or inept lawyer.

This truism is doubly applicable to important negotiations by both business and government in this country. With deep chagrin have I sat with, and across from, so-called negotiators representing business and government who had sound positions to negotiate, but who were completely ignorant of the basic principles of how to negotiate properly and successfully.

This inability to negotiate is important, especially when our government is involved. When business negotiates, the objective is usually dollars. However, when our government negotiates, lives, the future of countries and indeed mankind can be involved and we should have at the negotiating tables the best trained career negotiators that we can produce. Unfortunately, we do not have them today.

Knowing that the term “diplomacy” is defined as “the art, science or practice of conducting negotiations between countries," I recently asked a former Secretary of State what, if any, training is given diplomats or foreign service personnel, in how to negotiate. His reply was none, they learn by experience.

When it is understood that the ability to negotiate is the essence of diplomacy, and that nowhere in the Department of State, the Foreign Service Institute or Universities giving foreign service degrees, is any course of training ever given in how to negotiate, one begins to realize why, when an important negotiation confronts our Department of State, we have to enlist Wall Street lawyers to negotiate for us. No matter how capable these men might be—and there is no outstanding record of accomplishment—the fact remains that this country, is pitifully lacking in men of recognized negotiating ability and stature, particularly in the very place one would expect to find them, namely, our Department of State.

Obviously, experience will help some people, but training plus experience are what is required—after the proper type of person is found who can make a good negotiator.

Because it seems to me as important that our country have well trained, career negotiators to keep us out of war as it is to have well trained military personnel to fight a war, if need be, this work was undertaken. Here, for the first time, are the basic groundrules of negotiations, in the hope that they will be used to train our government personnel who will engage in diplomatic, foreign trade and contract negotiations.

Since much of my negotiation knowledge and experience were gained while a Naval Officer, I feel my government—as is the case of patents—is entitled to the benefit of this work and it is therefore contributed to my government.



Cover, Contents, & Introduction

About the Author


I.  Introduction

II.  What is Negotiation

III.  Who Should Negotiate

IV.  Preparation for Negotiation

V.  Conduct of a Negotiation

A—Things To Do

B—Things Not To Do

VI.  Conclusions