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Chapter 1


Few Americans can be found today who are unfamiliar with the term “negotiation”. Moreover, if the average American were asked what negotiations are, what they involve and what type persons should conduct them, etc., some answer would be promptly forthcoming. It is highly doubtful, however, if any two answers would correspond.

This is because, while negotiating is an art, it is the most taken for granted, and least understood, of all arts, despite the fact that in one form or another, the practice of negotiating is an integral part of our daily lives.

With this method of settling differences among nations now more than ever before being illuminated as the possible alternative to future wars, it is considered timely to examine the essential elements of, and document the basic rules applicable to, a successful negotiation. This has not previously been done in handbook form.

The principles, rules and procedures set out herein are the result of many years of actual, practical negotiating experience by the writer. This work contains no theoretical or academic suggestions—only those distilled from actually sitting at the negotiating table representing private industry and the United States Government in both domestic and foreign negotiations.


To the extent that experiences mentioned herein give the impression of criticism, it should be understood that they are meant to be constructive, and if defects are revealed in present operations, perhaps such defects will be remedied by those possessing the authority to do so.

The art of conducting negotiations is one of the most important human functions in the world today—and, as stated previously, one of the least understood.

Note carefully that I say, “human functions”. This is because negotiations will always involve human beings talking with other human beings—no one will ever invent an electronic brain or device to conduct genuine negotiations.

Generally speaking, some type of negotiation, either bilateral or multilateral, is constantly being conducted between individuals, private businesses, industry and government, industry and labor and between governments themselves. Some of these negotiations involve dollars and cents, while others involve the rights, duties and responsibilities of governments and people. No matter what is involved, however, a qualified human being must—or rather should—quarterback the negotiating effort.

What kind of a man should this negotiator be? What should he do to prepare for a negotiation? How should he actually conduct the negotiations at the table? What fundamental elements must exist before there can be a real negotiation? This work will answer these questions.

At this point I would like to ask the reader to try and recall ever reading or hearing it said that any full time employee of the government is an outstanding negotiator? By contract, when Sir Ormsby-Gore was named British Ambassador to the United States, the English and American press referred specifically to his great ability as a negotiator. The British understand and recognize this highly specialized ability far more than we in this country.


We hear it said every day that so and so is a first-class lawyer, an excellent doctor, an able scientist or engineer, a top-notch CPA, or a cracker-jack salesman, but seldom, if ever, do we hear of a man being referred to as an outstanding negotiator. Why? The answer is very simple, and is because most American men—and indeed many women—fancy themselves as perfectly capable of negotiating with anyone, on any subject.

The irony of this pseudo self-confidence is that it is shared by corporate executives and high government officials who themselves fail to realize that negotiation takes training, experience and a rare type of individual who above all else, has learned the basic rule that a good negotiator can never win a popularity contest while negotiating.

Americans generally desire to be well liked and popular. They consider themselves to be a most friendly people and the very thought of following a course of conduct which minimizes this propensity, is repugnant to the average American. Thus, both industry and government turn over the handling of important negotiations to persons totally unqualified for the job, with the result that maximum results are rarely achieved.

This condition represents a strange departure from our vaunted American efficiency. We have no difficulty whatsoever deciding when to call in a doctor, a lawyer, an accountant, an engineer, etc., but we haven’t yet realized the peculiar nature of a good negotiator and that his services are as specialized and necessary at the proper time as the doctor, lawyer, accountant, etc.

Some government departments today are even requiring secretaries to visit a psychiatrist—at fifty dollars an hour—to see if they can properly fill jobs. Industry is also adopting this procedure for some executives.

Yet the ability to properly conduct important negotiations, both in and out of the government, is taken for granted. I most certainly


am not suggesting that potential negotiators be sent to psychiatrists, but I do suggest that the time is long past when we should have been effectively training men to be good negotiators.




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