When you are taking on a negotiation, whether it be with another coParent, a mediator or lawyer, give yourself a practice run.

Think of an upcoming business negotiation (or a past one), and write out a purpose statement for it. This should be concise, perhaps a paragraph long. It should set forth what you hope to receive from the negotiation; it should also explain why you want that outcome.

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Now write it from your negotiation partner’s point of view. What does my partner want or need, why, and can I offer it? This will provide insight into how your partner will view your purpose and help you craft one that speaks to his or her needs.

In the job interview, your purpose may be to get the job, but it’s also to give the employer a reason to hire you. When you’re done, look both statements over. Have you been fully honest and clear about your purpose, and done your best to understand your partner’s? If not, rewrite it until you are.

Excerpt from The Transformative Negotiator: Changing How We Come to Agreement from the Inside Out. By Michèle Huff, J.D. UNHOOKED BOOKS.


About Michèle Huff, J.D.

Michèle Huff is an attorney who has negotiated on behalf of Fortune 500 companies, including Oracle Corporation, Sun Microsystems, and Canal+ and start-up companies including Kalepa Networks and Cinnafilm. She has also negotiated on behalf of hundreds of individual clients and manages the Archer Law Group, a firm specializing in protecting and licensing creative properties. Since 2008, she has been the University of New Mexico’s lawyer for research, technology and intellectual property. She negotiates agreements with industry, academic institutions, and governmental agencies on a regular basis. Michèle has taught intellectual property and licensing at the University of New Mexico’s School of Law, and has led negotiation workshops for local community foundations, technology venture associations, and business incubators. In May, she co-presented a session on Transformative Negotiation at NBIA’s 28th International Conference on Business Incubation in New Orleans. She was named one of Albuquerque Business First’s 2014 Women of Influence.

To view Huff's book, "The Transformative Negotiator," visit this link: