You Can’t Script Negotiation. EVER

Cookie-cutter strategies just don’t work in the turbulence of real world negotiation. Yes, preparation is essential. And persistence is often a virtue. But clinging to rigid plans is not. There’s just too much in flux. You have to be ready to make the best of whatever unfolds.

Boston Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington says, “Negotiation is not a linear endeavor. It’s full of twists and turns and requires managing relationships, data, intuition, and alternatives in a way that increases the probability of a good outcome.”

As a consequence, you’ve got to be agile if you want to succeed. That requires crafting robust strategy and being quick on your feet, in order to avoid obstacles and seize unexpected opportunities. You may even have to change your goals.