“I came across colleagues who have taken your Strategic Negotiations Program, where they were ‘planning to control’ negotiation results using some sort of mapping tool. How does that work?” Dennis – Project Account Executive
In a nutshell, controlling a negotiation's outcome works by predicting what the other party can do (possibilities), will likely do (probabilities) and would favor doing (preferred outcome) way ahead of the negotiation encounter. This translates to a sort of ‘map’ which is then used to determine where the dangers lurk and what needs to be done even before the negotiation encounter begins. Likewise, the venue where the negotiation will be held should also be analyzed and skewed so that elements will favor multi-party win.
In parallel, a scrupulous tennis player may view videos of potential opponent’s past games  if they will likely face each other in the next tour. In so doing, she can aptly determine the strength and weaknesses of the potential opponent’s game strategy and styles of play. It is also paramount for her to understand the next play venue, particularly the kind of surface material. Thereafter, she can plan and adjust her game accordingly to be able to effectively and confidently defend and launch offensives against the potential opponent. 
In the battlefield, as Sun Tzu has been attributed to say, “If you know the enemy and you know yourself, your victory will not stand in doubt; if you know Heaven and you know Earth, you may make your victory complete”.  This adage shows the two dimensions of preparation: against the enemy’s style of doing battles as well as for the conditions of the battlefield.
When handling toddlers, in an urban minefield called a “toy store”, your forward knowledge of the store’s layout will come in handy. Knowing where the ultra-high priced items that would significantly reduce the bulge in your pant’s right back pocket is a key contributor to control. You would need to craft a child-air-tight story to support your store itinerary where some aisles are not to be traversed. Inconsistency in your story may pass the scrutiny of a Sherlock Holmes but not the ‘Parent-Tale-Excuse’ detector your child instinctively possesses!
Consider the case of monster- in-laws. Due to their meddling, instead of becoming negotiation arbiters between the spouses, they might inadvertently ignite the feud of the century! Placating their moves to prevent the crossing of the 38th parallel requires a clear understanding of their personalities and habits. Indispensably, venue-control is an absolute imperative if all-out Armaggedon is to be averted. Believe it or not, this is still within the practical realm of Strategic Negotiations!
When negotiating with another organization, your side should be able to analyze the following: with whom you will be negotiating, each counterpart players’ role or roles, the negotiation atmosphere situation, the strategies that will likely be deployed relative to the negotiation atmosphere and the stakes at hand, the balance of power, and the styles of the negotiators. All these can be systematically analysed using the Mansmith Strategic Negotiation Tools that include the Nego-Map to predict the critical 3Ps: Possibilities, Probabilities and Preferred Outcomes. Thereby, risks can be substantially reduced if not avoided completely.  At the same time, plausible and positive paths to an agreement can be elaborated on and amplified to secure satisfactory mutli-party win outcome options that provide optimal returns to both sides.
Strategic Negotiation Tools enable your side to plan and control negotiations even before the actual sit-down. Allow me to end this article with two more relevant Sun Tzu quotes to exemplify the main points of Strategic Negotiations: “Therefore a victorious army first wins and then seeks battle; a defeated army first battles and then seeks victory,” and in support,“Ultimate excellence lies not in winning every battle, but in defeating the enemy without ever fighting.”
Rowen Untivero is a Partner and Chief Sales Strategist of Mansmith and Fielders, Inc., the country’s leading marketing, sales, strategy and innovation training company. Rowen is a veteran of training, coaching, and consulting and has more than a quarter of a century of successful sales, buying and negotiation practice. He is the pioneering developer of many original frameworks and tools in tactical and strategic negotiation, selling mechanics, strategic account development, retail sales optimization, sales management, and many more valuable contributions to the wealth of knowledge and best practices in business science. While most of his training programs throughout the years continue to be tailored specific to companies, he will be holding a Mansmith public seminar on “Negotiation Strategies and Secrets” on March 18 and 19, 2014. Please send your questions, comments or feedback to mentors@mansmith.net. You can also visit www.mansmith.net.