A Really Great Book and a Really Fine Wine
There is a Goldilocks problem with all of these books. They are either too theoretical -- talking more about mathematical game theory or Zen philosophy than the actual negotiating process -- or too granular, with too many stories of actual negotiations that don't tie together into a set of common instructions most businesspeople can follow.
I am happy to report that there is finally a book on negotiating that is just right for my readers. It's titled "Authentic Negotiating," and it's authored by my longtime friend, keynote speaker and fellow traveler in the venture capital wilderness Corey Kupfer (www.coreykupfer.com).
"Authentic Negotiating" focuses on the three types of transactions during which an entrepreneur is most likely to need negotiating skills: negotiating with investors, negotiating with strategic alliance partners and negotiating mergers and acquisitions deals (M&A).
Kupfer focuses on the three essential traits negotiators need to develop in order to be effective:
--Clarity -- being crystal clear on the outcomes you want to achieve, what the true bottom line is and under what circumstances you will agree or not agree to a deal, all without being carried away by emotion.
--Detachment -- doing the deal if you can achieve your objectives and walking away if you can't.
--Equilibrium -- As Kupfer puts it: "staying centered, calm, and clear. Not getting thrown off by the tactics, techniques, or emotions of the other side, or your own emotions."
Corey also drills down the six most common reasons negotiations fail:
--Lack of preparation.