There is an art and a science to good negotiating, and whether you are negotiating a cease-fire between countries or neighbours, here are some tips for you on how to become a better negotiator. These come from a book, Negotiating Rationally, by Drs. Max Bazerman and Margaret Neale of Northwestern University.
First, it's important to recognise that everyone negotiates - probably a lot more than you think. It's pretty obvious when you're buying a car or putting together a business deal. You're also negotiating when you want to go out to dinner and your spouse wants to stay home, or when your neighbour wants to put in a chain link fence and you'd prefer a hedge of shrubs.
The first thing that can help your negotiating skills is getting rid of the urge to win at all costs and the false idea that if one person wins, it means the other has to lose. The best solution is one in which each side gives a little and gets something, too. Good negotiators know how to paint a vivid picture of how their proposed solution will benefit both sides, and they focus on gains rather than losses.
They also know that building trust and sharing information are critical for negotiating in any long-term relationship. Finally, good negotiators have the ability to really put themselves in the other person's shoes, evaluate alternatives, and think creatively. Can you see yourself negotiating to settle differences in a way that makes everyone a winner?