As a former trial attorney who’s spent years honing the art of persuasion in the courtroom, I’ve learned a thing or two about the power of negotiation. Whether you’re striking deals in the boardroom or mediating disputes over a conference table, here are three tips to help you strengthen your next negotiation:

Prepare. And Then Prepare Again.

  1. Just like in court, preparation is always the key to success in negotiations. Before you even step into the room, do your homework—research the other party’s interests, goals, and potential objections. Anticipate their moves and arm yourself with facts, figures, and persuasive arguments to support your position. The more prepared you are, the more confident and in control you’ll feel at the negotiating table.

Listen, Listen, Listen

  1. As a trial attorney, I’ve learned that listening is often more powerful than speaking. I’ll say that again…listening is often more powerful than speaking.  When you’re negotiating, resist the urge to dominate the conversation and instead, focus on active listening. Pay attention to the other party’s concerns, motivations, and underlying needs. By empathizing with their perspective and demonstrating that you understand where they’re coming from, you’ll build rapport and create a more collaborative atmosphere for reaching mutually beneficial solutions.

Know When to Hold ‘Em and When to Fold ‘Em

  1. Negotiation is a delicate dance of both strategy and timing. In my experience, I’ve learned that sometimes, the best move is knowing when to walk away. Be prepared to set clear boundaries and know your bottom line. If the other party isn’t willing to meet your terms or negotiate in good faith, don’t be afraid to stand your ground and explore alternative options. At the same time, be open to compromise and creative problem-solving. Remember, negotiation is all about finding common ground and reaching agreements that satisfy both parties’ interests.

Remember, negotiation is both an art and a science—a skill that can be mastered with practice, patience, and the right mindset. Prepare thoroughly, listen actively, and know when to stand firm or flexibly adapt.  With these three key strategies, you’ll strengthen your negotiation prowess and achieve greater success in future negotiations.

This blog post is written by an attorney at Cooper & Huber, LLP.  It is for general educational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice or a solicitation for services. We hope it helps you or empowers you to seek next steps in your legal matters. Cooper & Huber attorneys handle an array of personal and business law matters throughout California.  You can contact us at or 213.423.1163.

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