Skill in negotiating is certainly one of the keys in successful co-parenting. Here’s an applicable business perspective:

You must have a firm perspective on what you absolutely need from the negotiation — and also know what you will not accept.

So, go in believing that no matter how much you want it, you’re going to be all right without it. Your confidence will set the tone. Then try these tips to seal the deal:

  • Build trust. Be helpful, honest, and positive. Look for ways for everyone involved in the negotiation to come out on top whenever possible. The goal of every negotiation should be to create a win-win situation.
  • Information is power. Try to get as much information from your competition as you can. Then plan to be judicious about the information that you give back. Don’t give out information that is not necessary or data that could weaken your position.
  • Stay cool. Never let your emotions do the negotiating for you. But at the same time, realize that your emotions will likely be stirring pretty strongly inside — just be sure to keep them there. If you do find yourself about to become visibly upset, take a powder and come back when your head’s clear.
  • Take your time. Don’t ever let it seem like you’re trying to rush a deal.
  • Never just give anything away, even if its something you don’t attach much value to. Every point in a negotiation can be used as leverage for something that is important to you.
  • Make a mental list of possible concessions that you don’t really care about. You can use these as bargaining chips to get something you want without really losing anything of significance.