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Are You an Effective Negotiator?
Take this Quiz to Find Out!

by Jim Camp

How well could you hold your own if your adversary were trained by me, Jim Camp, America’s number-one negotiating coach? For the following questions, circle the answer that best describes your negotiating style, and then check your score, at end.

When things seem to be going your way in a negotiation, the best thing to do is:

  1. Keep up the pace and don’t allow for a pause in the momentum.

  2. Immediately stop the proceedings with a coffee break, bathroom break, or lunch break.

To mentally prepare for a difficult negotiation, you will be well served by having:

  1. An upbeat, positive attitude and outlook.

  2. Zero expectations.

Ideally, every major negotiation should end with:

  1. The implicit if not explicit commitment on both sides to remain loyal and maintain a friendly, long-term relationship.

  2. A final invitation, from you, for your adversary to reconsider and reject this effort.

First impressions are critical in determining who will have the power and control in the ensuing negotiation. Therefore:

  1. Speak with authority, dress sharply, and let your adversary be just a wee bit intimidated by your alpha persona.

  2. Dress down, be as eccentric as you like, and let your adversary feel superior.

The most important thing to keep in mind while hammering out an agreement is:

  1. The idea of compromise, and both sides coming out feeling good about winning something but also making some concessions.

  2. What your adversary needs.

If your adversary agrees to a key point:

  1. Move on before he changes his mind.

  2. Get him to verbally agree to that key point at least three more times before moving on.

A great negotiator will:

  1. Trust his or her instincts, impulses, and intuition.

  2. Never pick up the phone or send an email without first having a written agenda for that communication.

Scoring: If you circled even one “a” answer, a negotiator trained in Jim Camp's “No” method would find the chink in your armor and bore through it. You would likely find yourself at an early disadvantage, and you would not be able to figure out why. If the “b” answers seem counterintuitive or downright wrong to you, you are not alone. Most Americans are schooled in emotion-based, feel-good, win-win negotiating strategies. We are taught to “close the deal” at all costs, and to value friendships and goodwill above all else over the long term. These conventional deal-making behaviors make you easy prey to an experienced negotiator.


The Author

Jim Camp

Jim Camp is an internationally sought negotiation coach and trainer, and author of NO: The Only Negotiating System You Need for Work and Home (Crown), the revised and updated version of his critically acclaimed business book, Start with No. As president and founder of The Camp Group (, he has coached individuals, companies, and governments worldwide through hundreds of negotiations worth billions. His negotiation model is taught in MBA programs from Harvard to NYU.

Many more articles in Executive Performance in The CEO Refresher Archives
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Copyright 2009 by Jim Camp. All rights reserved.

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