When you are taking on a negotiation, whether it be with another coParent, a mediator or lawyer, give yourself a practice run.

Think of an upcoming business negotiation (or a past one), and write out a purpose statement for it. This should be concise, perhaps a paragraph long. It should set forth what you hope to receive from the negotiation; it should also explain why you want that outcome.

Now write it from your negotiation partner’s point of view. What does my partner want or need, why, and can I offer it? This will provide insight into how your partner will view your purpose and help you craft one that speaks to his or her needs.

In the job interview, your purpose may be to get the job, but it’s also to give the employer a reason to hire you. When you’re done, look both statements over. Have you been fully honest and clear about your purpose, and done your best to understand your partner’s? If not, rewrite it until you are.

Excerpt from The Transformative Negotiator: Changing How We Come to Agreement from the Inside Out. By Michèle Huff, J.D. UNHOOKED BOOKS.