Notes on Negotiation: Maintain Focus

Maintain Your Focus in Lengthy Negotiations
Written by Marty Latz, Latz Negotiation Institute

This headline from, Russia joins WTO after 18 years of negotiations, is a great reminder of the importance of keeping your eye on the prize when engaged in lengthy, complex negotiations.

It also brought to mind this negotiation insight shared by Malcolm Jozoff, former chairman and chief executive of Dial Corp.:

“The thing I always try to keep in mind in any negotiation is to know what I want at the end of it. And I always make a practice of writing it down – what is victory for me?

And then I set up a series of stages, as the negotiations unfold, and I always [try] to be sure that the steps and maneuvers and motions and practices are consistent with getting us to that end line.

I’ve seen more bad negotiations simply because the client, or side A or side B, really forget what they’re trying to get in the end.”

Bottom line:  write down your goals, develop and implement a plan for achieving them and periodically evaluate the process to maintain your focus.


Marty Latz is the founder of Latz Negotiation Institute, a national negotiation training and consulting company, and ExpertNegotiator, a Web-based software company that helps managers and negotiators more effectively negotiate and implement best practices based on the experts’ proven research.  He is also the author of Gain the Edge! Negotiating to Get What You Want (St. Martin’s Press 2004). He can be reached at 480-951-3222 or

ICLEF • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianapolis, IN

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