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How do I know if I am leaving something on the table?

This is a natural question to ask, even if in some ways it is the wrong question to ask. Why is it the wrong question? Because there really is no scientific way to know whether you have left something on the table. By contrast, there is a disciplined, process-driven approach you can use in all situations that can maximize your chances of consistently extracting the most value possible. The approach you can use to get optimal results consistently is based on the Alignor 3-Step Process. In Step 1, you identify stakeholder interests; in Step 2, you brainstorm possible actions to satisfy those stakeholder interests through a negotiated agreement; in Step 3, you calibrate your expectations (and potentially the expectations of other stakeholders) by determining what will happen if you do not come to agreement. With regard to a fear of leaving something on the table, you will often find that the Step 1 stakeholder needs analysis and Step 2 brainstorming of possible actions can help you uncover surprising new ways to create value for yourself and other stakeholders that you can leverage to improve your negotiation outcomes. Finally, as you weigh your options, be sure to place appropriate value on non-monetary interests, such as relationship interests or emotional needs.

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