I once saw a cartoon with a caption reading, "Salesmanship begins when the customer says, 'No!' " Likewise, negotiation begins with disagreement. How you react to the dispute is often more important than what it's about. Keeping conflict from becoming a catfight is one skill that distinguishes the seasoned negotiator.
A speaker and attorney in Los Angeles, Marc Diener is the author of Deal Power: 6 Foolproof Steps to Making Deals of Any Size (Owl Books/Henry Holt). You can reach him at MarcDiener@aol.com.