If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.
(The Art of War, Sun Tzu, sixth-century Chinese general and philosopher)
Knowledge is power – especially at the negotiating table. So make sure you know all there is to know. Before you start, lay out all the details and
circumstances that led to the conflict. Immerse yourself in your opponent. What kind of person is he? What are his weaknesses? Where do his vulnerabilities lie? Is he vain? What’s he scared of? What gets him excited? Why is he fighting you? What does he want? And then address these same questions regarding your-self. You have to know yourself too. Sounds pretty obvious, but very few actually do this. Know your-self, know the enemy and know the facts — through and through. Because a poorly prepared case is a lose case.