Experts in negotiation handle the process so smoothly that discussions hardly seem like negotiations at all. While the word negotiation itself conjures up visions of cigar-chomping adversaries pounding the table to emphasize their demands, the best results are achieved when all the parties involved are able to put themselves in the others’ shoes and arrive at an agreement that is beneficial to everyone involved. Whether you are negotiating a higher salary, a new job, or the acquisition of a company, your chances of success are far greater when you approach the situation positively and with a clear objective in mind. It also helps to understand the motives of others involved and to have in-depth knowledge of the subject under discussion. Finally, approach every topic with an open mind — don’t simply try to bully others into accepting your proposal or point of view.