There are four big rules to follow when you negotiate – on the ice and in business.

  1. Don't Commit First - get the other side to state their position or proposal first, you may be pleasantly surprised at what they want.
  2. Put Your Ego Aside - Negotiations are about getting a deal done, so don't try to impress the other side One tactic I use is to get the other side to help me during the process, asking questions that make them feel superior, such as "I'm not really sure, what do you think?"
  3. Keep Your Eye on the Puck – Everyone will try to get you off your game. No matter what the outcome of a meeting or phone call, don't let the other side's moves or reactions take your eye off the puck.
  4. Always Make the Other Side Feel Victorious - When the deal is done, always congratulate the other side. "Thank you, but please let me say that you did a fantastic job negotiating this deal" was a favorite phrase of mine.

  • “Neil Smith was able to do what no other general manager could in 54 years for the New York Rangers-win the Stanley Cup! It was Neil's bold approach to changing the culture that allowed the team to galvanize into champions.”