Know thyself and the other. Preparation is a vital part of the negotiation and collaboration process, yet many people fail to properly analyze their own and other’s perspectives prior to discussions. Time spent in preparation should focus on assessing your own interests, goals, and alternatives and those of your partner. The more complete the information you have about yourself and your partner, the more control you can assume over your own actions and reactions during the collaboration process and the better able you will be to craft win-win agreements. As you collaborate, ask questions to try to fill in gaps in the information you have and test the assumptions that you made.