If you're a middle manager, then it's likely your work life is taken up with pleasing those above you and keeping those beneath you happy.
Being an expert negotiator is the key to remaining sane and actually getting what you want. But not all of us are blessed with the gift of the gab. This book, by David Oliver, advocates the 'Prepbar' approach to all negotiations.
Prepbar stands for Plan and Prepare, Rehearse, Explore and Explain, Propose, Bargain, Agree and Review. "Follow all seven steps and you will likely get a great result!" says Oliver.
The process sounds straightforward, but it's the negotiation obstacles that are the most interesting to find out about. One such is reaching deadlock - but how to overcome it? The best thing is to avoid it in the first place by being flexible in what you want.
But if you do reach it, create a "bridging moment" by going over what you have both agreed, and then buy some more time by suggesting stopping for now and picking up the conversation again informally later.
This will break the tension and allow you to take the process forward over a nice cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit. Sounds like a great result to me.
Emma De Vita is books editor of Management Today