Conflict resolution is the process of resolving a dispute or a conflict by meeting at least some of each side’s needs and addressing their interests. Knowing how to manage and resolve conflict is essential for having a productive work life, and it is important for community and family life as well. Conflict resolution, or dispute resolution to use another common term, is a relatively new field, emerging after World War II. Scholars from the Program on Negotiation were leaders in establishing the field.
In our special free report – The New Conflict Management – renowned negotiation experts uncover unconventional approaches to conflict management that can turn adversaries into partners.
When it comes to conflict resolution, surprisingly useful nuggets of advice come from the realm of international conflict. Take the Camp David Accords of 1978, as described minute-by-minute by Lawrence Wright in his new book, Thirteen Days in September. U.S. President Jimmy Carter made history by negotiating a peaceful end to the conflict between Israel … Read More
Employers sometimes ask potential employees to agree not to work for their competitors in the future. Don’t assume such requests are nonnegotiable. In the fall of 2010, journalist Christopher Flores was looking for a job in Chicago. As he recounts in a February article in the Chicago Reader, he came across listings for staff writer … Read More
Recent tensions between Japan and China could soon be lessened by a simple but significant gesture: a handshake between the two nations’ leaders. As Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe prepares to travel to Beijing for a regional economic summit this month, Japanese officials are expressing hope that he will be able to share a handshake … Read More
Business negotiators often complain that although they try to focus on creating value, they run into far too many people on the other side of the table who don’t believe in value creation. Often, they focus exclusively on trying to claim as much as possible for themselves. How should you handle these negotiations? … Read More
Poor communication explains many of our negotiation mistakes, write Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton in Getting to Yes, their landmark book. Here are four negotiation skills tips adapted from Susan Hackley’s May 2005 article “Can You Break the Cycle of Bad Communication?,” first published in Negotiation. … Read More
In our politically charged era, most Americans—Republicans, Democrats, and Independents alike—seem to be able to agree on one thing: in recent years, Congress has been a poor model of negotiation behavior. Battles sometimes seem to be fought less on principle than on a vindictive desire to beat the other side. Mutual respect is in short … Read More
In the aftermath of events ranging from the Catholic Church’s child sexual abuse scandal to the 1994 Rwandan genocide, victims have received apologies from those who caused or perpetuated their suffering. Yet those who have been harmed are not always willing or able to forgive. In the context of business negotiations, when a counterpart apologizes … Read More
Upset by a delay in the delivery of one of your products, a longtime buyer threatens to turn to the media unless you meet his extreme demands. Not only is the relationship in jeopardy, but your company’s reputation seems to be as well. What should you do?
Before you make a decision, let’s explore another realm … Read More
On June 30, compensation expert Kenneth R. Feinberg unveiled a plan to give restitution to victims of accidents related to the fatal ignition flaw in 2.6 million General Motors vehicles. The plan—designed to be as generous as other compensation plans Feinberg has overseen, including payouts to victims of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings—is part of … Read More
After recently losing an important deal in India, a business negotiator learned that her counterpart felt as if she had been rushing through the talks. The business negotiator thought she was being efﬁcient with their time. How can she improve her cross-cultural negotiation skills?
Research shows that dealmaking across cultures tends to lead to worse outcomes … Read More
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Understanding how to arrange the meeting space is a key aspect of preparing for negotiation. In this video, Professor Guhan Subramanian discusses a real world example of how seating arrangements can influence a negotiator’s success. This discussion was held at the 3 day executive education workshop for senior executives at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.
Guhan Subramanian is the Professor of Law and Business at the Harvard Law School and Professor of Business Law at the Harvard Business School.