difficult conversation

A framework for describing how to apply interest-based negotiation techniques to conversations and dilemmas in daily life. According to this framework, underlying every difficult conversation are actually three deeper conversations. (Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton and Sheila Heen, Difficult Conversations [Viking/Penguin, 1999], 7). These three conversations are 1) The “What Happened?” Conversation, 2) the Feelings Conversation, 3) and the Identity Conversation. The first conversation deals with the actual events that led to the situation being discussed, while the second and third conversations explore the impact these events have had.

Discover how to collaborate, negotiate, and bargain with even the most combative opponents with, Dealing with Difficult People, a FREE report from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.

The following items are tagged difficult conversation.

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Conflict Resolution Lessons from the Home: How Conflict Management Skills Transform Discord Into Harmony

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Every day diplomacy, such as resolving conflicts between family members, can inform negotiation strategies and negotiation techniques employed at the bargaining table. In this article, Bruce Feiler’s New York Times’ article “Lessons in Life Diplomacy” is examined from the perspective of broader dispute resolution and conflict management strategies.

Courses and Training

Practical Lessons from the Great Negotiators

Posted by & filed under 1 Day Courses, executive training.

How did Bruce Wasserstein, former Chairman and CEO of Lazard and one of the most successful dealmakers of all time, negotiate more than a thousand transactions worth hundreds of billions of dollars?

How did artists Christo and Jean-Claude overcome the objections of four mayors, as well as numerous boards and New York City residents, to pull off one of the greatest public (and controversial) public art installations of all time throughout Central Park?

How did Finnish President Marti Ahtisaari’s negotiation efforts lead to Kosovo’s independence and help end a decades-long, bloody conflict? Ten times, the Program on Negotiation has bestowed “The Great Negotiator Award” on an individual who has successfully negotiated against great odds to accomplish a worthy goal. In this fascinating, one-day session, you will have the rare opportunity to explore how these award recipients negotiated to overcome some of their most formidable challenges.

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Hong Kong Lawyer Benny Tai Inspired by Harvard Negotiation Project Authors

Posted by & filed under Teaching Negotiation.

The Harvard Negotiation Project was recently mentioned in the Wall Street Journal by David Feith in his interview with Benny Tai, “China’s New Freedom Fighters.”

Benny Tai, a 49 year old lawyer who has been branded an “enemy of the state,” founded Occupy Central with Love and Peace, a group that promotes civil disobedience in order to promote free elections in Hong Kong.

Among Tai’s inspirations include works from the Program on Negotiation’s Harvard Negotiation Project.

Courses and Training

Difficult Conversations

Posted by & filed under 1 Day Courses, executive training.

We all have conversations we anticipate with dread, because they may determine our fate and we don’t know how to make them succeed. Whether it’s trying to keep a customer happy without eroding your profit margin, address unacceptable behavior successfully without losing a high performer, close a critical acquisition without overpaying, or gain alignment on a strategic direction among competing factions without losing the commitment needed for successful implementation, executives face difficult conversations every day. From the boardroom to the factory floor, critical business results depend on whether these conversations are handled well or poorly, and too often they do not produce the results we want.

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Negotiation Pedagogy Video Series, Part III

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Sheila Heen and Melissa Manwaring

An unscripted video showing an experienced negotiation instructor running and debriefing the “Oil Pricing” exercise, interspersed with excerpts from a post-workshop interview with the instructor

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Issues of Gender in Salary Negotiations: The Negotiation Skills Women Need to Succeed at the Bargaining Table and Beyond

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Most negotiators will never engage in the kinds of high-stakes bargaining we read about in publications such as The Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times, but almost every negotiator will encounter the dreaded salary negotiation during the course of her career, a scenario that is, in many ways, the definition of a “difficult conversation.”

We stress preparation for negotiations in our literature and in our Negotiation and Leadership executive education course but both research and experience recognize that even the most prepared and adept negotiator can have her planning and negotiation preparation scuttled by unforeseen circumstances and invisible barriers.

That is why women often encounter difficulty during salary negotiations, according to a recent article by Tara Siegel Bernard for the New York Times. Self-advocating for a pay raise in the workplace often places women in the unenviable role of attempting, “…to juggle when they are on a tight rope.”

Courses and Training

Negotiation Workshop: Improving Your Negotiating Effectiveness

Posted by & filed under Harvard Negotiation Institute, Harvard Negotiation Institute (5 Day Courses).

Too many negotiators leave value on the table. They painfully divide a small pie after a costly battle while failing to capture offsetting opportunities for joint gain, or win the battle, but at the cost to relationships and reputation that limit long-term value. Reliably negotiating optimal outcomes requires a keen appreciation of the negotiation process, systematic preparation, and honed interpersonal skills. In this intensive, interactive program, you will acquire a framework, tools, techniques, and skills for maximizing the value of your negotiated outcomes by effectively navigating the negotiation process from setup to commitment to implementation.

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Daily

Conflict Management at the Office

Posted by & filed under Conflict Management.

Are you too eager to please? A desire to get along with others may be preventing you from addressing conflict in your workplace – and preventing you from advancing, writes Joann S. Lublin in a recent Wall Street Journal article.

Increasingly, employers are hiring and promoting leaders who are skilled at coping with conflict rather than avoiding it, according to Judith Glaser, the author of the new book Conversational Intelligence.

In an attempt to combat a culture of “artificial harmony,” for example, Southwest Airlines is now actively seeking to promote middle managers to executive positions based in part on their ability to bring conflict to the surface and work through it openly.

Courses and Training

Advanced Negotiation Workshop: Making Difficult Conversations Productive

Posted by & filed under Harvard Negotiation Institute, Harvard Negotiation Institute (5 Day Courses).

When negotiations become difficult, emotions often escalate and talks break down. To overcome barriers and turn negotiations from difficult to collaborative, from breakdown to breakthrough, you must learn to understand the inter- and intra-personal dynamics at play. In this program, you will examine how your own assumptions and behaviors can help create and perpetuate negotiation dynamics you desperately want to avoid, and learn how to modify even deeply held assumptions and enact new behaviors more likely to foster successful negotiations. You will learn the concepts and skills required to overcome difficult tactics and effectively respond to emotions — your own and others’ — so that you can initiate and maintain productive conversations even in complex situations with challenging counterparts. Through intensive personal coaching, you will also gain valuable insight into your own personal challenges and leave with proven techniques for greater negotiation success.

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Daily

Negotiation Skills: Giving Feedback. Who Needs It? It Might Be You

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

A Q&A with Sheila Heen, co-author (with Douglas Stone) of the new book, Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well.

We recently interviewed Sheila Heen, lecturer at Harvard Law School, PON Faculty member, and Partner at Triad Consulting Group, about her new book with Douglas Stone, Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well (Even When It’s Off Base, Unfair, Poorly Delivered, and Frankly, You’re Not in the Mood). Heen and Stone are co-authors, along with Bruce Patton, of the New York Times Business Bestseller Difficult Conversations. They have teamed up again to share their insights about what helps people learn and what gets in their way.

While the business world spends billions of dollars and millions of hours each year teaching us how to give feedback, Stone and Heen argue that we’ve got it backwards. Their new book demonstrates why the smart money is on educating receivers— both in the workplace and in personal relationships.

Courses and Training

Negotiation and Leadership: Dealing with Difficult People and Problems

Posted by & filed under Executive Education Seminars (3 Day Courses), executive training.

It’s often said that great leaders are great negotiators. But how does one become an effective negotiator? On-the-job experience certainly plays a role, but for most executives, taking their negotiation skills to the next level requires outside training. Designed to accelerate your negotiation capabilities, Negotiation and Leadership examines core decision-making challenges, analyzes complex negotiation scenarios, and provides a range of competitive and cooperative negotiation strategies. Whether you’re an experienced executive or and up-and-coming manager – working in the private or public sector – this program will help you shape important deals, negotiate in uncertain environments, improve working relationships, claim (and create) more value, and resolve seemingly intractable disputes. In short, this three-day executive education program will prepare you to achieve better outcomes at the table, every single time.

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Think Like a Mediator

Posted by & filed under Mediation.

To set the stage for a productive discussion, open a difficult conversation with the Third Story, advise the authors of Difficult Conversations. The Third Story is one an impartial observer, such as a mediator, would tell; it’s a version of events both sides can agree on. “The key is learning to describe the gap – or difference – between your story and the other person’s story. Whatever else you may think and feel, you can at least agree that you and the other person see things differently,” Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Heen write.

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Phoenix, The

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Sheila Heen and Michael Moffitt, based on a case by Doug Stone

Two-party negotiation between the director of a county tutoring program and a tutor regarding pay, work conditions, and job performance; ethnic differences are an issue

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Casino

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Sheila Heen, Scott Peppet and John Richardson

Two-party intra-organizational discussion between a newly-promoted manager and her division vice-president over work performance, responsibility for a new computer game project, and office environment issues

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