Harvard University’s negotiation experts offer advice on deal negotiations when you’ve done everything right, but still can’t reach a final agreement.
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Courses and Training
In today’s world, the Devil has many faces—terrorist, kidnapper, suicide bomber, even the head of a rogue nation—and we rely on our nation’s leaders to make the appropriate decisions on coping with the threats these Devils pose. There are Devils, too, in our own lives. They may appear in corporate as well as private disputes. One business partner betrays the other. A competitor steals your company’s intellectual property. A spouse makes extortionist demands at the end of a marriage.
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.
Courses and Training
For organizations, feedback is at the heart of good leadership, effective teamwork, efficient problem solving, developing talent, and the ability to understand and serve the needs of clients and customers. And yet, few organizations or leaders feel they have it “right.”
Honest feedback, more often than not, isn’t given or is resisted. Senior leaders get less and less candid feedback as those below them hesitate to offend, or jeopardize, a strategic relationship. And so problems fester, and personal growth stalls.
The usual approach in the business world is to teach managers and leaders how to give feedback with little attention given on how to receive feedback. Learning how to respond to the spoken or unspoken, solicited or unsolicited, feedback that comes your way enables you to take charge of and accelerate your learning. And in the process, others in your organization will learn how to turn even the most unfair, off-base feedback into learning and change.
Over the years thousands of professional have participated in negotiation programs at the Program on Negotiation (PON) at Harvard Law School. And after a few months or years of putting their negotiation skills and techniques to work, participants inevitably ask us, what’s next?
The Program on Negotiation is pleased to announce the Negotiation Master Class, exclusively for PON alumni to be held November 5-7, 2014
To protect the future interests of their organization, negotiators sometimes must accept fewer benefits or absorb greater burdens in the short run to maximize the value to all relevant parties – including future employees and shareholders – over time.
Suppose that the operations VPs of two subsidiaries of an energy company are preparing to negotiate the location of a new energy source within the company. Beta, the energy source, is limited in supply, but it is inexpensive and efficient to use in the present and grows in potency over time.
Courses and 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.
This program is designed for anyone who teaches negotiation, dispute resolution, or conflict analysis across any field (e.g., law, business, international relations, social work, peace studies, public policy, urban planning, environmental studies, and engineering).
Negotiation trainers who provide on-site or online training to business or community clients should also attend so they can evaluate potential new materials to add to their instructional repertoire. A key benefit of attending is that you become part of an instructional community upon you which you can continue to consult and engage via the TNRC website.
Courses and Training
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.
Courses and Training
Mediating Disputes is currently full and registration has closed. To be added to the waitlist for this section, please click here and follow the instructions.
The success of any mediation is predicated on the skills of the mediator. In this popular program, you will acquire the practical skills and techniques for facilitating negotiations between disputing parties. From family and employment matters to public policy and business disagreements, you will discover effective ways to settle differences and mediate disputes across a variety of contexts. This program will provide you with core mediation skills and training and hands-on experience as a mediator in a variety of simulations.
In this article we explore the dreaded but very common scenario of a buyer’s dream home in the hands of an unreasonable, irrational, or even contentious seller. How do you generate integrative bargaining solutions in this kind of situation?
Courses and Training
Whether you’re a vice president, litigator, manager, or transactional attorney, negotiation is central to nearly every professional activity. Systematic and thorough preparation, as well as an ability to manage shared, different, and conflicting interests, is critical to success. Designed to address the core issues that you experience as you negotiate on behalf of your clients, organizations, or yourself, this intensive two-day program provides a theoretical framework for thinking about business and legal negotiations. You will address distinct challenges faced by lawyers and professionals – ranging from multi-party, complex negotiations to situations involving difficult people and behaviors – and acquire proven strategies for overcoming them.
Courses and Training
Turn disputes into deals. Transform deals into better deals. Resolve intractable problems. Negotiating effectively requires the ability to change the game – moving away from conflict and toward collaboration. In this intensive, interactive program, you acquire a proven framework for maximizing the value of your negotiation, whether you are behind the bargaining table with a client or across the table with an opposing party. Engaged with a professional group of peers, you will participate in discussions and simulations that cover a range of complex scenarios ranging from intellectual property, pricing, and licensing negotiations to international, domestic, public, and private disputes. You will refine your negotiation skills and leave with a set of strategies that you can use to deal with difficult negotiation behaviors and hard-bargaining tactics.
Courses and Training
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.
Changing financial and legal conditions can create and destroy wealth in the blink of an eye. How does a negotiator take advantage of such periods of change? During the financial crisis of 2008, Wachovia Corporation found itself looking for a buyer to avoid collapse while the financial industry as a whole was the grips of crisis and disintegration. The Wachovia negotiations offer excellent dealmaking examples of negotiating without preparation, or improvisation in negotiation. This article describes the events of that day and the lessons and negotiation skills negotiators can learn from it.
Courses and Training
In corporate dealmaking, much of the action happens away from the negotiating table. Successful dealmakers understand that deal set-up and design greatly influence negotiation outcomes. In this program, you will examine the legal, tactical, and structural elements of dealmaking and acquire practical skills and techniques for navigating difficult tactics and pursuing interest-based negotiations. Whether you are an experienced negotiator or new to the field, you will learn how to abandon behaviors that hinder negotiations and emerge with new conceptual frameworks, practical skills and a systematic approach to navigating complex business deals.
Imagine that you are buying a used car from its original owner. Of course, you want to get the best deal you can for your money, while your counterpart wants to maximize the value of his asset. After haggling with one another, each side finally arrives at a price point acceptable to both parties.
The above scenario is common in many transactional negotiations: you play your cards close and share as little information as needed to achieve the end goal.
Courses and Training
You’ve handled numerous mediation sessions with ease. You are confident in your mediation skills, especially between two parties who want a fair resolution. But how do the dynamics change when their lawyers join the session? What happens when the mediation expands to multiple parties who are bringing many issues to the table? Mediators are very often called upon to play a variety of roles, and success in these settings requires strategies, skills, and activities very different from what is required to mediate a 2-party dispute. This course presents two different settings – first, mediating with attorneys and parties, and, second, contending with multiple stakeholders – in which these advanced skills can be deployed.
Courses and Training
This highly interactive semester-length seminar explores the ways that people negotiate to create value and resolve disputes. Designed both to improve understanding of negotiation theory and to build negotiation skills, the curriculum integrates negotiation research from several academic fields with experiential learning exercises.
The legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. is marked by lofty ideals like equal rights, peace, and justice. That’s why the news that King’s three surviving children are locked in a “power struggle,” in the words of the Los Angeles Times, that has boiled over into two lawsuits and the need for conflict resolution concerning their father’s personal possessions and other material issues is disheartening.
Courses and Training
If you’re among those who qualify for this exceptional class, you’ll meet that former MBA student, distinguished Professor Guhan Subramanian. Professor Subramanian is one of four renowned negotiation experts from Boston’s academic elite who will lead the Harvard Advanced Negotiation Master Class. This is a remarkable opportunity for anyone who is ready to become a master dealmaker. As a graduate of this course, you can expect to …become the go-to negotiator at your company for the biggest deals, be in demand as a dealmaking consultant, command compensation commensurate with your new status, and achieve notable, profitable outcomes in every situation.
On December 8, 2014, Congressman-Elect Seth Moulton and Managing Director Susan Hackley co-presented at Harvard’s Herbert C. Kelman Seminar on International Conflict Analysis and Resolution. This seminar series is sponsored by the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, the Nieman Foundation for Journalism, the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy, The Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, and Boston area members of the Alliance for Peacebuilding. The theme for the Kelman Seminar is “Negotiation, Conflict and the News Media”.
Courses and 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.
At the Program on Negotiation (PON) at Harvard Law School, we know that learning from your peers can be extremely valuable. That’s why we’d like to ask you to share your experiences using the role-play simulations, videos, and other materials available through the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) at PON.
Our goal is for you to share your experiences teaching negotiations with us so we in turn can share your knowledge with our large online community of business leaders, negotiation teachers, instructors, facilitators, business leaders, and scholars.
Courses and Training
This course is designed to raise your awareness of your own approach to conflict, introduce a range of theories about mediation and participatory processes, and improve your conflict management skills. While we will discuss a wide range of dispute resolution processes that involve third parties, we will focus on mediation. Each class moves back and forth between theory and skills practice, using theory to improve real world effectiveness, and using experience to improve understanding of theory.
The following question was asked of Program on Negotiation faculty member and Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School profesor Guhan Subramanian: Question: I’m in a tough negotiation right now where the other side has made a very aggressive first offer. I know that I need to defuse his anchor, but I’m not sure how. What should I say and do? Answer: A well-known cognitive bias in negotiation, anchoring is the tendency to give too much weight to the first number put on the table and then inadequately adjust from that starting point.
Question: My business enters into lots of contracts, and disputes sometimes arise. We want to minimize the time and effort needed to resolve these disputes (for both ourselves and our business partners) in addition to increasing mutual satisfaction with the ultimate resolutions. We’re thinking of including a provision in our contracts requiring that all disputes undergo mediation before they proceed to a more formalized resolution mechanism. Is this a good idea?
What do a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, the CEO of an international financial advisory firm, and the former United States ambassador to the United Nations have in common? They’ve all received the Great Negotiator Award.
Every year, the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School bestows this prestigious honor on distinguished leaders whose lifelong accomplishments in the field of dispute resolution and negotiation have had compelling and lasting results.
In negotiation, what might seem like a stellar deal for everyone involved could backfire if you don’t factor in the impact of the agreement on those who aren’t at the table—a lesson that Apple and some of the largest U.S. book publishers are learning the hard way. Back in 2007, to boost sales of its fledgling Kindle, the first e-book reader on the market, Amazon began selling e-books at the rock-bottom price of $9.99. Five publishers—Simon & Schuster, Hachette Book Group, Penguin Group USA, Macmillan, and HarperCollins—disliked Amazon’s low, flat price, which they felt would undercut the sale of their new-release hardbacks, whose average cover price was $26.
Jim Sebenius, the Gordon Donaldson Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, and Director of the Harvard Negotiation Project, addressed these questions in his presentation at the NP@PON Faculty Dinner Seminar on October 7, 2010. His article, “Developing Negotiation Case Studies,” began as a memo to a novice case writer about how to write an effective negotiation case. Now it is a full-length article that will appear in a forthcoming issue of Negotiation Journal.
If you’ve ever come away from a negotiation asking questions like this, poor communication may be to blame, write Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton in their landmark book, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In (2nd Ed., Penguin Books, 1991).
The fallout from Iceland’s financial crisis offers a case study in dealing with those who have suffered a significant blow to their self-esteem. In late 2008, Iceland teetered on the edge of bankruptcy following the collapse of its three largest banks. Since becoming independent of the government in 2002, the banks had pursued a strategy of borrowing money abroad and offering high-interest loans to online lenders—a strategy that failed spectacularly when the global credit crisis hit. Most notably, investors in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands lost 4 billion euros ($5.8 billion) in the Landsbanki’s “Icesave” Internet savings accounts.
Negotiators succumb to these forces for two main reasons:
They don’t realize that their behavior is unethical, and even when they do, they justify their behavior as ethical in this particular case.
There are good negotiators and there are great ones.
Once a year, the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School selects an outstanding individual who embodies what it means to be a truly great negotiator. To earn the Great Negotiator Award, the honoree must be a distinguished leader whose lifelong accomplishments in the field of dispute resolution and negotiation have had compelling and lasting results.
To help students and professionals learn valuable lessons from these highly skilled negotiators, our Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) offers the Great Negotiator Case Study Series featuring in-depth studies such as “Stuart Eizenstat: Negotiating the Final Accounts of World War II” and “Lakhdar Brahimi: Negotiating a New Government for Afghanistan.”
As he entered his second term in office, President Obama set a goal of taking concrete steps to address global climate change. A global agreement on the issue is in sight, but a key obstacle stands in the way: the U.S. Senate. According to the Constitution, a president needs approval from a two-thirds majority of the Senate to enter into any legally binding treaty. Obama is eager to avoid what happened in 1997, when the Senate refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, a legally binding U.N. climate change treaty. Indeed, the odds of the Senate passing a similar treaty 17 years later are nil, reports Coral Davenport in the New York Times. In 2012, Republican senators blocked ratification of a U.N. treaty on equal rights that had been modeled on an American law and negotiated by Republican president George W. Bush. With the Senate unable to reach agreement on that treaty, Obama is trying a new strategy on the much more controversial issue of climate change: a workaround.
The Middle East Negotiation Initiative at the Program on Negotiation is pleased to present a public talk by Dr. Yair Hirschfeld on September 19th. Dr. Hirschfeld, who is best known as the “architect of the Oslo Process,” will discuss the history of Track II diplomacy efforts in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and analyze recent developments in the region and the challenges and opportunities they present.
When someone issues a threat or an ultimatum, take a step back and diagnose the problem. Consider how you would respond to threats and ultimatums such as these during negotiation. In the face of such tough talk, should you strike back with a counterthreat? Probably not. Because counterthreats raise the emotional temperature of a negotiation, they will get you even further off track. Instead, immediately after hearing a threat (or just after you issue one yourself), call for a break.
When you’re more tightly bound to an agreement than your counterpart is, trouble could follow. Manage your escalation of commitment—and level the playing field.
Read the following three examples and notice the differing levels of commitment between the two negotiating parties.
Consider these three real-life negotiating scenarios.
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.
CNN Tonight host Dan Lemon recently featured Program on Negotiation Chair Robert Mnookin along with fellow Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz, storied commentator Anne Coulter, and Peter Bergen, CNN national security analyst, for a panel discussion regarding the recent exchange of Taliban prisoner for US soldier, Bowe Bergdahl.
The night’s discussion centered on whether or not US President Barack Obama was remiss in releasing five Taliban prisoners in exchange for one US soldier who was being held by the Taliban.
The recent exchange between the United States and the Taliban of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban leaders held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, represented the first public prisoner exchange of a US soldier in the thirteen year US involvement in Afghanistan. The background of the deal including how Private First Class Bergdahl (promoted twice to Sergeant while in captivity) entered Taliban control, how the deal was crafted and executed, and what it means for the future have rapidly come forward in bits and pieces through media channels.
What is currently missing in the existing commentary is a holistic negotiation analysis. A negotiation analysis applies negotiation frameworks and theory to better understand the events that have taken place and the unfolding debates, and can provide insight into future negotiations. It also enables understanding by using a template that includes stakeholders, core interests, deal set-up and components, execution, and post-deal debate and legacy to allow for a focused discussion.
On May 13, Lakhdar Brahimi, U.N. special envoy to Syria, announced that he was quitting his position as lead mediator of the Syrian conflict due to frustration with a lack of progress. The same day, a French diplomat said the Syrian government had used chemical weapons more than 12 times after signing a treaty banning the weapons, according to the New York Times.
“It’s very sad that I leave this position and leave Syria behind in such a bad state,” Brahimi told reporters.
He was the second high-level mediator to abandon the conflict. In 2012, former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan gave up his efforts to negotiate an end to the civil war after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government failed to implement the six-point plan that Annan had negotiated between the government and opposition leaders.
When times are tight, contracts are often broken. These days, parties on both sides of sales agreements are struggling to fulfill their promises, and contract workers are having trouble getting paid by their employers.
The result? Damaged relationships, lost business, and lawsuits. When you do manage to find new business partners in this climate, it can be tempting to rush through the contract-drafting process, file the document away quickly, and roll up your sleeves.
On April 9, Israel said it was “deeply disappointed” by remarks by Secretary of State John Kerry that seemed to primarily blame Israel for the current breakdown in U.S.-mediated Middle East peace talks, as reported in the New York Times.
Last July, the United States brought Israel and the Palestinians back together for a series of talks set to span nine months. Each side set a condition to sitting down and staying at the table: Israel pledged to release 104 Palestinian prisoners in four groups over the course of the nine months, and the Palestinians vowed not to join any international bodies during this time.
But the talks eventually became bogged down over borders, security, the future of Jerusalem, the fate of Palestinian refugees, and other issues, the Times reports.
Join us for a conversation with Ambassador Tommy Koh of Singapore, the recipient of the 2014 Great Negotiator Award. This public program will feature panel discussions with Ambassador Koh and faculty from the Program on Negotiation and the Future of Diplomacy Project. The award recognizes Ambassador Koh for his work as chief negotiator for the United States-Singapore Free Trade Agreement, for chairing the negotiations that produced a charter for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), for key actions that resolved territorial and humanitarian disputes in the Baltics and Asia, and for successfully leading two unprecedented global megaconferences: the Third U.N. Conference on the Law of the Sea and the U.N. Conference on the Environment and Development, also known as the Rio Earth Summit.
In February, the news that Facebook would pay an astounding $19 billion to acquire text-messaging start-up WhatsApp caused jaws to drop across the tech world and beyond.
Jan Koum, a Ukrainian immigrant, and his friend Brian Acton launched WhatsApp in 2009 with the goal of creating a text-messaging application that would connect users with family and friends abroad at a low cost. Since its inception, WhatsApp has been ad-free. It now has 450 million global users who pay a 99-cent annual fee for this service.
The passage of the 1990 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) fundamentally shifted relationships between museums and Native American tribes. Because it is federal legislation, NAGPRA defines the circumstances, and structure of the negotiation process in the repatriation of sacred objects and other cultural patrimony. Case studies will reveal how outcomes framed within, and beyond, NAGPRA can support restorative justice, educational collaboration, and best negotiation practices for museums and tribes.
In the face of antitrust charges, Google’s new guiding principle is “Don’t litigate, negotiate,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
In recent years, U.S. and European regulators have accused Google of abusing its dominance in online searches by promoting its own services, such as Google Shopping, at the expense of its competitors’ services. Rival comparison-sites such as Nextag complain that Google lists their products far below Google Shopping results, where they are less likely be found, in consumer searches.
Every year the Program on Negotiation sponsors fellows and visiting scholars while they research and write about topics important to the fields of negotiation and mediation. This lunch provides an opportunity for this year’s two Graduate Research Fellows, Alexandros Sarris and Sarah Woodside, and Visiting Scholar Stefanos Mouzas to share their findings with the negotiation community. Join us for a fascinating hour of informal lecture and discussion.
Dr. Mohamed M. Keshavjee will discuss his new book, Islam, Sharia and Alternative Dispute Resolution, which provides an informed and thorough discussion of the relevance of Sharia and its principles that affirm equity, justice and basic human rights, and its interface with the UK’s official judicial system.
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.
We at the Program on Negotiation wish all of our friends a very happy holiday season. We are honored to work with you in helping improve the theory and practice of negotiation, conflict management, and problem-solving, at home and around the world. Best wishes for a joyful 2014!
Nelson Mandela was “the greatest negotiator of the twentieth century,” wrote Robert H. Mnookin in his seminal book, Bargaining with the Devil, When to Negotiate, When to Fight. In his chapter on Mandela, Mnookin cites Mandela’s patience, tenacity, pragmatism, and strategic thinking.
“He rejected the simple-minded notion that one must either negotiate with the Devil or forcibly resist. He did both. He was willing to make concessions, but not about what was most important to him. With respect to his key political principles, he was unmovable.”
Mnookin admired Mandela’s ability to persuade his adversaries.
“He ultimately achieved through negotiation an outcome that could never have been accomplished solely through violence or resistance. “
Stefanos Mouzas is Professor of Marketing and Strategy at Lancaster University Management School in England, where he is also affiliated with the Center of Law and Society. He received his B.Sc. (Economics) from the University of Athens, LL.M. (Contract Law) from University of Bristol, and Ph.D. (Marketing) from Lancaster University. He was Visiting Professor at University of Bocconi (2009), Singapore Management University (2010), University of Duesseldorf (2010-13) and Vienna University of Economics and Business WU (2013).
The MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program, one of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School’s many research programs, acts as a center for research committed to thinking about and resolving disputes in the public sector. Led by its Director and Program on Negotiation executive committee member Lawrence Susskind, the MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program conducts research dealing with international environmental treaty negotiations, public sector consensus building, and advocating for the importance of the science behind any negotiations about resource management.
Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School Chair and Samuel Williston Professor of Law Robert Mnookin wrote for CNN’s Opinion about the government shutdown negotiations between congressional Republicans and United States President Barack Obama. To read “How Obama and Boehner Can Get to ‘Yes’ ,” please click here.
The Washington Post’s “On Leadership” column by Jenna McGregor asked renowned negotiation experts on how the government shutdown in Washington, DC could be ended at the bargaining table.
Among the experts interviewed were Robert Mnookin, Chair of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School (PON) and author of Bargaining With The Devil: When To Negotiate, When To Fight, Robert Bordone, PON Executive Committee member and co-author with mediation pioneer Frank E.A. Sander of “Designing Systems and Processes for Managing Disputes,” and William Ury, co-founder of PON and co-author of “Getting to Yes,” a foundational work in the field of negotiation written in collaboration with PON co-founders Bruce Patton and Roger Fisher.
The Program on Negotiation, an inter-university consortium of Harvard, MIT, and Tufts, and Harvard’s Future of Diplomacy Project have named Ambassador Tommy Koh of Singapore the recipient of the 2014 Great Negotiator Award. In public events at Harvard planned for the afternoon of Thursday, April 10, 2014 (details to be announced), participants will honor Koh’s distinguished career contributions to the fields of negotiation and dispute resolution, especially his leading roles in challenging settings, from the Law of the Sea and the “Rio” Earth Summit to the ASEAN Charter and the Singapore-U.S. Free Trade Agreement.
Program on Negotiation faculty member and Director of the Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program at Harvard Law School, Robert Bordone, and HNMCP clinical instructor Alonzo Emery recently published an article for NPR’s Cognoscenti titled “What Obama Should Say About Syria,” in which he discusses the opportunity the crisis in Syria presents for US President Barack Obama to communicate the values that inform American leadership.
Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School faculty member Erica Ariel Fox recently published an article for Forbes.com discussing the inner negotiations that she advises leaders to focus on when formulating theirnegotiation strategy and how this relates to US President Barack Obama’s deliberations with regard to the crisis in Syria.
On June 5, 2013, Shades Israeli and Palestinian fellows walked the Abraham Path in Israel’s Negev on a guided tour organized by PON Senior Fellow Shula Gilad, visiting Jewish and Arab villages on the route, learning about the Abrahamic tradition of the societies, their current challenges and success. As is the case for others who have walked the path, the fellows had a unique opportunity to walk and talk, learning about the history of the area from tour guide and archaeologist Avner Goren. Shades fellows have been learning with each other since April 2013.
Program on Negotiation and Harvard Law School faculty member Gabriella Blum’s essay “Invisible Threats,” co-authored with Benjamin Wittes of the Brookings Institution, was featured on the Harvard Law School website.
In a panel discussion about her research, Professor Blum explained her perspective on the growing threat of technology to peace and how the accessibility of this technology is changing the ways in which nations and people wage warfare.
Test your knowledge. Sharpen your skills. Become a better negotiator.
Join fellow professionals, executives, graduate students, and community members for the Negotiation and Dispute Resolution Seminar to learn how to skillfully negotiate to create value and resolve disputes.
Founded in 1983, the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School is a pioneer in the fields of negotiation, mediation, and alternative dispute resolution.
In commemoration of the program’s 30th anniversary this year, the Program on Negotiation is proud to present a video describing many of PON’s various educational and research activities.
According to Chair Robert Mnookin, at its core the Program on Negotiation is devoted to improving the theory and practice of negotiation and dispute resolution.
The transfer of an agreement from negotiators to lawyers or other professional deal drafters can introduce three main types of mistakes. Read on to discover how you can avoid making these same mistakes at the bargaining table during your next dealmaking negotiation session.
On May 19, Internet company Yahoo announced that it was purchasing the blogging service Tumblr for about $1.1 billion in cash. The acquisition could put a fresh face on the aging Internet company and provide it with a profitable revenue source—or it could turn out to be another instance of the Web pioneer overpaying for a start-up and failing to nurture it, as was the case after Yahoo bought Flickr and GeoCities.
On Saturday, April 20, 2013, the Program on Negotiation co-hosted a conference on “Confronting Evil: Interdisciplinary Perspectives,” in partnership with the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard University and the Volkswagen Foundation.
Congratulations to the graduates of Harvard Law School’s Class of 2013 and appreciation to Harvard University President Drew Gilpin Faust at today’s graduation events for recognizing the Program on Negotiation’s Confronting Evil Conference, cosponsored by the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard and the Volkswagen Foundation, as one of the many ways HLS seeks to solve the world’s problems.
Whether you have one of its ubiquitous products or even its rivals’ offerings, you most certainly have heard of Apple, the United States electronics giant whose phoenix-like rise to the top of the business world has inspired legions of fans and detractors alike.
Started in a garage in California, Apple has grown into a technological powerhouse of innovation that has changed the way the world works and lives. Along the way, the company has demonstrated unparalleled business acumen and leadership, both commercially and through leaders like Steve Jobs and current CEO Tim Cook.
On November 1, 2012, Professor Kerri Johnson from the University of California, Los Angeles, delivered a talk at the Harvard Kennedy School. Her lecture, entitled “Social Perceptions at the Crossroads: Why Sex (Still) Impacts the Perception and Evaluation of Other Status-Linked Identities,” was part of a year-long research seminar co-sponsored by the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School and the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard Kennedy School. Watch Professor Johnson’s entire presentation here:
Today’s Confronting Evil: Interdisciplinary Conference will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Emerson Hall on the Harvard University Campus. All four panels will be presented today.
The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School and the Middle East Initiative at the Harvard Kennedy School held a panel discussion following a screening of My Neighborhood, a Just Vision documentary. The podcast is now available.
Negotiators talk about building agreement, bluffing the opposition, and volleying offers back and forth. According to mediator Thomas Smith, careful attention to such metaphors can reveal deeper meaning beneath the explicit words that people use, notably regarding how they view the negotiation process and their relationship to one another.
As direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations appear to have ground to an indefinite halt, attention has shifted to other, less conventional methods for achieving mutually desirable outcomes for the two peoples. Tonight’s panelists will discuss the potential of alternatives including Track II diplomacy, isolated areas of coordination, a pro-active role of the third party and even unilateral action.
Recent Harvard Law School Graduate Grant Strother ’12 was selected to receive The International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (CPR) Outstanding Original Student Article Award for his paper, “Resolving Cultural Property Disputes in the Shadow of the Law.” This award recognizes a student article or paper that is focused on events or issues in the field of ADR.
The Program on Negotiation will present an episode of The Advocates, an award winning television show created in 1969 by the late Roger Fisher.
This presentation by Karen Lee Bar-Sinai and Prof. Robert Mnookin is the fourth seminar exploring the role of urban planning in negotiation, co-sponsored by the Middle East Negotiation Initiative (MENI) at the Program on Negotiation and the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
Katrin Bennhold, staff writer for the International Herald Tribune, and Paula Gutlove, Professor of Negotiation and Conflict Management Practice at the Simmons College School of Management, will present a talk on Women and Negotiation.
The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School and the Middle East Initiative at the Harvard Kennedy School are pleased to present a screening of “My Neighborhood,” a new Just Vision documentary. A panel discussion will be held after the screening with Julia Bacha, director/producer of My Neighbourhood.
Though Congress and the President were able to reach a deal and avoid the dreaded fiscal cliff, both sides engaged in some tough negotiating which has both bewildered and captivated the United States for months. Given all of the posturing and tough talk, some may ask: Is there a method to this madness?
This presentation by Karen Lee Bar-Sinai and Prof. Robert Mnookin is the third of four seminars exploring the role of urban planning in negotiation, co-sponsored by the Middle East Negotiation Initiative (MENI) at the Program on Negotiation and the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School Chair Robert Mnookin was recently invited to a panel discussion on San Francisco radio station KQED’s ‘Forum’ to discuss the fiscal cliff negotiations.
Negotiating by email poses a set of challenges that one doesn’t often encounter in face-to-face negotiations.
Without the benefit of seeing your counterpart’s body language, what one person might intend to be a straightforward request the other might perceive to be rude.
A legitimate delay responding to an email offer by one party might be construed by the other as a dirty negotiating tactic. If the subject matter being negotiated has an emotional element, the lack of seeing the other party’s facial expression could lead to big misunderstandings.
How can we avert a full-throttle drive over the fiscal cliff? Despite some promising signs of movement on both sides of the aisle, the current negotiation approach – positional bargaining – is bound to bring us dangerously close to the edge.
The standoff between recently re-elected Democrat President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans has focused attention on the negotiation styles employed by the two parties as they seek to secure their interests while also working toward the resolution of the current budgetary battle.
Yaakov Katz, a correspondent for The Jerusalem Post and Jane’s Defence Weekly, and Prof. Robert Mnookin, the Samuel Williston Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, will discuss Unilateral Initiatives in the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict.
The Program on Negotiation, the Environmental Law Program at Harvard Law School and the Harvard Law Documentary Studio are pleased to present a screening of The Island President with post-screening discussion led by Hardy Merriman, Senior Advisor at the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict.
This presentation by Karen Lee Bar-Sinai and Prof. Robert Mnookin is the second of four seminars exploring the role of urban planning in negotiation, co-sponsored by the Middle East Negotiation Initiative (MENI) at the Program on Negotiation and the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
Great Negotiator Award winner and former United States trade representative (1997-2001) to Japan and China, Ambassador Charlene Barshefsky visited Harvard Law School to speak with students in HLS Clinical Professor Robert Bordone’s Advanced Negotiations Workshop course on October 3.
The case of Jordan and Israel shows how even countries at war can negotiate a water agreement if it is framed in non-zero sum terms and trust continues to be built over time. And that is not the only case of a treaty that has succeeded against all odds to bridge conflicting water interests; the Indus Waters Treaty between India and Pakistan and the Ganges Water Treaty between Bangladesh and India are other examples.
It is the spring of 1997 and I am sitting in Pound 107 while Roger Fisher ’48, Williston Professor of Law, Emeritus, is telling a story about his serving as a weather reconnaissance pilot in World War II. As a teaching assistant for the Negotiation Workshop, I have heard the story at least a dozen times by now and feel my mind wandering. And yet, against my will, as the story reaches its crescendo and the combination punch line/negotiation issue flows from Roger’s lips, I find myself involuntarily leaning forward and, a second later, helplessly bursting into laughter. The note I jot down to myself is: “All of life is about who tells better stories.”
Roger Fisher, co-founder of the Program on Negotiation and the Harvard Negotiation Project, died on August 25 at age 90. A true pioneer and leader, he helped launch a new way of thinking about negotiation, and he worked tirelessly to help people deal productively with conflict.
“Through his writing and teaching, Roger Fisher’s seminal contributions literally changed the way millions of people around the world approach negotiation and dispute resolution,” commented Professor Robert H. Mnookin, Chair of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. “He taught that conflict is not simply a ‘zero-sum’ game in which a fixed pie is divided through haggling or threats. Instead, he showed how by exploring underlying interests and being imaginative, parties could often expand the pie and create value. Here at the Program on Negotiation and the Harvard Negotiation Project, both of which Roger helped launch, we, his colleagues, are committed to carrying on his work of improving the theory and practice of negotiation and dispute resolution.”
Another option for dealing with difficult negotiations is to craft what Harvard Law School professor Robert C. Bordone calls a “workaround” – a strategy for meeting your current goals without the involvement or support of your adversary. You might be able to induce a yes with a tempting concession on a key issue, according to Bordone. Offering a concession can be a risky strategy, as it may only encourage someone to push for more. But if a concession would allow you to move beyond that person once and for all, it may be your best option.
The Harvard Negotiation & Mediation Clinical Program (HNMCP) is nominated for an Innovating Justice Award for its proposal, “Retooling Legal Education and Dispute Systems Designers.”
Karen Lee Bar-Sinai is the director and co-founder of SAYA/Design for Change (www.sayarch.com). SAYA is based in Israel and specializes in what can be called “peace architecture” — using planning and design to support decision-making, negotiations and peace processes in areas of conflict. Bar-Sinai’s talk will explore how urban design thinking and planning can aid the negotiation process in general.
You’re close to a deal, but concerns linger. Some of the contract seems less than precise. What in the world does “reasonable best efforts” mean, for example, or “good faith”? Negotiators in this commonplace situation face a choice: push for more precision now or sign the deal and hope the ambiguities won’t cause trouble down the road.
Roger Fisher, one of the cofounders of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School and Samuel Williston Professor of Law, Emeritus, was honored on the 8th of April with a celebration of his career, research, and contributions to both the HLS community and the field of negotiation.
Reading groups at Harvard Law School, consisting of 2Ls and 3Ls, present faculty and students with opportunities to study with one another in a less formal setting. Additionally, students are encouraged and are able to gain an in-depth knowledge of the particular reading group’s subject matter.
The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, in conjunction with the Future of Diplomacy Project at Harvard Kennedy School, honored distinguished statesman and former Secretary of State James A. Baker III as the recipient of their Great Negotiator Award for 2012. Secretary Baker served under President George H.W. Bush from 1989 to 1992.
A panel discussion was held on the afternoon of March 29 and included Program on Negotiation faculty members James Sebenius and Robert Mnookin, as well as Harvard Kennedy School faculty member Nicholas Burns. The Great Negotiator Award was created twelve years ago by the Program on Negotiation to recognize an individual whose lifetime achievements in the field of negotiation and dispute resolution have had a lasting impact.
Max H. Bazerman sat down with Sean Silverthorne of Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge to discuss goal setting and how to effectively set goals on an individual and organizational level.
Researchers from top business schools have collaborated on research demonstrating that, in some cases, goal setting may actually do more harm than good.
I want to make four simple points regarding corporate social responsibility and mineral extraction in Colombia. I presented these ideas several weeks ago at a Harvard Law School seminar sponsored by the Colombian government. We had senior officials present along with a great many Colombian graduate students studying at Boston-area schools. I think these prescriptions apply globally, but they are especially relevant in Latin America.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) provides a new point of entry for those concerned about the social and environmental impacts of mineral extraction.
Program on Negotiation faculty member and Harvard Law School faculty member Gabriella Blum was appointed Rita E. Hauser Professor of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law on April 10, 2012. To commemorate the occasion, Blum delivered a lecture entitled “The Fog of Victory” in which she discussed the meaning of victory in modern warfare.
In her opening remarks, Dean Minow stated that it was the highest honor Harvard Law School could bestow upon its faculty is to be named to hold a Chair and called Gabriella Blum “…a pathbreaking scholar.” The Rita E. Hauser Professor of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law chair is named for a visionary HLS alumna named Rita E. Hauser, who served as an adviser to presidents of the United States and Harvard University.
I was recently asked by my Harvard Law School class to summarize what we know (from actual experience) about environmental dispute resolution. I offered the following list. I’m eager to hear reactions from other scholars and practitioners.
What have I left out? What have I misstated?
During his years as George H.W. Bush’s Secretary of State, one of James A. Baker, III’s, goals was to encourage the free-market reforms that Communist Party of the Soviet Union General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev had launched in the late 1980s. One day during his tenure, a high-level Bush Administration commented in the press that Gorbachev’s efforts were sure to fail. Baker called Bush to complain.
“I said, you can’t have other people pontificating about these major foreign policy matters when this is one of our goals, and it’s totally contrary to our policy,” he said. “So they cut the knees off of this particular individual, and we didn’t hear that anymore.”
During his years as George H.W. Bush’s Secretary of State, one of James A. Baker, III’s, goals was to encourage the free-market reforms that Communist Party of the Soviet Union General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev had launched in the late 1980s. One day during his tenure, a high-level Bush administration official commented in the press that Gorbachev’s efforts were sure to fail. Baker called Bush to complain. “I said, you can’t have other people pontificating about these major foreign policy matters when this is one of our goals, and it’s totally contrary to our policy,” he said. “So they cut the knees off of this particular individual, and we didn’t hear that anymore.”
Baker shared this story on March 29 while receiving the 2012 Great Negotiator Award from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School and the Future of Diplomacy Project at Harvard Kennedy School. In discussion with Harvard faculty at the Great Negotiator event, Baker elaborated on his greatest challenges as Secretary of State and shared negotiation lessons learned over the course of his long, successful career as a lawyer, campaign manager, and diplomat.
With beautiful weather outside and the cherry blossom season in full bloom, over 1000 attendees filled the American Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section’s conference halls as it held its 14th annual conference in Washington, D.C.
On Saturday, April 21, the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution honored Frank Sander, A.B., LL.B., Bussey Professor of Law Emeritus and Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School faculty member, for his outstanding scholarly work in the field of dispute resolution.
Unless your official title is “lawyer” or “agent” you probably don’t think of yourself as an agent. But if you’ve ever represented a family member, your boss, your department, or your organization in a negotiation, you’ve served as that party’s agent.
Representing others at the bargaining table creates both opportunities and hazards. In their book, Negotiating on Behalf of Others (Sage, 1999), professors Robert Mnookin of Harvard Law School and Lawrence Susskind of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology offer guidance to negotiators who find themselves serving as agents.
Imagine that you are about to begin a negotiation whose subject matter is squarely within your area of responsibility at my company. However, the dollar amounts at stake are so large that you are tempted to kick it upstairs to your boss, or at least involve your boss directly in the negotiation. What are the pros and cons of doing so?
The Dark Side: Reporting on the War on Terror
with Roger Cohen, New York Times Foreign Correspondent, and
Carlotta Gall, New York Times Reporter
Date: December 5, 2011
Time: 4:00-6:00 PM
Where: CGIS South, 1730 Cambridge Street, Room S-030 (Concourse Level)
The Criminalization of Conflict Resolution
Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project’s Impact on
ADR and Human Rights Work
Harvard Negotiation Law Review, Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School,
and the Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program
As a collaboration between UST School of Law and the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, the following is the transcript of a conversation between the creator of the multi-door courthouse, Harvard Law Professor Frank E.A. Sander, and the executive director and founder of the University of St. Thomas (UST) International ADR [Alternative Dispute Resolution] Research Network, Professor Mariana Hernandez Crespo.
How can you negotiate the best possible price for a new car? This is a common negotiation question, and naturally so. A car is one of the most significant purchases you’ll ever make—and the price is almost always negotiable. Here are a few tips to improve your performance:
According to conventional wisdom, small talk builds rapport and gets both sides a better deal in the end. But in fact, the question of whether to engage in small talk can be highly context-specific. New York City investment bankers, for example, tend to be far less likely than Texas oil executives to engage in small talk at the outset of a negotiation.
Ron McAfee, a carpenter and roofing expert, spent considerable time working with a condominium association on the design of a new roof deck. After gaining agreement on the proposed layout, design, and materials, McAfee submitted a written bid of $12,500. One of the board members subsequently showed McAfee’s plans to another roofer, who offered to do the job for $10,250. The condo association voted unanimously to go with the cheaper roofer, and McAfee was left with nothing to show for his time and effort.
Professor Robert Mnookin, Chair of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School is featured on the Harvard Law School website homepage this week.
At one time or another, most of us have confronted a fellow negotiator who seemed intent on blocking even our most reasonable requests and actions. This was the situation faced by Alexis, the CIO at a midsize publishing company. Phil, the company’s CEO, hired Alexis to create an online information system tailored to the needs of their largest customers.
Most everyday auctions are English: they begin with an opening bid, continue with ascending bids, and end when the bidding stops. But for some assets, the seller opens at a very high price, then moves down rather than up if all bidders are silent.
The benefits of hiring an agent are well known. Yet negotiation experts often overlook the ways in which you can use the other side’s agent to your advantage.
Suppose you work for a specialty bicycle manufacturer and have negotiated a one-year contract to buy 500 headlamps per month from a supplier for $10 each, with payment due 30 days after receipt. The seller makes five deliveries; you promptly pay $5,000 after each shipment. The seller fails to make the sixth delivery, however, and announces it will not be able to make any of the remaining shipments because of a production glitch that has made the headlamps extremely expensive to produce. What recourse do you have?
In an interview with the Boston Globe, Professor Robert H. Mnookin, Chair of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, responds to the national debate on the arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Lewis Gates, Jr..
Mnookin calls for mediation to resolve the conflict between Prof. Gates and the arresting officer. Click here to read the full article.
Click here to read what the Wall Street Journal also has to say about Prof. Mnookin’s call for mediation.
Read what the Denver Nuggets VP of basketball operations Mark Warkentien has to say about the skills he learned in our five day workshop held this June at Harvard Law School.
Welcome to the new website for the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School! As we come fully online, we welcome your comments and patience as we finish launching the new site. We hope to be a resource for you by providing comprehensive information on all aspects of negotiation and conflict management through our research, conferences, courses, publications, and special events. We hope you find this website useful and come back often!
The winners of Harvard Law School’s 56th annual Williston competition were announced on Tuesday, April 28. The competition, sponsored by the Board of Student Advisers and organized and run by Harvard Negotiators, offers first-year students the opportunity to practice negotiation and contract drafting. Teams of two students participate in the competition which focuses primarily on negotiation and contract drafting.