It’s a familiar practice in negotiation training: Students are divided up and assigned to engage in role-play exercises known as simulations. Each person reads confidential information about her role, the two (or more) players get together and negotiate, and then the class reconvenes to debrief the experiences.
Simulation took root as a common method for teaching negotiation because it allows students to practice their skills in a low-risk setting and requires them to confront common negotiation problems directly, among other benefits.
At the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School (PON), we are dedicated to helping professionals deal with hard bargainers and resolve even the most challenging disputes. To help you understand the principles of negotiation and conflict resolution, we put together a special report: Dealing With Difficult People.
Discover how to collaborate, negotiate, and bargain with even the most combative opponents. In Dealing With Difficult People, you’ll gain actionable strategies for:
Dealing with people who won’t give you what you want
Holding your ground in difficult situations
Negotiating effectively in the face of adversity
Scott Horsley, writer for National Public Radio’s “It’s All Politics,” recently interviewed Program on Negotiation faculty to discuss the negotiation strategies, and their pitfalls, currently being used by congressional Republicans and US President Barack Obama in the government shutdown negotiations.
Author of Bargaining With The Devil: When To Negotiate, When To Fight, Robert Mnookin advocates for Barack Obama to take a strong position at the bargaining table, but notes the risks: “Perhaps if he simply hangs tough, a week and a half from now, the Republicans will cave and he won’t have to do anything. But if it doesn’t happen, the consequences for all of us, for the American economy, are very, very serious.”
In past articles, we have highlighted a variety of psychological biases that affect negotiators, many of which spring from a reliance on intuition.
Of course, negotiators are not always affected by bias; we often think systematically and clearly at the bargaining table.
For the first time ever, the Program on Negotiation is offering a master-level course for negotiators. The program is highly personalized and taught by 4 negotiation experts from Harvard and MIT. If you are selected to participate, you will be assigned to small learning groups, take part in dynamic exercises with two-way feedback, work closely with faculty members to develop a strategy that addresses personal negotiation challenges, and particpate in intensive simulations.
Online learning is going through a renaissance. The Khan Academy is reaching millions with its decidedly low-tech approach while MIT and Harvard announced a very ambitious platform called edX just this month. Proponents think we can learn from the less successful efforts of the 1990s and get it right this time. On April 17th, a group of PON faculty and educators gathered to share their experiences and perspectives on what works well online, where we are falling short and what the future of online learning might look like when it comes to teaching negotiation. The panelists for the event were Lori Abrams, developer of an online-based Negotiation Strategies course at the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management, Peter McAteer, CEO of Corporate University Xchange (CorpU) and David Fairman, Managing Director of the Consensus Building Institute (CBI). The session was facilitated by Professor Lawrence Susskind from MIT.
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.
Sally Soprano is a distinguished soprano who is now somewhat past her prime. She has not had a lead role in two years but would like to revive her career. The Lyric Opera has a production scheduled to open in three weeks, but its lead soprano has become unavailable. Lyric’s representative has requested a meeting with Sally’s agent to discuss the possibility of hiring Sally for the production. Neither knows much about the other’s interests or alternatives. There is a wide-range of possible outcomes.
In a classic New Yorker cartoon, a dinner guest shows up for the party, hands the host a $20 bill, and announce that this was the amount he had planned to spend on a bottle of win before he ran out of time. Negotiation buffs might admire the guest for making an efficient tradeoff that saved him the effort of shopping and gave the host $20 to spend as he wished. But most people would view the guest’s behavior as highly inappropriate. Why?
On April 16, the Pulitzer Prize board announced its annual writing prizes, with two notable omissions: the board chose not to award Pulitzers in the categories of fiction and editorial writing. The reaction from the publishing industry to the Pulitzer’s fiction snub, in particular, was swift and hostile. “If I feel disappointment as a writer and indignation as a reader, I manage to get all the way to rage as a bookseller,” writes Ann Patchett, a fiction writer and bookstore owner, in a New York Times editorial.
The Pulitzer Board’s decision comes at a difficult time for the publishing industry, which has faced steadily declining book sales in recent years. And just five days before the Pulitzer announcement, the Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against five of the biggest U.S. publishers for colluding to set e-book prices. Now the industry must do without the annual boost the Pulitzer gives to the winning author and publisher – and cope with the implication that it was a miserable year for literary fiction.