negotiations

Learn how to negotiate like a diplomat, think on your feet like an improv performer, and master job offer negotiation like a professional athlete when you download a FREE copy of Negotiation Skills: Negotiation Strategies and Negotiation Techniques to Help You Become a Better Negotiator.

The following items are tagged negotiations.

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Crisis Negotiations and Negotiation Skills Insights from the New York City Police Department Hostage Negotiations Team

Posted by & filed under Crisis Negotiations.

Few negotiators can imagine negotiation scenarios more stressful than the kinds of crisis negotiations the New York City Police Department’s Hostage Negotiation Team undertake.

The Program on Negotiation received an article from Jeff Thompson and Hugh McGowan, Ph.D., outlining the techniques and strategies that the New York City Police Department Hostage Negotiations Team employ while dealing with high-stakes, high-pressure crisis negotiation situations.

Jeff Thompson, a NYPD Detective, is a research scholar at Columbia University School of Law and a Ph.D. candidate at the Griffith University Law School in Queensland, Australia. Hugh McGowan is a former commanding officer of the NYPD’s Hostage Negotiation Team, having led the HNT for 13 years. The NYPD Hostage Negotiations team handles more crisis negotiations in one month than most departments do in a year and, in 2012 alone, the department handled 400 such negotiations, one of which was well over 50 hours long and included a team of 17 crisis negotiators.

Courses and Training

Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well- NEW!

Posted by & filed under 1 Day Courses, executive 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.

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Caitlin’s Challenge

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Deborah M. Kolb, with the Simmons College Graduate School of Management, and the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School


“Caitlin’s Challenge” is a short case recounting Caitlin Elliot’s history at a company called Microenterprises Incorporated and her negotiation with its CEO, George Baker, about a promotion and a bonus. The case is good for discussion about what makes negotiating for oneself in an organization more difficult than negotiating on behalf of others. The video can be analyzed using a moves and turns framework and it ideal for management and leadership courses in addition to negotiation and conflict resolution courses.

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ISIS, International Negotiation, and a Refusal to Communicate

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

Business negotiators sometimes face the difficult question of whether to negotiate with someone they believe to be immoral, untrustworthy, or otherwise undesirable as a negotiating partner. In his book Bargaining with the Devil: When to Negotiate, When to Fight (Simon & Schuster, 2011), Program on Negotiation chair Robert Mnookin offers advice on the complex question of whether to negotiate with an unsavory party. The question becomes all the more complex when we would be negotiating not on our own behalf, but representing someone else. Turning to the realm of international negotiations, that issue came to the forefront upon the killing of journalist James Foley by the terrorist group the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) on August 19. In interviews with the New York Times, members of Foley’s family described the confusion and stress they faced when they found themselves virtually alone in trying to negotiate his release. About a year after Foley’s capture in Syria in November 2012, ISIS sent an email to his brother, Michael Foley, that revealed the group wanted money for Foley’s release. A follow-up email demanded about $130 million in ransom and the release of Muslim prisoners from the United States.

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Power Of Noticing (The)

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A guide to making better decisions, noticing important information in the world around you, and improving leadership skills.

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Negotiation Case Studies: Teach By Example

Posted by & filed under Teaching Negotiation.

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.”

Courses and Training

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Good For You, Great For Me

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Win at win-win negotiating! Find trades that create much more value than either you or your opponent thought possible while satisfying the interests of your back table – the people to whom you report.

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Negotiation Skills: Which Negotiating Style Is Best?

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Is one negotiating style “better” than another? Most research suggests that negotiators with a primarily cooperative style are more successful than hard bargainers at reaching novel solutions that improve everyone’s outcomes. Negotiators who lean toward cooperation also tend to be more satisfied with the process and their results, according to Weingart. At the same time, claiming value and lobbying tenaciously for your position can be equally important negotiation strategies.

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Negotiation Role Play: Negotiating with the Ministry of Health

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Larry Susskind (MIT), Ona Ferguson, and Meredith Sciarrio

Two, separate, two-person, non-scorable negotiations: one between Technical Co-chairs from the Center for Disease Control and USAID; the other between a CDC Technical Co-Chair and the Minister of Health in the imaginary host country of Sabada.

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The Moral Quandry: Negotiation Exercises Featuring Ethical Dilemmas

Posted by & filed under Teaching Negotiation.

In a negotiation, few issues heighten tensions faster than when one party feels that the other party has done something ethically or morally incorrect.
To help professionals prepare for times like this, the Program on Negotiation’s Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) offers a variety of negotiation exercises designed to teach participants how to handle disputes that are fraught with ethical issues.

Courses and Training

Leveraging the Power of Emotions As You Negotiate

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

We all experience emotionally challenging conflicts and negotiations. Whether you are negotiating with your board or with your family, over internal resources or with external partners, as the buyer or as the seller, emotions can turn an otherwise productive negotiation into an unprofitable disaster.It does not have to be that way. In this interactive workshop, you will discover a powerful framework to help you better understand and address the challenging, emotional dynamics that arise in your everyday negotiations and conflicts. This course will provide a framework that you can immediately put to use to help you deal more effectively with everything from office politics to external relations to customer loyalty.Read more

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Negotiation Role Play: Negotiating with Another Federal Agency

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Larry Susskind (MIT), Ona Ferguson, and Meredith Sciarrio

Two, separate, two-person, non-scorable negotiations: one between Technical Co-chairs from the Center for Disease Control and USAID; the other between a CDC Technical Co-Chair and the Minister of Health in the imaginary host country of Sabada.

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Win-Win Negotiations: Is Your Bargaining Style Holding You Back?

Posted by & filed under Win-Win Negotiations.

All of us have a personal approach to negotiation. Here’s how to make the most of yours.

Your boss has asked you and a colleague to collaborate on a marketing campaign for your small company. At your first meeting, you and Jeff, your colleague, present several proposals to each other. You believe Jeff’s plans aren’t very good and that one of your proposals is the clear winner. But Jeff suggests you work together to “merge” your good ideas. Will you negotiate for your preferred proposal?

Courses and Training

Understanding Diplomacy and International Negotiations

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

Going far beyond war and peace, international negotiation spans issues ranging from global warming to foreign debt to human rights. Offered for first time in conjunction with Negotiation and Leadership, this dynamic full-day program will explore contemporary issues in international negotiations and diplomacy. Utilizing a combination of theoretical analysis, case studies, and simulations, this program will focus on negotiating across and behind the table and provide strategies and tactics for practicing diplomacy and undertaking international negotiations.
This one-day course, which takes place June 23, 2011, is based on Professor Salacuse’s books The Global Negotiator—Making, Managing, and Mending Deals Around the World in the Twenty-First Century and the Seven Secrets for Negotiating with Government. Participants will be provided with both books at the workshop as part of the course.

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Browning Brothers Search

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Jeswald W. Salacuse

Five- to six-person negotiation between search committee members asked to reach consensus on characteristics needed for a new leader to right a financial company in crisis

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In Business Negotiations, Restraint Can Be Key—Even in High Fashion

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

When employees leave an unsatisfying job, the feeling of relief they feel sometimes motivates them to explain their decision to whomever will listen. But that tendency can backfire and necessitate tense business negotiations, as a recent story from the world of high fashion illustrates. In November 2012, designer Nicolas Ghesquière startled the fashion world with his decision to leave his position as the creative director of design house Balenciaga, a job he had held for 15 years. The two sides negotiated a deal: the house would pay Ghesquière $8.8 million in return for his written promise not to make any comments that could damage the image of Balenciaga, its owners, and its shareholders and collaborators, The Australian reports.

Courses and Training

The Art of Saying No: Save the Deal, Save the Relationship, and Still Say No

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

How can you say “No” to customers – external or internal – who are pressing you to do something not in your organization’s interest? How can you say “No” to an overly demanding employee or a demanding boss without hurting a valuable relationship? How can you save the deal and the relationship and still say “No”?

Saying “No” the right way may be the single most valuable skill in negotiation—absolutely key to getting to “Yes”. As you will learn in this one-day course, the secret to saying “No” while protecting and advancing your core interests without compromising relationships lies in the art of a “Positive No.”

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Canada-China Panda Acquisition Negotiation

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Stephen Weiss

Two-team (6 person), multi-issue contract negotiation between Canadian zoo CEOs and representatives of Chinese organization responsible for giant panda loans

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Powerful Conflict Resolution Games To Help You Teach Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Teaching Negotiation.

From complicated negotiation strategies to artful subterfuge, conflict resolution games are one of the very best ways to prepare for the challenges of real-world negotiation. Games that employ a Prisoner’s Dilemma structure (where rational parties may not cooperate despite their best interests) enable participants to analyze negotiations, make strategic decisions, and anticipate their counterpart’s next move.

Courses and Training

Secrets of Successful Dealmaking

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

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.

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Negotiation Role Play: Win As Much WATER As You Can!

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Catherine Ashcraft

Four-person, scoreable, prisoner’s dilemma game where players decide how to handle low water levels in 10 quick rounds; an adaptation of the case “Win As Much As You Can.”

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To Close an International Negotiation, Obama Tries a Domestic “Work-Around”

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

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.

Courses and Training

Negotiation Workshop: Strategies, Tools, and Skills for Success

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

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.

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Negotiation Role Play: The Mercury Negotiation Simulation

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Leah C. Stokes, Lawrence Susskind, and Noelle E. Selin

This mercury game is a free role-play simulation aimed at scientists, students and decision makers. Playing the game will help participants explore the consequences of representing scientific uncertainty in various ways in a policy context.

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Negotiation Games for the New Academic Year

Posted by & filed under Teaching Negotiation.

In complex legal negotiations, money, reputations, and sometimes even lives are often at stake. Legal professionals must know how to read and debate the law as well as fully embrace the art and science of negotiation.
To help attorneys and other legal professionals become well versed in law and court-based negotiation, the Program on Negotiation’s Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) offers a wide range of role-play negotiation simulations.

Courses and Training

Intensive Negotiations for Lawyers and Executives

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

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.

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Civic FusionMediating Polarized Public Disputes

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By Susan L. Podziba. Civic fusion is when people bond to achieve a common public goal, even as they sustain deep value differences. This book offers proven strategies for moving polarized parties to consensus solutions based on the author’s 25 years of mediation experience, including working with pro-life and pro-choice leaders after fatal shootings at women’s health clinics, crane industry and union representatives to develop federal worker safety regulations, and citizens of a failed city that reclaimed their democracy by writing a consensus charter.

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Conflict Resolution: When Forgiveness Seems Elusive

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

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 for harming or offending you, should you forgive and move forward? What if doing so seems impossible?

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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Negotiating About Pandas for San Diego Zoo

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Stephen Weiss and Sarah Tatrallyay

This case study centers on the most challenging task for a negotiator: to reach a satisfactory agreement with a tough counterpart from a position of low power—and to do so in an uncommon context. The case concerns the executive director of a zoo in the U.S. who seeks two giant pandas, an endangered species, from their only source on the planet: China.

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Courses and Training

Advanced Negotiation: 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.

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Negotiating the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Track Two Diplomacy in the Past, Present and Future

Posted by & filed under Daily, Events, International Negotiation, Middle East Negotiation Initiative.

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.

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Dealmaking: When You’re Short On Cash, Try Bartering

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Here’s a prime example of negotiator innovation during difficult economic times. Eager to retain its top talent but low on cash, Zurich, Switzerland–based financial-services company Credit Suisse Group included millions of dollars of its own toxic assets in the 2008 bonus packages of its 2,000 top bankers. Typically, investment banks use cash and company stock to pay end-of-year bonuses.

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Water Diplomacy A Negotiated Approach to Managing Complex Water Networks

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Shafiqul Islam and Lawrence E. Susskind

In this book, the authors show how open and constantly changing water networks can be managed successfully using collaborative adaptive techniques to build informed agreements among disciplinary experts, water users with conflicting interests, and governmental bodies with countervailing claims.

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Win-Win Negotiations: Trapped in a Competitive Cycle? Learn from Congress’s Mistakes

Posted by & filed under Win-Win Negotiations.

The U.S. Senate’s struggle to pass truly bipartisan financial reform reveals ways negotiators can overcome suspicion and enhance cooperation.

Initially, the partnership seemed promising. Senator Christopher Dodd, a Connecticut Democratic, hoped to cap his 29-year congressional career with a bipartisan financial regulation bill. Senator Bob Corker, a freshman Republican from Tennessee and member of Dodd’s Senate Banking Committee, wanted to make a splash in his new job.

After Dodd reached an impasse with Republican senator Richard Shelby of Alabama, he and Corker teamed up in February 2010 with the goal of overcoming the us-versus-them mentality that was dominating the Senate, as reported by John Harwood in the New York Times.

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How Case Studies Facilitate Negotiated Agreements

Posted by & filed under Teaching Negotiation.

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.

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Women and Negotiation: Leveling the Playing Field

Posted by & filed under Women and Negotiation.

By now, most of us are aware that women appear to face significant hurdles in negotiation. To begin with, they are penalized for negotiating on their own behalf. In their research, Professor Hannah Riley Bowles of Harvard Business School, Professor Linda Babcock, and Professor Lei Lai of Tulane University found that both male and female study participants were less interested in working with women who attempted to negotiate a better salary than they were with men who tried to negotiate a higher salary. The fact that women are generally less likely to initiate salary negotiations than men appears to be due at least in part to women’s awareness that negotiating could trigger this type of social backlash at the office.

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Conflict Management: When Do “Sacred” Issues Keep Negotiators Apart?

Posted by & filed under Conflict Management.

At some point or another, most negotiators claim that a certain issue is a deal breaker.If you’re trying to sell your business, for instance, you might walk away from talks with a potential buyer who you believe would lay off many of your longtime employees. Or if someone asks you to go in on a venture that violates your moral principles, you might refuse to even consider the prospect.

A desire to safeguard your personal integrity, health, or safety, or that of those close to you, may cause you to declare certain issues sacred in your negotiations—completely nonnegotiable under all conditions. Yet a refusal to compromise on key issues can lead to impasse in an otherwise beneficial deal.

Moreover, researchers have long theorized that many of the issues we claim are sacred are actually “pseudo-sacred”—that is, they’re off-limits under some but not all conditions. According to this view, our resolve regarding sacred issues can waver, whether or not we realize it. When do negotiators stand firm on sacred issues? In a recent experiment, a research team led by professor Ann E. Tenbrunsel of Notre Dame University explored this question. In particular, they looked at whether the strength of one’s best alternative to a negotiated agreement (BATNA)—an important source of power in negotiation—affects whether negotiators bend or stand firm on the issues they hold sacred.

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How Negotiation Examples Can Help You Become A Better Mediator

Posted by & filed under Teaching Negotiation.

When opposing parties cannot come to a satisfactory resolution, a strong mediator can make all the difference. By effectively examining the issues at hand and helping parties identify creative solutions, a well-trained mediator builds consensus where there once was none.
To help professionals learn the art of mediation, the Program on Negotiation’s Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) offers a wide range of role-play negotiation exercises.

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Negotiation Skills: Threat Response at the Bargaining Table

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

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.

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How Negotiation Role-Play Simulations Can Help You Resolve Environmental Disputes

Posted by & filed under Teaching Negotiation.

From complicated land use debates to the regulation of pollutants, environmental negotiations are fraught with dynamic legal, scientific, and societal considerations. Because many of the natural resources in question are limited and fragile, disputes over them can be particularly difficult.
To help educate professionals about how to work through challenging environmental and sustainability negotiations, the Program on Negotiation’s Teaching Negotiation Resource Center offers a wide range of role-play exercises.

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Conflict Management Skills and Techniques: The Benefits of Taking Your Dispute Public

Posted by & filed under Conflict Management.

Given the frequency with which companies air their private grievances, there must be an upside to going public, right?

In fact, there are several.

First, once you’ve threatened to take your dispute public, following through demonstrates your willingness to stand by your words.

In addition, being in the spotlight can motivate both sides to address their differences with a new sense of urgency.

The faster you resolve your differences, the sooner you can get back to business as usual.

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Dealmaking Negotiations: How to Build Trust at the Bargaining Table

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Imagine yourself in each of these three negotiation scenarios. In each of these scenarios, negotiators are dealing with an issue related to trust. The travel writer discovers he put too much trust in the translator’s reliability. Most of us approach negotiations with the hope that we will share information, build a relationship, and be treated fairly by our counterparts. But once talks get started, most of us have also had the experience of holding back information, viewing the other side’s behavior with suspicion, and feeling distrusted by them.

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Conflict Management Techniques: Should You Take Your Dispute Public?

Posted by & filed under Conflict Management.

To turn up the heat on opponents, negotiators sometimes advertise their grievances.

Here’s negotiation skills advice on when it’s a good idea to be vocal—and when to keep talks private.

The decision seemed nonsensical.

Early on the morning of March 7, 2010, with the Academy Awards telecast just hours away, the Walt Disney Company pulled the signal on WABC, its New York–area station. Residents in the New York area awoke to learn they might have to scramble to watch the Oscars via satellite at bars or friends’ homes.

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Best-In-Class Negotiation Case Studies

Posted by & filed under Teaching Negotiation.

What’s one of the best ways to teach the art and science of negotiation? Case studies and articles that spark lively discussion or facilitate self-reflection. Based on real-world examples, these teaching resources are designed to help students envision how to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom and beyond.
The Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) at the Program on Negotiation offers negotiation case studies from renowned authors who’ve negotiated trade agreements, aided peace treaties, and handled many other high-stakes deals. By drawing on their own experiences, they’ve crafted negotiation case studies that are authentic, compelling, and enlightening.

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Win Win Negotiations: Can’t Beat Them? Join a Coalition

Posted by & filed under Win-Win Negotiations.

In 2006, representatives of wind-energy developers started knocking on the doors of Wyoming ranchers.

They were seeking to persuade the ranchers to sell the rights to build wind turbines on their land, reporter Addie Goss recounted on National Public Radio. Typically, the developers build wind farms by leasing large blocks of land from many different landowners in western states. In Wyoming, ranchers began signing leases without knowing the true value of the wind sweeping across their land.

U.S. Department of Agriculture program coordinator Grant Stumbough heard about the wind developers crisscrossing Wyoming and had a brainstorm: by working together, the ranchers might be able to get better deals.

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How to Deal When the Going Gets Tough

Posted by & filed under Conflict Management.

Most business negotiators understand that by working collaboratively with their counterparts while also advocating strongly on their own behalf, they can build agreements and longterm
relationships that benefit both sides.

During times of economic hardship, however, many negotiators abandon their commitment to cooperation and mutual gains.

Instead, they fall back on competitive tactics, threatening the other side with “take it or leave it” offers and refusing to accept concessions of any kind.

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ENCO

Posted by & filed under .

Jeswald W. Salacuse, Arun Venkataraman, and Fritz von Carp

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How Negotiation Exercises Can Prepare You For Cross-Cultural Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Teaching Negotiation.

The increasingly diverse and global nature of business sets the stage for disputes that can cross ethnic and cultural lines—fueling the need for expertise in cross-cultural negotiations. To help teach these nuances and tactics, the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) has developed several negotiation exercises that address the challenges that are inherent to cross-cultural negotiations.

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Negotiators: Guard Against Ethical Lapses

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

During the past several years, one scandalous story of unethical behavior after another has made headlines: Countrywide’s and AIG’s risky business practices, trader Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, and former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich’s alleged attempt to sell a U.S. Senate seat. As instances of people behaving badly proliferate, some commentators have wondered if we are experiencing an epidemic of immorality.

Madoff and Blagojevich seem to represent extreme cases on the fringes of human behavior—a couple of very bad apples. In fact, new psychological research suggests that most of us experience ethical lapses under certain conditions. But rather than knowingly causing harm, as Madoff did, we are more likely to unintentionally violate our own moral code.

In negotiation, even minor instances of immoral behavior could damage your reputation and your organization’s as well. Here we present three common ethical pitfalls and suggest ways to police yourself and your counterparts.

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At the Office, Conflict Management is Key

Posted by & filed under Conflict Management.

In the workplace, misunderstandings, power struggles, and stress can cause conflict to fester and take a toll on productivity. The best organizations put in place conflict management processes and systems to confront conflict directly. Unfortunately, too many organizations fail to do so—and suffer the consequences of sweeping conflict under the rug.
Take the case of Paradigm Capital and its owner, Candace King Weir, which were fined $2.2 million by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for retaliating against James Nordgaard, an employee who blew the whistle on tax-avoidance strategies that Paradigm carried out for the hedge fund PCM Partners. PCM Partners was not notified that a conflict of interest existed between Weir and a company she owned, CL King & Associates, as reported in Operational Risk & Regulation.

In particular, the SEC faulted Paradigm for not having outsiders on its conflict-resolution committee, a structure that appeared to contribute to the retaliation against Nordgaard. Nordgaard was demoted from head trader to compliance assistant and otherwise marginalized after reporting the wrongdoing he observed to the SEC. It was the first penalty handed down by the SEC’s new whistleblower protection program.

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Negotiation Skills: Identify Your Negotiating Style

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Have you ever wondered if your negotiating style is too tough or too accommodating? Too cooperative or too selfish? You might strive for an ideal balance, but, chances are, your innate and learned tendencies will have a strong impact on how you negotiate. Wise negotiators seek to identify these tendencies and enhance them according to the situation.

Individual differences in “social motives,” or our preferences for certain kinds of outcomes when we interact with other people, strongly affect how we approach negotiation, according to Carnegie Mellon University professor Laurie R. Weingart. Drawing on the social motives that drive our behavior, Weingart and other psychologists have pinpointed four basic negotiating personalities.

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Cooperation in Congress? Liberals and Libertarians Polish Their Negotiation Skills

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

On June 19, Republican Representative Thomas Massie of Kentucky, a libertarian, teamed up with two liberal Democrats, Zoe Lofgren of California and Rush D. Holt of New Jersey, to push through an amendment that places new prohibitions on the National Security Agency and the CIA’s surveillance operations, including barring the agencies from engaging in warrantless collection of Americans’ online activity, the Times reports.

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Negotiation Role Play: Probation Games

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Lawrence Susskind and Susan Podziba

A set of three simulations developed for and used in training court probation officers in negotiation techniques.

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How Negotiation Games Can Help You Develop Skills to Resolve Business and Commercial Disputes

Posted by & filed under Teaching Negotiation.

Private sector or commercial negotiations can range from relatively straightforward, high-stakes contract negotiations between suppliers and distributors to complex, multiparty negotiations between government, industry, and other interest groups. To help teach these key negotiation skills the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) has developed a wide range of role-play exercises that reflect the full breadth and depth of business and commercial negotiations.

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Women Negotiate

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Deborah M. Kolb, with the Simmons College Graduate School of Management, and the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School

An exploration of the issue of gender in negotiations, featuring interviews with three professional women negotiators

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Rebuilding the World Trade Center Site

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Lawrence Susskind

A group of legal, business, and dispute resolution professionals negotiate a six-person, facilitated role simulation regarding the reconstruction of the World Trade Center site in New York City, following the 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks

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Coping with Culture at the Bargaining Table

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

Intercultural negotiations are common these days—and so are culture clashes. Here’s how to handle the added complexity such talks can bring.

Imagine that you’re the American representative of a U.S. food company, and you’re hoping to procure a new ingredient for several of your products from a German company. A representative from the company is flying in to meet with you. Do you expect your German counterpart to behave differently than the Americans you typically deal with, and if so, how? Will you adapt your negotiating style according to your expectations?

Now imagine instead that your counterpart represents a Chinese company or that your counterpart is from Mexico.

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Negotiation Pedagogy Video Series, Part II

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Lawrence Susskind and Melissa Manwaring

An unscripted video showing an experienced negotiation professor teaching an executive education session through the running and debriefing of the Teflex Products role simulation, interspersed with instructor commentary

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Exercising Its BATNA, American Apparel Ousts Dov Charney

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

On June 18, the board of retailer American Apparel informed the company’s controversial founder, Dov Charney, that it was ousting him from his roles as chairman and CEO. For years, Charney had fended off sexual-harrassment lawsuits and rumors of inappropriate behavior. But only when the company’s creditors grew anxious about its long-term liability did the board decide to take action, citing new and damning revelations, as reported by Elizabeth A. Harris in the New York Times.
As the saga continues to unfold, it has highlighted several dimensions of negotiation that managers and executives would be wise to heed—including the importance of continually assessing your BATNA, or best alternative to a negotiated agreement.

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Negotiation Pedagogy Video Series, Part I

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Professor Michael Wheeler

An unscripted video showing an experienced negotiation professor teaching a complete class session through role simulation debrief, video, and discussion, interspersed with instructor commentary

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In International Negotiations, Memories of “Mr. Yes”

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

On July 7, Eduard Shevardnadze, foreign minister to Mikhail Gorbachev and a driving force behind the perestroika era in Russia, died in his native Georgia at the age of 86.
In June 1985, Shevardnadze—then a lifelong Communist official with no diplomatic experience—was reportedly taken aback when his old friend Gorbachev asked him to take charge of the USSR’s foreign policy, the New York Times reports.

Working together, the two men overhauled Soviet foreign policy—pulling the USSR back from its calamitous war in Afghanistan, negotiating nuclear arms treaties with the United States, permitting the reunification of Germany, and opening up discussions of human rights issues.

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Negotiation of a Commercial Lease

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The Program on Negotiation

An unscripted video showing two different pairs of real estate professionals negotiating the terms of a commercial lease

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Dealmaking and Business Negotiations: 6 Tips for Novice Hagglers

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Whether you’re purchasing a new home or car, or negotiating a discount on an inventory purchase for your firm, the art of haggling enables negotiators to make a strong claim for their share of the pie. Here are six tips from the Negotiation Briefings newsletter to help you start becoming a better at haggling in business negotiations.

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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.

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Oil Pricing Exercise

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Roger Fisher

Two-team, scoreable, multiple round, “prisoner’s dilemma”-style negotiation between representatives of two countries over the monthly price for barrels of oil.

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In Career Dealmaking, Strike the Right Balance

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Two stories emerged in the news this month that illustrate polar opposite attitudes toward negotiating salary and benefits in the workplace.

First, a New York Times profile revealed that Ira Glass, the creator and host of the popular radio show “This American Life,” is highly uncomfortable earning a high salary. In recent years, Glass earned about $170,000 in compensation and benefits. In 2013, the board of WBEZ public radio—his show’s producer—raised that figure to $278,000 to bring it in line with his stature and success.

Glass felt “weird about it,” he told Cara Buckley of the Times. In fact, he felt so weird about the
increase that he asked the board to lower his salary the following year to $146,000. “Then this year, I asked to lower it again,” he wrote in an email to Buckley, adding, “It’s still a lot of money.”

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Negotiation Role Play: Oil Pricing Exercise copy

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Roger Fisher

Two-team, scoreable, multiple round, “prisoner’s dilemma”-style negotiation between representatives of two countries over the monthly price for barrels of oil.

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Five Fundamentals of Negotiation from Great Negotiator 2014 Tommy Koh

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

While the blueprint for achieving your negotiation goals may differ depending on the type of negotiation, the road to negotiation success looks much the same across most negotiation scenarios.

In discussing the art and science of negotiation, Great Negotiator 2014 Tommy Koh described five “fundamentals” that Program on Negotiation faculty member James K. Sebenius says, “have value in almost any negotiation.”

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Creating Value Through Haggling – Setting the Stage for Negotiation Success

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Suppose your research reveals that the TV you want is fairly new on the market.

Further research about your local store leads you to believe it may be willing to go as low as Amazon.com’s price of $900. Now you have a general sense of the ZOPA, or zone of possible agreement: between $900 (your estimate of the store’s reservation price) and $975 (your reservation price).

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Lawyers & Clients The Initial Interview

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Robert H. Mnookin and Susan Hackley

An illustration of interviewing and listening techniques appropriate for lawyer-client interviews, featuring Harvard Law School Professor Robert Mnookin

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Creating and Claiming Value Through Haggling – Assess Their BATNA in Dealmaking Negotiations

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

Now it’s time to assess the best deal you might get. Figuring out the other party’s reservation price is the key to knowing how far you will be able to push him, write Deepak Malhotra and Max H. Bazerman in their book Negotiation Genius: How to Overcome Obstacles and Achieve Brilliant Results at the Bargaining Table and Beyond (Bantam, 2007).

Start by considering the other party’s BATNA: What will he do if he can’t close the sale with you?

Like most retailers, he’ll simply have to wait for someone else to walk through the door.

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HackerStar Negotiation, The

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Morgan Guaranty Trust Company

Realistic video depicting the use of principled negotiation to prepare for and negotiate a bitter business dispute, featuring Getting to YES co-author Roger Fisher

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In Detroit, A Search for a Win-Win Deal

Posted by & filed under Win-Win Negotiations.

We tend to view job negotiations as battles over a fixed pie of resources: A higher salary for the employee means lower profits for the employer. More vacation time equals lowered productivity, and so on.
But employment negotiations can lead to win-win agreements. If an entrepreneur can’t afford office space, she will benefit from hiring employees who prefer to work at home. In that case, the parties have compatible preferences. Even when their preferences aren’t compatible, the two sides can make tradeoffs across issues to reach satisfying agreements: an employee who wants more vacation time might volunteer for a responsibility that others have shunned, for example.

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Great Negotiator 2004: Ambassador Richard Holbrooke

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Edited by James K. Sebenius and Ellen Knebel

DVD featuring Ambassador Richard Holbrooke discussing his role brokering the Dayton agreement that ended the 1992-95 war in Bosnia as well as his role in resolving the multinational dispute over U.S. dues owed in arrears to the United Nations

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Great Negotiator 2003: Stuart Eizenstat

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Program on Negotiation

DVD featuring excerpts from a discussion with Stuart Eizenstat regarding his efforts negotiating reparations for victims of Nazi Germany

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Dealing with Difficult People? Lessons from Ronald Reagan

Posted by & filed under Conflict Management.

In recent months, U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders have struggled to find a winning strategy to convince Russian President Vladimir Putin to back away from his aggressions toward Ukraine. In a Wall Street Journal editorial, Ken Adelman, U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s ambassador to the United Nations and arms-control director, writes that recently declassified accounts of negotiations between Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev offer lessons that could help Western leaders approach their Russian counterpart more effectively.

According to Adelman, on his way to accept the 1980 Republican nomination, Reagan told an adviser that the primary reason he wanted to be president was “To win the Cold War.” Having set this overarching goal, Reagan tenaciously pursued it throughout his two terms in the White House.

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Great Negotiator 2002: Lakhdar Brahimi

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James Sebenius and Kristen Schneeman

DVD featuring excerpts from a discussion with Ambassador Lakhdar Brahimi regarding his international negotiation experiences, including negotiating a new government for Afghanistan in 2002

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In Business Negotiations, Dress the Part

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Negotiators involved in high-stakes mergers and acquisitions typically come to the table armored in meticulously tailored apparel and designer shoes. But as Dana Mattioli reports in a recent Wall Street Journal article, those who are trying to woo business from an apparel company often end up dressing down, for strategic reasons.
Take the IPO of yogawear company Lululemon Athletics in 2007. As Mattioli recounts, deal teams from several banks were so eager to win the company’s business that they showed up at meetings wearing “form-fitting yoga pants, track suit tops and sneakers.” One banker said of the experience, “It was pretty embarrassing, actually.” His team didn’t get a slice of the deal underwriting. Another bank, UBS AG, did, after staging a “flash mob” yoga session with 75 of its employees in Central Park, all of them decked out in Lululemon.

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Master the Art and Science of Haggling for More Productive Business Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Just like the prices of houses, cars, and other big-ticket items, the prices of furniture, electronics, wine, jewelry, another “medium-ticket” goods are now frequently up for discussion. The ancient art of haggling—the back-and-forth dance of offers and concessions between buyer and seller—is making a comeback, and you would do well to brush up on your skills.

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Negotiation Skills: How “Close Calls” Can Hurt You

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

In the early 1990s, NASA managers and engineers were warned by an expert in risk
analysis that the heat-resistant tiles that protected space shuttles during reentry into Earth’s
atmosphere could be damaged by debris from the insulating foam on the shuttle’s’ fuel tanks.

During missions over the next 10 years, debris did, indeed, hit tiles, but the damage was always minor and could be repaired between missions.

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At the Met, Conflict Management in a Minor Key

Posted by & filed under Conflict Management.

This spring, the Metropolitan Opera opened labor talks with the 16 unions representing its workers, whose contracts all expire at the end of July, the New York Times reports. Labor and management agree on one fundamental point—that the opera is struggling financially amid falling ticket sales, a depleted endowment, and growing expenses. Perhaps not surprisingly, however, they disagree on where needed budget cuts should come from.

Met management has asked for 16-17% salary cuts from its workers. The unions have refused, saying the company should shrink its rapidly increasing budget by scaling back on new productions and trim administrative spending.
D. Joseph Hartnett, the assistant director of stagecraft from the opera’s stagehands’ union, struck a conciliatory note, saying “We can save the Met…but it means all of us working together to bring the budget in line.”

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Crisis Negotiations: Program on Negotiation Chair Robert Mnookin Joins Guest Panel on CNN Tonight to Discuss the Release of Bowe Bergdahl

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

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.

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Dealmaking The New Strategy of Negotiauctions

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Bringing together auction theory and negotiation theory in a practical and accessible way, Negotiauctions is an authoritative guide to negotiating deals

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Negotiation Analysis: The US, Taliban, and the Bergdahl Exchange

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

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.

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Conflict Management: Becoming a Team Player

Posted by & filed under Conflict Management.

Show me the money!” That refrain from the 1996 movie Jerry Maguire, shouted by a football player to his agent, continues to echo through U.S. professional sports negotiations today. A public arena, enormous piles of cash, and even bigger egos combine to make sports negotiations a unique context. Yet anyone who has negotiated through agents, faced a competitive atmosphere, or lacked strong deal alternatives can learn a lot from team athletics.

Why are sports talks tough? In his chapter “First, Let’s Kill All the Agents!” in Negotiating on Behalf of Others (Sage, 1999), Harvard Business School professor Michael Wheeler analyzes the key features that can make sports negotiations so contentious.

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Pull Ahead of the Pack with a “Negotiauction”

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Robert Barnett, a corporate attorney based in Washington, D.C., moonlights as a book agent for celebrity politicians—including Barack Obama, Laura Bush, and Bill and Hillary Clinton. New York editors line up to sign Barnett’s clients and, they hope, rake in blockbuster profits.
Barnett’s technique is to introduce his latest superstar to the major publishing houses and then hold a multiround auction, writes Guhan Subramanian, a Harvard University professor and Negotiation’s academic editor, in his new book, Negotiauctions: New Dealmaking Strategies for a Competitive Marketplace (Norton, 2010). After the first round of bidding, Barnett gives low bidders chance to top the high bid, until an unbeatable offer emerges.

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For Steve Ballmer, Negotiation Skills Go on the Back Burner

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

On May 30, the National Basketball Association (NBA) announced it had approved former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s record-breaking $2 billion offer to buy the Los Angeles Clippers from Shelly Sterling, wife of Clippers owner Donald Sterling. In April, the NBA banned Sterling from the league for life after racist remarks he made during a phone call were made public.
Negotiations to buy the Clippers were fast and furious. Aware that the NBA Board of Governors could have voted to terminate both of the Sterlings’ ownership interests at a meeting scheduled for June 3, Shelly Sterling was eager to sell the team before that date and reportedly was authorized by her estranged husband to negotiate on his behalf. As part of the sale agreement, Shelly Sterling and her family’s trust promised not to sue the NBA and to absolve the league of litigation filed by others, including her husband. Donald Sterling, meanwhile, filed a $1 billion lawsuit against the NBA the day his wife’s deal was announced.

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When International Negotiation Stymies the Best Mediators

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

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.

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Overcoming Cultural Barriers

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Even with a common language and the best of intentions, negotiators from different cultures face special challenges. Try following these guidelines when preparing for talks with someone from a different culture:

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Expectations and Self-Fulfilling Prophecies

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

When you expect people to be competitive, it’s not only your own behavior that changes.

You also set up a self-fulfilling prophecy, such that your expectations about the other side’s behavior lead him to behave in ways that confirm your expectations.

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Multiparty NegotiationFour-Volume Set

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This comprehensive four-volume collection on multiparty negotiation brings together nearly 100 classic works and cutting-edge papers from law, international politics, organization studies and public administration

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Conflict Resolution and Negotiation Across Cultures

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

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 as compared with negotiations conducted within the same culture. This is primarily because cultures are characterized by different behaviors, communication styles, and norms. As a result, when negotiating across cultures, we bring different perspectives to the bargaining table, which in turn may result in potential misunderstandings and a lower likelihood of exploring and discovering integrative, or value-creating, solutions.

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Conflict Management and Negotiation: Personality and Individual Differences That Do Matter

Posted by & filed under Conflict Management.

Although Elfenbein and her colleagues did find that negotiators performed at a similar level from one negotiation to the next, to their surprise, these scores were only minimally related to specific personality traits. And traits that are basically unchangeable, such as gender, ethnic background, and physical attractiveness, were not closely connected to people’s scores.

A small number of traits did affect negotiators’ performance,however. Let’s look at the qualities that stood out in this study, as well as some that other researchers have identified.

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Lectures on Negotiation Analysis

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An edited version of three lectures on negotiation analysis by Professor Howard Raiffa

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With No Good BATNA, Police Negotiators Accept Texts

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

In their training, police and professional hostage negotiators are taught skills that will help them defuse tense situations over the course of long phone calls, such as engaging in active listening, determining the person’s emotions from his or her inflection, and trust building.
These crisis negotiators are being put to the test by young criminal suspects and others in crisis, whose first instinct increasingly seems to be texting rather than talking, according to an Associated Press article.

Red Bank, Tennessee, police chief Tim Christol tells the Associated Press that the usual negotiation skills he teaches don’t translate to texting, such as emotional labeling in the form of a statement such as “You sound angry.” Without verbal cues, Christol says, it becomes much more difficult to understand the emotional state of the person in crisis, and misunderstandings are common. “Words are only 7 percent of communication,” he says.

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When Dealmaking Breaks Down, Take the High Road

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

When a negotiation reaches an impasse, it can be tempting to use threats and punishment to try to coerce the other side into conceding. That may be happening in a dispute between Amazon and Hachette, one of the largest New York publishers, as reported in the New York Times.

In recent years, Amazon has been playing hardball in its contracts with publishers in an effort to raise profits. The online retailing behemoth’s share price has been falling, and analysts are issuing pessimistic earnings forecasts.

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Negotiating with a Mediator’s Assistance: A Case Study

Posted by & filed under Mediation.

A few years ago, Stephen B. Goldberg was asked to serve as a facilitator for and adviser to a corporate team from a telecommunications firm that was preparing to negotiate with five other telecom companies on the division of radio spectrum for cellular telephone relay satellites.

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Seeking a Win-Win Negotiation? Pass the Chips and Salsa

Posted by & filed under Win-Win Negotiations.

From movie moguls hammering out film deals in Los Angeles to publishers and agents assessing each other’s tastes in New York, the “power lunch” has become a familiar institution. Across the globe, negotiators often do business over shared meals, whether out of convenience or as part of a concerted effort to get to know one another better.

Are we correct in assuming that dining together creates a communal spirit that leads to better deals? Not entirely, according to Stanford Graduate School of Business professor Margaret Neale and doctoral student Peter Belmi. In a recent study, the researchers found that whether we are likely to reap benefits from negotiations conducted in the presence of food depends on the type of bargaining situation we are facing—as well as the way the food is served.

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Disappointed by Results? Improve Accountability in Business Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

When it comes to planning and carrying out talks, negotiators are too often left to their own devices.

Here’s how to guide your employees toward better results.

How satisfied are you with the outcomes that negotiators in your organization achieve?
Most likely, you can think of a few successes worth crowing about, a few you’d like to sweep under the carpet, and many more that turned out just so-so. Maybe your department never manages to sign the most promising job candidates.

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How Short-Term Focus Contributes to Future Disasters in Business Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Negotiators tend to concentrate too closely on the here and now. By incorporating future concerns into your talks, you’ll make sounder decisions and guard against crises.

In the midst of the current U.S.financial crisis, accusations of greed on Wall Street have sounded across the globe. Greed may be a significant factor in the collapse of credit markets, but it’s not the only one. Overlooked in cries to punish the “bad apples” is the role of a mistake that virtually all negotiators make: ignoring how our short-term decisions will affect us and others in the future.In their book Predictable Surprises:The Disasters You Should HaveSeen Coming and How to PreventThem (Harvard Business SchoolPress, 2004), Max H. Bazerman and Michael D. Watkins describe the financial scandals of 2001 and 2002that led to the fall of Enron, Arthur Andersen, Tyco, and other companies.They label such crises “predictable surprises”—disasters that shock those involved even though they had the information needed to anticipate them.

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In Mediation, Set Conditions with Care

Posted by & filed under Mediation.

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.

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When Lose-Lose Wins

Posted by & filed under Mediation.

Does negotiation research promote the creation of joint gain at the expense of relationship building? Jared R. Curhan, Margaret A. Neale, and Lee D. Ross suggest the field is guilty as charged.

To illustrate, the researchers apply author O. Henry’s classic tale “The Gift of the Magi” to negotiation. The short story describes a poor but loving husband and wife who want to give each other the perfect Christmas gift. Della sells her beautiful long hair to buy Jim a platinum chain for his prize possession, a gold watch. Meanwhile, Jim sells his watch to buy a set of tortoise shell hair combs for his wife’s hair.

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In Business Negotiations, 12 Strategies for Curbing Deception

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

In negotiation, deception can run rampant: parties “stretch” the numbers, conceal key information, and make promises they know they can’t keep.

Unfortunately, most of us are very poor lie detectors. Even professions that encounter liars regularly, such as police officers and judges, do not perform better than chance at detecting deception, Professor Paul Ekman of the University of California at San Francisco has found. That’s in part because some common signs of deception, such as increased blinking and grammatical errors, tend to be quite subtle. In addition, there is often no way to determine with certainty whether a counterpart’s particular claim is true or not.

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Mediation Role Play: World Trade Center Redevelopment Negotiation

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Lawrence Susskind, Katherine Harvey, David Kovick, F. Peter Phillips, Marc Wolinsky, Cathy Cronin Harris, and Simeon Baum

Six-person facilitated negotiation among representatives of the city, state, developer, insurer, and victims’ families regarding the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks

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For Detroit Pensioners, Dispute Resolution Pays Off

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

On April 15, Detroit city employees and retirees breathed a huge sigh of relief after the city’s emergency manager and its pension fund managers reached a deal that would significantly reduce proposed cuts to pension benefits, CNNMoney reports. Some civilian workers will face a 4.5% reduction in pensions and lose cost-of-living adjustments. Retired public-safety workers were spared from cuts and promised almost half of their expected annual pension increases.

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Managers – Think Twice Before Setting Negotiation Goals

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

To encourage the negotiators they supervise to do their best, managers routinely rely on performance benchmarks, the promise of bonuses, and other types of goals. But before you engage in further goal setting, consider the following real-life disasters: Under the leadership of turnaround expert Q.T. Wiles, quarterly earnings goals became a company wide obsession at disk drive manufacturer MiniScribe in the 1980s.

In just one example of the unethical behavior inspired by the race for higher earnings, employees shipped bricks disguised as hard drives. Rampant fraud was revealed, and MiniScribe went bankrupt. In the early 1990s, Sears, Roebuck and Co. gave its auto repair staff the goal of achieving$147 per hour in sales. To reach this challenging goal, staff overcharged for work and made unnecessary repairs. The scandal broke, and Sears’s reputation suffered for years. In the years leading up to its collapse, energy-trading company Enron promised its salespeople large bonuses for meeting challenging revenue goals.

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Status Anxiety in Business Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Sometimes in negotiation we are forced to deal not only with the issues on the table but also with concerns about status.

One famous instance took place in the late 1980s, when Robert Campeau, head of the Campeau Corporation and then one of Fortune magazine’s “50 Most Fascinating Business People,” tried to acquire Federated Department tores, the parent company of the prestigious department store Bloomingdale’s.

A bidding war over Bloomingdale’s escalated between Campeau and R.H. Macy. Campeau won with an irrationally high offer – but had to declare bankruptcy shortly thereafter.

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Negotiation Role Play: Wintertime in Winterville

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Jonathan Raab, Sarah McKearnan, Jan Martinez, and Michele Ferenz

Four-party negotiation among a federal building manager, the building contracting officer, a local employment agency, and a nonprofit organization regarding the renewal of a janitorial services contract in the context of past service problems

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Conflict Management – What You Need to Know Before You Click “Like”

Posted by & filed under Conflict Management.

A new conflict-management policy from General Mills, the food company behind products such as Cheerios, Bisquick, and Betty Crocker, may lead it to lose some friends on social media.

The manufacturer recently added language to its website alerting consumers that they relinquish their right to sue the company simply by downloading coupons, “liking” General Mills on Facebook, entering its sweepstakes, and interacting with it in other ways. In fact, GM later added terms suggesting that anyone who bought or used one of the company’s products would be required to resolve any dispute through informal email negotiation or binding arbitration, according to the New York Times.

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Mediation Role Play: Water on the West Bank

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Susan Podziba and Lawrence Susskind

Seven-person, four-issue mediation among three Israeli water authority and regional representatives and three Palestinian water authority and political representatives over plans to drill a new well on the West Bank

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Low-Drama Negotiation Skills at the “Late Show”

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Just one week after David Letterman revealed his decision to leave his long-running talk show, the Late Show with David Letterman, CBS announced that comedian Stephen Colbert would be his replacement. The negotiations surrounding the changing-of-the-guard were remarkably business-like and calm for the tumultuous world of late-night television.

Letterman debuted his show Late Night in 1982 and then switched to CBS in 1992 following a contentious battle with Jay Leno for Johnny Carson’s chair at the Tonight Show. Letterman’s voluntary decision to retire comes on the heels of Leno’s forced retirement from NBC, which replaced him with Jimmy Kimmel while his ratings were still healthy.

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Negotiation Role Play: United States v. Dunlop

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Dan Vogel, under the supervision of Robert Bordone

Four-person, three-issue, two-round between U.S. prosecutors, an executive charged with securities fraud, and defense counsel over the terms of a possible plea bargain; attorney-client interviews are followed by a plea bargain negotiation

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Negotiation Skills: Are You Really Ready to Negotiate?

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

You set up the contract renegotiation with a key client months ago. You had every intention of gathering a range of information to establish realistic goals and assess the client’s needs, but short-term projects got in the way. Suddenly it’s the day before the first meeting. Aside from making a few phone calls and calculations, you’ll have to wing it—but that’s OK. You’ve always worked well under pressure. Right?

We all know we’re supposed to prepare to negotiate, yet we often fail to follow through on these best intentions. That’s a problem because research overwhelmingly shows that underprepared negotiators make unnecessary concessions, overlook sources of value, and walk away from beneficial agreements.

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Mediation Role Play: Trademore Personnel

Posted by & filed under .

Lawrence Susskind and Bruce Patton

Three-person, integrative, facilitated negotiation with two department heads and a Human Resources observer/facilitator regarding the possible transfer of an employee from one department to the other

Daily

How Body Language Affects Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Negotiation experts typically advise us to meet with our counterparts in person whenever possible rather than relying on the telephone or Internet. As convenient as electronic media may be,they lack the visual cues that help convey valuable information and forge connections in face-to-face talks. Without access to gestures and facial expressions, those who negotiate at a distance have trouble accurately reading each other’s tone and building rapport.

But what, exactly, do negotiators learn from nonverbal behavior? Dowe read each other’s gestures and expressions accurately or not? Can we increase our negotiation success by deliberately modifying our own nonverbal behavior? Here we analyze three scenarios to help you understand how nonverbal behavior may be affecting your negotiations.

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Three-Party Coalition Exercise

Posted by & filed under .

Lawrence Susskind

Short three-party scoreable negotiation among representatives of three organizations over the integrative and distributive aspects of a possible 2- or 3-party coalition

Daily

Dealmaking: Dealing with the Other Side’s Constituents

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

During a meeting with a potential customer, a new salesperson leaves the room several times to make phone calls. Each time when she returns, she tells the customer she can’t accept the terms they just negotiated. Exasperated by her apparent lack of authority, the customer ends the meeting abruptly.

As this scenario shows, your counterpart’s constituents are bound to play a role in negotiations, whether you realize it or not. When the other side negotiates on behalf of an organization, his superiors and coworkers have a stake in the outcome. In more personal negotiations, his friends or family members may attempt to sway his choices.

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Telecom Services

Posted by & filed under .

Beth Doherty under the supervision of Lawrence Susskind

Two-party, two-issue, integrative, scoreable negotiation over the terms of a telecommunications services contract

Daily

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

Posted by & filed under Women and Negotiation.

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.”

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Negotiation Role Play: Technology Equipment Partners

Posted by & filed under .

Tracey Brenner, under the supervision of Lawrence Susskind

Two-team, six-party, four-issue negotiation between representatives of two corporations setting up a simultaneous high-tech joint venture and purchasing agreement

Daily

Women and Negotiation: Habits of Successful Female Leaders

Posted by & filed under Women and Negotiation.

On April 9, the Paycheck Fairness Act, legislation intended to close the pay gap between men and women, was defeated in the Senate due to a lack of Republican support. The bill would have made it illegal for employers to penalize employees for discussing their salaries and would have required the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to collect pay information from employers.

Pay inequities and a lack of women in upper management remain enduring problems in the workplace. Absent government initiatives to mandate solutions, how can women themselves better advocate for higher pay, promotions, and plum assignments? Negotiation researchers advise women to avoid a backlash against asking for more by connecting their interests to those of the organization.

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Negotiation Role Play: State v. Huntley

Posted by & filed under .

Timothy Reiser

Two-party criminal plea bargain negotiation between a prosecutor and a public defender for a man charged with aggravated rape

Daily

Business Negotiations: Why Does Process Matter?

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Negotiating the right process for your negotiation is well worth the time and effort, for two important reasons.

First, process drives substance.

Imagine what might have happened if the pharmaceutical company and the biotech firm had agreed up front to resolve the royalty issue rather than simply exchanging their best arguments before splitting the difference.

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Negotiation Role Play: Stakes of Engagement, The

Posted by & filed under .

Nicholas Sabin

Two-party, multi-issue, scoreable negotiation regarding a prenuptial agreement, calling for a balance of substantive and relationship concerns

Daily

Have You Negotiated How You’ll Negotiate?

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

A large pharmaceutical company was engaged in licensing negotiation with a small biotech firm over the terms of a technology transfer.

When the talks reached a standstill over royalty rates, the two sides began an all-weekend marathon session.

Each side came armed with supporting arguments and data, but, by Sunday afternoon, they had failed to converge toward the center.

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Mediation Role Play: St. Francis Hospital and the Managed Medical Model

Posted by & filed under .

Patricia Moore and Lawrence Susskind

Five-party, four-issue negotiation among representatives for a financially struggling hospital’s administrators, doctors, and nurses over budget priorities and expanded application of the managed medical model

Daily

Business Negotiations: Imposing Procedural Constraints

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Sometimes the courts will be unwilling to get involved in the substantive terms of the deal but will impose procedural constraints on the more powerful party.

Consider the case of a controlling shareholder in a publicly traded company – someone who holds more than 51% – who wants to “cash out” the minority shareholders.

Under the corporate law of every state, the board of directors and majority shareholders must approve the terms of the offer.

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Negotiation Role Play: Social Services A Three-Party Exercise

Posted by & filed under .

Denise Madigan

Three-party scoreable negotiation among three non-profit social service providers over whether to apply for funding in a consortium of two or three; variation of Three-Party Coalition Exercise

Daily

Deal Making: When You Hold All the Cards

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Consider the following hypothetical negotiation scenarios, in which you seem to hold all the cards:

- One of your customers has just landed a lucrative new contract, and you’re the only supplier who can add a critical component to that customer’s production process.

- You own a controlling interest in a publicly traded company and are seeking to buy out the minority shareholders and take the company private [LINK to Michael Dell’s Negotiations with Shareholders article].

- You sell umbrellas, and a man in a well-tailored suit rushes into your shop at the start of a downpour.

What’s the problem, you might reasonably ask?

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Negotiation Role Play: Ship Bumping Case

Posted by & filed under .

Andrew Clarkson

Two-party international negotiation between Russian and U.S. negotiators over a naval incident; teams internally prepare instructions for a representative not involved in the preparation

Daily

Dealmaking Negotiations: Reading Additional Terms Into the Deal

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

In a related maneuver aimed at protecting the weaker party to the deal, courts might infer additional terms within the contract or expand common-law notions of fiduciary duty.

Consider the famous case of the Page brothers – let’s call them “Big Page” and “Little Page” for simplicity – who started a linen supply company in Santa Maria, California, in the late 1940s.

Big Page was the brains of the operations; Little Page supplied equal capital but deferred to his older brother’s expertise.

Business was slow for several years, and the partnership lost money.

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Negotiation Role Play: Radwaste II

Posted by & filed under .

Tod Loofbourrow, Lawrence Susskind, Denise Madigan and Wendy Rundle

Six-party, multi-issue negotiation among state and local government, enviromental, and industry representatives to select one of three sites for low-level radioactive waste disposal

Daily

In College Athletics, Dealmaking Could Be a Win-Win

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

A recent ruling by a regional branch of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) raises the question of whether college football and basketball players will engage in the kind of collective dealmaking with university administrations that is found in business and government.

In March, the NLRB in Chicago sided in favor of a group called the College Athletes Players Association (CAPA), which had petitioned for Northwestern University’s scholarship football players to be allowed to unionize as employees. The regional NLRB director, Peter Ohr, ruled that Northwestern’s players should be considered employees rather than students because of the amount of time they devoted to team activities and the fact that coaches control their scholarships.

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Negotiation Role Play: Radwaste I

Posted by & filed under .

Tod Loofbourrow, Lawrence Susskind, Denise Madigan and Wendy Rundle

Seven-party, multi-issue, scoreable negotiation among regulatory, environmental, tribal, local government, and industry representatives to choose criteria for selecting a low-level radioactive waste disposal site

Daily

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Program on Negotiation to honor Ambassador Tommy Koh as 2014 Great Negotiator

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

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.

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Puerto Mauricio Development Conflict Simulation – Parts I & II

Posted by & filed under .

Mieke van der Wansem, Tracy Dyke and Lawrence Susskind

Thirteen-person, multi-issue, two-round, partially scoreable negotiation among government, industry, environmental, and farming stakeholders to develop a land-use plan (Part I) and among additional government stakeholders over plan approval (Part II)

Daily

Deal Making: Second-Guessing the Terms of the Deal

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

When most of us think about preparing for a negotiation, we consider the substance of the issues under discussion.

Depending on your industry, such issues might include price terms, warranties, liquidated damages clauses, benefits, or wage increases.

By contrast, the negotiation-process issues concern how parties go about resolving the various points that have brought them together in the first place.

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PowerScreen Problem

Posted by & filed under .

Bruce Patton, Mark Gordon and Andrew Clarkson

Two-party integrative negotiation between the lawyers for business partners concerning the ownership of a new computer program one of them has developed

Daily

In Business Negotiations, First, Build Rapport

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

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.

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Pacrim Dispute

Posted by & filed under .

Ericka Gray

Three-party, multi-issue international trade negotiation among three culturally different countries over which of two countries will export rice to the third; inculdes coalition and ongoing relationship issues

Daily

Others May Be More Powerful Than You Think They Are

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

Imagine that you’re a national account sales manager and are preparing to negotiate your annual raise.

You have met all your sales objectives and feel that you are not only a valuable employee but also the top producer in the department.

You feel quite confident that you will receive the highest possible salary increase. But during an informal discussion with some of your peers, you realize that they, while aware of your achievements, believe that they have contributed more to the team than you think they have.

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Negotiation Role Play: Open Lands A Private Planning Negotiation

Posted by & filed under .

Patrick Field, Ric Richardson, and John Harrison

Eight-person facilitated negotiation among seven landowners to develop voluntary private land-use plan to provide financial security while preserving open space and agricultural land

Daily

Conflict Management: Anger – The Good and the Bad

Posted by & filed under Conflict Management.

Most negotiations are “mixed motive” in structure, requiring us both to compete to claim value and to cooperate to create value.

The ability to move back and forth between these two goals is a critical – and difficult – skill to master.

How do emotions affect value creation and claiming?

Researchers Alice Isen and Peter Carnevale found that a positive mood leads to greater value creation.

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Negotiation Role Play: New Crimea Prison Overcrowding Simulation

Posted by & filed under .

Susan Podziba and Lawrence Susskind

Eight-party, multi-issue negotiation among prison administrators, government leaders, criminal justice advocates, and prisoners’ rights advocates to develop recommendations for a comprehensive state policy to alleviate prison overcrowding

Daily

Building a Winning Coalition in Negotiations with Iran

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

The meeting of the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany) and Iran last week to discuss Iran’s nuclear ambitions ended on a positive note but left many analysts skeptical of the possibility for substantive change.

Program on Negotiation faculty member James K. Sebenius, writing for Foreign Policy, analyzes the various positions of the P5+1 and Iran and offers an assessment of the various behind-the-table actors and their interests as well as the interests of external actors and groups not a party to the negotiations, but very much influential in the direction of their course.

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Maintaining Your Power in Conflict Resolution

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Given the pitfalls of having a position of relative power, what is a powerful negotiator to do?

By following these steps, you can keep your edge while encouraging cooperative, rather than competitive, behavior.

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Negotiation Role Play: National Energy Policy Simulation

Posted by & filed under .

Eric Jay Dolin, Daniel Greenberg and Lawrence Susskind

Highly complex multi-party, multi-issue negotiation among political, industry, environmental, and consumer leaders and lobbyists to develop a detailed proposal to reduce U.S. vulnerability to changes in energy prices and supply

Daily

You Have Less Information Than You Think

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Most negotiators understand the importance of preparation and will dedicate significant time and energy to analyzing important negotiations in advance.

Chances are, however, that powerful negotiators will undertake less informative and less accurate analyses than their weaker counterparts will.

For instance, in a hypothetical salary raise negotiation, a negotiator may be so confident of her contributions that she will fail to thoroughly investigate several other important factors; the extent to which her boss met his annual sales goals, the relative performance of her peers, or the company’s overall financial health. Clearly all these variables would be relevant to your salary negotiation.

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Negotiation Role Play: Multisumma

Posted by & filed under .

Patricia Moore and Hal Movius with Lawrence Susskind

Six-party, four-issue negotiation among representatives of several international aircraft companies over the terms of a potential long-term partnership

Daily

Dealing with Difficult People: The Right Way to Regulate Emotion

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

Emotional flooding – when strong, specific, and often negative feelings overwhelm us – poses obvious hazards to negotiators, who need to be able to think clearly when faced with the complex, strategically demanding task of creating and claiming value.

For this reason, emotional regulation can be an essential component of negotiation.

But different types of regulation create different results.

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Mediation Role Play: Mouse Exercise

Posted by & filed under .

Geoffrey Fink and Maria Baute Stewart

Seven-party, multi-issue negotiation among a theme-park developer, neighboring mayors, a regional organization, and a national government representative over the development of a proposed theme park; involves coalition-building and cultural issues

Daily

Deal Making: What Leads to Renegotiation?

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Renegotiations generally are triggered for one of two reasons: an imperfect contract or changed circumstances.

The goal of any written contract is to express the parties’ full understanding of their deal.

Despite lawyers’ belief in their abilities to capture that agreement in writing, in practice they can only achieve that goal imperfectly, for three reasons.

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Negotiation Role Play: Mountain View Farm

Posted by & filed under .

Roger Fisher and Andrew Clarkson

Two-party, multi-issue integrative negotiation between a farmer and a neighbor over the sale or lease of part of the neighbor’s land

Daily

You Aren’t Invincible

Posted by & filed under Conflict Management.

In a hypothetical raise negotiation [LINK], suppose you find out that your peers have told your boss disparaging and blatantly untrue stories about your interactions with customers.

You feel shocked and upset by their betrayal; you always believed that you had a good relationship with you coworkers. It never crossed your mind that they would attempt to sabotage you, particularly because of your high status in the department.

Whether out of jealousy or a sense of injustice, less powerful parties will do whatever it takes to see their more powerful counterparts fail. Unfortunately, powerful parties often are unaware of their counterparts’ animosity.

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Negotiation Role Play: Meridia and Petrocentram

Posted by & filed under .

Abram Chayes and Antonia Handler Chayes

Two-party, four-issue negotiation between representatives of a Central American country and an international petroleum corporation over the terms of an offshore drilling project

Daily

Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade Offers an Opportunity for Dialogue

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Writing for WBUR’s Cognoscenti with Shane Hunt, a student in the Harvard Law Negotiation Mediation Clinical Program, Program on Negotiation faculty member Robert Bordone describes the debate around the petition of LGBTQ groups to be included in Boston’s annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade as a unique chance for dialogue among groups to address their concerns about LGBTQ groups participating in the parade and bring a decades-old conflict to an end.

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International Negotiations: A Game of Chess…or Marbles?

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

Many observers view Russian president Vladimir Putin’s decision to send Russian troops into Crimea in the wake of violence between protesters and police in Kiev and Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich’s abrupt departure as the first gambit in a carefully reasoned strategy.

“Putin is playing chess and I think we are playing marbles, and I don’t think it’s even close,” said Representative Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, in criticism of President Barack Obama and his administration. Arguing that Putin’s advance into Ukraine is part of a plan to strengthen Russia’s “buffer zones,” Rogers accused the Obama administration for making too many concessions to Russia and failing to respond decisively to the crisis.

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Negotiation Role Play: MC Metals

Posted by & filed under .

Dan Delisi, under the supervision of Lawrence Susskind and Paul Levy

Six-person integrative negotiation among representatives of manufacturing company, occupational safety agency, union, local fire department, and local technical expert to settle claims of safety violations that allegedly caused two employee deaths

Daily

The Abraham Path Named National Geographic Traveller’s Best New Walking Trail

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

National Geographic Traveller’s Ben Lerwill recently compiled a list of the best new walking trails from around the world, and the Program on Negotiation’s Abraham Path took the number 1 spot on his list of 10.

The Abraham Path is a long-distance walking trail that follows the path of the patriarch Abraham from Sanliurfa in southeastern Turkey through the countries of Syria, Jordan, Palestine and Israel.

Founded by Program on Negotiation co-founder William Ury, the Abraham Path is the result of complex long-term negotiations with various nations and groups along the route in order to establish a safe, continuous path for hikers. The project’s success may have an impact in helping foster regional economic development, engagement, and peace-building efforts. The Program on Negotiation is the intellectual and academic home of the Abraham Path.

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Negotiation Role Play: MAPO – Administration Negotiation

Posted by & filed under .

Mark Gordon, Elizabeth Gray, Tim Rieser, and Lynn Gerber

Two-team, multi-issue collective bargaining negotiation between three police union representatives and three municipal representatives over police salaries, benefits, and working conditions

Daily

Adaptability at the Bargaining Table: How Improvisation and Jazz Music Inform Negotiation Strategy

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Aggressive tactics and hard-bargaining strategies may, at face value, provide a roadmap to success at the bargaining table but, as the Washington Post’s Kelly Johnson discovered in her interview with Program on Negotiation faculty member Michael Wheeler, adaptability to ever-changing circumstances is essential for the “dynamic” negotiations one encounters in everyday life.

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Dealing with Difficult People—Such As Putin?

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

In negotiation, we are often confronted with the task of dealing with difficult people—those who seem to prefer to set up roadblocks rather than break down walls, or who choose to take hardline stances rather than seeking common ground.

How can you deal with such difficult people?

One tactic you might consider is avoiding the conversation altogether by finding more collaborative negotiating partners, but this is not always an option.

When avoidance is impossible, strengthening your best alternative to a negotiated agreement (BATNA) can help give you the confidence you need to deal with obstinacy among negotiating partners.

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Negotiation Role Play: Law Library, The

Posted by & filed under .

John Palenberg, Elizabeth Gray, Deborah Winter, and Wayne Davis

Two-party negotiation between representatives of two law firms over the sale of a collection of law books

Daily

Women in Negotiation: South Sudan Peace Talks

Posted by & filed under Women and Negotiation.

In Western countries, women negotiators are faced with the challenge of advocating on their own behalf as forcefully as men in the workplace. Fear of a backlash often holds women back from negotiating assertively for higher pay, benefits, and responsibilities.

In many other parts of the world, women face the daunting challenge of winning a place at the negotiating table in the first place. In particular, UN Women, an agency of the United Nations, has noted that women are vastly underrepresented in formal peace negotiations worldwide.

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Negotiation Role Play: Hitana Bay Development Simulation

Posted by & filed under .

International Programme for the Management of Sustainability, with Lawrence Susskind

Ten-party, multi-issue negotiation among government, development, industry, labor, and preservation interests over port improvements, real-estate development, and environmental protection in a Caribbean island harbor expansion

Daily

Top 10 Negotiation Failures of 2013

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Here’s a list of some of the most notable negotiation flops of the past year – from deals that were over before they started, to those that were botched at the table, to those that proved disastrous well after the ink had dried.

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Negotiation Role Play: Harborco

Posted by & filed under .

Denise Madigan, Thomas Weeks, and Lawrence Susskind

Six-party, multi-issue, scoreable negotiation among representatives of a port developer, labor union, environmental coalition, other regional ports, governor’s office, and department of coastal resources over a proposal to build a new deep-water port

Daily

Turn Chaos to Your Advantage in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

“I’ve learned to make chaos my friend in negotiation,” says Thomas Green, managing director of Citigroup Global Markets and former first assistant attorney general for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Green’s provocative remark flies in the face of conventional negotiation wisdom. Shouldn’t we be able to get our ducks in a row before going to the bargaining table?

And when we’re done, aren’t we supposed to dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s? We’re taught that the purpose of strategy is to chart the optimal path for reaching our goals. Embracing chaos seems the opposite of discipline and planning.

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Mediation Role Play: Guatemala Role Play, The Workable Peace: Indigenous Rights and the Environment in Latin America

Posted by & filed under .

Michael Maturo, Kate Mahoney, Francisco Ingouville and Anthony Wanis St. John, under the direction of David Fairman

Six-person mediated negotiation among representatives of the Guatemalan government, military, rebel groups, indigenous people, and U.S. government to address post-armed-conflict human rights, land claims, and cultural and political rights issues

Daily

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Negotiation Role Play: Gadgets, Inc.

Posted by & filed under .

Cheri Peele and Lawrence Susskind

Six-party, four-issue negotiation among a company’s management and union representatives, environmental groups, and state and federal environmental agencies over fines and adoption of new technology in response to the company’s illegal polluting

Daily

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Top 10 International Negotiations of 2013: The East China Sea Dispute

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

China’s establishment of an “air defense” zone over a disputed chain of islands in the East China Sea in November is the latest salvo in an escalating international dispute. Japan and China have both laid claim to the islands, known as the Senkaku by Japan and the Diaoyu by China, which are believed to be rich in oil and are also strategically important, according to CNN.

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Negotiation Role Play: Fie’s Agent

Posted by & filed under .

Jeremy Bird under the supervision of Melissa Manwaring

Two-party integrative e-mail negotiation between a soccer star and her long-term representative over the terms of a potential new agency contract

Daily

Top 10 International Negotiations of 2013: Canceled Talks Between the U.S. and Russia

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

On August 7, President Barack Obama canceled a summit with Russian President Valdimir Putin scheduled for September in Moscow, citing a lack of progress on a variety of issues.

The announcement came on the heels of Russian’s decision to grant temporary asylum to former National Security Agency contractor and Edward Snowden, who made confidential data on American surveillance programs public.

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Top 10 International Negotiations of 2013: Dissent in the European Union

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

A European Union summit held in late October failed to make headway toward more coordination of economic policies. Facing resistance from Germany in particular, European officials are growing pessimistic regarding their odds of negotiating a deal over the next year to lay the foundation for a banking union for the 17 nations that use the euro, the Wall Street Journal reports. The proposed banking union would pool assets to allow the nations to engage in shared spending and borrowing, among other activities.

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Mediation Role Play: East Falls Brownfields

Posted by & filed under .

Tracy Dyke, under the direction of Lawrence Susskind and Susan Podziba

Seven-person, non-scoreable, facilitated negotiation among planners, regulators and activists regarding the cleanup and redevelopment of environmentally contaminated property

Daily

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Mediation Role Play: DirtyStuff I

Posted by & filed under .

Lawrence Susskind

Five-person, multi-issue facilitated negotiation among industry, environmental, labor, and government representatives to develop single-text regulation of toxic industrial by-product

Daily

Top 10 International Negotiations of 2013: Bangladesh Factory-Safety Agreements

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

On April 24, an eight-story building in Bangladesh known as Rana Plaza collapsed, killing an estimated 1,129 people, many of them low-wage garment workers who made goods for foreign companies.

In the weeks after the disaster, apparel outsourcers faced mounting public pressure to address hazardous conditions in the factories where their goods are manufactured. Labor unions focused their efforts on persuading Swedish “cheap chic” giant H&M to take the lead on safety improvements. “Get H&M on board, the thinking went, and others would follow,” wrote Liz Alderman in the Times.

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Top 10 International Negotiations of 2013: Apple’s Apology in China

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

In China this April, Apple CEO Timothy D. Cook made the unusual move of apologizing to Chinese customers for his company’s warranty policy and promised to make amends, the New York Times reports.

On March 15, International Consumers’ Day in China, the nation’s largest state-run television network criticized Apple for giving iPhone customers in China a short warranty and for charging consumers to replace faulty back covers on iPhones. Apple products are immensely popular in China.

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Mediation Role Play: Development Dispute at Menehune Bay

Posted by & filed under .

Lawrence Susskind, Thomas Dinell, and Vicki Shook

Six-party, multi-issue, facilitated negotiation of a dispute over environmental issues, native rights, and commercial development interests in Hawaii

Daily

Threat Response in International Negotiations

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

The agreement seemed well on its way to being passed. On November 20, U.S. secretary of state John Kerry announced that the United States and Afghanistan had finished negotiating a bilateral security agreement.

The terms included a continued American troop presence through 2024 and a promise of billions in international aid to the Afghan government. The United States negotiated concessions on two hotly contested issues: Afghanistan agreed that U.S. soldiers would be subject only to American military law, not Afghan laws; and U.S. Special Operations forces could continue to conduct antiterrorism raids on private Afghan homes, the New York Times reports. Most U.S. troops would have no combat role, aside from a small counterterrorism force.

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Negotiation Role Play: DEC v. Riverside

Posted by & filed under .

David Lax, James Sebenius, Lawrence Susskind, and Thomas Weeks

Two-party, multi-issue, scoreable negotiation between a manufacturer and a state environmental agency to reach a settlement over the manufacturer’s pollution of a local river

Daily

Dealmaking: Top Ten Business Deals of 2013

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

2013 witnessed a series of colorful mergers, acquisitions, and other deals. Here are 10 negotiations and negotiation trends from which business dealmakers can learn.

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Contract Negotiations in the Building Trades

Posted by & filed under .

Lawrence Susskind

Nine-party, multi-issue contract negotiation among three coalitions involved in the building trades; includes internal coalition meetings before the external negotiations

Daily

Top Ten Business Deals of 2013: American Airlines – U.S Airways

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

On November 29, 2011, the same day American Airlines filed for bankruptcy, US Airways CEO Doug Parker called American head Tom Horton to discuss a possible merger. Horton rebuffed Parker, saying airline needed to spend time reorganizing and renegotiating its labor contracts before focusing on a deal, the Wall Street Journal reports.

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Mediation Role Play: Construction in Bunyonville

Posted by & filed under .

Bruce Patton

Six-person, multi-issue mediation between two construction company representatives and two neighborhood residents over a construction project’s safety and noise issues; mediated by two representatives of the bank financing the construction

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Top 10 Business Negotiations of 2013

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

A number of noteworthy disputes among businesses, organizations, and individuals made headlines in 2013. We point out the negotiation angles behind stories first reported by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and other media outlets. Keep an eye out for these common themes: hardball tactics that backfire, costly legal battles that could have been avoided, and disputes over poorly worded contracts.

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Collective Bargaining at Southern Express

Posted by & filed under .

Lawrence Susskind and Charles Hecksher

Two-team, multi-issue collective bargaining contract negotiation between three union representatives and three management representatives for a major airline; includes an internal team meeting before external negotiations

Daily

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Collective Bargaining at Central Division

Posted by & filed under .

Lawrence Susskind, Charles Hecksher, and Elaine Landry

Two-team, multi-issue collective bargaining contract negotiation between three union representatives and three management representatives for a telephone company; includes an internal team meeting before external negotiations

Daily

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Negotiation Role Play: Chemco, Inc.

Posted by & filed under .

Wendy Pabich and Lawrence Susskind

Six-person, five-issue negotiation between three industrial factory representatives and three environmental agency representatives over environmental and economic concerns in the wake of damaging negative publicity for both parties

Daily

Top Business Negotiations of 2013: Time Warner versus CBS

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

On October 31, 2013, Time Warner Cable reported a huge quarterly loss of television subscribers, the largest in its history: 306,000 of its 11.7 million subscribers had dropped the company, the New York Times reports. The bad news has been attributed largely to an impasse with television network CBS over fees, which led to Time Warner blacking CBS out of millions of homes in New York, Los Angeles, and Dallas for a month during the summer of 2013.

Product

Daily

Top Business Negotiations of 2013: Fiat’s Pursuit of Chrysler

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

In 2009, when Chrysler on the verge of financial collapse, the Treasury Department negotiated a swift solution to save it from extinction. Chrysler would go into bankruptcy, and then its ownership would be divided up, with the majority going to a Chrysler union workers’ health-care trust, 20% to Italian automaker Fiat, 10% to the U.S. Treasury Department, and 2% to the Canadian government. Chrysler also gave a $4.59 billion note to the health-care trust to eliminate the company’s future health benefit obligations to retirees. And Fiat negotiated a plan to eventually acquire all of Chrysler by gradually buying the health-care trust and the U.S. government’s stake in Chrysler.

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Mediation Role Play: Carson Extension – Mediated Version

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Holly Goo and Lawrence Susskind

Seven-person, three-issue mediation among a landowner and representatives of an engineering firm, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, town council, and environmental interests over cost and timing of removal of an unauthorized extension of property into a river

Daily

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Negotiation Role Play: Carson Extension

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Holly Goo and Lawrence Susskind

Six-party, three-issue negotiation among a landowner and representatives of an engineering firm, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, town council, and environmental interests over cost and timing of removal of an unauthorized extension of property into a river

Daily

Product

Bullard Houses

Posted by & filed under .

Ron Karp, David Gold and Mox Tan

Two-party, multi-issue real estate negotiation between representatives for a buyer and seller, where BATNAs are important

Daily

Top Business Negotiations of 2013: Apple versus Samsung

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

In August 2012, a California jury ruled that Samsung would have to pay Apple more than $1 billion in damages for patent violations of Apple products, particularly its iPhone. The judge eventually reduced the payout to $600 million. In November 2013, another jury ruled that Samsung would have to pay Apple $290 million of the amount overruled by the judge in the 2012 case.

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Negotiation Role Play: Brachton Collective Bargaining Exercise

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Michael Wheeler

Two-team, multi-issue employment contract negotiation between three teachers’ union representatives and three school committee representatives; includes internal team meetings before external negotiations

Daily

Product

Daily

Top Business Negotiations of 2013: Starbucks versus Kraft Foods

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

A three-year dispute between Starbucks and Kraft Foods over distribution of Starbucks packaged coffee in grocery stores was resolved on November 12 when an arbitrator determined that Starbucks had breached its agreement with Kraft and ordered the coffeemaker to pay the food giant $2.75 billion.

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Negotiation Role Play: BMP Policy Meeting

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Paddy Moore, Hal Movius, and Lawrence Susskind

Five-party, four-issue internal negotiation among employees of a major engine manufacturer to agree on procurement guidelines in preparation for external negotiations with suppliers

Daily

Product

Negotiation Role Play: Bankruptcy Multiparty Negotiation Simulation

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James Emerson with Ben Longoria, under the supervision of Professors Robert Mnookin and Lawrence Susskind

This exercise is a six-party simulation of multiparty negotiations in a bankruptcy (reorganization) and mass torts context. The simulation represents a …

Daily

The Starbucks-Kraft Dispute: In Business Negotiations, Prepare for Problems

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

A three-year dispute between Starbucks and Kraft Foods over distribution of Starbucks packaged coffee in grocery stores was resolved on November 12, when an arbitrator determined that Starbucks had breached its agreement with Kraft and ordered the coffeemaker to pay the food giant $2.75 billion, Stephanie Strom reported in The New York Times.

The dispute dates back to an agreement negotiated in 1998 when Kraft began selling Starbucks packaged coffee through grocery stores. In 2010, with sales of its ground whole bean coffee reaching $500 million annually, Starbucks offered Kraft $750 million to end their agreement.

Starbucks wanted greater flexibility to sell the single-serve coffee pods that were taking off in the market at the time. The company’s agreement with Kraft limited Starbucks to selling pods that worked in Kraft’s Tassimo machines. Starbucks was in danger of being left behind in a race for market share against Green Mountain Coffee’s Keurig system and K-Cup single serving packs.

Product

Daily

Crisis Negotiations: How Jamie Dimon Avoided Disaster

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Sometimes the goal in negotiation is to improve your fortunes. But sometimes, the best you can hope for is to lessen the fallout from past mistakes.

Take the case of JPMorgan Chase, which in September was threatened with a lawsuit from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) for its sales of troubled mortgage investments during the financial crisis. JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon’s hands-on negotiations to settle the potential charges and avoid a lawsuit, as recounted by Ben Protess and Jessica Silver-Greenberg in the New York Times, serve as a reminder of the burdens we must sometimes assume to head off a disaster.

Product

Daily

Negotiating in Three Dimensions: Setting the Wrong Table

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

Consider the saga of a company that developed a hot new technology just as it was going public.

The device could detect underground leaks in gas storage tanks much more cheaply and accurately than any other products on the market.

The timing seemed perfect: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was persuading Congress to mandate that gas storage tanks be continuously tested for leaks. Not surprisingly, the company’s board of directors pushed the CEO to get the device on the market, and fast.

Product

Allies in Alexia

Posted by & filed under .

The Consensus Building Institute

Six-party nonscorable negotiation among nonprofit, business, and community representatives regarding the most appropriate methods for fund raising and distributions

Daily

International Negotiations: Challenging Multiparty Negotiations Around the Euro

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

A European Union summit held in late October failed to make much headway toward better coordination of economic policies, the Wall Street Journal reports. Facing resistance from Germany in particular, European officials are growing pessimistic regarding their odds of negotiating a deal over the next year to lay the foundation for a banking union for the 17 nations that use the euro. The proposed banking union would pool assets to allow the nations to engage in shared spending and borrowing, among other activities.

The plan for greater financial coordination was conceived at the height of the European financial crisis in 2012. As consensus grew that a shared currency with 17 different economic policies was unsustainable, the European Union began looking for ways to prevent future disasters.

Product

Ad Sales, Inc.

Posted by & filed under .

Lawrence Susskind

Six-party, multi-issue contract negotiation between management and union members of a publishing firm

Daily

Negotiation Training: Negotiating in Three Dimensions

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Training.

No matter how many right moves you make at the table – however skillfully you read body language, frame arguments, make offers and counteroffers – doing so at the wrong table can undercut your results.

Not only should you negotiate right, you should do the right negotiation. Sometimes this means looking with new eyes for a more promising table.

For example, the owners of a niche packaging company that boasted an innovative technology and a novel product were deep in price negotiations to sell the company to one of three potential industry buyers, all larger packaging operations. The owners’ first instinct had been to persuade their bankers of the need for a higher valuation, refine their at-the-table negotiating tactics for dealing with each major player, and try to spark a bidding war.

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Negotiation Role Play: Pepulator Pricing Exercise

Posted by & filed under .

Mark Drooks and Mark Gordon

Two-team, scoreable, multiple round, “prisoner’s dilemma”-style negotiation between representatives of two companies over the monthly price for fictional products called “pepulators”

Daily

Learning From Negotiation Role Plays

Posted by & filed under Teaching Negotiation.

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.

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Negotiation Role Play: Parking Facility Venture

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Michael Wheeler

Three-party scoreable negotiation among three firms regarding the joint construction of an off-street parking facility; variation of “Three-Party Coalition”

Daily

Joint Fact Finding: Mapping the Territory Together

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

Some might argue that confrontation is inevitable. But a wide range of collaborative efforts around the country have shown that it can be avoided.

How can negotiators find their way into the trading zone quickly and easily?

One proven method is joint fact finding.

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Negotiation Role Play: Parker-Gibson

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Michael Wheeler

Two-party, single-issue distributive negotiation between two neighbors regarding the potential sale of a vacant lot; refinement of Appleton-Baker

Daily

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Mediation Role Play: Managing Growth in Rockville

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Armand Ciccarelli and Lawrence Susskind

Seven-person, multi-issue mediation among business, planning, environmental, and agricultural interests regarding growth management and comprehensive planning

Daily

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Negotiation Role Play: Jerry

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Ron Karp and Bruce Patton

Two-party conversation between an employee and his supervisor regarding the employee’s recent poor job performance and potential termination

Daily

Interview with Michael Wheeler – The Art of Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

A Q&A with Michael Wheeler, author of The Art of Negotiation: How to Improvise Agreement in a Chaotic World.

We recently interviewed Michael Wheeler, HBS Professor and PON faculty member, about his critically acclaimed new book, The Art of Negotiation: How to Improvise Agreement in a Chaotic World. In his latest offering, Wheeler introduces his powerful, next-generation approach to negotiation that takes into account the dynamic, and often uncertain, nature of negotiations.

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Mediation Role Play: DirtyStuff II

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Jeffrey Litwak and Lawrence Susskind

Six-person, multi-issue facilitated negotiation among industry, environmental, consumer/community, labor, and government representatives to develop single-text regulation of toxic industrial by-product

Daily

Program on Negotiation Welcomes Visiting Scholar Stefanos Mouzas

Posted by & filed under Daily, News.

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).

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Negotiation Role Play: Chestnut Village

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Thomas Wiegand

Multi-party, multi-issue negotiation between 3-4 construction company representatives and 5-6 neighborhood representatives over safety and nuisance complaints regarding a local construction project; internal team meetings precede external negotiations

Daily

Agenda Setting in Negotiations

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

When two groups are embroiled in a conflict, it is common for the party with less power to have difficulty convincing the more powerful party to sit down at the negotiating table. Think of a labor union that wants to convince company management to agree to pay increases. In such cases, the more powerful player is likely to resist the notion of shaking up the status quo—and thus avoid negotiating altogether.

This tendency can be a particular problem in international negotiations, particularly those involving a protracted conflict.

In a new study, Nour Kteily of Northwestern University and his colleagues found that low-power groups can influence powerful parties to engage with them through their framing of the proposed negotiating agenda. Specifically, across four experiments, participants in the high-power position were more willing to negotiate when a low-power group proposed negotiating less important issues before more significant areas of disagreement, rather than vice versa. This preference is the opposite of what low-power parties prefer, the researchers learned.

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Negotiation Role Play: Flagship Airways

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Paddy Moore, Hal Movius and Lawrence Susskind

Six-person, four-issue negotiation between three representatives of an industrial manufacturer and three representatives of its primary client over restructuring of an existing purchase agreement

Daily

Business Negotiations: Advice for the Rights Holder – Know What You’re Getting

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Not all matching rights are created equal.

As the prospective right holder, you should know precisely what a proposed matching right will give you. Many deals that seem to guarantee a matching right are, in fact, murky about the exact consequences that could arise.

For potential right holders, the most common mistake is to fail to specify what will happen if you choose to match a bid. Will your matching bid call off the contest with the third party or launch a bidding war?

Other details are equally important.

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Negotiation Role Play: Bamara Border Dispute

Posted by & filed under .

Michael D. Landry

Two-team, multi-issue negotiation between representatives of two fictional countries regarding a disputed border and a military stand-off

Daily

Business Negotiations: Matching Rights – The Fundamentals

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

When the mergers-and-acquisitions boom began in 1993, many deals simply required the seller to let the buyer know if a “superior proposal” came along. By the late 1990s, buyers were demanding – and receiving – more than this: an exclusive negotiating period of several days, during which they could decide to match or improve upon another bidder’s offer. Guhan Subramanian’s investigation revealed that matching rights were included in approximately 20% of M&A deals before 1999 – and in 80% of deals since then. Today, matching rights are virtually ubiquitous in large M&A deals and are being rapidly incorporated into deals at all levels in many industries.

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Mediation Role Play: Global Management of Organochlorines

Posted by & filed under .

Lawrence Susskind, Sarah McKearnan, Mike Gordon, Adil Najam, Joshua Secunda, Granville Sewell, Parag Shah and Andrea Strimling

Thirteen-person, multi-issue facilitated negotiation among eight country representatives, four NGO representatives, and a working group chairperson must draft a treaty aimed at reducing harmful organochlorines; also known as “Chlorine Game”

Daily

The Program on Negotiation’s MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program Releases “Collaborative Approaches to Environmental Decision-Making” Case Studies

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution, MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program.

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.

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Negotiation Role Play: 67 Fish Pond Lane

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Elizabeth Gray, Mark Gordon and Bruce Patton

Two-party distributive and potentially integrative negotiation between principals over the sale of a house

Daily

What If We Have the Same Social Motive at the Bargaining Table?

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

When two people share the same motive, they fall prey to the same flaws and reinforce each other’s failings. Consider a labor negotiation in which the chief management negotiator withholds information about revenue projections, while the labor leader holds back details about workforce sentiment. Impasse is the predictable result. When you’re negotiating with a fellow individualist or a fellow cooperator, your goal should be to overcome the inherent flaws of your orientation.

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Negotiation Journal

Posted by & filed under .

The Negotiation Journal is a multidisciplinary international journal devoted to the publication of works that advance the theory, analysis, practice, and instruction of negotiation and dispute resolution.

Daily

The Mediator’s Role in Internal Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Mediation.

In an article, “Beyond Blame: Choosing a Mediator,” Stephen B. Goldberg advised negotiators involved in a dispute to seek out an interests-based mediator to assist both sides in reaching a resolution.

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Negotiationthe monthly newsletter

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Subscribe to Negotiation, the monthly newsletter of negotiation strategy that helps you build agreements and partnerships.

Daily

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Ancient Greece and the Peloponnesian WarA Workable Peace Curriculum

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Students learn conflict resolution skills through the use of historical documents and a role play simulation, set in the context of the historical conflict among the Greek city-states before, during and after the Peloponnesian War.

Daily

The Deal is Done – Now What?

Posted by & filed under Conflict Management.

At last, the deal is done. After 18 months of negotiation, eight trips across the country, and countless meetings, you’ve finally signed a contract creating a joint venture with a Silicon Valley firm to manufacture imaging devices using your technology and their engineering.

The contract is clear and precise. It covers all the contingencies and has strong enforcement mechanisms. You’ve given your company a solid foundation for a profitable new business. As you file the contract, a question dawns on you: Now what?

Program on Negotiation Faculty On How To End the US Government Shutdown

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

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.

Program on Negotiation Faculty Discuss the Government Shutdown Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Conflict Management.

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.”

Why We Succumb to Deception in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Conflict Management.

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.

The Forces Behind Deception in Negotiations

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

Despite your best intentions, one or more of these four forces might lead you to behave unethically during a negotiation. Here are four ways in which you may be tempted to behave unethically while at the bargaining table.

Searching for a Debt Ceiling: Boehner’s Uncertain BATNA

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

As the U.S. government approaches a potentially catastrophic default on its debt in October, President Obama remains determined to avoid negotiations with Republican leaders on the issue, the New York Times reports, a situation that leaves House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner with an uncertain BATNA, or best alternative to a negotiated agreement.

In Business Negotiations, Talks With Competitors Carry Risks

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

They say it pays to keep your friends close and your enemies closer, but in negotiation, keeping your enemies—or competitors—close could end you up in court, as Apple’s recent encounter with the U.S. Department of Justice suggests.

The story begins back in 2007 when, unhappy with Amazon’s low, flat price of $9.99 for e-books, five major U.S. pub¬lishers negotiated a new business model for e-book pricing with Apple, which was getting ready to launch the iPad.

Under the prevailing wholesaling model, publishers sold their books and e-books to retailers like Amazon, which could then set whatever price they liked. Apple and the five publishers agreed to switch to a so-called agency model, which would allow the publishers to set their own prices for e-books in exchange for giv¬ing Apple a 30% sales commission. At least one of the publishers then upped the ante by threatening to delay the release of its digital editions to Amazon unless it switched to an agency model. Amazon reluctantly agreed, and e-book prices rose across the industry to about $14.99.

The publishers and Apple claimed that their goal was to increase competition in the e-book market by opening up alternatives to Amazon’s Kindle reader. But the U.S. Department of Justice didn’t see it that way and accused the parties of colluding to artificially raise e-book prices. The five publishers reached a settle¬ment with the government; Apple did not.

The Winner’s Curse

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Ever win something you wanted, then realize too late you got a raw deal? Here’s how to recognize when backing away is your best bet in a negotiation.

Imagine that while exploring an outdoor bazaar in a foreign country, you see a beautiful rug that would look perfect in your home. While you’ve purchased a rug or two in your life, you’re far from an expert. Thinking on your feet, you guess the rug is worth about $5,000. You decide to make a bid, but a low one. You engage the merchant in some pleasantries and then make an offer of $1,000. She quickly accepts, and the transaction is complete.

How do you feel as you walk away? Pleased with your purchase – which was, after all, far cheaper than you expected – or uneasy about it?

Ambassador Tommy Koh of Singapore Named the Great Negotiator by the Program on Negotiation and the Future of Diplomacy Project

Posted by & filed under Great Negotiator Award, International Negotiation.

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.

When You Shouldn’t Go It Alone

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

A five-year old American manufacturer of medical equipment has just secured a patent on its primary product, a new kind of heart monitor. The potential market is even stronger than the company imagined, yet its second round of venture capital funding is coming to an end. A few other manufacturers are about to go public with similar, though less well-tested, products. To shore up funding of the big launch, the CEO decides to explore joint-venture possibilities with several overseas partners.

There is a problem, though. She has never been involved in joint-venture negotiations before; what’s more, she has never done business with an overseas investor. Meanwhile, one of the European companies she approached knew all about her company’s internal strengths and weaknesses. The CEO feels she is in the best position to represent her small company’s interests in the upcoming negotiations, and yet she is extremely nervous. The company’s future is on the line. Does she have enough knowledge and experience to succeed?

Hitting “Pause” On International Negotiations

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

On August 7, President Barack Obama canceled a summit with Russian President Valdimir Putin scheduled for September in Moscow, citing a lack of progress on a variety of issues. The announcement came on the heels of Russian’s decision to grant temporary asylum to former National Security Agency contractor and Edward Snowden, who made confidential data on American surveillance programs public. Obama still plans to attend the annual conference of the Group of 20 nations in Russia in early September.

“We weren’t going to have a summit for the sake of appearances,” U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor Benjamin Rhodes told the New York Times. Moscow and Washington have failed to make headway on a variety of issues, including arms control, missile defense, trade, human rights, and Syria.

Negotiating With Self – Obama’s Syria Deliberations

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

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.

When Dividing the Pie, Smart Negotiators Get Creative

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Don’t settle for uninspired compromises.

Find ways to modify and expand resources to achieve more value.

Typically, when parties are negotiating over a resource they both desire – whether fees, budgets, salaries, schedules, or staff – the process results in an uninspired compromise somewhere between their positions. Is it possible to avoid a compromise when negotiating tough distributive issues.

South Korea Shows Off Savvy Negotiation Skills

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

In negotiation, a combination of several negotiation skills and tactics may be needed to break past a difficult impasse. A recent protracted negotiation between North Korea and South Korea provides a case study.

In April, North Korea abruptly removed its workforce from the Kaesong Industrial Complex, a joint venture it launched within its borders nine years ago with South Korea. The complex shut down, and the two nations engaged in seven rounds of negotiations over the course of 133 days to try to reach agreement to reopen it.

How to Negotiate Successfully Online: The Challenges of Virtual Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

When you communicate in person, social norms – including body language, manners, and physical appearance – guide your behavior and ease the process. A common environment can facilitate understanding as well. Over the telephone, the speaker’s intensity, speed, and inflection provide useful social information.

As a consequence, face-to-face and telephone interactions generate greater social awareness and greater stability and cooperation than do online interactions.

In Sales Negotiations, Learn from a Seller’s Market

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

With home sales heating up in some parts of the United States, homebuyers are facing competition they haven’t seen since before the real-estate bubble burst, and it’s showing up in the form of packed open houses, multiple bids above the asking price, and all-cash offers.

To take an extreme case, in New York City, low condominium inventory combined with low mortgage rates have driven prices up 12% over the past year, from $829,000 to $930,000, writes Michelle Higgins in the New York Times. Real-estate agents are capitalizing on the frenzy with tactics like one-day-only showings and tight deadlines for bidders to submit their best-and-final offers.

In such an environment, negotiation might seem futile. After all, if a seller has 20 offers, how could you possibly stand out – other than, perhaps, by overbidding? In fact, there are other ways to separate yourself from the pack, while also ensuring that you make smart financial decisions for yourself.

The Art of Deal Diplomacy

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Executives rarely view themselves as diplomats. Rightly or wrongly, diplomacy evokes images of frivolity – days spent wandering exotic capitals, nights spent cruising embassy cocktail parties. Sure, both diplomats and executives negotiate, but an ambassador doesn’t have to worry about protecting the company’s bottom line or losing a deal to a competitor.

Yet it would be a mistake for those in the corporate world to dismiss the diplomatic realm so quickly. After all, diplomacy is the art of creating and managing relationships among nations. As such, it offers valuable tools for all business negotiators, who themselves are in the business of creating and managing relationships among companies – whether they view this as their overall goal or not.

From Handshake to Contract: Draft the Right Agreement

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Some negotiations end with a plan of action rather than a signed contract – for example, a plumber agrees to fix the tile damage caused by his work. Other negotiations wouldn’t be appropriate to commemorate in writing, such as how you and your spouse decide to discipline your young child. But in virtually all significant business negotiations, parties should put pen to paper after negotiating the terms of their deal. In fact, contract law requires certain types of deals to be in writing for them to be enforceable.

In Conflict Management, The Devil is in the Details

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

Negotiators engaged in conflict management are commonly advised to focus on the big picture, but sometimes it’s the smaller signs that can derail an agreement.

That was literally the case in July when the U.S. government’s plans to engage in peace talks with the Taliban were scuttled over a simple sign and other symbols, as Dion Nissenbaum writes in the Wall Street Journal.

In June, the Taliban opened an office in Doha, Qatar, the results of years of negotiations. The ceremonial opening was supposed to have launched direct talks with the Taliban aimed at ending the war in Afghanistan.

But to the surprise of both U.S. and Afghan officials, the Taliban wasted no time in putting up signs, flags, and banners that identified the office as the “Political Office of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” – the name that the Taliban used when it ruled Afghanistan. The signage was viewed as an attempt by the Taliban to represent itself as Afghanistan’s government in-exile.

The Future of Warfare and “Invisible Threats” to Peace: How Technology is Reshaping the Battlefield

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

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.

Beware Your Counterpart’s Biases

Posted by & filed under Conflict Management.

In the past we have encouraged you to ‘debias’ your own behavior by identifying the assumptions that may be clouding your judgment. We have introduced you to a number of judgment biases – common, systematic errors in thinking that are likely to affect your decisions and harm your outcomes in negotiation. Learn how to identify your biases and learn how to correct them.

When and Why Do Negotiators Cave In?

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

When you expect an opponent to be competitive, your confidence in the outcomes you can achieve is likely to plummet. In research with Adam Galinsky of Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, negotiators were provided with some background about their opponent including background information on how competitive their opponent has been in previous negotiations. This information was bogus; it didn’t necessarily describe the opponent accurately but the information still impacted negotiators performance.

Negotiate Relationships

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Training.

Relationships are as important to leadership as they are to negotiation.

A relationship is a perceived connection that can be psychological, economic, political, or personal; whatever its basis, wise leaders, like skilled negotiators, work to foster a strong connection because effective leadership depends on it. How you negotiate your relationships with your counterpart not only determines your success at the bargaining table but also your effectiveness as a leader.

Win-Win Negotiations in the Middle East: How the Principles Behind the Harvard Negotiation Project Apply to Israel and Palestine

Posted by & filed under Middle East Negotiation Initiative, Win-Win Negotiations.

Peace talks in the Middle East between Israel and Palestine have stalled for years and, with no ‘new beginnings’ on the horizon, many have come to expect stagnation and lack of progress in talks between the neighbors. That was until this week when Secretary of State John Kerry was successful in getting Palestinian and Israeli negotiators to sit down at the dinner table for a meal for the first time in years.

Negotiation Training: What’s Special About Technology Negotiations?

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Training.

Executives are increasingly faced with the task of negotiating in a realm that many know little about: technology.

Whether you’re bargaining over the purchase of a companywide network, coping with the possible infringement of patented technology, or seeking better customer service from a software supplier, technology negotiations have become a fact of managerial life.

How do such negotiations differ from those that are less technologically complex?

Types of Power in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Social psychologists have described types of power that exist in society, and these types of power emerge in negotiation as well.

Two types of power spring from objective features of the bargaining process.

The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School: Three Decades of Scholarship and Practice

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

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.

For Better Negotiation Training, Study the U.S. Government’s Mistakes

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Training.

Business professionals seeking to improve their negotiation training can learn a great deal from the mistakes made in newsworthy negotiations.

To take one recent example, Steven M. Davidoff of the New York Times’ “DealBook” recently analyzed how the U.S. governments rushed negotiations to save U.S. automaker Chrysler led to a costly long-term problem.

Choosing When to Choose

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

When it comes to negotiation, the more choices on the table, the better your outcomes will be – right? Not necessarily. An excess of options can stand in the way off efficient agreements and, moreover, prevent you from being satisfied with the final result.

Satisficing and Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

It stands to reason that devoting less time to relatively unimportant choices should free you up for more meaningful pursuits and increase your overall satisfaction. But how does the concept of satisficing apply to your most important decisions and negotiations?

Exclusive Negotiation Periods

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

The clearest method for achieving exclusivity is an exclusive negotiating period, during which both sides agree not to talk to third parties, even if approached unexpectedly by others. In some arenas, these terms are called no-talk periods.

Deal Making Without a Net: Yahoo’s Tumblr Acquisition

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

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.

What If You Have to Arbitrate?

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

The likelihood that a provision for final-offer arbitration in the event of impasse will actually result in arbitration is slim. However, as a precaution, you and your counterpart should agree on an arbitrator before you start negotiating. It’s easier to choose an arbitrator when both sides view arbitration as an unlikely event when arbitration is imminent and feelings are running high. You need not engage the arbitrator at this time since you probably won’t need her services.

What’s Wrong with Traditional Arbitration?

Posted by & filed under Mediation.

Traditionally, the arbitrator is not limited to selecting one of the parties’ contract proposals but may determine the contract terms on his own. If negotiators know that impasse will lead to traditional arbitration, they typically assume that the arbitrator will reach a decision that’s an approximate midpoint between their final offers.

Nantucket’s Never-Ending Negotiations: Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program (HNMCP) Students Shape How Town and Unions Work Together

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Preparation. Practice. Persistence. Those qualities make for a good firefighter, and as Nantucket Firefighter Nate Barber learned from working with Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program (HNMCP) students, they also make for a good negotiator.

As a member of Nantucket’s Local 2509 of the International Association of Firefighters and a former undergraduate negotiation student at Boston University, Mr. Barber knew relations between the Town of Nantucket’s management and his union could be better. Since the firefighters’ contracts only lasted two or three years and the negotiation process itself often took that long, the union and the management sat down for contract negotiations every year. And every year, the negotiations spilled over into the next year or, if it was the final year of the contract, went to arbitration. This impacted everyone: arbitration provoked more fighting, poorer relations, and less of what everyone wanted. They hadn’t had a mutual agreement for six years. As one of the interested parties, though, Mr. Barber knew he was not the person to fix a broken bargaining system.

Tips for Navigating Negotiations in China

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

With its booming economy and growing international consumer influence, negotiation skills appropriate for China is in high-demand. Here are a few tips to help you successfully navigate your next round of negotiations in China.

Negotiating in China: The Gold Rush Mentality

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

If Chinese culture favors insiders, it stands to reason that outsiders face an uphill battle.

In One Billion Customers: Lessons from the Front Lines of Doing Business in China (Free Press, 2005), business executive and Wall Street Journal bureau chief James McGregor writes of the 1996 attempt by Xinhua, the official Chinese news agency, to declare that only it had the right to publish financial data in China, thereby locking out Dow Jones and Reuters. It was a bold move based on brute power. Xinhua backed down only after Dow Jones and Reuters appealed to the U.S. government, which threatened to abandon a trade agreement with China.

Congratulations to the Harvard Law School Class of 2013

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

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.

Bring Long-Term Concerns to the Bargaining Table

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

It can be difficult to keep future concerns at the forefront of your company’s most important decisions. Fortunatly, research on intergenerational conflict has uncovered best practices for ensuring that you and your employees take the long view.

Apple and the Art of Persuasion

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

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.

Trust in Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Trust may develop naturally over time, but negotiators rarely have the luxury of letting nature take its course. Thus it sometimes seems easiest to play it safe with cautious deals involving few tradeoffs, few concessions, and little information sharing between parties. But avoiding risk can mean missing out on significant opportunities. For this reason, fostering trust on the fly is a critical skill for managers. As Kristen knew, the first step to inspiring trust is to demonstrate trustworthiness. All negotiators can apply the six strategies that follow to influence others’ perceptions of their trustworthiness at the bargaining table.

Win-Win Negotiations: Managing Your Counterpart’s Satisfaction

Posted by & filed under Win-Win Negotiations.

As the following points will demonstrate, ensuring that your counterpart is satisfied with a particular deal requires you to manage several aspects of the negotiation process, including his outcome expectations, his perceptions of your outcome, the comparisons he makes with others, and his overall negotiation experience itself.

Using Agents Effectively in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Once you’ve decided to use an agent, it’s important not to rush headlong into the process – picking the first one you speak to, for example, and sending him off to talks the next day.

You need to choose your agent carefully, then establish a clear, detailed understanding of each other’s responsibilities and expectations.

The following are critical steps in picking an agent and negotiating his contract.

Negotiation Design Dimensions: A Checklist

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Here the Program on Negotiation offers a checklist of negotiation design categories. Whether your overall negotiation design is decide-announce-defend (DAD) or full-consensus (FC), or a hybrid of both, raising these issues is usually preferable to falling into a set of important decisions by default.

Plant a Trust Land Mine

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

In any negotiation, you’re likely to have information about the other party or about the deal (industry facts, economic health, new products, and so on) that the other party might not know you have.

Hiring a Mediator: A Checklist

Posted by & filed under Mediation.

When considering a potential mediator, ask the following questions of those who have worked with him in the past.

Check Your Emotional Temperature

Posted by & filed under Conflict Management.

Do you ever feel ambushed by strong emotions?

To guard against acting irrationally or in ways that can harm you, authors of Beyond Reason: Using Emotions As You Negotiate Roger Fisher and Daniel Shapiro advise you to take your emotional temperature during a negotiation. Specifically, try to gauge whether your emotions are manageable, starting to heat up, or threatening to boil over.

We Have a Deal, Now What Do We Do: Three Negotiation Tips on Implementing Your Negotiated Agreement

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

A recent article in Tufts Magazine by Program on Negotiation faculty member Jeswald Salacuse discusses an oft neglected aspect of negotiation: putting into action what negotiators agree to at the bargaining table.

Normally negotiators focus on the deal-at-hand as well as those present at the negotiation, neglecting other aspects of the negotiated agreement that would not only impact others outside of the room but also require their cooperation for its success.

Professor Salacuse calls this process of putting a negotiated agreement into action “the toughest challenge” in negotiation.

Learning from Female Executives

Posted by & filed under Women and Negotiation.

Dozens of female CEOs and other high-level executives have told us about their experiences negotiating in traditionally masculine contexts where standards and expectations were ambiguous. Their experiences varied according to the gender triggers that were present in the negotiations.

Conflict Management: The Challenges of Negotiating Long-Term Concerns

Posted by & filed under Conflict Management.

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.

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

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

In Lessons in Life Diplomacy, the New York Times’ Bruce Feiler asks, how do we break out of negative patterns of conduct and proactively approach problems encountered in our everyday lives? His advice, gleaned from his own experiences as well as from the research of experts in the field of conflict management and dispute resolution, is actually quite simple on its face yet very complex in practice.

Anticipating Coalitional Behavior

Posted by & filed under Conflict Management.

In the early days of his tenure, a chairman spends too much time reviewing the details of his proposed policy with his staff and not enough time sounding out council members to drum up support for his reforms.

The chairman’s missteps lead us to the first rule of coalition building: think carefully about how and when to meet one-on-one with other parties.

When to Use Agents in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

The Program on Negotiation has identified three basic sets of circumstances in which you’ll be better off tapping an agent to take your place at the bargaining table (at least for part of the negotiating process).

Strategies for Negotiating More Rationally

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

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.

Prospering in a Multiparty Trade Zone

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

With thorough preparation, the help of a trained mediator, and useful reports from subgroups, participants in a multiparty negotiation should be able to find their way to the trading zone. Once they’ve arrived, the next step is to work together to ensure that everyone’s interests are met.

Managing Group Interactions in Multiparty Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

When multiple parties gather to discuss issues, someone has to oversee the group’s efforts, or the process will descend into chaos or stalemate.

A negotiation manager should prepare the group’s agenda, establish ground rules, assign research tasks, summarize conclusions, and represent the process to the outside world.

Prepare to Create Value in Business Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

When preparing to negotiate, always take time to consider these important questions:

What’s my BATNA – my walkaway option if the deal fails?

What are my most important interests, in ranked order?

What is the other side’s BATNA, and what are his interests?

Issuing a Draft in Negotiations: Risks and Pitfalls

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

A draft agreement may allow you to control the early stages of talks, but be aware that it also can obstruct agreement in the long run.

Putting a draft on the table may lock parties into bargaining positions prematurely, interfering with a search for common interests and creative options.

Conflict Management: Obama Compromises on Birth Control Rule

Posted by & filed under Conflict Management.

On February 1, the Obama administration proposed a compromise to a federal policy requiring health insurance plans to provide free contraceptives to women.

The proposal would expand the number of groups that need not pay directly for birth control coverage, the New York Times reports. Some religiously affiliated hospitals, universities, and social service agencies would join churches and other religious organizations as exempted groups.

Negotiate, Don’t Litigate

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

When you’re thinking about resolving a dispute in court, it’s crucial to remember that the decision that will be imposed on you is binding.

If blinders lead a judge to grant a motion that should be denied, deny a motion that should be granted, assign responsibility to the wrong party, or award too much or too little in damages, there can be no going back.

Managing Status in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Conflict Management.

Concerns about status will arise in any negotiation. How can you deal with them, both in yourself and in others? The following six guidelines can help in virtually any context

Moving to a Different Table

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

When a negotiation reaches an impasse (or, preferably, sooner), it’s important to consider that you may be at the wrong table.

What other individuals or groups might be able to break the deadlock? Perhaps you should be talking to them instead.

To Improve Your Negotiation Skills, Learn from a Pro

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

On February 16, in the midst of the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) All-Star weekend, members of the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) unanimously voted to oust Billy Hunter as the union’s executive director.

“This is our union and we have taken it back,” National Basketball Players Association president Derek Fisher said, as reported by ESPN.com. Fisher said the union had been “divided, misled, [and] misinformed,” by its leader. Hunter hinted in a statement that he might contest his firing in court.

Men, Women, and Status in Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Women and Negotiation.

A growing body of research suggests that status concerns vary depending on the gender of interested parties.

First, men tend to care more about status than women do. Using a university sponsored fundraising campaign, researchers Bruno S. Frey and Stephan Meier of the University of Zurich examined how social-comparison information affected contribution rates.

Male students who learned that a high percentage of students had contributed to the campaign were more likely to make a contribution than were female students who received the same information.

In the context of negotiation, professors John Rizzo of Stony Brook University and Richard Zeckhauser of Harvard University asked a group of young physicians about their reference groups and salary aspirations.

A Better Approach to Decision Making

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

When you’re making important decisions during a negotiation and have the luxury of time, what’s the alternative to Blink?

Should you completely ignore your rapid cognitions?

In the article “Strategies for Negotiating More Rationally,” we described University of Toronto professor Keith Stanovich and James Madison University professor Richard F. West’s distinction between System 1 and System 2 thinking.

System 1 roughly corresponds to Gladwell’s notion of rapid cognitions and System 2 refers to more deliberative thought.

An International Negotiation for an All-American Brand

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

On February 14, the news broke that Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate run by Warren Buffett, is planning to purchase H.J. Heinz—and its iconic Heinz ketchup—for $23 billion. Joining Berkshire Hathaway in the acquisition is 3G Capital Management, a Brazilian-backed investment firm that owns a majority stake in Burger King. The deal marks a harmonious pairing between burgers and ketchup.

Emotion and Judgment

Posted by & filed under Conflict Management.

The work of University of Iowa neuroscientists Antoine Bechara, Daniel Tranel, and Hanna Damasio demonstrates the effects of emotion on decision making.

Finding the Right Process in India

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

In 1995, a new government came into power in the Indian state of Maharashtra and canceled a 20-year power purchase agreement with the Dabhol Power Company, a joint-venture formed by Enron, General Electric, and Bechtel. Claiming that the deal was improper and even illegal, the government declared publicly that it would not renegotiate.

The Dictator Game: Justifying Selfishness in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Teaching Negotiation.

In a recent study of selfishness in negotiation, Fei Song of York University and C. Brian Cadsby and Tristan Morris of the University of Guelph had participants play the “dictator game,” adapted from experimental economics literature. In this game, Party A is given a sum of money to allocate between himself and Party B. Because Party B has no power, Party A’s allocation goes into effect without debate. The dictator game captures the essence of negotiations in contexts with an extreme power differential.

Power Failure

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

In 1992 as part of efforts to privatize its energy sector, the Indian government chose energy-trading firm Enron, in conjunction with General Electric and the Bechtel Corporation, to build the world’s largest electricity-generating plant in Maharashtra, one of the poorest states in India. Possessing significant financial, intellectual, and reputational capital, Enron had to have been a formidable opponent in those initial negotiations. Enron was then on top of the business world, with sky-high stock prices and a reputation for innovation and growth.

Negotiations by Other Means: Track II, Unilateral Action, Robust Third Party Role and Islands of Coordination in the New Middle East

Posted by & filed under Events, International Negotiation, Middle East Negotiation Initiative.

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.

Dispute Resolution, NHL style

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

In the early hours of January 6, the National Hockey League (NHL) and the NHL Players’ Association (NHLPA) concluded a 16-hour mediation session by announcing they had reached agreement to end a 113-day lockout. The deal was finalized a week later, and the players returned to the ice for a shortened 2012-2013 season on January 19.

The Mediator as Negotiation Advisor: Team versus Individual Interests

Posted by & filed under Mediation.

If you’ve ever been part of an organization team preparing to negotiate an agreement with another organization, you probably have faced this frustrating task: Aligning your individual interests , other team members’ interests, and those of your company as a whole.

Negotiating in China: The Importance of Relationship Building

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

Although most Americans treat those they know better than they treat strangers, Chinese behavior towards insiders and outsiders tends to be more extreme than in the United States. A guiding principle in Chinese society is guanxi – personal relationships with people from whom one can expect (and who expect in return) special favors and services. Family ties are paramount, but friends, fellow students, and neighbors can also join the inner circle. As a foreigner, you can cultivate guanxi either by hiring people with close ties to your counterpart or by developing your own relationships with key contacts.

Russia’s Adoption Ban Triggers a Diplomatic Crisis

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

On December 28, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law a ban on adoptions of Russian children by American citizens. The ban was part of a broader law tailored to retaliate against the United States for passing a recent law intended to punish Russian human rights violators, the New York Times reports. Yet it may have spawned a need for crisis negotiations between the two countries.

Self-Analysis and Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

“Separate the people from the problem,” advises the best-selling negotiation text Getting to Yes. That’s certainly good counsel when tempers flare and bargaining descends into ego battles, but it’s a mistake to ignore the psychological crosscurrents in negotiation. Unless they are addressed, a deal may never be reached.

Taking an Outside View

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Cognitive biases affect even smart and highly educated negotiators. Unfortunately, awareness of our biases is not enough to prevent their having a negative impact on our next negotiation.

Laughing Matters

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

You don’t have to be serious to be a serious negotiator. Humor, deftly used, can be a positive factor in promoting agreement.

That’s what Finnish researcher Taina Vuorela confirmed in a comparative study of two real-world transactions. One was an internal meeting of a sales team trying to hammer out a strategy to land a potential customer. The other was the subsequent negotiation between that same team and its outside client.

Enhancing Your Deal in Business Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Not all contracts are created equal. Some maximize joint through creative trades, while others are barely satisfactory. Strategic wariness causes many people to leave untapped value on the bargaining table. Of course, agreements based on incomplete and distorted information aren’t likely to be efficient.

When You Should Put Pen to Paper

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Managers often are surprised to learn that deals don’t need to be written down to be legally binding. As a matter of contract law, all that’s needed is an offer, acceptance, and consideration - legalese for a benefit gained by each side. For many deals, this means that a handshake is sufficient to “bind” the parties.

Improving Negotiation Skills Training

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

How would you characterize your negotiating style: Are you collaborative, competitive, or compromising? If you have trouble answering that question, you’re probably not alone. That’s because skilled negotiators typically take on all these styles during a negotiation: they listen closely and collaborate to create value, they compete for the biggest slice of the pie, and they make compromises when necessary.

PON Film Series Event: My Neighbourhood Screening with Julia Bacha, Just Vision

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation, Middle East Negotiation Initiative, PON Film Series.

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.

A Forceful Deal: George Lucas Puts His Trust in Disney

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

On October 30, the Walt Disney Company made a bold leap into the world of fantasy movies with its surprise announcement that it was acquiring Lucasfilm, home of the immensely successful Star Wars brands, from its founder, George Lucas, for $4.05 billion, split evenly between stock and cash. Lucas is the sole shareholder of his company.

The Fiscal Cliff and the Debt Ceiling: Program on Negotiation Chair Robert Mnookin Discusses Recent and Future Negotiations Between Congressional Republicans and the White House

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

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?

Fickle Intuition

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Placing Trust in Others

When it comes to trusting others, negotiators often rely on their gut instincts.

Recent studies indicate, however, that extraneous factors can sway such judgments.

For example, Michael Kosfeld and other University of Zurich researchers introduced a twist in a classic trust game in which subjects must decide on how much money to invest when there’s no guarantee that the party playing the “trustee” will return the investment or share the gains.

How to Negotiate When You’re Literally Far Apart

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Imagine that you’re the CEO of a sports clothing manufacturer based in Chicago. You recently traveled to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, to meet with a distributor who has a rich and diverse network in the European sports market.

During the business trip, you both express enthusiasm about the possibility of a joint venture and agree to give the potential alliance more thought.

Back home, you learn that one of your competitors has discussed similar plans with the same distributor.

In New York, Fast-Food Workers Test Their Negotiation Skills

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

On November 28, dozens of employees at several fast-food restaurants in New York City walked off their jobs and demanded better pay and unionization. In doing so, they launched what is believed to be the largest coordinated campaign in the United States to unionize fast-food workers from different restaurants, reports Steven Greenhouse in the New York Times.

Training for Non-Face-to-Face Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

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.

Not-So-Privileged Information

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

The law of attorney-client privilege protects certain communications on the assumption that clients will reveal critical information to their attorneys only if they know such disclosures will not harm them in court. Despite the inadmissibility of such evidence, judges can have difficulty disregarding privileged information that sheds light on a case.

Dispute Resolution and the Chicago Teachers Union Strike

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

When a conflict looms, it can be tempting for each side to try to make unilateral decisions on key issues because of the belief that negotiations with the other side will be a dead end. This strategy may pay off in the short term, but it’s important to factor in the long-term costs.

Negotiating the Fiscal Crisis

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

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.

Negotiating Two Steps Ahead of the ‘Fiscal Cliff’

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Program on Negotiation and Harvard Business School professor Deepak Malhotra recently sat down with CNBC to discuss the fiscal cliff and how Democrats and Republicans can not only complete their current negotiation successfully, but also their future negotiations.

Are You an Overconfident Negotiator?

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

In 1901, J.P. Morgan wanted to buy the Carnegie Steel Company from its founder, Andrew Carnegie.

Carnegie was 65 years old and considering retirement. As Harold C. Livesay recounts in his book Andrew Carnegie and the Rise of Big Business (Little, Brown, 1975), when Carnegie finally decided he was ready to sell, he jotted down his estimate of his company’s worth in pencil: $480 million. Carnegie had the sheet of paper delivered to Morgan, who took one look and said, “I accept this price.”

Overconfidence About Future Failure or Success: Limiting Strategic Miscalculation in Business Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Over-precision doesn’t necessarily lead us to think we’re better negotiators than we actually are. Rather, it causes us to trust our initial instincts too much.

Sometimes we’re actually overconfident that we’ll perform worse than others. This tendency applies to competitive situations, including negotiation.

Those who underestimate their ability to be competitive usually will choose to stay out of a negotiation.

Practicing to Be Spontaneous

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

In both improv and negotiation, confidence often comes from having fallback routines. Improv performers buy time by resorting to “physical business” – pouring an imaginary glass of beer, for example. Seasoned negotiators use similar gambits to slow down the clock and get their bearings:

Team Building, One Player at a Time

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

In late October, the Detroit Tigers were preparing to face off against the San Francisco Giants in Major League Baseball’s World Series. In 2002 and 2003, the Tigers had two of the worst seasons in baseball history, losing a combined 225 games. But through years of calculated decision making and negotiations, team president Dave Dombrowski and his staff rebuilt the team from the ground up, writes Noah Trister of the Associated Press. The Tigers have reached the World Series for the second time in seven seasons and, at the time of this writing, are favored to beat the Giants.

Managing Internal Conflict: Russia’s Bid to Join the WTO

Posted by & filed under Conflict Management.

In June 1993, a little over a year after the fall of communist rule in Russia, President Boris Yeltsin submitted an application for Russia to join the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the precursor to the World Trade Organization (WTO). Eighteen years later, in November 2011, Russia finally was voted into the WTO, which administers international trade rules among its members. This past August, the nation officially became a member of the organization.

When Time Isn’t Money

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Due to deeply ingrained gender stereotypes, women may find it easier to negotiate their time instead of their financial compensation.

Consider that men and women are likely to rely on gender-stereotypic arguments to support their demands in negotiation. For women, the gender-stereotypic notion of being caregivers is readily available and likely to be well received. By contrast, men, who generally are expected to be the primary family breadwinner, have less difficulty negotiating financial issues than women do.

Penguin Sues Its Own Writers: When Business Negotiations Become Bad PR

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

In this business world, it’s typically smart practice to keep disputes with key partners private, at least until doing so becomes unfeasible for financial or other reasons. That’s why the book publisher Penguin’s decision to file lawsuits against 12 of its authors for breach of contract is being widely judged as a public relations misstep.

Water Diplomacy: Using a Creative Approach

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

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.

Water Diplomacy: Value Creating Approachs to Water Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Conflict Management.

Zero-sum thinking emerges when people conceive of water as a fixed resource – one provided by nature in a given quantity that is either static or diminishing. Based on these assumptions, diplomats often focus on what share of the existing water will be given to each entity. Negotiations of this type typically involve decision makers who are political leaders focused on preserving sovereignty and maintaining state security. They are often unprepared to think about improving the overall efficiency of water use, which, in effect, can “create” more water.

Water Diplomacy: The Role of Science in Water Diplomacy

Posted by & filed under Conflict Management.

Scientific and technical knowledge is important in water negotiations, but not in the ways it has often been used. It is counterproductive to use scientific information to justify arbitrary (political) decisions. For example, scientific information about water has increased dramatically over the last several decades, but our ability to manage water resources has not improved proportionately.

In Dispute Resolution, Try Going to the Top

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

When two parties are attempting to resolve a contentious dispute, the most effective peacemakers may be those at the highest levels. That’s the lesson from recent productive talks between President Obama and Afghan leader Hamid Karzai on the issue of rules for detaining terrorism suspects.

Water Diplomacy: Understanding Uncertainty, Risk, and Opportunity in Water Management

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

When countries face contending water claims, one of the biggest obstacles to reaching an agreement is uncertainty. Specifically, there are three types of uncertainty: uncertainty of information, uncertainty of action, and uncertainty of perception. In part 2 of this 5 part series, Program on Negotiation faculty member Lawrence Susskind explains the uncertainties facing negotiators trying to make agreements.

Water Diplomacy: Creating Value and Building Trust in Transboundary Water Negotiations – Israel and Jordan, From War to Water Sharing

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Most difficulties in water negotiations are due to rigid assumptions about how water must be allocated. When countries (or states) share boundary waters, the presumption is that there is a fixed amount of water to divide among them, often in the face of ever-increasing demand and uncertain variability. Such assumptions lead to a zero-sum mindset, with absolute winners and losers. However, when parties instead understand that water is a flexible resource and use processes and mechanisms to focus on building and enhancing trust, even countries in conflict can reach agreements that satisfy their citizens’ water needs and their national interests.

Business Negotiations: Cooperate to Claim Value

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

What happens in negotiations between two individuals who care little about each other’s outcomes? Suppose an engineer and an industrial designer are arguing over the design of a car bumper. The designer only cares about whether the bumper matches the style of the vehicle; the engineer is concerned only about how the bumper connects to the front. After describing the trouble he’s having with the existing design, the engineer presents a solution that the designer deems “ugly.” The designer threatens to involve her boss if the engineer doesn’t revert back to the prior design.

Try Skills-Based Strategies First

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Before launching a workaround, run through this list of skills-based strategies adopted from Getting Past No: Negotiating Your Way from Confrontation to Cooperation by William Ury (Bantam, 1993). Only attempt a workaround if you’ve tried them all without success:

Roger D. Fisher, 1922-2012

Choosing to Help

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

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.”

Email: More Cons than Pros

Posted by & filed under Conflict Management.

Research suggests that email often poses more problems than solutions when it comes to relationships, information exchange, and outcomes.

The Program on Negotiation Mourns the Loss of Co-Founder Roger Fisher

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

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.”

Google Searches for a More Diverse Team

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Recently, executives at the Silicon Valley-based internet giant Google noticed a disturbing trend: the company was having difficulty hiring and retaining female employees, from engineers to senior executives, Claire Cain Miller writes in the August 22 issue of the New York Times. Women were dropping out during the job interview process and were not being promoted at the same rate as men. In addition, women have lost ground in top leadership positions since Larry Page took over as the company’s CEO in 2011. The issue at Google reflects a larger trend, as the percentage of women working in professional computing jobs fell from 25% in 2011 to 16% in 2010. In many cases, women have been leaving large computer companies for jobs in the public sector or with start-ups.

Bring Back Your Deal from the Brink: Weigh the Benefits of a Concession

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

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.

Bring Your Deal Back from the Brink: Probe the Other Side’s Point of View

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

How can you figure out the motives behind someone’s seemingly stubborn position? Begin by questioning her about the problem she is trying to solve. Deal blockers may be held back by financial, legal, personal, or other constraints you don’t know about, according to Harvard Business School professor Deepak Malhotra. A tough stance could also communicate a psychological need that isn’t being satisfied.

The Pitfalls of Faulty Contracts

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Some of the trickier aspects of designing the right contract with your agent include properly aligning her incentives and monitoring her work. Supervising your agent can be especially hard when she knows more than you do about the area of work. For example, hiring an agent who’s a lawyer and paying her on an hourly basis may induce her to spend more time than you think you necessary – at your expense. She might become a literary perfectionist, spending hours crafting and polishing an offer letter to the other side when, as far as you’re concerned, the second draft would have done just fine. To prevent her from running up needless hours, you might opt instead for a fixed-fee engagement. Then, however, she may cut corners, doing just enough to reach her fee.

Want the Best Possible Deal? Cultivate a Cooperative Reputation – Collaboration and Value Creation

Posted by & filed under Conflict Management.

In negotiation, different types of reputations serve different purposes. When you’re haggling over just one issue, such as the price of a used car or a computer installation, one party’s win is typically the other’s party’s loss. In such distributive negotiations, where each party is trying to claim the biggest piece of a fixed pie, having a reputation as a tough bargainer can be an effective means of undermining a competitor’s confidence and power.

Why First Impressions Matter

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Even when not based in reality, the expectation that someone is “tough” or “cooperative” becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy at the bargaining table. When you approach an allegedly tough competitor with suspicion and guardedness, he is likely to absord these expectations and become more competitive.

Conflict Off the Rink: The NHL Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Conflict Management.

Negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the National Hockey League Player’s Association (NHLPA) and the NHL’s team owners took a tumultuous turn in mid-August, a month before the current agreement’s looming expiration date of September 15.

The Role of Urban Planners in Negotiations: Case Study of Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Events, International Negotiation, Middle East Negotiation Initiative.

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.

What Can an Apology Do?

Posted by & filed under Conflict Management.

Following a violation, negotiators become less cooperative, less trusting, more upset, and more likely to retaliate against the perceived perpetrator. An apology can reverse the damage.

The Importance of Sincerity

Posted by & filed under Conflict Management.

Most of us have had the experience of delivering an apology that fell on deaf ears. When apologies fail to achieve their aims, poor delivery is usually to blame. In particular, if the recipient thinks your apology is less than sincere, she is unlikely to forgive you.

When an Apology is Most Effective

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Some researchers have found that the most effective type of apology depends on the nature of the mistake made.

In a study by Peter Kim of the University of Southern California, Cecily Cooper of the University of Miami, Kurt Dirks of Washington University, and Donald Ferrin of Singapore Management University, participants assumed the role of a manager responsible for hiring a senior level tax accountant. The participants watched one of four videotaped interviews of a hypothetical job candidate. During each video, the interviewer mentioned that the candidate’s previous employer had accused her of filing a tax return that understated the client’s capital-gains income. In one version of the video, the interviewer suggested that the candidate incorrectly filed the tax return because she is incompetent – she didn’t understand the mistake she made. In another version, he accused her of deliberately underreporting the earnings.

A Peacekeeper Abandons Negotiations in Syria

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

On August 2, Kofi Annan announced he was resigning as the special peace envoy of the United Nations and the Arab League. reports Rick Gladstone in the New York Times. Since February, the former Nobel Peace Prize winner and former U.N. Secretary General has attempted to negotiate a resolution of the Syrian conflict. The peaceful uprising against President Bashar al-Assad that began 17 months ago has since exploded into a civil war.

Turn Your Adversary Into Your Advocate: The Benefits of Seeking Advice

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Advice seeking inherently employs multiple self-presentation tactics (including ingratiation, self-promotion, and supplication), it allows us to improve both our competence and our likability. Think about the last time someone asked you for advice. How did you respond? You probably had at least one of these reactions:

Negotiating for Continuous Improvement: Offer Ongoing Negotiation Coaching

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

How can organizations capitalize on negotiation experience? Through reflective practice: the process of considering the results of each negotiation in light of initial expectations and then discussing what ought to be tried next. While each negotiator must take initiative for reflective practice, to truly learn from experience, most need continual coaching from mentors.

Negotiating with Your Agent

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Toby knew that Dara was the perfect New York literary agent for him as soon as he heard her friendly, professional voice on the phone. Never mind that 17 other agents had already rejected his book proposal. Dara’s enthusiasm and recent sales convinced him to sign the three-year exclusive contract she mailed to him in Atlanta.

Negotiation, Envy, and Lies in Conflict Management

Posted by & filed under Conflict Management.

In previous posts, the widespread belief that some people are honest negotiators and others are not has been shown to be inapplicable to real-world negotiations. Rather, because people respond strongly to their environment, ethical standards often vary depending on the context.

Bargaining at a Fever Pitch: A Bold Bid

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Have you ever won an auction only to realize later that you overbid for the prize? In competitive bidding situations, it’s easy to get carried away in the heat of the moment and overpay.

Crisis Negotiations in Europe

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

On June 5, another casualty in the European debt crisis emerged, as Spain announced that it soon would be unable to borrow in the bond market without assistance from other European Union nations. Emilio Botin, the chairman of Banco Santander, said about 40 billion euros, or $50 billion, in European funds would be needed to repair Spain’s banking sector, according to Bloomberg News.

The Darker Side of Perspective Taking

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Many negotiation experts recommend that you try to take the other party’s perspective, particularly when attempting to resolve disputes.

Recent research by Nicholas Epley of the University of Chicago and Eugene Caruso and Max Bazerman of Harvard University suggests a dark side to this generally sound negotiation advice. The researchers ran a series of experiments in which they asked participants to determine the fair division of a scarce resource. Half of the subjects (the “self-focused condition”) were asked how much would be fair for them to take. The other subjects (the “other-focused” condition) were asked to think about what would be fair for others to take and then write down how much would be fair for each party (not just themselves) to take.

The Perils of Powerful Speech

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Death to modifiers! All hail the active verb. Be succinct. These are some of Strunk and White’s commandments for simple and direct writing from The Elements of Style. They may also be effective guidelines for establishing verbal power in negotiation – though not always, it turns out.

Knowledge of Biases as an Influencing Tool

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Past Negotiation articles have highlighted many of the cognitive biases likely to confront negotiators. Work by researchers Russell B. Korobkin of UCLA and Chris P. Guthrie of Vanderbilt University suggests how to turn knowledge of four specific biases into tools of persuasion.

Negotiating with Chameleons

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Like in the title character in Woody Allen’s movie Zelig, some people can smoothly adopt the manner and attitudes of those around them. Due to the lengths such chameleons go to alter their behavior, contemporary psychologists have dubbed them “high self-monitors.”

Do Attitudes Influence Results?

Posted by & filed under Conflict Management.

Many people consider negotiations to be stressful and threatening. Others view them as challenges to be overcome. Do these different attitudes influence the outcomes that people reach? New research by professors Kathleen M. O’Connor of Cornell University and Josh A. Arnold of California State University sheds light on this important question.

Anchor Trials or Balloons in Conflict Resolution

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

The power of anchors in negotiation has been demonstrated time and again. Sellers who demand more tend to get more. Indeed, the initial asking price is usually the best predictor of the final agreement.

A trio of researchers may have found an important exception to this rule, however; lower starting numbers set by the seller in an auction can lead to higher ultimate prices. Professors Gillian Ku of the London Business School and Adam D. Galinsky and J. Keith Murnighan of Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management found this result both in laboratory experiments and from data taken from online eBay auctions.

Negotiating for Continuous Improvement: Monitor and Assess Your Negotiation Skills

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Many organizations subject their executives to rigorous performance reviews, yet few companies include negotiation effectiveness as one of the core competencies they track. Instead, negotiation is usually subsumed under categories such as “emotional intelligence,” or “persuasiveness.” The negotiator-related questions posed in most “36-degree assessments” don’t measure the right skills and abilities, such as preparation. When evaluators do assess negotiations, they typically rely only on post hoc accounts and overlook the details of the bargaining experience.

A Worse Deal than You Think?

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Most negotiators leave the bargaining table believing they were better at pushing the other side to its limit than was actually the case, according to recent experimental studies by Richard P. Larrick of Duke University and George Wu of the University of Chicago.

The Heat of the Moment

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

Imagine that after ample preparation and weeks of negotiations with three potential vendors, you have to choose among their proposals, each of which has numerous strengths and weaknesses. What’s more, you have only five minutes left to make this tough decision.

How should you spend this precious time? Ap Dijksterhuis and other researchers at the University of Amsterdam offer this somewhat surprising advice: fight for the temptation to read through the proposals one last time, and don’t run any more numbers. Their studies suggest that you actually may make a better decision by putting the proposals aside, doing an anagram puzzle, and following your intuition.

When Umbrella Agreements Spring Leaks in Dispute Resolution

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

Negotiators tend to want the best of both worlds. When reaching an agreement, they want to nail down parties’ respective rights and responsibilities, but they also want to retain the flexibility to deal with ever-changing business conditions.

One solution to this apparent dilemma is to craft umbrella, or framework, agreements. (The term umbrella is more commonly used in the business world, while framework is more widely used in legal and diplomatic circles.) Such agreements set out general principals that will apply to more specific give-and-take contracts in the future. An umbrella agreement between a soft-drink company and a grocery chain, for example, would typically cover issues such as exclusivity, invoicing, confidentiality, and termination. Subsequent short-term contracts would set prices and promotional allowances for specific products.

Cultural Caveats in International Negotiations

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

As Professor Cheryl Rivers of Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, points out in a recent literature review, seasoned negotiators often hear stories about the unethical behaviors of people of other nationalities. Perhaps the toughest problems arise surrounding what Rivers calls “ethically ambiguous” negotiation tactics. Ambiguity can lead us to reach sinister conclusions about the motives of our counterparts, particularly when we lack a solid understanding of an opponent’s culture.

How Mood Affects Negotiators

Posted by & filed under Conflict Management.

What are social psychologists learning about the connections among emotions, negotiation, and decision making? Negotiation contributor Jennifer S. Lerner of Harvard Kennedy School and her colleagues have identified two critical themes. First, they have studied the carryover of emotion from one episode, such as a car accident, to an unrelated situation, such as a workplace negotiation.

Second, these researchers are studying the influence of specific emotions such as happiness, sadness, and anger on decision-making.

Crisis Negotiations – Rolling the Dice in Court

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Going to trial, it’s said, is like rolling the dice. That proved true when an exasperated federal judge, the Honorable Gregory A. Presnell, ordered litigants to play a game of Rock Paper Scissors if they could not privately resolve their differences over a procedural issue. The lawyers were stalemated on where to depose a witness in the case, despite the fact that their offices were located just four floors apart in the same building. The judge didn’t want to waste public resources resolving such a trivial matter.

Many took the order as yet another exhibit in the case against shortsighted lawyers – and an attempt to shame them and their clients into more constructive behavior. Judge Presnell’s ruling also established a new best alternative to a negotiated agreement, or BATNA, for the parties: The matter would be decided by chance rather than on its merits, an unsettling prospect if each side was convinced of the righteousness of its position.

Conflict Management – Evenhanded Decision Making

Posted by & filed under Conflict Management.

As discussed in past articles, anchoring and framing can bias important decisions in negotiation. A buyer may make a more generous offer than she intended, for example, after a seller drops anchor on a bold demand. A litigant who focuses on his chances of winning in court – a positive frame – may be less likely to settle than if he concentrated on a negative frame: his corresponding chances of losing.

Many researchers have studied how such biases are amplified or moderated by mood, expertise, and personality. Groundbreaking work by professors John D. Jasper and Stephen D. Christman of University of Toledo now suggests that our susceptibility to decision biases is hardwired.

Announcing the 2012-2013 PON Graduate Research Fellows

Posted by & filed under Daily, Graduate Research Fellowships, PON Graduate Research Fellowships, Students.

The Program on Negotiation Graduate Research Fellowships are designed to encourage young scholars from the social sciences and professional disciplines to pursue theoretical, empirical, and/or applied research in negotiation and dispute resolution. Consistent with the PON goal of fostering the development of the next generation of scholars, this program provides support for one year of dissertation research and writing in negotiation and related topics in alternative dispute resolution, as well as giving fellows an opportunity to immerse themselves in the diverse array of resources available at PON.

We are very excited to have three new fellows join us this fall: