watna

Worst Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement: In a negotiation, your WATNA represents one of several paths that you can follow if a resolution cannot be reached. Like its BATNA counterpart, understanding your WATNA is one alternative you can use to compare against your other options along alternative paths in order to make more informed decisions at the bargaining table. See Also: Dealmaking Relationship Rules and Business Negotiations, 10 Hard Bargaining Tactics, Business Negotiators – Find the Right Fit.

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The following items are tagged watna.

Daily

Fostering Cultural Intelligence in International Negotiations

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

In a Harvard Business Review article, P. Christopher Earley and Elaine Mosakowski describe the value of improving your cultural intelligence, or the ability to make sense of unfamiliar contexts and adapt to them. Some people are naturally skilled at determining whether a person’s behavior is unique to him or determined by his culture. For others, … Read More 

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. … Read More 

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 … Read More 

Business Negotiators: Find the Right Fit

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

When approached by a partner whispering sweet nothings about untold riches and power, it can be tempting to rush through the negotiation process. But if you do, you could find out too late that your Prince Charming is nothing but a frog—and that those glass slippers on your feet pinch. That’s how famed shoe designers … Read More 

The Paradox of Positions

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

It’s not difficult for negotiators haggling over seemingly finite resources to become entrenched in their positions. Sometimes the only way to get unstuck is to think appreciatively and creatively about the other side. Rather than trying to determine why a person has taken a particular position, consider what she wants, appreciate it, and try to … Read More 

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, … Read More 

The Deal is Done – Now What?

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

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 … Read More 

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 … Read More 

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 … Read More 

The Dell Buyout: Michael Dell Weighs His BATNA

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

In negotiation, your best source of power typically is your “best alternative to a negotiated agreement,” or BATNA. By cultivating appealing options away from the table, you free yourself up to walk away in the event of a disappointing deal. In all likelihood, Dell Inc. founder Michael Dell found himself facing such a BATNA analysis in … Read More 

Why You Should Limit Your Options

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

An excess of choices can not only impair your effectiveness at the bargaining table but also reduce your quality of life. In The Paradox of Choice, Barry Schwartz offers these strategies for limiting choice – and improving overall satisfaction: … Read More 

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 … Read More 

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. … Read More 

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 … Read More 

Wheelers and Dealers?

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Car salespeople truly understand how to use modest concessions to extract much larger ones. First, they spend a long time legitimating the sticker price and suggesting that it’s not only fair, but nonnegotiable. … Read More 

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. … Read More 

A Cash-Out Transaction: Cox Communications

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

On August 2, 2004, Barbara Cox Anthony and Ann Cox Chambers, two sisters who together owned 73% of Cox Communications, announced that they wanted to cash out the minority shareholders of their company. Their initial offer was $32 per share, or a 14% premium to the preannouncement trading price of approximately $28 per share. … Read More 

Keeping the Game Out of Court

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Sometimes those on opposite sides of a bitter dispute can achieve great gains – if only they can spot the ways in which they are similar. In 2001, the Metropolitan Intercollegiate Basketball Association (MIBA), an organization of five New York-area colleges best known for staging college basketball’s National Invitation Tournament, filed a lawsuit against the National … Read More 

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? … Read More 

A Value-Creating Condition Thwarted

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

In late 1999, with its stock in free fall, NCS HealthCare, a provider of pharmacy services to long-term care facilities, began “exploring strategic alternatives” – code in the mergers and acquisitions world that NCS’s board wanted to put the company up for sale. In 2001, Omnicare, a larger provider in the same general industry, offered to … Read More 

The Story of Goldman Sachs: Negotiating a Vision

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

In 1986, the investment bank Goldman Sachs was a $38 billion business owned by more than 100 active and retired partners. While the partnership structure had insulated the company from the vicissitudes of the stock market and given the company a strong culture of teamwork, it had some significant disadvantages, particularly an unstable capital base and … Read More 

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 … Read More 

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 … Read More 

Use Time Delays to Advantage

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

For decades, General Electric and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sparred over who would pay for the removal of PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, that GE had discharged into New York’s Hudson River, a cleanup project that is expected to cost hundreds of millions of dollars. The two sides finally came to an agreement in October … Read More 

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 … Read More 

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. … Read More 

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 … Read More 

Water Diplomacy: Value Creating Approachs to Water Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

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 … Read More 

Water Diplomacy: The Role of Science in Water Diplomacy

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

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 … Read More 

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. … Read More 

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 … Read More 

Mediation, Arbitration, and the Promise of Privacy

Posted by & filed under Mediation.

Negotiators often choose to resolve their conflicts through mediation, arbitration, and other alternative dispute resolution methods because of the privacy these methods promise. Unlike the public nature of litigation, mediation and arbitration typically give parties the freedom to hash out sensitive issues without the fear that their discussions and agreement will become public knowledge. Two … Read More 

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 … Read More 

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 … Read More 

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 … Read More 

Bring Back Your Deal from the Brink

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

What can you do when a difficult person is the main obstacle to a promising deal? There are a number of strategies you can use to bring the deal back from the brink of failure. In a series of posts, the Program on Negotiation will offer ten suggestions. … Read More 

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 … Read More 

Resolving Conflicts on the High Seas

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

In negotiation over a limited pool of resources, conflicts often spring up over what constitutes a fair agreement. If two business partners are going their separate ways, they might have different ideas about how their shared assets should be divided, for example. Currently, such a dispute is playing out between China and four of its … Read More 

Do You Need a Broker?

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

According to conventional wisdom, you should always hire a real estate agent when you’re trying to buy a house. The broker’s market expertise will help you decide what moves to make and what price to pay. Because the seller usually has his own broker, the motto “fight fire with fire” applies as well. Perhaps most … Read More 

Is the Devil in the Details?

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

You’re close to a deal, but concerns linger. Some of the contract seems less than precise. What in the world does “reasonable best efforts” mean, for example, or “good faith”? Negotiators in this commonplace situation face a choice: push for more precision now or sign the deal and hope the ambiguities won’t cause trouble down … Read More 

Roger Fisher Papers Open at Harvard Law School Library

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Roger Fisher, one of the cofounders of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School and Samuel Williston Professor of Law, Emeritus, was honored on the 8th of April with a celebration of his career, research, and contributions to both the HLS community and the field of negotiation. … Read More 

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 … Read More 

Do Attitudes Influence Results?

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

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. … Read More 

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 … Read More 

The Enduring Power of Anchors

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

In past issues of Negotiation, we’ve reviewed the anchoring effect – the tendency for negotiators to be overly influenced by the other side’s opening bid, however arbitrary. When your opponent makes an inappropriate bid on your house, you’re nonetheless likely to begin searching for data that confirms the anchor’s viability. This testing is likely to … Read More 

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 … Read More 

Conflict Management – Evenhanded Decision Making

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

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 … Read More 

Great Negotiator Award 2012

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, in conjunction with the Future of Diplomacy Project at Harvard Kennedy School, honored distinguished statesman and former Secretary of State James A. Baker III as the recipient of their Great Negotiator Award for 2012. Secretary Baker served under President George H.W. Bush from 1989 to 1992. A … Read More 

Specific versus Abstract Negotiation Skills Training

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Researchers have argued that negotiators learn more from cases and real-world experiences when they can take away an abstract version of the lesson. Such abstractions come from analogies developed across two or more different negotiation contexts, say Leigh Thompson and Dedre Gentner of Northwestern University and Jeffrey Loewenstein of the University of Texas, who propose … Read More 

Taking ADR Too Far

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

More and more companies are inserting alternative dispute resolution (ADR) clauses in their contracts with customers and vendors, and even in agreements with their own employees. ADR processes such as mediation and arbitration can be beneficial for all concerned if they help avoid the cost, delay, and uncertainty of going to court. Mediation, in particular, … Read More 

Why You Should Make More Than One Offer

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Effective negotiators seek opportunities to create value. By making tradeoffs across issues, parties can obtain greater value on the issues that are most important to them. But how can you be sure you’re making the right offer? Victoria Husted Medvec and Adam D. Galinsky of Northwestern University argued that, in negotiations involving many issues, you can … Read More 

Cultural Notes

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

As members of organizations and families, we all know from experience that even people with identical backgrounds can have vastly different negotiating styles and values. Nonetheless, we continue to be intrigued by the idea that distinct patterns emerge between negotiators from different cultures. Researchers do confirm a relationship between national culture and negotiation style and … Read More 

Sacred Issues in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

In a classic New Yorker cartoon, a dinner guest shows up for the party, hands the host a $20 bill, and announce that this was the amount he had planned to spend on a bottle of win before he ran out of time. Negotiation buffs might admire the guest for making an efficient tradeoff that … Read More 

Being Fair and Getting What You Want

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Imagine that you and your business partner agree to sell your company. You get an offer that pleases you both, so now you face the enviable task of splitting up the rewards. Some background: Your partner put twice as many hours into the firm’s start-up as you did, while you worked fulltime elsewhere to support your … Read More 

Negotiating Systems

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

While most negotiation research aims to sharpen individual managers’ skills, there is growing scholarly and professional interest in an organizational approach to negotiation.A systemic perspective evaluates the training, authority, procedures, and resources that manager need to improve their companies’ “return on negotiation,” as consultant Danny Ertel puts it. Looking at negotiations broadly reveals important design … Read More 

Leading Horses to Water

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

The hardest step in negotiation is often the first. Costly lawsuits can drag on it everyone is afraid to be the first to blink. Prospective buyers and sellers can waste endless hours dancing around a possible deal. And in collective bargaining, labor and management teams sometimes paint themselves into corners by refusing to negotiate “matters … Read More 

Managing Expectations

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Successful negotiators work hard to ensure that when they and their counterpart leave a negotiation, both sides feel satisfied with the agreement. Why should you care whether the other side is pleased with the deal or not? First, because satisfied negotiators are more likely to uphold the terms of a deal. Even a lengthy contract … Read More 

Powerful Thoughts

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

For many people, thinking about the role of power in negotiation can be paralyzing. In fact, the same people who are anxious about negotiating in general tend to be anxious about exerting their power during negotiation. Why? Perhaps because most of us realize that power, even when not explicitly discussed, is often the precipitating and … Read More 

So You Want to Buy a Car?

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

How can you negotiate the best possible price for a new car? This is a common negotiation question, and naturally so. A car is one of the most significant purchases you’ll ever make—and the price is almost always negotiable. Here are a few tips to improve your performance: … Read More 

Fine-Tuning Your Contract

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

When negotiators sign on the dotted line, they sometimes worry about the wrong concerns. “Did I overpay?” wonders the buyer as he inks the sales agreement. Across the table, the seller is thinking, “I bet if I’d pushed a little harder, I would have gotten more.” … Read More 

Beware Your Lawyer’s Biases

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Parties in litigation are often overly optimistic about their chances of winning in court. This tendency reduces the bargaining range for settlement because one or both parties perceive their walkaway alternative (namely, letting the courts decide) to be more attractive than it actually is. According to conventional wisdom, lawyers can help their clients overcome this … Read More 

Small Talk, Big Gains?

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

According to conventional wisdom, small talk builds rapport and gets both sides a better deal in the end. But in fact, the question of whether to engage in small talk can be highly context-specific. New York City investment bankers, for example, tend to be far less likely than Texas oil executives to engage in small … Read More 

Pick the Right Agent

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

So, you’ve decided to use an agent in your next negotiation. Now what? It’s important not to rush headlong into the process of choosing an agent—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 … Read More 

“Are We Exclusive?”

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Ron McAfee, a carpenter and roofing expert, spent considerable time working with a condominium association on the design of a new roof deck. After gaining agreement on the proposed layout, design, and materials, McAfee submitted a written bid of $12,500. One of the board members subsequently showed McAfee’s plans to another roofer, who offered to … Read More 

Eyeing the Competition

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Ford vs. GM. Coke vs. Pepsi. Oxford vs. Cambridge. These famous rivalries remind us that the top two achievers in a given realm often compete fiercely with each other. Researchers Stephen M. Garcia and Richard Gonzalez of the University of Michigan and Avishalom Tor of the University of Haifa have produced a useful series of … Read More 

How to Lighten Your Burdens

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

For decades, General Electric (GE) and the Environmental Protection Agency sparred over who would pay for the removal of PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, that GE had discharged into New York’s Hudson River, a cleanup project expected to cost hundreds of millions of dollars. In October 2005, the two sides came to an agreement. … Read More 

When We Expect Too Much

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

How often have you heard a friend or colleague refer to a contract as being “in the bag,” only to find out later that the deal didn’t go through? There always turns out to be a good reason a negotiation fell apart. Yet the fact remains that most negotiators are overconfident about their chances of … Read More 

Learning from the Soda Wars

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

This past November, in an unusual move, Costco, the largest wholesale club in the United States, removed Coca-Cola products from its shelves and posted messages telling shoppers that Coke products would not be available until the company lowered its prices. … Read More 

To Avoid Disaster, Plan Ahead

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

In the midst of the recent 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 … Read More 

Should You Go Dutch?

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Most everyday auctions are English: they begin with an opening bid, continue with ascending bids, and end when the bidding stops. But for some assets, the seller opens at a very high price, then moves down rather than up if all bidders are silent. … Read More 

What Makes Negotiators Happy?

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

The question above may seem silly. Getting more of what we care about seems the obvious answer. Yet negotiators often don’t know how to accurately assess a good outcome; instead, they rely on outside indicators to determine their satisfaction, for instance by comparing their outcomes to those of others. Your negotiated annual salary of $100,000 … Read More 

Is Your Agent Faulty?

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Top executive pay attorney Joseph Bachelder was representing a client who’d just been chosen as a company’s next CEO. After a first session with the board’s representative to hammer out a compensation package, Bachelder took his client aside and informed him that he would get everything he wanted from the negotiation, according to the Wall … Read More 

Check Your Confidence

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Many negotiators understand the importance of estimating the other side’s reservation price—the worst deal he would accept from you. However, despite the fact that such estimates often are based on hints, clues, and speculation, negotiators are frequently overconfident that their estimates are accurate. … Read More 

When It Pays to Delay

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Kathy, a serial entrepreneur, was negotiating the acquisition of a boutique software-development firm when a dispute arose regarding the valuation of one of the software firm’s assets. Specifically, the firm owned the rights to a technology patent of uncertain value. The firm’s owner argued that this patent was worth millions. Kathy agreed that the patent … Read More 

Is Your Role Not Quite Right? Negotiate a Better “Fit”

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

What happened the last time you faced a new leadership opportunity? Whether you were called on to head a team, a task force, a unit, a division, or a company, chances are you negotiated the compensation and perquisites of the appointment—your salary, title, vacation, and bonus. But did you look beyond these basics and negotiate … Read More 

Tough Tactics: Do ‘Death Threats’ Really Work?

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

What would you do if someone threatened you? Strike back? Run away? Beg for mercy? Try to negotiate? Last April, The New York Times in effect held a gun to the heads of Boston Globe employees – twice. The confrontation, say experts at the Harvard Program on Negotiation, offers valuable lessons in handling high-risk, high-stakes situations. Background: … Read More 

Beware the Pressure of Sunk Costs in Business Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Think about what your house, condominium, or some other valuable asset might be worth in today’s market. Did the price you paid for it affect your answer? “Ignore sunk costs,” accounting professors and economists tell us. The amount of money and effort we’ve invested in the past, they say, is irrelevant to our future investments. … Read More 

How to Avoid the “Winner’s Curse”

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Imagine that at the beginning of class, a professor produces a jar full of coins and announces that he is auctioning it off. Students can write down a bid, he explains, and the highest bidder wins the contents of the jar in exchange for his or her bid. … Read More 

The Value of Making Several Offers in Business Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

What’s the right number of options to put forward in financial negotiations? In their April 2005 article in the Negotiation newsletter, “Putting More on the Table: How Making Multiple Offers Can Increase the Final Value of the Deal,” Northwestern professors Victoria Husted Medvec and Adam D. Galinsky write that issuing three equivalent offers simultaneously can … Read More