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The Pros and Cons of Back-Channel Negotiations

By PON Staff on / International Negotiation

Back-channel negotiations provide temporary protection from deal spoilers and public scrutiny.

Back-channel negotiations have been used in numerous conflicts across the globe, including the Israeli-Palestinian peace process from 1994 to 1996 and the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979–1980. In 1985, the imprisoned Nelson Mandela conducted back-channel negotiations with South Africa’s minister of justice, Hendrik Jacobus Coetsee, … Read More 

Star Wars Stories: George Lucas and a Strong BATNA, Passed Over

By Katie Shonk on / BATNA

In negotiation, your best source of power is typically your best alternative to a negotiated agreement, or BATNA. When you are aware that you have an appealing alternative deal to the one you’re working on, you will be less tempted to accept an agreement that doesn’t meet your minimum requirements. A strong BATNA gives you … Read More 

The Winner’s Curse in Negotiations: How to Avoid It

By PON Staff on / Business Negotiations

These business negotiations – an auction and a negotiated acquisition – highlight both the promise and risks of high-priced purchases and the dangers of the winner’s curse in negotiation. Negotiators fall victim to the winner’s curse in negotiations when they over-compete (and overbid) for items in the pursuit of a “victory” at the bargaining table. … Read More 

The Ladder of Inference: A Resource List

By PON Staff on / Negotiation Skills

The ladder of inference is a model of decision making behavior originally developed by Chris Argyris and Donald Schoen and elaborated upon in the context of negotiation by Program on Negotiation co-founder Bruce Patton in his book Difficult Conversations, co-authored with fellow Program on Negotiation faculty members Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen. The model describes … Read More 

Strategies to Resolve Conflict over Deeply Held Values

By Katie Shonk on / Conflict Resolution

Some of our most heated negotiations and disputes concern our core values, including personal moral standards, religious and political beliefs, and our family’s welfare. Business partners sometimes clash over the ethical standards they expect each other to uphold. Parents might forbid their teenager from attending a party during the pandemic. Friends may feel bitterly divided … Read More 

Advice for Peace: Ending Civil War in Colombia

By Lara SanPietro on / Great Negotiator Award, Pedagogy at PON, Teaching Negotiation

Check out new, freely available video of Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and his Peace Advisory Team as they discuss lessons learned from the Colombian peace process negotiations with the FARC guerrillas.
 

The civil war in Colombia lasted 52 years, taking the lives of at least 220,000 people and displacing up to seven million civilians. In … Read More 

Managing Difficult Employees: Listening to Learn

By Katie Shonk on / Dealing with Difficult People

Managing difficult employees is one of the biggest challenges that leaders face. When employees seem unreasonable, belligerent, or uncooperative, managers may be tempted either to brush aside the problem or, alternatively, to fly off the handle.

A better solution when managing difficult staff? Use negotiation techniques to get to the root of underlying problems. The following … Read More