Recent Posts

You Want How Much for the Mug?!

By on / Negotiation Skills

Common psychological barriers lead us to overvalue our possessions. That can be a problem when it’s time to get rid of them. Some possessions truly are priceless—we wouldn’t part with them for any amount of money. Others are virtually priceless, or “pseudosacred,” according to Harvard Business School professor Max Bazerman. We might claim that these … Read More 

Negotiating When Business and Family Collide

By on / Daily, Mediation

Basic negotiation skills may seem easy to apply in business situations but what about when business and family collide?

For example, a 69-year-old CEO of a large financial firm that has been in his family for three generations is considering retirement. He has three children who may be interested in taking over the business in addition … Read More 

How to Defuse a Strike

By on / Conflict Resolution

The recent dispute between the Writers Guild of America (WGA) West and East and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) illustrates how a disagreement at the negotiating table can lead to a long and costly strike. As the two sides battled back and forth, AMPTP member companies laid off support staff, and … Read More 

Why We Strike

By on / Conflict Resolution, Daily

What happens when disputants feel like they have invested too much in a conflict to back down?

There are a number of reasons that negotiations fail and lead to protracted strikes, often to the detriment of both parties.

Both sides frequently believe that their case is stronger due to overconfidence. If one side doubts the other’s claims … Read More 

Resolving Hot Conflicts: Skills for Managers

By on / Conflict Resolution

Conventional wisdom suggests that team conflicts be resolved by focusing on the task at hand and avoiding interpersonal relationship issues. However, Amy Edmonson of Harvard Business School and Diana McLain Smith of The Monitor Group argue that this approach only works with issues that are “cool” because they can be resolved using objective means.

On the … Read More 

Conflict Within the Ranks: Diagnosing Sources of Conflict

By on / Conflict Resolution

Conflict within an organization can not only damage morale but also cut into productivity and ultimately profits. Once you recognize that there is ongoing conflict in your organization, how do you go about diagnosing the source?

In his June 2004 article, “Divided, You’ll Fall: Managing Conflict Within the Ranks,” Lawrence Susskind describes the work done by … Read More 

When Facilitation Goes Wrong

By on / Negotiation Skills

Facilitation works best when a facilitator is matched properly to the group and to the situation. Look out for these signs of trouble that may suggest that you need a different facilitator, or that facilitation may not be working for your group:

Poor chemistry. Your facilitator’s personal style may be too forceful, or not forceful enough, … Read More 

Facilitating within a Group Structure

By on / Negotiation Skills

Consider the dilemma faced by Joe, the vice president of semiconductor technology at one of the largest computer companies in the world. He is also the chair of an alliance made up of representatives from six other large companies. The group works together to develop and acquire certain production technologies. The group also second-guesses every … Read More 

Facilitation with a Consensus Building Approach

By on / Negotiation Skills

Recent delays at a manufacturing company have cut deeply into company profits. The management appoints a multi-departmental team to come up with a way of speeding up the launch of new products. A vice president of manufacturing is put in charge of overseeing the effort and is encouraged to use consensus building techniques to take … Read More 

Does Negotiation Have a Place in Crisis Management?

By on / Conflict Resolution

Does negotiation have a place in crisis management? Many public relations experts would argue no. When a company is confronted with negative publicity, they are advised to reveal as little as possible and denounce their attackers claim. This advice ignores the fact that what an angry public wants is to be heard.

After stranding thousands of … Read More 

Negotiating with Your Children

By on / Negotiation Skills

Negotiating with your children may seem counterintuitive but parents can build stronger relationships with them by implementing a problem-solving approach when trying to resolve family conflicts.

In his book How to Negotiate with Kids…Even When You Think You Shouldn’t (Viking, 2003), Scott Brown, a founder of the Harvard Negotiation Project at Harvard Law School, outlines a … Read More