Thoughts from Dan Shapiro, Director of the Harvard International Negotiation Program, on the Government Shutdown

By on / Negotiation Skills

This week, Dan Shapiro, Director of the Harvard International Negotiation Program, was quoted in The Christian Science Monitor speaking President Trump’s negotiation style, and how he may get better results through interest-based negotiation. “The basic idea here is, let’s not focus on positions, or what each side says they want: ‘I want a wall;’ ‘Well, we’re not going to give it to you,’ ” says Shapiro. 

In this negotiation technique, the starting point is to look at the underlying interests.

“Why do you want a wall? Why do you not want a wall?” says Professor Shapiro, author of the book “Negotiating the Nonnegotiable.” “Is it the expenditure of funds, or is it differences in belief around security needs at the border? Is it precedents that you’re nervous about setting?”

Once the underlying interests are understood, then the negotiators can start to craft an agreement that works for everybody.

Keep reading Art of the deal: In politics, Trump finds negotiations a different ballgame.

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