3-D Negotiation: Powerful Tools to Change the Game in Your Most Important Deals

By — on / News, Reviews of Books

Through the years, the art of negotiation has been stuck in a tired debate between win-lose and win-win tactics. Now, negotiation experts David Lax and James Sebenius take negotiation to a whole new level: the third dimension.

In their new book, 3-D Negotiation: Powerful Tools to Change the Game in Your Most Important Deals (HBS Press: September 2006), Lax and Sebenius explore why the current one dimensional techniques—face-to-face bargaining-at-the-table—are not enough. According to the authors, this tactical focus leaves money on the table and is often inadequate for tough negotiations when the other side holds all the cards. It isn’t well-suited to common deal-making challenges such as multiple parties, tricky internal and external negotiations, and shifting agendas.

Filled with real examples, 3-D Negotiation maps out the missing dimensions—deal design and setup—that underpin effective tactics. Great negotiators carefully set up the most promising negotiation and envision value-creating deals even before sitting down at the table. 3-D Negotiation details how a superior setup plus the right tactics can yield remarkable results that would be unattainable by purely tactical means, however skillful.

David Lax and James Sebenius are intellectual leaders in the field of negotiation who combine decades of high-level, practical experience negotiating in the corporate, financial, and diplomatic realms with academic expertise that helped develop much of the modern field of negotiation.

Professor Sebenius is the first Gordon Donaldson Professor at Harvard Business School and a member of the Executive Committee that oversees the activities of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. David Lax, described by Forbes magazine as a “new negotiation theorist” on the cutting edge of his field, served as a professor at Harvard Business School from 1981-1989.

Lax and Sebenius co-founded the Negotiation Roundtable, a working research group sponsored by Harvard Business School and the Kennedy School of Government, and Sebenius currently serves as its Director.

3D Negotiaion can be ordered through the Program on Negotiation Clearinghouse.

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