Negotiating At WorkTurn Small Wins into Big Gains

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Deborah Kolb & Jessica Porter

Selected by TIME as one of the best negotiation books of 2015, Negotiating at Work offers practical advice for managing your own workplace negotiations: how to get opportunities, promotions, flexibility, buy-in, support, and credit for your work.

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Negotiation has always been at the heart of solving problems at work. Yet today, when people in organizations are asked to do more with less, be responsive 24/7, and manage in rapidly changing environments, negotiation is more essential than ever. What has been missed in much of the literature of the past 30 years is that negotiations in organizations always take place within a context—of organizational culture, of prior negotiations, of power relationships—that dictates which issues are negotiable and by whom. When we negotiate for new opportunities or increased flexibility, we never do it in a vacuum. We challenge the status quo and we build out the path for others to negotiate those issues after us. In this way, negotiating for ourselves at work can create small wins that can grow into something bigger, for ourselves and our organizations. Seen in this way, negotiation becomes a tool for addressing ineffective practices and outdated assumptions, and for creating change.

Negotiating at Work offers practical advice for managing your own workplace negotiations: how to get opportunities, promotions, flexibility, buy-in, support, and credit for your work. It does so within the context of organizational dynamics, recognizing that to negotiate with someone who has more power adds a level of complexity. The is true when we negotiate with our superiors, and also true for individuals currently under represented in senior leadership roles, whose managers may not recognize certain issues as barriers or obstacles.

Negotiating at Work is rooted in real-life cases of professionals from a wide range of industries and organizations, both national and international.

  • Strategies to get the other person to the table and engage in creative problem solving, even when they are reluctant to do so
  • Tips on how to recognize opportunities to negotiate, bolster your confidence prior to the negotiation, turn ‘asks’ into a negotiation, and advance negotiations that get “stuck”
  • A rich examination of research on negotiation, conflict management, and gender

By using these strategies, you can negotiate successfully for your job and your career; in a larger field, you can also alter organizational practices and policies that impact others.

PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center

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Soft copy vs. hard copy

You may order this role simulation in either soft copy (electronic) or hard copy (paper) format. If you select the soft copy option, you will receive an e-mail with a URL (website address) from which you may download an electronic file in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. You are then permitted to view the document on your computer and either print the number of copies you purchased, or forward the electronic file as many times as the number of copies you purchased. You will only receive a link to one electronic file per document. So, if you order 25 soft copies, you may either forward copies of the link to 25 people via e-mail, or print (and/or photocopy) 25 hard copies of the document.

If you select the hard copy option, you will receive paper copies of this role simulation via the shipping method you select.

The purchase price and handling fee are the same for both soft and hard copies. Soft copies do not entail a shipping fee.

For additional information about the soft copy option, please visit our FAQ section, or contact the PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center at tnrc@law.harvard.edu or 800-258-4406 (within the U.S.) or 781-966-2751 (outside the U.S.).

Please note: At the present time, Teaching Negotiation Resource Center soft copies are compatible with the following versions of the Adobe Acrobat Reader: English, German, French, Spanish, Swedish, Portuguese, Japanese, and Korean. If you have a different version of the Acrobat Reader, you may wish to download one of these at http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html, or contact the PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center at tnrc@law.harvard.edu, 800-258-4406 (within the U.S.), or 781-966-2751 (outside the U.S.) for further assistance. This restriction does not apply to the freely available Teacher’s Package Review Copies.

Ordering a single copy for review

If you wish to review the materials for a particular role simulation to decide whether you’d like to use it, then you should order a single Teacher’s Package for that role simulation. A PDF, or soft copy, version of the Teacher’s Package is also available as a free download from the description page of most role simulations and case studies. There is no need to order participant materials as well as a Teacher’s Package, as all Teacher’s Packages include copies of all participant materials. In addition, some Teacher’s Packages (but not all) include additional teaching materials such as teaching notes or overhead masters. Please note that the materials in Teacher’s Packages are for the instructor’s review and reference only, and may not be duplicated for use with participants.

Ordering copies for multiple participants

If you wish to order multiple copies of a role simulation for use in a course or workshop, simply enter the total number of participants in the box next to “Participant Copies.” There is no need to calculate how many of each role is required; the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center will calculate the appropriate numbers of each role to provide, based on the total number of participants. For example, if you wish to order a 2-party role simulation for use with a class of 30 students, you would enter “30” in the box next to “Participant Copies.” You then would receive 15 copies of one role and 15 copies of the other role, for use with your 30 participants. As another example, if you ordered 30 participant copies of a 6-party role simulation, you would receive 5 copies of each role.

In the event that the number of participant copies you order is not evenly divisible by the number of roles in the simulation, you will receive extra copies of one or more roles. Participants receiving the extra roles may partner with other participants playing the same role, thus negotiating as a team. So, for instance, if you ordered 31 copies of a 2-party role simulation, you would receive 15 copies of the first role and 16 copies of the second role. One of the participants playing the second role would partner with another participant playing that same role, and the two would negotiate as a team.