Learn how to negotiate like a diplomat, think on your feet like an improv performer, and master job offer negotiation like a professional athlete when you download a copy of our FREE special report, Negotiation Skills: Negotiation Strategies and Negotiation Techniques to Help You Become a Better Negotiator, from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.


agent

A person who acts on a principal’s behalf in a negotiation. Agents – such as lawyers, sports agents, or diplomats – may have special training or be able to assert the principal’s interests more effectively than the principal. (Michael L. Moffitt and Robert C. Bordone, eds., Handbook of Dispute Resolution [Program on Negotiation/Jossey-Bass, 2005], 189). Also see "principal-agent theory."

The following items are tagged agent

Daily

The Impact of Anxiety and Emotions on Negotiations: How to Avoid Misjudgment in Negotiation Scenarios

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

negotiations

Intense negotiation scenarios, we often choose to consult an expert for advice, preferably someone who has carried out hundreds of similar deals with great success. When we consult with others on our negotiations, we must weigh their advice against our own opinions and research. Past negotiation research finds that we tend to undervalue advice from … Read More 

Courses and Training

Advanced Mediation Workshop: Mediating Complex Disputes

Posted by & filed under Harvard Negotiation Institute, Harvard Negotiation Institute (5 Day Courses).

Course Dates: June 10–14, 2019 You’ve handled numerous mediation sessions with ease. You are confident in your mediation skills, especially between two parties who want a fair resolution. But how do the dynamics change when their lawyers join the session? What happens when the mediation expands to multiple parties who are bringing many issues to the … Read More 

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John & Mary

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James Lawrence Five- or six-person mediation between manufacturing company management and a former employee (and their respective counsel) regarding the employee’s departure amid allegations of sexual harassment; optional extra role for manager accused of harassment … Read More 

Free Report

Sally Soprano: Role-Play Simulation

Posted by & filed under Free Report.

Sally Soprano is a distinguished soprano who is now somewhat past her prime. She has not had a lead role in two years but would like to revive her career. The Lyric Opera has a production scheduled to open in three weeks, but its lead soprano has become unavailable. Lyric’s representative has requested a meeting … Read More 

Daily

Cross Cultural Communication: Translation and Negotiation

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

cross cultural

In previous international negotiation articles from cross cultural negotiation case studies, we have focused on how international negotiators can avoid cognitive biases and overcome cultural barriers. But how do negotiators dealing with counterparts that speak another language modify their negotiation techniques to accommodate for the lack of a common language? … Read More 

Product

Negotiating About Pandas for San Diego Zoo

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Stephen Weiss and Sarah Tatrallyay This case study centers on the most challenging task for a negotiator: to reach a satisfactory agreement with a tough counterpart from a position of low power—and to do so in an uncommon context. The case concerns the executive director of a zoo in the U.S. who seeks two giant pandas, … Read More 

Free Report

Daily

When Not to Show Your Hand in Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Negotiations

Here, we consider four types of information that may be best kept under wraps: sensitive or privileged information, information that isn’t yours to share, information that diminishes your power, and information that may fluctuate during negotiations. Fearful of being hurt by revealing too much information, most negotiators play their facts and preferences close to the vest. … Read More 

Product

Lawyers & Clients

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Robert H. Mnookin and Susan Hackley An illustration of interviewing and listening techniques appropriate for lawyer-client interviews, featuring Harvard Law School Professor Robert Mnookin … Read More 

Free Report

Daily

Power Asymmetry and the Principal Agent Problem

Posted by & filed under Teaching Negotiation.

Power Asymmetry and Principal Agent Video

Downloadable Video Simulation from the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center This video simulation on power asymmetry and principal agent dynamics by Professor Lawrence Susskind and Robert Wilkinson was designed to give students insights into the challenges surrounding difficult conversations, both with people across the table, as well as with people on their own side. The Power Asymmetry and … Read More 

Product

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Rational Games A Philosophy of Business Negotiation from Practical Reason

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When two rational players face off in a business negotiation, why do they settle for less than each of them could and should get? Each pursues his or her interests as theory dictates, but often the result is less than optimal. Young proposes that the root of the problem lies in the philosophical assumptions underlying … Read More 

Daily

Negotiation Skills: Building Trust in Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Trust in Negotiations

Trust in negotiations may develop naturally over time, but negotiators rarely have the luxury of letting nature take its course. Thus it sometimes seems easiest to play it safe with cautious deals involving few tradeoffs, few concessions, and little information sharing between parties. But avoiding risk can mean missing out on significant opportunities. For this reason, … Read More 

Product

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Welding Connection

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Marjorie Corman Aaron and Jim Lawrence Four-person grievance mediation among counsel for a welding company, a union representative, and a discharged employee over the legitimacy of the discharge, which was based on a positive drug test … Read More 

Daily

Product

United States v. Dunlop

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Dan Vogel, under the supervision of Robert Bordone Four-person, three-issue, two-round between U.S. prosecutors, an executive charged with securities fraud, and defense counsel over the terms of a possible plea bargain; attorney-client interviews are followed by a plea bargain negotiation … Read More 

Daily

Communicate Your Interests Behind the Deal

Posted by & filed under Mediation.

negotiation

As integrative negotiations students know well, focusing on interests in negotiation has proven to be the most reliable way to create value and resolve conflicts. Experience indicates that communicating with your lawyers the motivations behind a deal or negotiated agreement is well worth the time. … Read More 

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Theotis Wiley

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Jake Erhard, under the supervision of Robert Bordone Two-party integrative negotiation between agents for a basketball player and a shoe manufacturer over a possible sneaker endorsement deal … Read More 

Daily

Product

Termination Tempest

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Marjorie Corman Aaron Four-person, two-team settlement negotiation between a terminated employee and counsel, and the former employer and counsel, regarding possible settlement of an age discrimination lawsuit … Read More 

Daily

Case Study of Business Negotiations and Deal Making: Giving Voice to Negotiators Away from the Bargaining Table

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

negotiations

Sometimes negotiators focus too much on the bargaining session at hand, to the detriment of bargainers away from the negotiation table, a group whose concerns and input is just as valid as those of the negotiators themselves. Here are some negotiation tips to help make sure your bargaining strategies include the voices and concerns of … Read More 

Product

Sally Soprano II

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Wayne Davis, Mark N. Gordon and Bruce Patton Two-party integrative negotiation between agents for an opera singer and an opera house regarding a possible contract for an upcoming production, under conditions of full disclosure. … Read More 

Daily

Product

MedLee

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Candace Lun and Jeswald W. Salacuse Two-party, four-issue negotiation between representatives of two companies with different national and corporate cultures regarding a possible joint venture … Read More 

Daily

How to Balance Your Own Values in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

negotiation

What are the best negotiation examples from real life? Imagine that you’ve been negotiating the sale of a property that is owned by your company. The buyer has made an attractive offer that you’ve tentatively accepted. Your boss is pleased with the terms as they stand, but suggests that you go back to the buyer … Read More 

Product

Fie’s Agent

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Jeremy Bird under the supervision of Melissa Manwaring Two-party integrative e-mail negotiation between a soccer star and her long-term representative over the terms of a potential new agency contract … Read More 

Daily

The Wired Negotiator: Using Technology in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Teaching Negotiation.

The Wired Negotiator

Everyone negotiates every day. How we negotiate is changing dramatically due to the use of various technological tools. People need not fear this change. Rather, they should understand the different technology at their disposal, grasp the pros and cons, and determine how to select the best medium to suit their needs, negotiation style, and approach. … Read More 

Product

Eazy’s Garage

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Bruce Patton (adapted by Sheila Heen) Four-party, two-stage negotiation between an auto mechanic and a client and their respective attorneys over a disputed repair bill; first stage involves lawyer-client interviews and second stage involves negotiation … Read More 

Daily

Product

Drug Testing in the Workplace

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Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld and Roger Winthrop Three-person employment mediation between a truck driver and his company’s personnel director, mediated by an Employee Assistance Program representative, regarding a positive drug test; a four-person version also includes a union representative … Read More 

Daily

How to Control Your Emotions in Conflict Resolution

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

conflict resolution

To guard against acting irrationally or in ways that can harm you, authors of Beyond Reason: Using Emotions As You Negotiate Roger Fisher and Daniel Shapiro advise you to take your emotional temperature during a negotiation. Specifically, try to gauge whether your emotions are manageable, starting to heat up, or threatening to boil over. … Read More 

Product

DONS Negotiation

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Robert Bordone and Jonathan Cohen, adapted from PONS Negotiation by Nevan Elam and Whitney Fox Four-person, two-party, two-round between a former couple and their lawyers regarding the knowing transmission of DONS, a fatal disease communicated through sexual intercourse … Read More 

Daily

Add Variety to Your Curriculum with These Top Simulations

Posted by & filed under Teaching Negotiation.

negotiation

Update Your Teaching Materials with Our Top Negotiation Role Play Simulations The field of negotiation is constantly evolving, and as such, requires new ways of teaching negotiation. It can sometimes happen that students come into a class having already encountered the negotiation simulation being used in the course, or that a different kind of exercise is … Read More 

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Commonwealth v. McGorty

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Robert C. Bordone and Jeremy McClane Four-person integrative plea bargain negotiation between two prosecutors, a public defender, and an alleged assailant … Read More 

Daily

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Cape Development Case

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Two-party real estate negotiation between a developer and a representative of the owner of a parcel surrounded by the developer’s land, over the future of both parcels … Read More 

Daily

Product

Camilia Pictures

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Robyn Cali and Robert C. Bordone Two-party, multi-issue, potentially integrative settlement negotiation between lawyers for a large entertainment conglomerate and its wholly-owned film production company over the rights to a new documentary film and the clients’ future relationship … Read More 

Daily

The Moral Quandary: Negotiation Exercises Featuring Ethical Dilemmas

Posted by & filed under Teaching Negotiation.

Negotiation Exercises

In a negotiation, few issues heighten tensions faster than when one party feels that the other party has done something ethically or morally incorrect. To help professionals prepare for times like this, the Program on Negotiation’s Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) offers a variety of negotiation exercises designed to teach participants how to handle disputes that … Read More 

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Bullard Houses

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Ron Karp, David Gold and Mox Tan Two-party, multi-issue real estate negotiation between representatives for a buyer and seller, where BATNAs are important … Read More 

Daily

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Brachton Collective Bargaining Exercise

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Two-team, multi-issue employment contract negotiation between three teachers’ union representatives and three school committee representatives; includes internal team meetings before external negotiations … Read More 

Daily

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Book Contract, The

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Two-party, single-issue distributive negotiation between a publisher and a literary agent over the advance payment for the agent’s unpublished but very promising client … Read More 

Daily

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Eazy’s Garage

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Bruce Patton Two-party negotiation between lawyers for an auto mechanic and a customer over a disputed auto repair bill … Read More 

Daily

ESL Negotiation: Avoid Confusion and Conflict

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

esl negotiation

“The language of international business,” a British executive once said to Tufts University professor Jeswald Salacuse, “is broken English.” The observation is rooted in the fact that most international business and diplomacy is conducted in English, Salacuse writes in his book Negotiating Life: Secrets for Everyday Diplomacy and Deal Making (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). … Read More 

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Sally Soprano I

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Norbert Jacker and Mark Gordon Two-party integrative negotiation between agents for an opera singer and an opera house regarding a possible contract for an upcoming production … Read More 

Daily

Teach Your Students Cross-Cultural Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Teaching Negotiation.

negotiate

As our world grows increasingly interconnected, we are more likely to find ourselves negotiating in a cross-cultural context. The diverse makeup of many societies and global nature of business today make cross-cultural negotiation a regular part of life. Also, unfortunately, many major disputes in need of resolution cross ethnic and cultural lines. Furthermore, it is important … Read More 

Product

Bentley Convertible

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Roger Fisher and Bruce Patton Two-party distributive negotiation over the sale of a rare automobile … Read More 

Daily

Teach Your Students Dispute Resolution for Their Everyday Lives

Posted by & filed under Teaching Negotiation.

conflict management

Negotiation refers to the process of working out agreements that meet each party’s needs and address their interests. People negotiate all the time in their everyday lives: in the workplace, within families, and when buying goods and services. Knowing which negotiation strategies to use in different circumstances can make a significant difference. The Teaching Negotiation … Read More 

Product

Daily

Dear Negotiation Coach: Breaking Bad News

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Training.

Q: I am a real-estate agent working in a relatively active market. Unfortunately, market conditions mean I often am delivering bad news to buyers: houses go off the market before I can arrange a walk-through; my clients’ offers often are countered very aggressively or rejected outright; and sellers may not be willing to agree to … Read More 

Daily

For Sellers, Staying Mum on Price Can Offer Hidden Advantages

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

Imagine yourself in a dilemma that only a privileged few get to experience: You’ve fallen in love with a dazzling, one-of-a-kind home that’s on the market, but it doesn’t have a listing price. Instead, the seller’s broker is encouraging you to name what you’re willing to pay. An offer well into the millions seems expected, … Read More 

Daily

Bargaining at a Fever Pitch

Posted by & filed under Leadership Skills.

bargaining

Have you ever won an auction only to realize later that you overbid for the prize? In competitive bidding situations, it’s easy to get carried away in the heat of the moment and overpay. The Boston Red Sox 2006 procurement of Japanese pitching phenomenon Daisuke “Dice-K” Matsuzaka offers a lesson in keeping cool in these … Read More 

Daily

Successes & Messes: What happened when Mark Wahlberg asked for more

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

March-18-3

After actor Kevin Spacey faced multiple accusations of sexual misconduct in late 2017, director Ridley Scott and Imperative Entertainment, the company that produced and financed the film All the Money in the World, decided to edit Spacey out of the film and hire Christopher Plummer to reshoot his scenes. The cast and crew were summoned … Read More 

Daily

Successes & Messes: A new MLB player keeps his eye on the ball

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

NB-feb-2018-featured-3

It’s been 100 years since Major League Baseball (MLB) had a superstar at both hitting and pitching in its ranks—namely, Babe Ruth. With teams rewarding specialists, players rarely have the talent, drive, and freedom to successfully multitask as so-called two-way players. That’s why excitement was so high this winter when 23-year-old Japanese hitting and pitching phenomenon … Read More 

Daily

Teach Your Students to Negotiate the Principal-Agent Relationship with Fie’s Agent

Posted by & filed under Teaching Negotiation.

Soccer football negotation

Negotiate International Sports Contracts In many business negotiations, especially those involving athletes, you will find an agent negotiating on behalf of the principal party. This unique principal-agent relationship can cause challenges at the negotiating table. The agent may have different preferences from their principal party. Agents may also have different incentives from the principal. Agents may … Read More 

Daily

Great Women Leaders Negotiate

Posted by & filed under Leadership Skills.

women

Great women leaders are no different than great male leaders—except that they may have faced more discrimination, lower expectations, and stronger resistance along the way. When women in leadership succeed, they often do so by cultivating successful negotiating skills. Here, we examine strategies that three top women in negotiation employed to become great women leaders. … Read More 

Daily

For Serial Negotiators, Pride May Come Before A Fall

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Imagine that you are a purchasing agent who just scored a significant price concession from a supplier. Now it’s time to hang up the phone and move on to another negotiation with a different supplier. You’re feeling proud of how you handled the last negotiation and confident that this next negotiation will go just as well, maybe … Read More 

Daily

Manage Family Conflict When Business Negotiations Go Bad

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Manage Family Conflict When Business Negotiations Go Bad

Conventional wisdom warns us against doing business with family members. Negotiations between people linked by close ties can result in hurt feelings, damaged relationships, or simply the nagging feeling that a better deal was within reach. Yet circumstances sometimes require us to negotiate financial matters with a relative. In other situations, someone close to you may … Read More 

Daily

Daily

Daily

When Two Deals are Better than One

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Barack and Michelle Obama

When you have multiple negotiations to conduct with one or more partners, should you combine them into one big deal? In negotiations for the sale of new books by Barack and Michelle Obama, the answer was an emphatic yes. Cast of characters When famous political figures have a book to sell, they turn to one person: Robert … Read More 

Daily

Daily

Successes & Messes: Painting a Suspicious Picture

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

In negotiation, a good agent can be hard to find. Three New York art dealers and a Russian billionaire learned that lesson the hard way in negotiations over the sale of a painting by Leonardo da Vinci, as reported by Bloomberg and the New York Times. A case of mistaken identity The strange saga began in 2005, … Read More 

Daily

Successes & Messes: A Notoriously Bad Deal

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

In business negotiations, we’re sometimes tempted to break the mold and do things in a new and entirely different way. But if our strategies aren’t supported by sound analysis and advice, we risk winding up with regrets. Take the case of star running back Ricky Williams, now retired, and the sports agency he worked with as … Read More 

Daily

Beware Your Counterpart’s Biases

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

In the past we have encouraged you to ‘debias’ your own behavior by identifying the assumptions that may be clouding your judgment. We have introduced you to a number of judgment biases – common, systematic errors in thinking that are likely to affect your decisions and harm your outcomes in negotiation. Learn how to identify … Read More 

Daily

Daily

How to Avoid Faulty Negotiated Agreements

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Some of the trickier aspects of designing the right contract with your agent include properly aligning her incentives and monitoring her work. Supervising your agent can be especially hard when she knows more than you do about the area of work. For example, hiring an agent who is a lawyer and paying her on an … Read More 

Daily

Is Your Deal Too Good to Be True?

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

In an episode of the fictional HBO series Silicon Valley, partners in a red-hot technology startup, Pied Piper, receive funding offers from a number of venture capitalist firms. Raviga Capital is by far the highest bidder; its offer of $20 million values Pied Piper at a whopping $100 million. … Read More 

Daily

Choosing and Using a Negotiation Adviser

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

As he approached the June 23 National Basketball Association (NBA) draft this year, top prospect Jaylen Brown, a student at the University of California (UC), Berkeley, made the unusual yet logical decision to participate in the draft process without the aid of a sports agent. Brown, the 2016 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, likely decided … Read More 

Daily

Successes and Messes: Ripping Up a Sweetheart Deal, Mid-Contract

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

The Kansas City Royals didn’t have to give catcher Salvador Perez better terms—but did anyway. It was perhaps “the sweetest of sweetheart deals” negotiated by a Major League Baseball (MLB) team in today’s market, according to the New York Times. So why did the Kansas City Royals throw out their old agreement with star catcher Salvador … Read More 

Daily

Daily

Negotiating with Your Agent

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Toby knew that Dara was the perfect New York literary agent for him as soon as he heard her friendly, professional voice on the phone. Never mind that 17 other agents had already rejected his book proposal. Dara’s enthusiasm and recent sales convinced him to sign the three-year exclusive contract she mailed to him in … Read More 

Daily

Star power: Negotiate to take your career to the next level

Posted by & filed under Salary Negotiations.

Thanks to a series of cultural events and news stories, job negotiation—and the question of how to succeed at it—has become a hot topic among women professionals and businesspeople more generally. First came Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead (Knopf, 2013) and corresponding movement, which encouraged women … Read More 

Daily

Negotiation in the News: In Oregon standoff, allies of occupiers broker a resolution

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

How can you end a conflict with someone who doesn’t trust you? Consider bringing in someone the other party does trust to mediate the dispute, as the FBI and the occupiers of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon did to promote a peaceful end to their standoff this past February. Strategic patience On January 2, an … Read More 

Daily

Are You in It to Win It?

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

For the New York Mets, a deal with outfielder Yoenis Céspedes is all in the timing Just because a deal isn’t working out in the present doesn’t mean it never will. That’s the key takeaway from a recent contract agreement reached between the New York Mets and star outfielder Yoenis Céspedes this past January. A temporary impasse Céspedes, … Read More 

Daily

A Bidding War at Sundance

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Filmmaker Nate Parker sticks to his dreams in a heated “negotiauction.” Most sellers dream about driving up the price of a commodity in a bidding war. But how can you stay true to your nonfinancial goals in an auction fixated on price? Nate Parker, the filmmaker, star, and producer behind the film The Birth of a … Read More 

Daily

With Patient Approach, FBI Steered Oregon Occupiers Toward Their BATNA

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

The 41-day armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon ended on February 11 when the last occupiers surrendered. Federal authorities in six states also arrested seven others accused of being involved in the occupation, according to the Associated Press. The standoff had begun when Ammon Bundy and his followers took over the … Read More 

Daily

The High Cost of Bad Advice at the Negotiation Table

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

If you’re thinking about buying a house, one of your first moves may be to choose a real estate agent who can advise you through the process. If you want a big-name publisher to buy your book, you probably will try to sign on an experienced literary agent as your counselor and advocate. Less formally, … Read More 

Daily

Negotiators: Resist the Vividness Trap

Posted by & filed under Salary Negotiations.

For the New York Mets, it was hard not to get carried away in their negotiations with Ben Zobrist this past fall. The utility player had a pivotal role in helping the Kansas City Royals defeat the Mets and win the 2015 World Series. When the 34-year-old Zobrist became a free agent, the Mets pursued … Read More 

Daily

Daily

To Reduce Post-Deal Regret, Take an Analytical Approach

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Dissatisfied with her first book contract, comedian Amy Schumer canceled it and negotiated a different one. A better strategy? Lessen your odds of disappointment from the start. In 2012, David Hirshey, senior vice president and executive editor of publisher HarperCollins, saw Amy Schumer’s stand-up comedy act and was so impressed by the rising star that he offered … Read More 

Daily

Negotiation Interrupted

Posted by & filed under Salary Negotiations.

From time to time, our negotiations are interrupted by an unexpected development from outside the talks, such as the death of a loved one, a serious injury or illness, or a bankruptcy. At times, a pause may be all that’s needed before talks can get back on track; in other instances, the change may have … Read More 

Daily

In negotiations with rookies, the NFL takes control

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

At one point or another, most of us have found ourselves in the midst of a chaotic negotiation process—one that takes much longer than hoped for, creates a great deal of stress, and squanders resources. Now imagine having to face multiple such negotiations annually. For many years, that’s the situation National Football League (NFL) teams were … Read More 

Daily

Negotiation Skills in Business Communication: Status Anxiety

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

negotiation skills in business communication status anxiety

Negotiation Skills in Business Communication: Campeau Corporation and Federated Department Stores Sometimes in negotiation we are forced to deal not only with the issues on the table but also with concerns about status. One famous instance took place in the late 1980s, when Robert Campeau, head of the Campeau Corporation and then one of Fortune magazine’s “50 … Read More 

Daily

First, Put Yourself In Their Shoes

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

When parties can trade on their preferences across different issues, they reduce the need to haggle over price and percentages. To resolve deep-seated conflicts and reach agreement with adversaries, former U.S. secretary of state Madeleine Albright advises close observation and perspective taking. At a recent event on the Harvard University campus, former U.S. secretary of state Madeleine … Read More 

Daily

When armed with negotiating power, use it wisely

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Harper Lee

The buzz of excitement that arose in February at the news that Harper Lee, author of the beloved novel To Kill a Mockingbird, would be publishing a second novel quickly turned to concern. The 88-year-old Lee, who suffered a stroke in 2007 and resides in an assisted-living facility in her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, long … Read More 

Daily

Business Negotiation Techniques and Dealmaking – Bargaining with Agents

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Managing a Multiparty Negotiation

When using an agent in negotiation, your negotiation strategy and definitely the negotiation techniques you use to achieve success at the bargaining table change – but how much so? How different is negotiating with an agent from negotiating with an equal counterpart? In this article the Program on Negotiation explores the business negotiation techniques negotiators … Read More 

Daily

What Does Conflict Management Mean in Business Negotiations with Competitors?

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

They say it pays to keep your friends close and your enemies closer, but in business negotiation, keeping your enemies—or competitors—close could end you up in court, as Apple’s recent encounter with the U.S. Department of Justice suggests. The story begins back in 2007 when, unhappy with Amazon’s low, flat price of $9.99 for e-books, five … Read More 

Daily

Negotiation in the News: The selfless QB? Tom Brady renegotiates with the Patriots

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

After renegotiating his contract with the New England Patriots, star quarterback Tom Brady attracted almost as much admiration for his seemingly selfless concessions as he has for his stellar performance on the field. But a closer look at the restructured deal suggests that Brady, once again, looked for an advantageous opening and came out a … Read More 

Daily

Negotiation Skills: View Your Counterpart as an Agent

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Looking for yet another way to build your power at the negotiating table? Examine the incentives of your counterpart—and then consider whether they align with those of the group she represents. In most business negotiations, notes Harvard professor Guhan Subramanian, your counterpart is acting as her organization’s representative, or agent (just as you’re acting as … Read More 

Daily

Daily

Bluffing versus puffing

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

In July 2014, Jesse Litvak, the former managing director of investment bank Jefferies LLC, became the only person to date to be convicted of fraud in connection with the U.S. government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), which used bailout funds to promote investment in mortgage-backed securities. Litvak was charged with defrauding investors of $2 million … Read More 

Daily

Daily

When a little power is a dangerous thing

Posted by & filed under Salary Negotiations.

In 1975, Leigh Steinberg launched his career as a sports agent with what appeared to be a tough negotiation. The Atlanta Falcons had chosen Steinberg’s client, rookie quarterback Steve Bartkowski, as their first pick in the first round of the National Football League (NFL) draft. The Falcons had other choices they could turn to if … Read More 

Daily

Daily

In business negotiations, assess when to go it alone

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

More than $100 billion in technology mergers and acquisitions has been announced in the United States so far this year, a level not seen since 2000, according to financial software company Dealogic. Among the most notable acquisitions, Google paid $3.2 billion for thermostat and smoke alarm maker Nest Labs in January, and Facebook shelled out … Read More 

Daily

Stay “in the deal”

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

As Joe Biden tells it, he never wanted to be vice president. When Barack Obama asked him to consider being vetted as his running mate, Biden declined. Traditionally, the vice presidency was a largely ceremonial position removed from the center of power. Though recent VPs, most notably Dick Cheney, had changed that, Biden, as a longtime … Read More 

Daily

In the NFL, Roger Goodell’s Dealmaking for Mutual Gains

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Because an agent’s incentives are rarely, if ever, perfectly aligned with those of her principal (principal-agent theory), many business negotiators have been burned by agents who put their own interests first. Agents in many fields, for example, have a motivation to close deals quickly – rather than for the best price – and earn quick … Read More 

Daily

Negotiators: Guard Against Ethical Lapses

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

During the past several years, one scandalous story of unethical behavior after another has made headlines: Countrywide’s and AIG’s risky business practices, trader Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, and former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich’s alleged attempt to sell a U.S. Senate seat. As instances of people behaving badly proliferate, some commentators have wondered if we are … Read More 

Daily

Conflict Management: Becoming a Team Player

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Show me the money!” That refrain from the 1996 movie Jerry Maguire, shouted by a football player to his agent, continues to echo through U.S. professional sports negotiations today. A public arena, enormous piles of cash, and even bigger egos combine to make sports negotiations a unique context. Yet anyone who has negotiated through agents, … Read More 

Daily

Pull Ahead of the Pack with a “Negotiauction”

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Robert Barnett, a corporate attorney based in Washington, D.C., moonlights as a book agent for celebrity politicians—including Barack Obama, Laura Bush, and Bill and Hillary Clinton. New York editors line up to sign Barnett’s clients and, they hope, rake in blockbuster profits. Barnett’s technique is to introduce his latest superstar to the major publishing houses and … Read More 

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Low-Drama Negotiation Skills at the “Late Show”

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Just one week after David Letterman revealed his decision to leave his long-running talk show, the Late Show with David Letterman, CBS announced that comedian Stephen Colbert would be his replacement. The negotiations surrounding the changing-of-the-guard were remarkably business-like and calm for the tumultuous world of late-night television. Letterman debuted his show Late Night in 1982 … Read More 

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A winning pitch?

Posted by & filed under Salary Negotiations.

Under the terms of the Major League Baseball (MLB) 2011 collective bargaining agreement, the New York Yankees, known for their deep pockets, faced incentives to break with tradition and keep their 2014 payroll under the league’s luxury tax threshold of $189 million. Thanks to its habitual sky-high spending, the team faced a 50% league tax on … Read More 

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Top Ten Business Deals of 2013: William Morris and IMG

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In early December, super-agent Ari Emanuel’s William Morris Endeavor talent agency and private equity backer Silver Lake won a bidding war for the sports and media talent agency IMG Worldwide in a $2.3 billion deal. Emanuel, whose notoriously ruthless negotiating and management style was parodied in Jeremy Piven’s Ari Gold character in the TV show Entourage, … Read More 

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When You Shouldn’t Go It Alone

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

A five-year old American manufacturer of medical equipment has just secured a patent on its primary product, a new kind of heart monitor. The potential market is even stronger than the company imagined, yet its second round of venture capital funding is coming to an end. A few other manufacturers are about to go public … Read More 

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Yahoo’s Tumblr acquisition

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

On May 19, Internet company Yahoo announced that it was purchasing the blogging service Tumblr for about $1.1 billion in cash. The acquisition could put a fresh face on the aging Internet company and provide it with a profitable revenue source—or it could turn out to be another instance of the Web pioneer overpaying for … Read More 

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To capture the force, be patient

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

On October 30, 2012, Robert A. Iger, CEO of the Walt Disney Company, announced that Disney was acquiring Lucasfilm, the film-production company known primarily for the spectacularly successful Star Wars film franchise. Following lengthy negotiations, George Lucas, Lucasfilm’s founder and sole shareholder, had agreed to sell his company for $4.05 billion, an amount split roughly … Read More 

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Training for Non-Face-to-Face Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Negotiating by email poses a set of challenges that one doesn’t often encounter in face-to-face negotiations. Without the benefit of seeing your counterpart’s body language, what one person might intend to be a straightforward request the other might perceive to be rude. A legitimate delay responding to an email offer by one party might be construed … Read More 

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Penguin Sues Its Own Writers: When Business Negotiations Become Bad PR

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

In this business world, it’s typically smart practice to keep disputes with key partners private, at least until doing so becomes unfeasible for financial or other reasons. That’s why the book publisher Penguin’s decision to file lawsuits against 12 of its authors for breach of contract is being widely judged as a public relations misstep. … Read More 

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In Deal Making, Broaden Your Focus

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Imagine that you are in charge of renting a new location for a branch of your company in a nearby city. After researching the reputations of a number of local real estate agents, you meet with several and choose the one who seems most knowledgable and responsive. … Read More 

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Do You Need a Broker?

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

According to conventional wisdom, you should always hire a real estate agent when you’re trying to buy a house. The broker’s market expertise will help you decide what moves to make and what price to pay. Because the seller usually has his own broker, the motto “fight fire with fire” applies as well. Perhaps most … Read More 

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Accounting for Outsiders in Your Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

If you’re in the middle of talks that seem to be going well, here’s a warning: consider the impact of the agreement on those who aren’t at the table, or suffer the consequences. That’s a lesson that Apple and some of the largest U.S. book publishers are currently learning the hard way. On April 12, the … Read More 

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When Others are Counting on You

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Unless your official title is “lawyer” or “agent” you probably don’t think of yourself as an agent. But if you’ve ever represented a family member, your boss, your department, or your organization in a negotiation, you’ve served as that party’s agent. Representing others at the bargaining table creates both opportunities and hazards. In their book, Negotiating … Read More 

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Sellers: Stay out of legal hot water

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

When it comes to business negotiations, you probably understand the importance of being as principled as possible to protect your reputation and ward off legal trouble. You probably expect your counterparts to follow the straight and narrow as well. Yet negotiators often have only a fuzzy grasp of which claims and strategies are legal and … Read More 

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Hardball tactics from a major leaguer

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Adapted from “Becoming a Team Player: Lessons from Professional Athletics,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, October 2009. In Major League Baseball (MLB), one particular player’s agent is widely blamed for the contentious nature of contract negotiations: Scott Boras. Boras has negotiated unprecedented contracts for many of the most highly paid players, including Manny Ramirez, Johnny … Read More 

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When women negotiators thrive

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “What Happens When Women Don’t Ask,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, June 2008. Some negotiation research has found that men generally initiate negotiations to advance their own interests much more often than women do. Yet researchers also have identified certain contexts in which women routinely negotiate and achieve outcomes that match or exceed … Read More 

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Sizing up the competition

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “The Ins and Outs of Making Sealed Bids,” by Guhan Subramanian (professor, Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter, July 2007. Imagine you’re bidding for a house against another “very interested party,” according to your real-estate agent, and the seller wants a sealed bid from you by close … Read More 

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Successful negotiation strategies lead to bright future for 2011 Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

As Zdeno Chara, the captain of the Boston Bruins, hoisted the Stanley Cup at the conclusion of the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs, fans could celebrate with abandon, secure in the knowledge that their star defenseman will be wearing black and gold through the 2017-2018 season. Without the last minute contract extension signed days before … Read More 

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Dealing with Option Overload

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “Option Overload? Manage the Choices on the Table,” by Chris Guthrie (professor, Vanderbilt University Law School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Consider what happened when Randy, who was opening his first restaurant, met with Albert, the general manager of Best Appliances, to negotiate a deal. Albert pulled out a stack of brochures and … Read More 

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Who’s Looking Over Your Shoulder?

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “Onlooker Alert!” First published in the Negotiation newsletter. Unless your official title is “lawyer” or “agent,” you probably don’t think of yourself as an agent. But if you’ve ever represented a family member, your boss, your department, or your organization in a negotiation, you’ve served as that party’s agent. Representing others at the bargaining table … Read More 

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Is Your Possession Really Sacred?

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “What’s It Worth to You?” by Max H. Bazerman, first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Imagine that a beloved aunt passes away and leaves you a 50-acre parcel of Colorado land. You have often visited the area, and though you never considered owning rural property, the fact that the land has been in your … Read More 

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To Get Ahead, Grab Their Coattails

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Want to Pull Ahead of the Competition?” by Michael Wheeler (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Lots of people have great ideas for new products and services, but most lack the imagination and doggedness to actually get them launched. Darren Rovell is a notable exception. As a college student, he … Read More 

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Making Time for Relationships

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “Leverage Time to Your Advantage,” by Deepak Malhotra (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Businesspeople often make the mistake of beginning negotiations only after an offer is on the table or after an old contract has expired. Why is this a problem? When money is at stake, it can be … Read More 

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Reconciling differences for a joint venture

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

The PON Clearinghouse offers hundreds of role simulations, from two-party, single-issue negotiations to complex multi-party exercises.The following role simulation is a two-party, four-issue negotiation between representatives of two companies with different national and corporate cultures regarding a possible joint venture. Scenario: MedDevice, a U.S.-based Fortune 500 company that manufactures high technology medical equipment, and Lee Medical … Read More 

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Securities fraud plea bargain

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

The Clearinghouse at PON offers hundreds of role simulations, from two-party, single-issue negotiations to complex multi-party exercises. United States v. Dunlop is a four-person, three-issue, two-round exercise between U.S. prosecutors, an executive charged with securities fraud, and defense counsel over the terms of a possible plea bargain; attorney-client interviews are followed by … Read More 

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Job termination and age discrimination

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

The Clearinghouse at PON offers hundreds of role simulations, from two-party, single-issue negotiations to complex multi-party exercises. Termination Tempest is a four-person, two-team settlement negotiation between a terminated employee and counsel, and the former employer and counsel, regarding possible settlement of an age discrimination lawsuit. Overview: Pat Thibideau had worked at Kane Restaurant Supply … Read More 

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When women make good agents

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “When Does Gender Matter in Negotiation?” by Dina W. Pradel (vice president, Y2M), Hannah Riley Bowles (professor, Harvard Kennedy School), and Kathleen L. Mcginn (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Businesspeople often wonder whether men or women are better negotiators. According to research, gender is not a reliable predictor of … Read More 

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Pick the Right Agent

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

So, you’ve decided to use an agent in your next negotiation. Now what? It’s important not to rush headlong into the process of choosing an agent—picking the first one you speak to, for example, and sending him off to talks the next day. You need to choose your agent carefully, then establish a clear, detailed understanding … Read More 

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Compare and contrast

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “What Makes Negotiators Happy?” First published in the Negotiation newsletter. We all know that people have a strong need to compare their outcomes with those of others. So a negotiator’s mostly likely target of social comparison is her opponent, right? Maybe not. Nathan Novemsky of the Yale School of Management and Maurice E. Schweitzer of … Read More 

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Daily

Should You Trust Your Agent?

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

You’ve found a beautiful condo that you’d like to call your own. You conduct a thorough assess¬ment of its value and identify several other ap¬pealing properties in the same neighborhood and price range. Believing you’ve found the magic bid, you phone your real-estate agent. … Read More 

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Making the first move

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Should You Make the First Offer?” by Adam D. Galinsky (Professor, Northwestern University). First published in Negotiation Newsletter. Whether negotiators are bidding on a firm, seeking agreement on a compensation package, or bargaining over a used car, someone has to make the first offer. Should it be you, or should you wait to … Read More 

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Is Your Agent Faulty?

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Top executive pay attorney Joseph Bachelder was representing a client who’d just been chosen as a company’s next CEO. After a first session with the board’s representative to hammer out a compensation package, Bachelder took his client aside and informed him that he would get everything he wanted from the negotiation, according to the Wall … Read More 

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Are you being hoodwinked?

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

As a partner at your growing law firm, you’ve been charged with negotiating the lease of much-needed additional office space in your building. The real-estate agent has informed you that if you don’t increase your offer by $10,000 by the end of the day, you’ll lose the space to another company. Is she bluffing, or … Read More 

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