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.


alternatives

The range of possible things you can do away from the table without the other negotiator’s agreement. (Robert H. Mnookin, Scott R. Peppet and Andrew S. Tulumello, Beyond Winning [Belknap Press, 2004], 19)

The following items are tagged alternatives:

Diplomatic Negotiations: The Surprising Benefits of Conflict and Teamwork at the Negotiation Table

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

As the US presidential primary season heats up for both parties, it helps to take a look back at the 2008 US presidential election and the win-win coalition forged between Barack Obama and his then-rival, Hillary Clinton. As this example demonstrates, if carefully managed, disagreements can lead to better results than you might expect. … Read More 

Hydropower In Santales

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Jennie Hatch under the supervision of Lawrence Susskind Six-party, multi-issue negotiation focused on issues of public engagement in hydropower-based energy development … Read More 

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 

Water Diplomacy

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Shafiqul Islam and Lawrence E. Susskind In this book, the authors show how open and constantly changing water networks can be managed successfully using collaborative adaptive techniques to build informed agreements among disciplinary experts, water users with conflicting interests, and governmental bodies with countervailing claims. … Read More 

Dealing with Difficult People

Posted by & filed under Free Report.

At the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School (PON), we are dedicated to helping professionals deal with hard bargainers and resolve even the most challenging disputes. To help you understand the principles of negotiation and conflict resolution, we put together a special report: Dealing With Difficult People. Discover how to collaborate, negotiate, and bargain … Read More 

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 

For Professional Negotiators, Three Is a Magic Number

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Everything good comes in threes, they say. For storytellers, this means understanding that readers and listeners find a sequence of three things to be memorable, satisfying, and compelling—whether it’s three bears, three little pigs, or three kings. For professional negotiators, sequences of three can be rewarding as well. The following examples of good negotiation skills … Read More 

ENCO

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Jeswald W. Salacuse, Arun Venkataraman, and Fritz von Carp … Read More 

Win Win Negotiation: Managing Your Counterpart’s Satisfaction

Posted by & filed under Win-Win Negotiations.

As the following points of win-win negotiation will demonstrate, ensuring that your counterpart is satisfied with a particular deal requires you to manage several aspects of the negotiation process, including his outcome expectations, his perceptions of your outcome, the comparisons he makes with others, and his overall negotiation experience itself. … Read More 

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 

Technology Equipment Partners

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Tracey Brenner, under the supervision of Lawrence Susskind Two-team, six-party, four-issue negotiation between representatives of two corporations setting up a simultaneous high-tech joint venture and purchasing agreement … Read More 

What Is Distributive Negotiation?

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

What is distributive negotiation? Distributive negotiation involves haggling over a fixed amount of value—that is, slicing up the pie. In a distributive negotiation, there is likely only one issue at stake, typically price. When you are negotiating with a merchant in a foreign bazaar, or over a used car closer to home, you are generally … Read More 

Farrakhan Negotiation, The

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Eric Collins Five-person, multi-issue negotiation among university administrators and student organizers over cost and arrangements for a controversial figure to speak on campus … Read More 

Negotiation Skills: Building Trust in Negotiations

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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 

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 

6 Bargaining Tips and BATNA Essentials

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

The best bargaining tips taught by the experts should offer ways to enhance your bargaining power in negotiation. To do this, you must cultivate a strong BATNA, or best alternative to a negotiated agreement. The more appealing your best alternative is, the more comfortable you will feel asking for more in your current negotiation—secure in … Read More 

Common Measures

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Paddy Moore, Hal Movius, and Lawrence Susskind Five-party, four-issue negotiation among managers at an aircraft engine company with the goal of improving quality and operations processes … Read More 

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 

How to Find the ZOPA in Business Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

In business negotiation, two polar-opposite errors are common: reaching agreement when it wouldn’t be wise to do so, and walking away from a mutually beneficial outcome. How can you avoid these pitfalls? Through careful preparation that includes an analysis of the zone of possible agreement, or ZOPA in business negotiations. … Read More 

Bradford Development

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Two-party, single-issue distributive negotiation over a linkage payment that a developer must make to a city government; includes ethical issues … Read More 

Bankruptcy Multiparty Negotiation Simulation

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James Emerson with Ben Longoria, under the supervision of Professors Robert Mnookin and Lawrence Susskind This exercise is a six-party simulation of multiparty negotiations in a bankruptcy (reorganization) and mass torts context. … Read More 

Developing Negotiation Skills for Integrative Negotiations – Does Personality Matter?

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Imagine that after some negative experiences at the bargaining table or if you are frustrated in your efforts to improve your negotiation skills, you’ve started to worry that you simply don’t have the right personality to be a great negotiator let alone a value-creating, integrative negotiations expert. The other party always seems to get the … Read More 

The Hidden Hazards of BATNA Development

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

The following question was posed to Program on Negotiation faculty member and associate professor of business administration at Harvard Business School in the Negotiations, Organizations & Markets Unit, Francesca Gino and involves a negotiation example from real life from the world of business negotiations. … Read More 

Hostage Negotiation Techniques for Business Negotiators

Posted by & filed under Crisis Negotiations.

What do FBI hostage negotiation techniques and business dealmaking have in common? Not a lot, we might assume. In workplace talks, lives are rarely at stake, and tensions seldom escalate into violence. Yet dig a bit deeper, and similarities emerge: just as in a crisis negotiation, business talks can be highly charged, unpredictable, and emotional. In … Read More 

5 Dealmaking Tips for Closing the Deal

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

When you’ve made progress on certain issues but remain stymied on others in a negotiation, it’s time to take a hard look at what’s standing between you and a mutually acceptable deal. Professor Robert Mnookin of Harvard Law School and his colleagues at Stanford University have created a catalog of common dealmaking barriers to agreement, … Read More 

Negotiation Analysis: The US, Taliban, and the Bergdahl Exchange

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

The exchange between the United States and the Taliban of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban leaders held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, represented the first public prisoner exchange of a US soldier in the thirteen year US involvement in Afghanistan. The background of the deal including how Private First Class Bergdahl (promoted twice to Sergeant … Read More 

How to Negotiate Salary: 3 Winning Strategies

Posted by & filed under Salary Negotiations.

The question of how to negotiate salary seems to preoccupy negotiators more than any other—and with good reason, considering how dramatically even a small salary increase can impact our lifetime earnings. The following three salary bargaining tips from leading negotiation experts will help you gain more from your new-job negotiations. … Read More 

Value Claiming in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

In most negotiations, we face two goals: claiming value and creating value. Value can be defined as anything you would like to get out a negotiation, whether it be more dollars, a consulting contract, a new rug, an end to conflict, and so on. … Read More 

The Importance of a Relationship in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Training.

At the negotiation table, what’s the best way to uncover your negotiation counterpart’s hidden interests? Build a relationship in negotiation by asking questions, then listening carefully. Even if you have decided to make the first offer and are ready with a number of alternatives, you should always open by asking and listening to assess your … Read More 

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

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

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 

What is Negotiation?

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Many people dread negotiation, not recognizing that they negotiate on a regular, even daily basis. Most of us face formal negotiations throughout our personal and professional lives: discussing the terms of a job offer with a recruiter, haggling over the price of a new car, hammering out a contract with a supplier. … Read More 

Team Building Using Negotiation Skills

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

To avoid conveying weakness to the other side, rather than calling for a break at the first sign of trouble, some negotiation teams devise secret signals they can use to bring wayward members in line—for instance, someone might stretch out her arms to communicate to another member that he’s getting off track. … Read More 

How Does Mediation Work in a Lawsuit?

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

No one likes to go to court. Not only is it expensive and time-consuming, but it often leads to frustrating results and damaged relationships. So, how does mediation work in a lawsuit and is legal mediation a better route? … Read More 

Negotiation Skills: Threat Response at the Bargaining Table

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

When someone issues a threat or an ultimatum, take a step back and diagnose the problem. Consider how you would respond to threats and ultimatums such as these during negotiation. In the face of such tough talk, should you strike back with a counterthreat? Probably not. Because counterthreats raise the emotional temperature of a negotiation, … Read More 

Building Trust in Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Adapted from “Strike the Right Balance Between Trust and Cynicism,” by Harvard Business School professor Max H. Bazerman, first published in the Negotiation Briefings newsletter.  Negotiators often must choose between trusting their counterparts and being cynical of their motives. The consequences of such decisions can be serious in dealmaking: trust too much, and you’ll lose big; … Read More 

What is BATNA?

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

What is BATNA? Negotiations in which each counterpart has a best alternative to a negotiated agreement are scenarios in which the incentive to work together must exceed the value of alternatives away from the negotiation table. … Read More 

Conflict Resolution Scenarios: Negotiating Values

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

The most heated types of conflict in organizations and in our personal lives often concern our core values, such as our personal moral standards, our religious and political beliefs, and our family’s welfare. Such values conflicts can escalate and intervening quickly in cases of conflict is essential. The following three conflict resolution scenarios can help … Read More 

Google’s Negotiations with Groupon: How Business Negotiators Can Maximize Value Claiming When Engaging in Integrative Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Win-Win Negotiations.

It seemed to be a match made in Internet heaven. In late 2010, Google made a $6 billion bid for Groupon, the Chicago­based company that e­mails daily coupon deals for local goods and services to consumers around the world. (If enough people sign up, the daily deal “tips,” meaning the coupons are issued; otherwise, the … Read More 

Negotiation and Bargaining with Your BATNA in Mind

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

Experienced negotiators understand they should reject any deal that is inferior to their best alternative to a negotiated agreement, or BATNA. What is a BATNA in negotiation? Your BATNA is the best possible outcome you could get if you walked away from your current negotiation and bargaining situation. When negotiating at an auto dealership, for … Read More 

Anchoring for Maximum Effect

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

It’s said that you never get a second chance to make a great first impression, and that certainly can be the case in negotiation. A weak handshake or a gruff demeanor can color how we see someone for a very long time. Similarly, make an unambitious or poorly worded first offer, and you’re much less … Read More 

Deceptive Tactics in Negotiation: How to Ward Them Off

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Deceptive tactics in negotiation can run rampant: parties “stretch” the numbers, conceal key information, and make promises they know they can’t keep. The benefits of negotiation in business offer strong incentives to detect these behaviors. Unfortunately, however, most of us are very poor lie detectors. Even professionals who encounter liars regularly, such as police officers and … Read More 

Ask A Negotiation Expert: Building Trust with Reluctant Counterparts

Posted by & filed under Dealing with Difficult People.

Tetsushi Okumura is a professor at the Tokyo University of Science and has been a visiting scholar at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. His research articles have appeared in leading management and psychology journals, and he has translated into Japanese many popular books on negotiation. Recently, Okumura has been interviewing Japanese government negotiators to … Read More 

Negotiation Research Examines Ethics in Negotiating Scenarios

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Lack of transparency regarding negotiations between hospitals and the insurers known as preferred provider organizations, or PPOs, is a key contributor to spiraling health-care costs in the United States, according to an August article in the New York Times. This topic has many questioning ethics in negotiating within the healthcare industry. The problem starts with the … Read More 

Ask A Negotiation Expert: Responsible Negotiators Care Beyond the Deal Closing

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

With this issue of Negotiation Briefings, we are pleased to introduce our new academic editor, Alain Lempereur, the Alan B. Slifka Professor and Director of the Heller School conflict Resolution Program at Brandeis University. Lempereur is an affiliated faculty and executive committee member of the Program on Negotiation (PoN) at Harvard Law School (HLS). He takes … Read More 

How to Manage Conflict at Work

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

A 62-year-old salesman believes he has convincing evidence that his boss passed him over for a promotion because of his age. What options does he have? He could let the matter drop and perhaps look for another job. He could file an employment-discrimination lawsuit. Or, if his company offers mediation services, he could have the … Read More 

Price Negotiation Advice for Consumers

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

It’s official: Price negotiations aren’t just for big-ticket items anymore. The prices of furniture, electronics, wine, jewelry, and other “medium-ticket” goods are now frequently up for discussion. The ancient art of haggling has made a comeback, so brush up on your skills with our six price negotiation tactics. … Read More 

How to Negotiate a Higher Salary

Posted by & filed under Salary Negotiations.

When considering how to negotiate a higher salary, job candidates often focus on back-and-forth haggling strategies. But it’s at least as important to think about our broader goals, the type of organization we’d be joining, and the best way to frame an offer. The following advice on how to bargain salary should set you up … Read More 

Negotiation Preparation Strategies

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

When an important negotiation is looming, “winging it” is never the answer. The best negotiators engage in thorough negotiation preparation. That means taking plenty of time to analyze what you want, your bargaining position, and the other side’s likely wants and alternatives. … Read More 

Negotiate International Energy Contracts with ENCO

Posted by & filed under Teaching Negotiation.

ENCO: Negotiating International Contracts in the Face of Political Instability Negotiating international contracts can be tricky, and unstable, especially when governments are parties in the negotiation. ENCO is a Texas-based power company that has begun to move aggressively into emerging markets. The Indian government has approached ENCO to build an electrical generating plant to increase the power … Read More 

What is the Anchoring Bias?

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

It may be the most burning question in business negotiation: Should you make the first offer? Traditionally, negotiators were advised to wait for the other side to make a first offer. According to this reasoning, the other side’s offer gives you valuable information about his goals and alternatives. More recently, however, research on the anchoring bias has … Read More 

Negotiating Indigenous Land Rights

Posted by & filed under Teaching Negotiation.

Teach Your Students to Address Fundamental Value Differences While Negotiating Indigenous Land Rights Indigenous land rights have been a key aspect of negotiations by private companies and governments around the world. Indigenous land rights are the rights of indigenous peoples to land and natural resources, which they have occupied for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. … Read More 

Video: Setting the Stage for Productive Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Daily, Resources, Videos.

Understanding how to arrange the meeting space is a key aspect of preparing for productive negotiations. In this video, Guhan Subramanian, professor at Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School, discusses a real world example of how seating arrangements can influence a negotiator’s success. The discussion was held in his negotiation training workshop “Setting the … Read More 

Arbitration vs Mediation: Using Teambuilding and ADR in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Mediation.

During his years as George H.W. Bush’s Secretary of State, one of James A. Baker, III’s, goals was to encourage the free-market reforms that Communist Party of the Soviet Union General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev had launched in the late 1980s. One day during his tenure, a high-level Bush administration official commented in the press that … Read More 

Resolving Conflicts Over Deeply Held Values

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Astronomers consider Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano that rises more than two miles above the Pacific Ocean on the island of Hawaii, to be the premier site in the world for viewing the night sky. Due to the volcano’s high altitude and tranquil, dark nights, NASA and groups of scientists from around the globe began … Read More 

Conflict Management and Negotiating When Pride is at Stake

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

The fallout from Iceland’s financial crisis offers a case study in dealing with those who have suffered a significant blow to their self-esteem. In late 2008, Iceland teetered on the edge of bankruptcy following the collapse of its three largest banks. Since becoming independent of the government in 2002, the banks had pursued a strategy … Read More 

Negotiation Research: When Many Alternatives Are Worse Than One

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

Negotiators are often taught that the more alternatives they have, the more fortunate they are. If it’s good to have one strong best alternative to a negotiated agreement, or BATNA, then it’s better to have many alternatives, right? Not necessarily, results from a new study by Michael Schaerer of INSEAD and his colleagues show. In a … Read More 

Negotiation Advice: When to Make the First Offer in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

When or when not to make the first offer in negotiations is a question many expert negotiators ask themselves when approaching business negotiations, real estate transactions, or even interpersonal negotiations with friends and family. In this article drawn from negotiation research, we offer negotiating skills and negotiation tips for when, and when not, to make … Read More 

Negotiate Your Way to Holiday Cheer: Leveraging BATNA at the Dinner Table

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, or so they say. As we look ahead to winter vacation and seemingly endless days of family celebrations, many feel a sense of dread, anticipating tensions and conflict as drearily predictable as overcooked turkey and practical gifts. Even those who look forward to family get-togethers often end … Read More 

How Mediation Works

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

When negotiators can’t come to agreement but want to avoid an expensive, time-consuming, and potentially rancorous lawsuit, mediation is often their most logical choice. Mediation can help to resolve a wide range of disputes. … Read More 

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 

Manage Your Power at the Bargaining Table

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Avoid the common traps that come with having high power or low power. In early August, employees of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), New York University (NYU), and Yale University sued their employers for allowing investment companies to charge excessive fees on their retirement plans, the New York Times reports. The universities were accused of … Read More 

Howard Raiffa Taught Us to Make Better Decisions

Posted by & filed under Teaching Negotiation.

If you’ve ever made a decision tree, engaged in risk analysis, or created a scoring system when preparing for a negotiation, you benefited from the work of economist Howard Raiffa, whether you realized it or not. And the decisions you’ve made in your negotiations likely have been far smarter as a result. Raiffa, a Harvard Business … Read More 

Dear Negotiation Coach: Starting Off on the Right Foot

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

QUESTION I’m trying to decide whether to make the first offer in a price negotiation. I’ve heard arguments in favor of both points of view—that is, going first versus sitting back and waiting for the other side to go first. Which tends to be the more effective strategy? ANSWER Negotiation is often a balancing act between learning about … Read More 

Conflict Resolution Games: Life, Death, and Career Consequences

Posted by & filed under Teaching Negotiation.

High-Stakes Conflict Resolution Games In Drug Testing in the Workplace—a popular role-play from the TNRC—a truck driver tests positive for marijuana in a random drug test. To play this conflict resolution game, participants assume the roles of truck driver, personnel director, and a representative from the Employee Assistance Program Center, and then explore the question: What is the … Read More 

Negotiating the (seemingly) impossible

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

At Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York City, a leading cancer research and treatment institution, doctors often will advise men who are diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer (and who have certain other characteristics) to follow a course of “active surveillance.” Because such cancers often progress very slowly, the doctors encourage these patients … Read More 

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 

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 

In Negotiations with Ben Affleck, No Appealing BATNA

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

In negotiation, your best source of power is typically your best alternative to a negotiated agreement, or BATNA. Having a strong outside alternative enables you to walk away from a deal that doesn’t meet your needs or that would compromise your vision or ethics. But when you are dealing with a negotiating partner who seems irreplaceable, … Read More 

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 

Will Your Eagerness to Do a Deal Look Like Desperation?

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Here are two diverging assessments of John Kerry’s performance as secretary of state during President Barack Obama’s second term, drawn from common portrayals of him in the media: Kerry is an indefatigable leader who has taken a hands-on approach to solving the world’s problems. Miles apart from the scripted, cautious approach of his predecessor, Hillary Clinton, … Read More 

In negotiation, sadness can have a silver lining

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

The negotiations that surrounded the 1962 Cuban missile crisis were some of the most tense and frightening in world history. Having learned that the Soviet Union had deployed ballistic missiles to Cuba, the United States orchestrated a military naval blockade to prevent the Soviets from delivering more missiles to its strategic partner. Over the course … Read More 

Negotiation logistics: Best practices for better deals

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Before the official start of the Group of 7 (G-7) economic conference in Krün, Germany, this June, U.S. president Barack Obama and German chancellor Angela Merkel took time to tour a historic village and bond over beer and sausages. At the end of their friendly stroll, Obama jokingly asked Merkel whether the G-7 talks might … Read More 

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 

Dear Negotiation Coach: Learning from experience

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Q: I work with a group that has completed several mergers and acquisitions on behalf of our organization in recent years. We would like to assess how well we have done and where and how we might improve. What’s the best way to go about this? A:Across all kinds of business negotiations, assessing a team’s performance … Read More 

Business Negotiation Techniques and Dealmaking – Bargaining with Agents

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

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 

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 

How Does Mediation Work?

Posted by & filed under Mediation.

How does mediation work in practice? As compared with other forms of dispute resolution, mediation can have an informal, improvisational feel. Mediation can include some or all of the following six steps, writes Kimberlee K. Kovach in The Handbook of Dispute Resolution (Jossey-Bass, 2005): 1. Planning. Before mediation begins, the mediator helps the parties decide where … Read More 

Negotiation Frontiers: Exploring New Opportunities to Negotiate

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

Many U.S. law schools are in crisis, to hear some tell it. During the recent recession, many law firms instituted mass layoffs and pay cuts, and few have fully recovered. As a result, college graduates are thinking twice about becoming lawyers, and many law schools have fewer high-quality applicants to choose from. In the past … Read More 

“No One is Really in Charge” Hostage Taking and the Risks of No-Negotiation Policies

Posted by & filed under Crisis Negotiations.

In the business world, we sometimes are tempted to avoid negotiating with unsavory counterparts—people or groups we view to be immoral, untrustworthy, or simply unlikable—even if they appear to offer the straightest path to our goals. Imagine a counterpart who works in a business that you believe to be immoral, someone who has a reputation for gossiping, or … Read More 

Tough Negotiation Tips from Jennifer Aniston?

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Fans of the television show Friends got a treat last month when Netflix made all 236 episodes of the blockbuster hit available to stream online. At first glance actors Lisa Kudrow, Jennifer Aniston and the rest of the star-studded cast might not be your first pick to peg as formidable negotiators, but at the height … Read More 

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 

Too eager to close?

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

This past November, word got out that toy maker Hasbro was in advanced talks to purchase DreamWorks Animation. Purchasing an animated-film studio would move Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner closer to his goal of transforming the successful toy company into a global entertainment powerhouse, as the Lego Group has done in recent years, write Andrew Ross … Read More 

Negotiation Skills: Should Put Off What You Could Negotiate Today?

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

To reach agreement, negotiators sometimes postpone the resolution of certain issues until a later date. We look at how this practice plays out in the real world. Remember the federal debt ceiling talks? In mid-2011, congressional Republicans insisted on significant spending reductions from their Democratic counterparts in exchange for voting to raise the nation’s debt … Read More 

To set more accurate negotiation goals, try unpacking

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

As negotiators, we understand the importance of estimating the likely parameters of an agreement in upcoming talks. Yet even the most experienced negotiators have moments of surprise at the bargaining table when they realize that their estimates were far off the mark. A new negotiation study by professor Michael P. Haselhuhn of the University of California … Read More 

Negotiating with the enemy

Posted by & filed under Dealing with Difficult People.

On May 31, the White House made the surprise announcement that the Taliban had released Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, the sole American prisoner of war in the 13-year Afghan conflict, in exchange for five Taliban detainees who had been held for years at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. The intricate, top-secret negotiations behind Bergdahl’s release unfolded over the … Read More 

Crisis Negotiations: Program on Negotiation Chair Robert Mnookin Joins Guest Panel on CNN Tonight to Discuss the Release of Bowe Bergdahl

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

CNN Tonight host Dan Lemon recently featured Program on Negotiation Chair Robert Mnookin along with fellow Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz, storied commentator Anne Coulter, and Peter Bergen, CNN national security analyst, for a panel discussion regarding the recent exchange of Taliban prisoner for US soldier, Bowe Bergdahl. The night’s discussion centered on whether or … Read More 

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 

In Business Negotiations, 12 Strategies for Curbing Deception

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

In negotiation, deception can run rampant: parties “stretch” the numbers, conceal key information, and make promises they know they can’t keep. Unfortunately, most of us are very poor lie detectors. Even professions that encounter liars regularly, such as police officers and judges, do not perform better than chance at detecting deception, Professor Paul Ekman of the … Read More 

Manage the tension between claiming and creating value

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

David Schwimmer, the actor who played Ross on the hit NBC sitcom Friends, famously convinced the show’s five other leads in the early years of its run to negotiate their contracts with NBC as a team. The “mini union” formed by the actors ultimately helped them negotiate an unprecedented $1 million each per episode during … Read More 

In negotiation, are your differences holding you back?

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

In July 2012, Google executive Marissa Mayer, a top contender for the position of CEO of Yahoo, had a dazzling interview with the struggling Internet company’s board of directors. Mayer presented a detailed, impressive plan to lead each sector of Yahoo’s business, and she skillfully reassured board members about her perceived weaknesses, reports Bethany McLean … Read More 

Negotiators: Prepare to go with the flow

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

The deal started with an offhand remark at a news conference. In September, as President Barack Obama threatened U.S. military action against Syria, a reporter asked U.S. secretary of state John Kerry if there were any way an attack could be avoided. Syrian president Bashar al-Assad “could turn over every single bit of his chemical … Read More 

For business negotiators, patience can be a virtue

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

In negotiation, persistence and tenacity can make all the difference between impasse and a game-changing breakthrough. Take the saga behind Microsoft’s September 3 announcement of its pending $7.2 billion acquisition of Finnish mobile phone company Nokia’s handset and services business. The two parties engaged in many months of fruitless talks before either side believed that … Read More 

Is your conflict ripe for resolution?

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

In 2012, like many American orchestras, the Minnesota Orchestra was in a state of crisis. Failing to attract young fans, it was facing a steady decline in ticket sales. The orchestra’s musicians had received a significant wage increase in 2007—just before the financial crisis devastated the orchestra’s revenues, assets, endowment, and donations. The musicians had … Read More 

Coping with conflicts of interest

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Negotiators and other decision makers sometimes have the difficult task of remaining impartial when facing a conflict of interest. The actions of the special committee of Dell’s board as the company’s CEO and founder, Michael Dell, moved forward with a leveraged buyout suggest precautions you can take when navigating such delicate situations. Taking stock of an … Read More 

Will you behave ethically?

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

A lack of transparency regarding negotiations between hospitals and the insurers known as preferred provider organizations, or PPOs, is a key contributor to spiraling health-care costs in the United States, according to an August article in the New York Times. The problem starts with the somewhat arbitrary, sky-high prices that hospitals put on their supplies and … Read More 

In negotiation, it’s all in the timing

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

On July 11, 2000, U.S. president Bill Clinton welcomed Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat to a summit at Camp David aimed at resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict once and for all. The summit covered various contentious issues, including territory, settlements, security, and the status of refugees. After about two weeks, on … Read More 

Dear Negotiation Coach: Negotiating with yourself

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Q: I have attended negotiation training sessions that have stressed the importance of thorough preparation. I can see why this is valuable, but I have difficulty following through on this advice. Whenever I am facing an important negotiation, I resolve to gather information and plan my strategy beforehand. Yet amid all the other demands and … Read More 

PON panel discusses Track II Negotiations, Islands of Coordination and Unilateral Moves in the New Middle East

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation, Middle East Negotiation Initiative, Videos.

On March 4th, the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School hosted a panel discussion entitled: “Negotiations by Other Means: Track II, Unilateral Action, Robust Third Party Role and Islands of Coordination in the New Middle East.”    

  The panel featured three veterans of high profile Israeli-Palestinian diplomacy: Ambassador Dore Gold, President of the Jerusalem Center for … Read More 

International Negotiations: Threats at the Bargaining Table

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

The agreement seemed well on its way to being passed. On November 20, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the United States and Afghanistan had finished negotiating a bilateral security agreement.  The terms included a continued American troop presence through 2024 and a promise of billions in international aid to the Afghan government. The … Read More 

A Value-Creating Condition Thwarted

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

In late 1999, with its stock in free fall, NCS HealthCare, a provider of pharmacy services to long-term care facilities, began “exploring strategic alternatives” – code in the mergers and acquisitions world that NCS’s board wanted to put the company up for sale. In 2001, Omnicare, a larger provider in the same general industry, offered to … Read More 

Leading Horses to Water

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

The hardest step in negotiation is often the first. Costly lawsuits can drag on it everyone is afraid to be the first to blink. Prospective buyers and sellers can waste endless hours dancing around a possible deal. And in collective bargaining, labor and management teams sometimes paint themselves into corners by refusing to negotiate “matters … Read More 

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 

Are You Avoiding a Key Negotiation?

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Imagine that it’s time to shop for a new car. A friend has told you that she solicited bids from dealers on a no-haggle website and was offered a good, nonnegotiable price. You consider going this route but wonder if you could get an even better deal by negotiating at the dealership. Would you choose … Read More 

Negotiate for what you really want

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

It may seem elementary, but one of the first questions you should ask when you’re thinking about negotiating for an important purchase is whether you truly want or need it. We tend to assume that future events—such as buying a new car or signing a seemingly important contract—will have a lasting impact on our overall happiness. … Read More 

Negotiating the Distance Between You

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “How to Negotiate When You’re (Literally) Far Apart,” by Roderick I. Swaab (professor, INSEAD) and Adam D. Galinsky (professor, Northwestern University), first published in the Negotiation newsletter, February 2007. Growing economic globalization offers a multitude of new opportunities yet often necessitates alternatives to face-to-face meetings, such as phone calls, e-mails, videoconferences, or instant messages. … Read More 

Should you deal with the devil?

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Should You Do Business with the Enemy?” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, March 2010. At one time or another, most of us have faced the prospect of negotiating with a sworn enemy—whether a “greedy” sibling, an “evil” ex-spouse, or an “immoral” company. There is no right or wrong answer to the question … Read More 

When irrationality isn’t the issue

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “Is Your Counterpart Rational . . . Really?” by Deepak Malhotra (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter, March 2006. How can you negotiate with someone who seems irrational? First, by questioning whether it is reasonable for you to judge your counterparts as irrational. As it turns out, behavior that negotiators … Read More 

After the deal breaks down

Posted by & filed under Daily, International Negotiation.

Adapted from “Redoing the Deal,” by Jeswald W. Salacuse (professor, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University), first published in the Negotiation newsletter, August 2005. If you’re like many professionals in these uncertain times, you are probably spending as much time redoing old deals as you are negotiating new ones. Here are four suggestions on … Read More 

Negotiators: Keep yourself honest

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “When You’re Tempted to Deceive,” by Ann E. Tenbrunsel (professor, the University of Notre Dame) and Kristina A. Diekmann (professor, University of Utah), first published in the Negotiation newsletter, July 2007. To ensure that you negotiate ethically, you’ll need to identify ethical dilemmas and view unethical behavior clearly. Four guidelines will help you meet … Read More 

How to Get to the Table

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Adapted from “Leading Horses to Water,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. The hardest step in negotiation is often the first. Costly lawsuits can drag on if everyone is afraid to be the first to blink. Prospective buyers and sellers can waste endless hours dancing around a possible deal. And in collective bargaining, labor and management … Read More 

Make Your Best Offer Look Better

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Picking the Right Frame: Make Your Best Offer Seem Better,” by Max H. Bazerman (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Imagine that you bought a house in 2000 for $400,000. You have just put it on the market for $499,000, with a real target of $470,000—your estimation of the house’s … Read More 

How to Turn a Maybe Into a Yes

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Closing the Deal,” by Michael Wheeler (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. You’ve followed the negotiation guidebooks to a T, uncovered the parties’ key interests, brainstormed creative solutions, and even developed good rapport with your counterpart. You’ve done everything right…but you still don’t have agreement. How do you turn the other … Read More 

The Right Time to Negotiate

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Telling Time in Different Cultures,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Despite the bloody conflicts in the Middle East, people of goodwill from both Arab and Western nations earnestly seek to collaborate in diplomatic and business transactions. An article by Ilai Alon of Tel Aviv University and Jeanne Brett of Northwestern, however, cautions that … Read More 

The Regretful Negotiator

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Second Thoughts,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,” wrote the poet John Greenleaf Whittier, “the saddest are these: ‘It might have been.'” Many negotiators would second that sentiment. Regret can be a powerful emotion when a deal slips through our fingers or when we kick ourselves … Read More 

Professor Robert Mnookin Discusses Apple and the Beatles in the NY Times

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily, News.

PON Chair Robert Mnookin was interviewed by the NYTimes Dealbook about the recent deal made allowing iTunes to sell music by the Beatles. “Professor Mnookin noted that he often tells his students, ‘Before you go into any negotiation, any party should ask, what are my interests, what do I care about, and what are my alternatives … Read More 

Too Tough Talk?

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Break Through the Tough Talk,” by Kristina A. Diekmann (University of Utah) and Ann E. Tenbrunsel (Notre Dame University), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. You might think that cultivating a reputation as a tough bargainer might be the best way to cope with a competitive opponent. But this isn’t necessarily the best strategy. … Read More 

Jeswald Salacuse Article Published in Tufts Magazine

Posted by & filed under Daily, International Negotiation, News.

Jeswald Salacuse published a column in the Summer 2010 issue of Tufts Magazine. His article suggests that weaker parties can:

Build relationships with third parties Develop alternatives Use linkage Take initiative Divide and conquer

To read Professor Salacuse’s full article, entitled The Lion and the Lamb: Do the Strong Always Devour the Weak, click here. … Read More 

Choosing Your Next Relationship

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “For Better or Worse: How Relationships Affect Negotiations,” by Kathleen L. McGinn (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Six years ago, Esther Lorenza, an experienced entrepreneur and the founder of a new Internet and catalog retailer, concluded that only one supplier could meet her unique product specifications and high standards … Read More 

Questioning threats

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “How to Defuse Threats at the Bargaining Table,” by Katie A. Liljenquist (professor, Brigham Young University) and Adam D. Galinsky (professor, Northwestern University), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Sooner or later, every negotiator faces threats at the bargaining table. How should you respond when the other side threatens to walk away, file a … Read More 

Teams across cultures

Posted by & filed under Daily, International Negotiation.

Adapted from “Team Negotiating: Strength in Numbers?”, first published in the Negotiation newsletter. According to conventional wisdom, when it comes to negotiation, there’s strength in numbers. Indeed, several experimental studies have supported the notion that you should bring at least one other person from your organization to the bargaining table if you can. On average, this … Read More 

What should journalists and conflict management professionals learn from each other?

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

“In the Global Village, Can War Survive?” by Program on Negotiation managing director Susan G. Hackley looks at the work of journalists and conflict management professionals, two groups who operate in the demanding world of conflict, and suggests ways they could – and should – learn from each other. “Conflict management professionals should tell their … Read More 

Gain greater leverage with sole suppliers

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “Negotiating with Sole Suppliers,” by David Lax (managing principal, Lax Sebenius LLC), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Negotiators often wonder how to do business with sole suppliers who know they don’t have any real outside alternative and who take advantage of this. Without the power of a realistic best alternative to a negotiated … Read More 

Too much commitment?

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Are You Overly Committed to the Deal?” First published in the Negotiation newsletter. A telecommuter hires a carpenter to build a workstation for her home office. The carpenter’s contract requires payment of 50% upon signing, an additional 30% halfway through the job, and the final 20% upon completion. When the job is done, … Read More 

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 

“Are We Exclusive?”

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Ron McAfee, a carpenter and roofing expert, spent considerable time working with a condominium association on the design of a new roof deck. After gaining agreement on the proposed layout, design, and materials, McAfee submitted a written bid of $12,500. One of the board members subsequently showed McAfee’s plans to another roofer, who offered to … Read More 

Deception in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Smart Alternatives to Lying in Negotiation,” by Deepak Malhotra (associate professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Daniel, a senior manager at a large consumer products firm, has been asked by a company vice president to submit a detailed budget request for his department. Daniel has an incentive to overstate anticipated … Read More 

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