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.


bargaining table

What is the “Bargaining Table”?

Whether you’re at the bargaining table conducting business negotiations or working through personal disputes with a friend, the following negotiating skills and techniques can help you come to an agreement.

The “bargaining table” is a way to refer to the time and place that parties come together to handle a negotiation. It doesn’t need to be a physical “table”, rather it refers to the act of getting a deal done.

Coming together with negotiating counterparts at the “bargaining table” is a situation fraught with potential mishaps, all of which are compounded by the pressure to get the best deal a negotiator can for herself or her organization.

Before you get to the bargaining table, however, remember that, even when not based in reality, the expectation that someone is “tough” or “cooperative” becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. When you approach an allegedly tough competitor with suspicion and guardedness, he is likely to absorb these expectations and become more a more competitive negotiator. All the more reason to cultivate a cooperative reputation from the start and strive to maintain it at all costs.

Let’s take a look at three guidelines to help you make the most of the power you have when you sit down at the bargaining table.

  1. Don’t squander your negotiating power. Objective power doesn’t always translate into strong outcomes. In fact, the greater the perceived power differential in a negotiation, the more likely counterparts will be to view an upcoming negotiation as a competition rather than as a collaborative enterprise.
  2. Don’t let a lack of power get to you. A lack of objective power can harm people’s sense of psychological power, with detrimental effects on their outcomes. However, weaker parties may be able to bolster their performance and outcomes at the bargaining table by thinking about times when they had power in a negotiation.
  3. Do take practical steps to boost your power. Even as you work on enhancing your psychological power, there are steps you can take to improve your actual power at the bargaining table.

You can improve your skills at the bargaining table by downloading a complimentary copy of our special report, Negotiation Skills: Negotiation Strategies and Negotiation Techniques to Help You Become a Better Negotiator, from Harvard Law School, right now! We will send you a download link to your copy of the report and notify you by email when we post new business negotiation advice and information.

The following items are tagged bargaining table:

Beyond the Back Table: Working with People and Organizations to Get to Yes

Posted by & filed under Beyond the Back Table.

NEW ONLINE PROGRAM! BEYOND THE BACK TABLE: WORKING WITH PEOPLE AND ORGANIZATIONS TO GET TO YES February 24–25, 2025 | 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. ET

Go Beyond the Back Table In this two-day online course, you will step back to look beyond the negotiating table and discover how to understand and manage the individuals and groups who are not … Read More

Beyond the Back Table: Working with People and Organizations to Get to Yes

Posted by & filed under Beyond the Back Table.

NEW ONLINE PROGRAM! BEYOND THE BACK TABLE: WORKING WITH PEOPLE AND ORGANIZATIONS TO GET TO YES September 18–19, 2024 | 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. ET

Go Beyond the Back Table In this two-day online course, you will step back to look beyond the negotiating table and discover how to understand and manage the individuals and groups who are not … Read More

Negotiation and Leadership: Dealing with Difficult People and Problems

Posted by & filed under Negotiation and Leadership.

Negotiation and Leadership: Dealing with Difficult People and Problems THREE-DAY PROGRAM | December 2–4, 2024

Our program will feature:

Role plays and negotiation exercises—You’ll have the opportunity to test what you learn by taking part in realistic negotiations with your fellow participants. One-on-one interaction with top faculty—You’ll have the opportunity to talk one-on-one with negotiation experts from Harvard, and … Read More

Top Ten Posts About Conflict Resolution

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Conflict resolution is the process of resolving a dispute or a conflict by meeting at least some of each side’s needs and addressing their interests. Conflict resolution sometimes requires both a power-based and an interest-based approach, such as the simultaneous pursuit of litigation (the use of legal power) and negotiation (attempts to reconcile each party’s … Read Top Ten Posts About Conflict Resolution

Negotiation and Leadership: Dealing with Difficult People and Problems

Posted by & filed under Negotiation and Leadership.

Negotiation and Leadership: Dealing with Difficult People and Problems THREE-DAY PROGRAM | October 21–23, 2024

Our program will feature:

Role plays and negotiation exercises—You’ll have the opportunity to test what you learn by taking part in realistic negotiations with your fellow participants. One-on-one interaction with top faculty—You’ll have the opportunity to talk one-on-one with negotiation experts from Harvard, and … Read More

Negotiation and Leadership: Dealing with Difficult People and Problems

Posted by & filed under Negotiation and Leadership.

Negotiation and Leadership: Dealing with Difficult People and Problems THREE-DAY PROGRAM | September 23–25, 2024

Our program will feature:

Role plays and negotiation exercises—You’ll have the opportunity to test what you learn by taking part in realistic negotiations with your fellow participants. One-on-one interaction with top faculty—You’ll have the opportunity to talk one-on-one with negotiation experts from Harvard, and … Read More

Beyond the Back Table: Working with People and Organizations to Get to Yes

Posted by & filed under Beyond the Back Table.

NEW ONLINE PROGRAM! BEYOND THE BACK TABLE: WORKING WITH PEOPLE AND ORGANIZATIONS TO GET TO YES March 13-14, 2024 | 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. ET

Go Beyond the Back Table In this two-day online course, you will step back to look beyond the negotiating table and discover how to understand and manage the individuals and groups who are not … Read More

The New Conflict Management: Effective Conflict Resolution Strategies to Avoid Litigation

Posted by & filed under Free Report.

This report reveals how wise negotiators extract unexpected value using an indirect approach to conflict management. An aggressive management style can set you up for repeated failure. Direct conflict management approaches can be overly combative and counter-productive. Experienced negotiators know that compromise seldom succeeds. Win/lose is really lose/lose. The best negotiation strategy results in … Read More

Harborco: Role-Play Simulation

Posted by & filed under Free Report.

Harborco is a consortium of development, industrial, and shipping concerns that are eager to proceed with the building of a new port, but face hurdles and potential opposition as they advance through the licensing process. The Federal Licensing Agency would like to see them work with other stakeholders to develop a project that is acceptable … Read Harborco: Role-Play Simulation

Take your BATNA to the Next Level

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

If your current negotiation reaches an impasse, what’s your best outside option? Most seasoned negotiators understand the value of evaluating their BATNA, or best alternative to a negotiated agreement, a concept that Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton introduced in their seminal book, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In (Penguin, 1991, second … Read Take your BATNA to the Next Level

Mediation Secrets for Better Business Negotiations: Top Mediator Techniques

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In this Special Report, the experts and editors from Harvard’s Program on Negotiation offer a sampling of advice from past issues of Negotiation to help you learn the techniques you need to resolve your disputes through mediation. You will learn to select the right dispute-resolution process, choose a mediator with appropriate expertise, learn the steps … Read More

Training Women to Be Leaders: Negotiating Skills for Success

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In this Special Report, we offer advice to help women develop the negotiation skills essential to career advancement, and to help organizations encourage women employees to be more effective at the bargaining table. You will learn what hold women back from asking for more, the link between gender and flexible work arrangements, how women can … Read More

How to Use Tradeoffs to Create Value in Your Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Win-Win Negotiations.

How do expectations of fairness and reciprocity at the bargaining table impact negotiator decisions regarding the strategies and tactics they use during bargaining? Sometimes talks get off on the wrong foot. Maybe you and your partner had a different understanding of your meeting time, or one of you makes a statement that the other misinterprets. … Read More

What is Anchoring in Negotiation?

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

What exactly is anchoring in negotiation, and how does it play out at the bargaining table? Consider this anchoring bias example from Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School faculty member Guhan Subramanian. While running a negotiation simulation in one of his classes, Subramanian noticed that one student spent a considerable amount of time explaining … Read What is Anchoring in Negotiation?

5 Win-Win Negotiation Strategies

Posted by & filed under Win-Win Negotiations.

Business negotiators understand the importance of reaching a win-win negotiation: when both sides are satisfied with their agreement, the odds of a long-lasting and successful business partnership are much higher. But concrete strategies for generating a win-win contract often seem elusive. The following five, from experts at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, … Read 5 Win-Win Negotiation Strategies

Emotional Intelligence as a Negotiating Skill

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The concept of emotional intelligence burst into the cultural imagination in 1995 with the publication of psychologist Daniel Goleman’s bestselling book of the same name. Experts have predicted that scoring high on this personality trait would boost one’s bargaining outcomes and have found many successful negotiation examples using emotional intelligence in their research. … Read Emotional Intelligence as a Negotiating Skill

Power in Negotiation: The Impact on Negotiators and the Negotiation Process

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

According to Dacher Keltner of the University of California at Berkeley and his colleagues, power in negotiation affects two primary neurological regulators of behavior: the behavioral approach system and the behavioral inhibition system. Powerful negotiators demonstrate “approach related” behaviors such as expressing positive moods and searching for rewards in their environment. … Read More

Managing Difficult Negotiators

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

In negotiation, we are often confronted with the task of dealing with difficult people—those who seem to prefer to set up roadblocks rather than break down walls, or who choose to take hardline stances rather than seeking common ground. If you’re skilled in BATNA negotiations, you’ll have an easier time dealing with such people. … Read Managing Difficult Negotiators

Essential Negotiation Skills: Limiting Cognitive Bias in Negotiation

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In past articles, we have highlighted a variety of psychological biases that affect negotiators, many of which spring from a reliance on intuition, and may hinder integrative negotiation. Of course, negotiators are not always affected by bias; we often think systematically and clearly at the bargaining table. Most negotiators believe they are capable of distinguishing … Read More

What is Distributive Negotiation and Five Proven Strategies

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Most negotiations call for very different, even opposing, skills: collaboration and competition. To get a great deal, we typically must work with others to find new sources of value while also competing with them to claim as much of that value for ourselves. Before mastering the intricacies of value creation in negotiation, it helps to … Read More

Using Body Language in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Negotiation experts typically advise us to meet with our counterparts in person whenever possible rather than relying on the telephone or Internet. As convenient as electronic media may be, they lack the visual cues that help convey valuable information and forge connections in face-to-face talks. Without access to gestures and facial expressions, those who negotiate … Read Using Body Language in Negotiation

10 Hard-Bargaining Tactics to Watch Out for in a Negotiation

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

Some negotiators seem to believe that hard-bargaining tactics are the key to success. They resort to threats, extreme demands, and even unethical behavior to try to get the upper hand in a negotiation. In fact, negotiators who fall back on hard-bargaining strategies in negotiation are typically betraying a lack of understanding about the gains that … Read More

What is the Multi-Door Courthouse Concept

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

As a collaboration between UST School of Law and the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, the following is the transcript of a conversation between the creator of the multi-door courthouse, Harvard Law Professor Frank E.A. Sander, and the executive director and founder of the University of St. Thomas (UST) International ADR [Alternative Dispute … Read What is the Multi-Door Courthouse Concept

Dealing with Difficult People: Coping with an Insulting Offer in Contract Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Dealing with Difficult People.

The following “Ask the Negotiation Coach” question was posed to Dwight Golann, Suffolk University Law School professor and negotiation expert: “I deal with legal disputes and would like to find reasonable solutions without wasting years in court. But my opponents seem to feel compelled to make extreme—actually, insulting—opening offers. How should I respond to these … Read More

Individual Differences in Negotiation—and How They Affect Results

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Negotiation advice is often “one size fits all,” yet we approach negotiations with vastly different experiences and traits. How do individual differences in negotiation play out? In one study, Washington University professor Hillary Anger Elfenbein and her colleagues found evidence that individual differences, including personality, accounted for an impressive 49% of the variance in negotiators’ … 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 The Importance of a Relationship in Negotiation

Understanding Different Negotiation Styles

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

In the business world, some negotiators always seem to get what they want, while others more often tend to come up short. What might make some people better negotiators than others? The answer may be in part that people bring different negotiation styles and strategies to the bargaining table, based on their different personalities, experiences, … Read Understanding Different Negotiation Styles

The Pitfalls of Negotiations Over Email

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Negotiation research suggests that email often poses more problems than solutions when it comes to relationships, information exchange, and outcomes in conflict resolution negotiation scenarios. First, establishing social rapport via email can be challenging. The lack of nonverbal cues and the dearth of social norms regarding its use can cause negotiators to be impolite and … Read The Pitfalls of Negotiations Over Email

Contract Negotiations and Business Communication: How to Write an Iron-Clad Contract

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

In contract negotiations, writing a contract that both encapsulates the negotiated agreement but also incorporates future elements such as the business relationship and the sustainability of the agreement can be a daunting task for even the most experienced negotiators. Executives often leave the legal issues surrounding their deals to their attorneys. While this division of … Read More

Four Conflict Negotiation Strategies for Resolving Value-Based Disputes

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

In many negotiations, both parties are aware of what their interests are, and are willing to engage in a give-and-take process with the other party to come to agreement. In conflicts related to personal identity, and deeply-held beliefs or values, however, negotiation dynamics can become more complex and require alternative dispute resolution tactics for conflict … Read More

Police Negotiation Techniques from the NYPD Crisis Negotiations Team

Posted by & filed under Crisis Negotiations.

Few negotiators can imagine negotiation scenarios more stressful than the kinds of crisis negotiations the New York City Police Department’s Hostage Negotiation Team undertake. But police negotiation techniques employed by the New York City Police Department’s Hostage Negotiations Team (HNT) in high-stakes, high-pressure crisis negotiation situations, outlined in an article from Jeff Thompson and Hugh … Read More

International Negotiations and Agenda Setting: Controlling the Flow of the Negotiation Process

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

When two groups are embroiled in a conflict, it is common for the party with less power to have difficulty convincing the more powerful party to sit down at the negotiating table in international negotiations. In such cases, the more powerful player is likely to resist the notion of shaking up the status quo—and thus … Read More

The Benefits of Coalitions at the Bargaining Table

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Labor unions may be the most obvious example of a negotiating coalitions. When a company negotiates with an employee individually, it could threaten to hire someone else in the face of the employee’s demands. By contrast, when employees bargain collectively through a union, they avoid the need to compete against one another (at least on … Read More

How to Negotiate a Business Deal

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

In late 2016 and early 2017, news stories abounded of companies that were having second thoughts about planned mega-mergers. Abbott Laboratories began looking for ways to exit its acquisition of Alere, citing investigations of the medical test maker, for example. And Verizon started rethinking its acquisition of Yahoo! following a data breach at the tech … Read How to Negotiate a Business Deal

What Is an Umbrella Agreement?

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

Business negotiators tend to want the best of both worlds. When reaching an agreement, they want to pin down parties’ respective rights and responsibilities, but they also want to retain the flexibility they need to deal with ever-changing business conditions. One solution to this apparent dilemma is to craft an umbrella agreement. … Read What Is an Umbrella Agreement?

Aggressive Negotiation Tactics: Threats at the Bargaining Table

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Broadly speaking, a threat is a proposition that issues demands and warns of the costs of noncompliance. Even if neither party resorts to them, potential threats shadow most negotiations. A wise threat satisfies your own interests and targets the other side’s interests. Consider whether the threat will truly help you achieve your broader goals. Issuing … Read More

Best Negotiators in History: Nelson Mandela and His Negotiation Style

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

The late Nelson Mandela will certainly be remembered as one of the best negotiators in history. He was clearly “the greatest negotiator of the twentieth century,” wrote Harvard Law School professor and former Program on Negotiation Chairman Robert H. Mnookin in his seminal book, Bargaining with the Devil, When to Negotiate, When to Fight. … Read More

Negotiation Skills: Building Trust in Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

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

BATNA and Other Sources of Power at the Negotiation Table

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

BATNA negotiations involve a negotiators knowledge of her best alternatives to a negotiated agreement and are one of three sources of negotiating power at the bargaining table, according to negotiation researcher Adam D. Galinsky and New York University’s Joe C. Magee. … Read More

Salary Negotiation: How to Ask for a Higher Salary

Posted by & filed under Salary Negotiations.

For a new employee, salary negotiation skills can be the most important and the most intimidating, but the most important, of difficult conversations to have at the beginning of your career. A new employee, successfully negotiating a salary offer up by $5,000 could make a huge difference over the course of her career. … Read More

Cultural Barriers and Conflict Negotiation Strategies: Apple’s Apology in China

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

When dealing with a difficult counterpart, it helps to take a conciliatory approach to the bargaining table. While apologies necessarily involve moments of vulnerability, they can also open doors to value creation and strengthen the relationship you have with your bargaining counterpart. Let’s look back at Apple’s apology in China for its maligned warranty policies … Read More

Do Attitudes in Negotiation Influence Results?

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Many people consider negotiations to be stressful and threatening. Others view them as challenges to be overcome. Do these different attitudes influence the outcomes that people reach? New research by professors Kathleen M. O’Connor of Cornell University and Josh A. Arnold of California State University sheds light on this important question. … Read Do Attitudes in Negotiation Influence Results?

Negotiators: Resist Vividness Bias in Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Salary Negotiations.

Vividness bias is the tendency to overweight the vivid and prestigious attributes of a decision, such as salary or an employer’s status, and underweight less impressive issues, such as location or rapport with colleagues. Let’s talk about a clear vividness bias example from 2015 in Major League Baseball. … Read More

For Greater Value Creation, Look Beyond Your BATNA

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

For value creation in negotiation, you may need to look beyond your greatest source of power. You may have learned— perhaps in this newsletter or in Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton’s landmark negotiation book Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In (Penguin, 1991)—that your most powerful asset is often a strong BATNA, or … Read More

5 Common Negotiation Mistakes and How You Can Avoid Them

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Sometimes our negotiation mistakes are glaring: We accidentally reveal our bottom line, criticize the other party when patience was warranted, or get our numbers mixed up. More often, though, our negotiation mistakes are invisible: We get a perfectly good deal but are unaware that we could have gotten a better one if we hadn’t succumbed … Read More

How to Resolve Cultural Conflict: Overcoming Cultural Barriers at the Negotiation Table

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

After recently losing an important deal in India, a business negotiator learned that her counterpart felt as if she had been rushing through the talks. The business negotiator thought she was being efficient with their time. In this useful cross-cultural conflict negotiation example, how should this negotiator improve her negotiation skills? … Read More

When Armed with Power in Negotiation, Use It Wisely

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

The buzz of excitement that arose in February 2015 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 resided in an assisted-living facility in her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, … Read More

In Business Negotiations, Eat Before You Negotiate

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

When preparing for your next business negotiation, you may want to strategize not only about what you’ll put on the bargaining table, but also how much food you’ll put in your belly beforehand. That’s the message of new research that Cornell University professor Emily Zitek and Dartmouth College professor Alexander Jordan presented at the annual … Read More

Negotiation in Business: Ethics, Bias, and Bargaining in Good Faith

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

As we’ve discussed in previous articles about negotiation examples in business, a negotiator’s beliefs concerning negotiation ethics are affected by cognitive biases. You probably can recall times when a negotiating opponent made what appeared to be a blatant misstatement. If you’re like most people, you assumed the person was lying to gain an advantage. … Read More

Bargaining for a New Car: Real World Negotiations Examples

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

When it comes to bargaining for a new car, are women negotiating harder bargains than men? According to a recent report from NPR Morning Edition’s Sonari Glinton, women not only negotiate harder bargains than men when it comes to vehicle purchases, but also they do more extensive preparatory work (See: Negotiating for What You Really Want- … Read More

MESO: Make Multiple Equivalent Simultaneous Offers to Create Value in Dealmaking Table

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

MESO negotiation, a negotiation strategy for creating value with a counterpart who may be reluctant to negotiate, allows negotiators to propose multiple offers without signaling commitment or preference for any one option. Business negotiators that practice integrative negotiation strategies often complain that although they try to focus on creating value, they run into far too many difficult … Read More

Power in Negotiations: How to Maximize a Weak BATNA

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

In business negotiations, we tend to assume that it’s the more financially successful party that has an edge. But if that party has a weak BATNA, or best alternative to a negotiated agreement, it could be the seemingly weaker party that comes out on top. … Read More

Business Negotiation Skills to Curb Your Overconfidence

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

To avoid the pitfalls of overconfidence, you need a clear understanding of how overconfidence is likely to affect your judgments and decisions (and those of your counterparts) at the bargaining table. Fortunately, new research suggests exactly when to expect overconfidence and offers insight into how you can prevent it from getting you into trouble in … Read More

Business Negotiations: How to Improve Your Reputation at the Bargaining Table

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

In multi-issue business negotiations, research suggests that the advantage goes to negotiators with a reputation for collaboration rather than competition. In a series of studies by Catherine H. Tinsley and Kathleen O’Connor, participants were told they would be negotiating with someone who had either a tough reputation, a cooperative reputation, or an unknown reputation. Although … Read More

Power Tactics in Negotiation: How to Gain Leverage with Stronger Parties

Posted by & filed under Crisis Negotiations.

When the other side seems to have all the power in a negotiation, what should you do? In recent years, that question has been an urgent one for many universities and libraries negotiating subscription agreements with the academic publishers that produce peer-reviewed scientific research journals. Confronted with skyrocketing pricing demands, several of these institutions have … Read More

Alternative Dispute Resolution In-House: Mediation, Arbitration, or Med-Arb?

Posted by & filed under Daily, Dispute Resolution.

The three most common alternative dispute resolution techniques are mediation, arbitration, and med-arb. However, it can often be difficult to determine which method is best for your particular situation. Here are four possible objectives you may have as a leader in your organization and suggestions for which type of ADR may be most appropriate in that … Read More

Negotiation Research Examines Ethics in Negotiating

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, back in a 2013 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

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

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

Implicit and Explicit Bias: When Negotiators Discriminate Based on Race

Posted by & filed under Leadership Skills.

Implicit and explicit bias are common, whether the guilty parties are aware of it, or not.  On July 14, 2015, American Honda Finance Corporation (AHFC), the U.S. financing division of Japanese car manufacturer Honda, agreed to refund $24 million to minority borrowers to settle federal investigations. AHFC was alleged to have racially discriminated against the … Read More

How to Overcome Cultural Barriers in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

Imagine that you’re the American representative of a U.S. food company, and you’re hoping to procure a new ingredient for several of your products from a German company. A representative from the company is flying in to meet with you. Do you expect your German counterpart to behave differently than the Americans you typically deal … Read How to Overcome Cultural Barriers in Negotiation

Dear Negotiation Coach: Managing Expectations of Our Own

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

When we negotiate for others, managing expectations is often part of our job, especially if they aren’t familiar with the sometimes complex nature of negotiations. Similarly, we may find it necessary to deal with the expectations of our counterparts. However, it’s easy to overlook the fact that we have expectations of our own that we … Read More

BATNA Strategy: Negotiating When Negotiation Is Not the Norm

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

The Opposite of Autocratic Leadership Styles

Posted by & filed under Leadership Skills.

While the advantages and disadvantages of leadership styles are not always readily apparent, one thing is certain – being decisive while avoiding autocratic leadership tactics is necessary for successful leaders and negotiators alike. Navigating these treacherous waters can be extraordinarily challenging, but it can also give rise to creative decisions that help resolve disagreements in … Read The Opposite of Autocratic Leadership Styles

Are Introverts at a Disadvantage in Negotiation?

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Are extroverts by nature better negotiators than introverts? Or are they at a disadvantage in negotiation? As we’ll see, the answer is far from decided. However, we all have clear opportunities to build on our own strengths and learn from those of others. Introversion is a personality trait marked by a desire to think through ideas … Read Are Introverts at a Disadvantage in Negotiation?

The Importance of Communication in Multiparty Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

When a team is preparing for a critical negotiation, members need to appoint a leader, allocate roles and responsibilities, and discuss their at-the-table strategy. Another key objective that teams sometimes fail to discuss is the importance of staying “on message” – that is, making sure that statements by individual members don’t contradict the group’s agreed-upon … Read More

BATNA Analysis Can Help You Avoid the Agreement Trap

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

In both our personal and our business negotiations, “getting to yes” is typically the ultimate goal. Negotiation research and advice tend to focus on identifying the conditions that can help people overcome their differences, relax firm positions, and reach harmonious terms that could lead to a mutually fulfilling long-term relationship. This mindset risks downplaying the fact … Read More

For Hollywood Writers, a Heavily Negotiated Business Contract

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

In its negotiations for a new business contract with entertainment companies back in 2017, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) delivered at the bargaining table what many film and TV viewers crave onscreen: plenty of suspense and a hard-won, if imperfect, victory. The WGA, which represents more than 12,000 film and TV writers, negotiated for seven … Read More

Trump’s Negotiating Style as President-Elect

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Donald J. Trump entered the Oval Office with considerable dealmaking experience in the business world. But his blank slate as an elected official combined with his fluctuating positions on key issues such as immigration and tax policy throughout the presidential race left many wondering what his negotiating style would be. In the months between being elected U.S. president … Read Trump’s Negotiating Style as President-Elect

Managing Negotiators? Avoid 3 Common Negotiation Mistakes

Posted by & filed under Leadership Skills.

In 2019, face-to-face meetings between then U.S. president Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, held in Hanoi, Vietnam, came to an abrupt end after Kim insisted that the United States lift all economic sanctions against his country in return for denuclearization. Trump refused and ended the talks, telling reporters, “Sometimes you have to … Read More

Ask A Negotiation Expert: Making Our Good Negotiation Skills Even Better

Posted by & filed under Teaching Negotiation.

We recently spoke to Harvard Business School professor Michael Wheeler about the challenges and opportunities of learning good negotiation skills from our real life bargaining situations. Wheeler is the author of The Art of Negotiation: How to Improvise Agreement in a Chaotic World (Simon & Schuster, 2013) and the “Negotiation 360” preparation app, which is … Read More

Dear Negotiation Coach: What is the Secret to Negotiating with Kids Successfully?

Posted by & filed under Win-Win Negotiations.

Some of our toughest negotiations happen away from the bargaining table. In fact, they may happen closer to our dinner table. We recently received a question from a reader about negotiation with kids, and asked Program on Negotiation’s Katie Shonk for some insight. Q: I avoid using hardball tactics in my professional negotiations since they often … Read More

Business Skills: Make Concessions Strategically in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Business negotiators generally understand that to get what they want from another party or parties, they will have to give something away. But what concessions should you offer in the deal-making process, and what form should they take? New research on concession making in negotiation offers tips to add to your repertoire of business skills. Finding … Read More

Dear Negotiation Coach: Am I Using Deceptive Tactics in Negotiation?

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Ethical negotiators try not to use deceptive tactics in negotiation situations. However, there’s one negotiation technique that may not feel deceptive, but it can slip under the radar and cause problems later. We spoke with Francesca Gino, Tandon Family Professor of Business Administration, Negotiation, Organizations and Markets Unit at Harvard Business School. We asked her … Read More

BATNA and Risky Negotiation Tactics

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

Your BATNA is your “best alternative to a negotiated agreement.” Expect that your negotiating counterpart has one going into a negotiation, and so should you. Below is a good BATNA negotiation example involving how to leverage your away-from-the-bargaining-table options and the risks inherent with such a negotiation strategy. … Read BATNA and Risky Negotiation Tactics

Asking for More in Salary Negotiation: When Jennifer Lawrence and Jennifer Aniston Spoke Out

Posted by & filed under Salary Negotiations.

“We’re very much a sexist society,” actress Jennifer Aniston said in back in 2015 in an interview with the New York Times, addressing not just the constant questions she faces about marriage and children, but about recent revelations of pay discrimination and salary negotiation in Hollywood. “Women are still not paid as much as men,” Aniston … Read More

The Winner’s Curse in Negotiations: How to Avoid It

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

These business negotiations – an auction and a negotiated acquisition – highlight both the promise and risks of high-priced purchases and the dangers of the winner’s curse in negotiation. Negotiators fall victim to the winner’s curse in negotiations when they over-compete (and overbid) for items in the pursuit of a “victory” at the bargaining table. … Read More

Negotiating with Millennials – How to Overcome Cultural Differences in Communication

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Negotiation training often focuses on bridging gaps between negotiators with different styles, backgrounds, or objectives, but what about overcoming generational barriers in negotiation? Generational differences need not stymie efforts at the bargaining table. In this segment from “Dear Negotiation Coach,” we explore how to overcome cultural differences in communication with members of the Millennial generation. … Read More

MESO Negotiation Strategies and Negotiation Techniques

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

MESO negotiation techniques for negotiators include creating value at the bargaining table by identifying multiple proposals of equal value and presenting them to your counterpart simultaneously. By making tradeoffs across issues, parties can obtain greater value on the issues that are most important to them. But how can you be sure you’re making the right … Read More

In Business Negotiations, Dress the Part

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Negotiators involved in high-stakes mergers and acquisitions typically come to the table armored in meticulously tailored apparel and designer shoes. But as Dana Mattioli reports in a recent Wall Street Journal negotiation topics in business article, those who are trying to woo business from an apparel company often end up dressing down at the bargaining … Read In Business Negotiations, Dress the Part

Coming Up with Win-Win Solutions at the Bargaining Table

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Even those who effectively engage in an integrative negotiations or mutual-gains approach to negotiation, a bargaining scenario in which parties work together to meet interests and maximize value creation during the negotiation process, can be stymied by the task of dividing up a seemingly fixed pie of resources, such as budgets, revenue, and time. … 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 What is BATNA?

Metaphorical Negotiation and Defining Negotiation Skills

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Negotiators talk about building agreement, bluffing the opposition, and volleying offers back and forth. According to mediator Thomas Smith, careful attention to such metaphors can reveal deeper meaning beneath the explicit words that people use, notably regarding how they view the negotiation process and their relationship to one another. … Read More

Deception in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

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 costs: in the case of overruns, it’s nice to have a little cushion built into the budget, rather than having to … Read Deception in Negotiation

Win Win Negotiation: Different Cultures, Shared Meals

Posted by & filed under Win-Win Negotiations.

From movie moguls hammering out film deals in Los Angeles to publishers and agents assessing each other’s tastes in New York, the “power lunch” has become a familiar institution. Across the globe, negotiators often do business over shared meals, whether out of convenience or as part of a concerted effort to get to know one … Read More

Negotiation Strategies and Techniques for Activists: Lessons from Mandela

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

In the aftermath of George Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis by a White police officer, activists, politicians, and other concerned citizens are grappling with a big question: Where do we go from here? The quest for reforms to policing and other societal institutions can be pursued through many means, including continued demonstrations, political lobbying, and community-wide … Read More

Should You Really Negotiate?

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Imagine that you’re about to hire someone to provide a service—say, to repair your leaky roof, design a new website for your business, or cater a family event. When you receive a price quote, should you try to negotiate a better deal? Conventional wisdom would answer with a resounding yes. Opening up price negotiations could very … Read Should You Really Negotiate?

The Impact of Anxiety and Emotions on Negotiations

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

Don’t get schooled in your next negotiation

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot, a former federal prosecutor and head of the Chicago Police Board, was elected in 2018 as a reformer calling for big improvements to Chicago’s chronically underfunded public schools, including smaller class sizes, and more nurses and social workers. One of Lightfoot’s first major challenges after being sworn in on May 20, 2019, … Read Don’t get schooled in your next negotiation

Collaborative Leadership: Managing Negotiators

Posted by & filed under Leadership Skills.

Organizational leaders, from middle managers to heads of state, often face the difficult task of overseeing mission-critical negotiations and managing individual negotiators and negotiating teams. Collaborative leadership—a focus on giving employees autonomy and a voice in key decisions—is often key to managing negotiators effectively. We often overlook the important role of leadership in negotiation. But as … Read Collaborative Leadership: Managing Negotiators

Negotiation in the News: When “Mini-Deals” Are the Easy Way Out

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Donald Trump campaigned for president in 2016 as the consummate dealmaker, vowing to renegotiate a new nuclear deal with Iran, forge new trade deals with countries ranging from China to Mexico to Japan, and reach creative agreements with the U.S. Congress. Nearly three years into his presidency, few of these promises have come to fruition. … Read More

The Effects of Power in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

You might think that you’re entering a negotiation as the more powerful party, but those with considerable power often fail to take advantage of their privileged bargaining position. Meanwhile, negotiators who lack power routinely miss out on opportunities to gain leverage. To make the most of the power you have, it’s important to understand the … Read The Effects of Power in Negotiation

Intercultural Negotiation: Does the BATNA Concept Translate?

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

When should you walk away in negotiation? That’s a common question that negotiation experts pose of professional negotiators. We are typically advised to walk away from the bargaining table when we haven’t been able to get a better deal than we can get elsewhere. But in intercultural negotiation, particularly in international negotiation in certain countries … Read More

What an Operatic Role-Play Simulation Can Teach You About Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Teaching Negotiation.

A distinguished older soprano, Sally has not had a lead role in two years. However, when another soprano falls ill, the Lyric Opera is eager to hire Sally…but at what price? Sally Soprano is one of the best-known role-play simulations from the Program on Negotiation’s Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC). And it’s a classic for good … Read More

Need Some Negotiating Help? In the future, ask your phone

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Today, many people use “virtual assistants,” such as the iPhone’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa, to perform simple tasks and provide answers to straightforward questions. So-called chatbots, or bots, grease the wheels of everyday life by giving directions, looking up arcane facts, providing customer service, and much more. The best bots can also carry out lengthy conversations … Read More

How to Deal with Difficult People

Posted by & filed under Dealing with Difficult People.

We’ve all met them: people who prefer competition over collaboration, stonewalling over problem solving, tough talk over active listening. Think of the boss who refuses to allow you time off to help an ailing relative, or the potential customer armed with a “nonnegotiable” proposal. When considering how to deal with difficult people, we tend to write … Read How to Deal with Difficult People

Deal Design: Strategies for Complex Dealmaking

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

As experienced negotiators well know, the more parties involved in a negotiation, the more difficult it often is to come to agreement, due in part to the logistical challenge of making sure each voice is heard. Yet multiparty negotiation offers considerable benefits. Most notably more opportunities for making tradeoffs and creating value in negotiation than … Read Deal Design: Strategies for Complex Dealmaking

Bargaining at a Fever Pitch

Posted by & filed under Leadership Skills.

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 Bargaining at a Fever Pitch

Managing Faultlines in Group Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Mediation.

Group negotiations are a fact of managerial life, yet the outcomes of teamwork are highly unpredictable. Sometimes groups cohere, reaching novel solutions to nagging problems, and sometimes infighting causes them to collapse. How can you predict when conflict will emerge in groups, and what can you do to stop it? Dora Lau of the Chinese University … Read Managing Faultlines in Group Negotiations

MESO Negotiation: Learn from a Seller’s Market

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

What negotiating skills can negotiators take away from hyper competitive bargaining situations? With home sales heating up (again) in some parts of the United States, homebuyers are facing competition they haven’t seen since before the real-estate bubble burst back in 2008, and it’s showing up in the form of packed open houses, multiple bids above … Read MESO Negotiation: Learn from a Seller’s Market

Integrative Negotiation Examples: MESOs and Expanding the Pie

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

In our society, we’re bombarded with a multitude of decisions each day, beginning with the increasingly complex question of how to order our morning coffee. In his book The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less (Ecco, 2004), Swarthmore College psychology professor Barry Schwartz describes the contemporary phenomenon of becoming exhausted by “the tyranny of … Read More

Negotiation Topics in Business: Make a Bump Plan

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Regrouping from the cancellation of the 2004–2005 season due to failed labor negotiations, National Hockey League (NHL) teams and players faced the challenge of radically restructuring their collective bargaining agreement (CBA) in July 2005. The new CBA instituted a uniform cap (as well as a floor) on team payrolls. It also set maximums and minimums … Read Negotiation Topics in Business: Make a Bump Plan

Dealmaking: Don’t Wait for Them to Blink

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

In labor disputes and dealmaking, negotiators on both sides are likely to overestimate the odds that the other side will view their proposals as fair. In fact, however, self-serving perceptions of what constitutes a fair settlement can cause negotiators to remain miles apart. These factors appear to have come into play when the National Hockey … Read Dealmaking: Don’t Wait for Them to Blink

How to Overcome Cultural Barriers to Communication in International Negotiations

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

How to overcome cultural barriers to communication: As members of organizations and families, we all know from experience that even people with identical backgrounds can have vastly different negotiating styles and values. Nonetheless, we continue to be intrigued by the idea that distinct patterns emerge between negotiators from different cultures. … Read More

BATNA: Negotiation Preparation to Help Avoid Giving Up at the Bargaining Table

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

When you expect an opponent to be competitive, your confidence in the outcomes you can achieve in negotiation is likely to plummet. In negotiation research with Adam Galinsky of Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, negotiators were provided with some background about their counterpart including information on how competitive their counterpart has been in previous negotiations. … Read More

Promoting Fair Outcomes in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

So, you believe you’ve done everything you can do create value in your negotiation. You engaged in logrolling, making trades based on your and the other party’s different preferences on particular issues. You brainstormed new issues to add to the discussion, added a contingent contract, and proposed multiple offers simultaneously to identify which your counterpart … Read Promoting Fair Outcomes in Negotiation

Don’t Forget to Negotiate the Process

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

This past October, as the United Kingdom (UK) began gearing up for its negotiations to exit the European Union (EU)—a process known as Brexit—scheduled to begin in March, Reuters reported that the EU’s lead Brexit negotiator, former French foreign minister Michel Barnier, had asked for the negotiations to be conducted in French rather than English. … Read Don’t Forget to Negotiate the Process

In Platform Negotiations with Clinton, Sanders Was Victorious

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

With the 2016 Democratic National Convention now over, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders used the Hillary Clinton campaign’s fear of a divisive spectacle in Philadelphia to extract concessions on the party’s official platform and committee assignments. The senator’s tough dealmaking suggests an important negotiation lesson: Always know your BATNA and ZOPA in any negotiation. … Read More

Creating and Claiming Value Through Haggling – Assess The Other Party’s BATNA in Dealmaking Negotiations

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

Now it’s time to assess the best deal you might get. Figuring out the other party’s reservation price is the key to knowing how far you will be able to push him, write Deepak Malhotra and Max H. Bazerman in their book Negotiation Genius: How to Overcome Obstacles and Achieve Brilliant Results at the Bargaining … 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 Manage Your Power at the Bargaining Table

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

How Your Organization Can Benefit from Mediation Techniques

Posted by & filed under Mediation.

If you manage people, disputes will show up at your door. The marketing VP protests that the budget cap you and your new finance VP proposed is hindering a research initiative you supported. Two young sales representatives are embroiled in a turf war. Your administrative assistant is upset because the HR director won’t approve the … Read More

Adaptability at the Bargaining Table: How Improvisation and Jazz Music Inform Negotiation Strategy

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Aggressive tactics and hard-bargaining strategies may, at face value, provide a roadmap to success at the bargaining table but, as the Washington Post’s Kelly Johnson discovered in her interview with Program on Negotiation faculty member Michael Wheeler, adaptability to ever-changing circumstances is essential for the “dynamic” negotiations one encounters in everyday life. … Read More

Negotiation Research Demonstrates the Impact of Memory on Decision Making Processes in Bargaining Scenarios

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

Recent negotiation research published by Psychological Science from Program on Negotiation faculty member and assistant professor at Harvard University’s Department of Psychology Joshua Greene and his colleague Elinor Amit explores the impact vivid mental imagery has on decision-making processes for negotiators. The negotiation skills insights that can be obtained from such negotiation research are many … Read More

Top 10 Best Negotiations of 2014: Negotiation Case Studies Drawn from Negotiation Examples in Real Life

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Rather than unparalleled triumphs and victories, many of the 10 Best Negotiations of 2014 share a common theme of “making the best of a bad situation.” From climate change to Congress to Cuba, negotiators often found themselves trying to claw their way out of the darkness and into the light. Here are 10 negotiations that … Read More

Negotiation Research You Can Use: When Cultural Expectations Lead Us Astray

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

In September 2014, a Chinese court found the British pharmaceutical firm GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) guilty of bribing government officials, hospital officials, and doctors to sell more drugs at higher prices, according to the Wall Street Journal. The court fined the company nearly $500 million and convicted five of GSK’s managers, including its former top executive in … Read More

Overcoming Cultural Barriers in Negotiations: The Importance of Culture and Etiquette in Bargaining Scenarios

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

Learn how and when to engage in appropriate cultural traditions when negotiating with counterparts from a different culture. In this article we offer negotiation tips for overcoming cultural barriers in negotiation and present additional articles drawn from negotiation research that may be of benefit to negotiators who need to improve their international negotiation skills. … Read More

Financial Negotiations During the Banking Crisis: Did the Mortgage Foreclosure Settlement Meet Its Goals?

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

The mortgage foreclosure settlement reached by the Obama Administration and major US banks bailed out during the 2008 financial crisis illustrates the importance of an integrative negotiations approach to bargaining with your counterpart. Here are the strategies and techniques employed by each side to reach a consensus on the mortgage foreclosure settlement. … Read More

Negotiation Research You Can Use

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Negotiators often are advised to tamp down strong emotions and behave as rationally as possible at the bargaining table, but that can be easier said than done. More realistically, negotiators need skills and tools that can help them cope with their own potentially destructive emotions and those of their counterparts. Some people come by these skills … Read Negotiation Research You Can Use

Negotiation Skills in Business Communication: Heading Off Deception

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

In all types of negotiations and across all phases of the process, people can sometimes misrepresent or fail to tell the truth. Individual negotiators lie with the hope of improving their own outcomes. When negotiating his salary with the Cranbury, N.J.–based pharmaceutical marketing firm Carter-Wallace in 1997, Robert Bonczek misrepresented his prior title and salary … Read More

Negotiation Skills in Business Communication: Status Anxiety

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

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

Negotiating Skills and Negotiation Tactics: Damage Control in Conflict Resolution

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Framing in negotiation, and the negotiating skills and negotiation tactics that go behind effective bargaining, can help not only achieve a negotiator’s goals at the bargaining table, but also can anticipate the fallout or kickback received from parties away from the negotiation table. President Obama’s tax-cut negotiations with Senate Republicans in late 2010 offer cautionary … Read More

Deal Negotiation and Dealmaking: What to Do On Your Own

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Six negotiation skills tips for negotiators seeking to creative value during their next round at the bargaining table. Business negotiators are often faced with the complex task of coordinating multiple parties – here are some tips for the individual business negotiator on how to achieve success in her next deal negotiation. … Read More

Dealmaking: Beyond Collusion – How to Include Outsiders in Your Deal in Business Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

The issue of bidder collusion raises a larger question for negotiators: What ethical responsibility do we have to those who aren’t seated at the table with us? Harvard Business School professor Max H. Bazerman uses the term “parasitic value creation” to describe the common tendency of negotiators to focus so narrowly on identifying benefits for those … Read More

Business Negotiation Advice: When Your Image is Everything

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Turning to another questionable negotiation from Illinois politics, in 2005, then–U.S. senator Barack Obama and his family bought a house in Chicago. On the same day the Obamas closed on the property, the wife of real estate developer Antoin Rezko bought an adjacent parcel of land. Rezko was a key fundraiser for Obama’s Senate campaign. … Read More

Build On Your Past Success in Business Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

For fans of AMC’s hit show Mad Men, the news was terrible. In late March 2011, the network publicly confirmed that the fifth season of the show, originally set to air summer of 2011, would not air until early 2012. A contract dispute with the show’s creator, producer, and head writer, Matthew Weiner, had held … 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

Lawyers in Mediation and the Mediation Process

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

How does the presence of lawyers affect the process of mediation? You might guess that when one or both sides bring an attorney to a mediation, the process would become more contentious and adversarial, with impasse more likely, than if the parties worked solely with a mediator. That conventional wisdom is contradicted by new research … Read Lawyers in Mediation and the Mediation Process

Conflict Management Techniques: Should You Take Your Dispute Public?

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

To turn up the heat on opponents, negotiators sometimes advertise their grievances. Here’s negotiation skills advice on when it’s a good idea to be vocal—and when to keep talks private. The decision seemed nonsensical. Early on the morning of March 7, 2010, with the Academy Awards telecast just hours away, the Walt Disney Company pulled the signal on … Read More

Why We Focus on Culture in Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Coping with Culture at the Bargaining Table,” first published in the May 2009 issue of Negotiation. Why we focus on culture Why does concentrating on the other side’s culture lead to problems in negotiation? Consider that negotiators often focus too narrowly on the most obvious information about the task at hand. Such focusing failures lead negotiators to … Read Why We Focus on Culture in Negotiations

Intercultural Negotiations: When Negotiators Try Too Hard

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Adapted from “Coping with Culture at the Bargaining Table,” first published in the May 2009 issue of Negotiation. Though intercultural negotiating schemas can be useful, negotiators often give too much weight to them, according to an article in the May issue of the journal Negotiation and Conflict Management Research, “Starting Out on the Right Foot: Negotiation Schemas When … Read More

Hong Kong Lawyer Benny Tai Inspired by Harvard Negotiation Project Authors

Posted by & filed under Teaching Negotiation.

The Harvard Negotiation Project was recently mentioned in the Wall Street Journal by David Feith in his interview with Benny Tai, “China’s New Freedom Fighters.” Benny Tai, a 49 year old lawyer who has been branded an “enemy of the state,” founded Occupy Central with Love and Peace, a group that promotes civil disobedience in order … Read More

At the Met, Conflict Management in a Minor Key

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

This spring, the Metropolitan Opera opened labor talks with the 16 unions representing its workers, whose contracts all expire at the end of July, the New York Times reports. Labor and management agree on one fundamental point—that the opera is struggling financially amid falling ticket sales, a depleted endowment, and growing expenses. Perhaps not surprisingly, … Read At the Met, Conflict Management in a Minor Key

Have You Negotiated How You’ll Negotiate?

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

A large pharmaceutical company was engaged in licensing negotiation with a small biotech firm over the terms of a technology transfer. When the talks reached a standstill over royalty rates, the two sides began an all-weekend marathon session. Each side came armed with supporting arguments and data, but, by Sunday afternoon, they had failed to converge toward … Read Have You Negotiated How You’ll Negotiate?

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 Will you behave ethically?

The Program on Negotiation’s MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program Releases “Collaborative Approaches to Environmental Decision-Making” Case Studies

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution, MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program.

The MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program, one of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School’s many research programs, acts as a center for research committed to thinking about and resolving disputes in the public sector. Led by its Director and Program on Negotiation executive committee member Lawrence Susskind, the MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program conducts research … Read More

Social Comparisons in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Social comparisons – the assessments we make about how we measure up to others – are key to understanding how status operates in negotiation. These comparisons, which signal concern about relative status, have a profound impact at the bargaining table. To make social comparisons, first we choose a reference group against which we can measure ourselves. … Read Social Comparisons in Negotiation

What If We Have the Same Social Motive at the Bargaining Table?

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

When two people share the same motive, they fall prey to the same flaws and reinforce each other’s failings. Consider a labor negotiation in which the chief management negotiator withholds information about revenue projections, while the labor leader holds back details about workforce sentiment. Impasse is the predictable result. When you’re negotiating with a fellow … Read More

The Deal is Done – Now What?

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

At last, the deal is done. After 18 months of negotiation, eight trips across the country, and countless meetings, you’ve finally signed a contract creating a joint venture with a Silicon Valley firm to manufacture imaging devices using your technology and their engineering. The contract is clear and precise. It covers all the contingencies and has … Read The Deal is Done – Now What?

How Mental Shortcuts Lead to Misjudging

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Judges don’t make decisions based on a thorough accounting of all the relevant and available information. Instead, like all of us, they rely on heuristics – simple mental shortcuts – to make decisions. As many past articles have noted, heuristics often lead to good decisions, but they can also create cognitive blinders that produce systematic … Read How Mental Shortcuts Lead to Misjudging

Program on Negotiation Faculty On How To End the US Government Shutdown

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

The Washington Post’s “On Leadership” column by Jenna McGregor asked renowned negotiation experts on how the government shutdown in Washington, DC could be ended at the bargaining table. Among the experts interviewed were Robert Mnookin, Chair of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School (PON) and author of Bargaining With The Devil: When To Negotiate, … 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

Taking Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Too Far

Posted by & filed under Mediation.

More and more companies are inserting alternative dispute resolution (ADR) clauses in their contracts with customers and vendors, and even in agreements with their own employees. ADR processes such as mediation and arbitration can be beneficial for all concerned if they help avoid the cost, delay, and uncertainty of going to court. Mediation, in particular, … Read More

Negotiation Tips: A Value-Creation Checklist

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

By following these tips in your next negotiation, you’ll improve your chances of meeting everyone’s interests. Before you sit down at the bargaining table, imagine a wide-range of options and packages, including some that may seem far-fetched. When talks begin, remember that getting down to business too quickly can stand in the way of building trust. Emphasize to … Read Negotiation Tips: A Value-Creation Checklist

Anchor Trials or Balloons in Conflict Resolution

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

The power of anchors in negotiation has been demonstrated time and again. Sellers who demand more tend to get more. Indeed, the initial asking price is usually the best predictor of the final agreement. A trio of researchers may have found an important exception to this rule, however; lower starting numbers set by the seller in … Read Anchor Trials or Balloons in Conflict Resolution

When Umbrella Agreements Spring Leaks in Dispute Resolution

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

Negotiators tend to want the best of both worlds. When reaching an agreement, they want to nail down parties’ respective rights and responsibilities, but they also want to retain the flexibility to deal with ever-changing business conditions. One solution to this apparent dilemma is to craft umbrella, or framework, agreements. (The term umbrella is more commonly … Read More

When More is Less

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

It’s an article of faith in negotiation that expanding the pie of value enhances the parties’ welfare. When there’s only one issue on the bargaining table, the size of the pie is fixed. If one party gets more, the other party gets less. But when multiple issues exist, negotiators can expand the size of the … Read When More is Less

Taking ADR Too Far

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

More and more companies are inserting alternative dispute resolution (ADR) clauses in their contracts with customers and vendors, and even in agreements with their own employees. ADR processes such as mediation and arbitration can be beneficial for all concerned if they help avoid the cost, delay, and uncertainty of going to court. Mediation, in particular, … Read Taking ADR Too Far

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 Leading Horses to Water

Moving Forward in Mediation Together

Posted by & filed under Mediation.

The teacher’s federation has qualms with the current education bill’s stipulations regarding the scheduling and terms for mediation between the federation and provincial government. The government is open to further negotiations, but refuses to offer more money. Susan Lambert, president of the British Columbia Teacher’s Federation, asserts that the government is acting in bad faith, … Read Moving Forward in Mediation Together

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 When Others are Counting on You

Dealing with emotions during tough economic times

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

A major measure of the economy is the prevailing mood. A bleak job market and less-than-rosy economic outlook influence how we feel in an organization. Tighter budgets and increased layoffs are causes for concern, and many of us respond with “fight or flight” behavior.  We defend our turf or avoid tense conversations in the hopes … Read Dealing with emotions during tough economic times

Have you negotiated the authority you need?

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Great Deal—But How Will It Play at the Office?” by Jeswald W. Salacuse (professor, Tufts University), first published in the Negotiation newsletter, October 2006. To close any deal, you not only have to reach agreement with the other side but also convince your own organization of the deal’s value. In fact, you may … Read Have you negotiated the authority you need?

Bringing Mediators to the Bargaining Table

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution, Daily.

Adapted from “Mediation in Transactional Negotiation,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, July 2004. We generally think of mediation as a dispute-resolution device. Federal mediators intervene when collective bargaining bogs down. Diplomats are sometimes called in to mediate conflicts between nations. So-called multidoor courthouses encourage litigants to mediate before incurring the costs—and risks—of going to trial. Scott … Read Bringing Mediators to the Bargaining Table

Negotiating for the Long Haul

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Adapted from “Take the Long View,” by Kimberly A. Wade-Benzoni (professor, Duke University), first published in the Negotiation newsletter, April 2006. Negotiators often overlook the long-term consequences of various issues on the table. Amid the pressures to meet short-term financial targets, it’s difficult to remember that the effects of managerial decisions may be felt years, even … Read Negotiating for the Long Haul

Did You Really Get a Great Deal?

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “A Worse Deal Than You Think?” First published in the Negotiation newsletter, August 2006. Most negotiators leave the bargaining table believing they were better at pushing the other side to its limit than was actually the case, according to experimental studies by Richard P. Larrick of Duke University and George Wu of the University … Read Did You Really Get a Great Deal?

Reducing Negotiation Stress

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Poise under Pressure: The Well-Balanced Negotiator,” by Michael Wheeler (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter, December 2006. Too many people overlook the fact that negotiation is a demanding physical act. They cram for negotiations, pulling all-nighters in an attempt to master each and every detail—only to become irritable and fuzzy … Read Reducing Negotiation Stress

Learning from Negotiation Training

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Putting Negotiation Training to Work,” by Max H. Bazerman (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Many executives read books and newsletters to improve their negotiating skills. Many also take time out of their busy work lives to attend classes and training programs, including ones focused on negotiation. Their teachers pass … Read Learning from Negotiation Training

When Negotiators Act Like Parasites

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Creating Values, Weighing Values,” by Max H. Bazerman (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. In April 2001, the FTC filed a complaint accusing pharmaceutical companies Schering-Plough and Upsher-Smith of restricting trade. Upsher-Smith had been preparing to introduce a generic pharmaceutical product that would threaten a near monopoly held by Schering-Plough. … Read When Negotiators Act Like Parasites

Don’t get Lost in Translation

Posted by & filed under Daily, International Negotiation.

Adapted from “Coping with Culture at the Bargaining Table,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. As if intercultural negotiations weren’t complicated enough, you may find yourself facing a language barrier. Whenever one party doesn’t speak the other party’s language well, you should consider hiring a translator (or one for each language, if necessary). The presence of translators … Read Don’t get Lost in Translation

When Two Cultures are Better Than One

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Coping with Culture at the Bargaining Table,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Do you have firsthand experience navigating two cultures? Have you lived abroad for a significant period of time? Are you an immigrant, or were you raised by immigrants? If you are “bicultural,” you may be an especially adept negotiator, research suggests. Researchers … Read When Two Cultures are Better Than One

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 How to Get to the Table

Avoid the Green-eyed Monster

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Adapted from “Negotiating with the Green-eyed Monster,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Envy can cause us to engage in deception at the bargaining table. That’s the cautionary finding of research by Simone Moran of Ben-Gurion University in Israel and Maurice E. Schweitzer of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Why might negotiators be more … Read Avoid the Green-eyed Monster

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 Who’s Looking Over Your Shoulder?

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 The Regretful Negotiator

The Power of Schadenfreude

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Negotiating with the Green-eyed Monster,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Envy can cause us to engage in deception at the bargaining table. That’s the cautionary finding of recent research by Simone Moran of Ben-Gurion University in Israel and Maurice E. Schweitzer of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. In one experiment, Israeli … Read The Power of Schadenfreude

Everyday Ingenuity

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from the Negotiation newsletter. Negotiation expert Roger Fisher sagely counsels, “Solutions are not the answer.” Instead of tossing demands back and forth on their way to an outcome, negotiators should focus on the process of exploring their underlying needs and interests. Get the process right, and practical solutions often follow. But process still depends on the … Read Everyday Ingenuity

Change the Trust Default

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “How to Build Trust at the Bargaining Table,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Carol’s longtime doctor diagnoses her with a serious illness and recommends immediate, aggressive treatment. Carol would like to seek a second opinion, but she doesn’t want to offend her doctor—who, after all, has always provided her with excellent care. Carol … Read Change the Trust Default

Culture and Communication

Posted by & filed under Daily, International Negotiation.

Adapted from “Cultural Notes,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. As members of organizations and families, we all know from experience that even people with identical backgrounds can have vastly differing negotiating styles and values. Nonetheless, we continue to be intrigued by the idea that distinct patterns emerge between negotiators from different cultures. Researchers do confirm a … Read Culture and Communication

Pull Ahead of the Pack

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “Think You’re Powerless? Think Again,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. If your organization regularly bids for business, you may be accustomed to feeling like the weaker party, write Deepak Malhotra and Max H. Bazerman in their book Negotiation Genius: How to Overcome Obstacles and Achieve Brilliant Results at the Bargaining Table and Beyond … Read Pull Ahead of the Pack

Learn More From Your Deals

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Learning to Learn,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Learning about a concept or technique is one thing. Actually putting new knowledge to work is quite another. The gap between “knowing” and “doing” is a challenge for managers who want to hone their effectiveness, whether through formal training or private reflection on their experience. Recent … Read Learn More From Your Deals

Are Your Talks too Complex?

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “When More Is Less,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. It’s an article of faith in negotiation that expanding the pie of value enhances parties’ welfare. When there’s only one issue on the bargaining table, the size of the pie is fixed. If one party gets more, the other party must get less. But … Read Are Your Talks too Complex?

Should You Ignore a Threat

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Threat Response at the Bargaining Table,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Consider how you would respond to threats and ultimatums such as these during a negotiation: • “If you try to back out, you’ll never work in this industry again.” • “Give us what we want, or we’ll see you in court.” • “That’s our final … Read Should You Ignore a Threat

Find Strength in Numbers

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Make Your Weak Position Strong,” by Deepak Malhotra (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. A common complaint among managers and executives who attend negotiation courses and seminars is that they don’t learn enough about negotiating from a position of weakness. What can you do when you have a weak BATNA, … Read Find Strength in Numbers

Caveat Emptor?

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Fair Enough? An Ethical Fitness Quiz for Negotiators,” by Michael Wheeler (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Imagine that you bought a rustic cabin at its asking price. Now flash-forward a few years. You’ve enjoyed the place immensely but just learned that a motorcycle racetrack will be up and running … Read Caveat Emptor?

Choose Your Words

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Metaphorical Negotiation,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Negotiators talk about building agreement, bluffing the opposition, and volleying offers back and forth. According to mediator Thomas Smith, careful attention to such metaphors can reveal deeper meaning beneath the explicit words that people use, notably regarding how they view the negotiation process and their relationship … Read Choose Your Words

Keeping Your Options Alive

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Better or Best: Keeping Your Options Open,” by Michael Wheeler (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Jim, a well-regarded residential developer operating outside Philadelphia, has been scouting around for a site for his next project. Two properties seem promising. The Abbott estate consists of 75 acres of woodlands and some … Read Keeping Your Options Alive

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 Questioning threats

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 Teams across cultures

Dropping anchors

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “Anchors or Trial Balloons?”, first published in the Negotiation newsletter. The power of anchors in negotiation has been demonstrated time and again. Sellers who demand more tend to get more. Indeed, the initial asking price is usually the best predictor of the final agreement. A trio of researchers may have found an important exception … Read Dropping anchors

Make more out of less

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “When More Is Less,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. It’s an article of faith in negotiation that expanding the pie of value enhances parties’ welfare. When there’s only one issue on the bargaining table, the size of the pie is fixed. If one party gets more, the other party must get less. But … Read Make more out of less

When We Expect Too Much

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

How often have you heard a friend or colleague refer to a contract as being “in the bag,” only to find out later that the deal didn’t go through? There always turns out to be a good reason a negotiation fell apart. Yet the fact remains that most negotiators are overconfident about their chances of … Read When We Expect Too Much

Are you afraid of commitment?

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Overcoming Stage Fright: How to Prepare for a Negotiation,” by Michael Wheeler (Professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter.

Many negotiators grow anxious as they approach the bargaining table, a reaction that puts them in good company with other distinguished professionals. Laurence Olivier’s stage fright almost ended his acting … Read Are you afraid of commitment?

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 Making the first move

The upside of threats

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Negotiation researchers have long studied how to use “carrots”-promises of mutual gains-to induce agreement. Less attention has been given to “sticks,” specifically, the effectiveness of threats. Threats often have a negative connotation-understandably so, as they’ve often been associated with offers that can’t be refused or, in some cases, warnings of annihilation. But sometimes threats are justified. … Read The upside of threats

Negotiating Without Conditions

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Adapted from “Without Conditions:  The Case for Negotiating With the Enemy” by Deepak Malhotra. is Associate Professor at Harvard Business School and a co-author of Negotiation Genius: How to Overcome Obstacles and Achieve Brilliant Results at the Bargaining Table and Beyond. For the full article, visit Foreign Affairs. Diplomacy appears ready to make a comeback. The … Read Negotiating Without Conditions

Negotiate how you’ll negotiate

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Have You Negotiated How You’ll Negotiate?” by Robert C. Bordone, Professor, and Gillien S. Todd, Lecturer, Harvard Law School. Breakdowns in negotiation are common. In the face of impasse at the bargaining table, managers are quick to blame either the challenges of the issues being negotiated or the hard-line tactics of the opposing parties. … Read Negotiate how you’ll negotiate

Dealing with choice overload

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

When it comes to offering and considering choices in a negotiation, the more the better, right? In fact, the presence of too many options may actually hamper people from coming to any agreement. A study from the decision-making realm supports this conclusion. Draeger’s Market in Menlo Park, Calif., is renowned for its wide selection of gourmet … Read Dealing with choice overload

Be sure to give at the office

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Reciprocation tactics are tried and true. Politicians “logroll” votes on pet projects, companies offer free product samples to consumers, and charitable organizations include small gifts when soliciting donations. According to the norm of reciprocity, if you’re nice to me, I’ll be nice in return, and vice versa. In the realm of negotiation, you can gain many … Read Be sure to give at the office

Coping with cultural differences

Posted by & filed under Daily, International Negotiation.

Have you ever found yourself negotiating with people from other cultures, whether at home or abroad?  If so, did you try to adapt your negotiating style to fit the other person or team’s culture, and if so, how? Most negotiators understand that cultural differences are likely to be a factor in negotiations. Unfortunately, many negotiators actually … Read Coping with cultural differences

Why We Strike

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution, Daily.

What happens when disputants feel like they have invested too much in a conflict to back down? There are a number of reasons that negotiations fail and lead to protracted strikes, often to the detriment of both parties. Both sides frequently believe that their case is stronger due to overconfidence. If one side doubts the other’s claims … Read Why We Strike