Most of us will do almost whatever it takes to avoid impasse at the bargaining table. This aversion to impasse may lead a negotiator to become less competitive, leading to a lower reservation price, demands, and counteroffers in order to secure any agreement at all.
However, a BATNA can protect you from accepting terms that are too unfavorable and from rejecting terms it would be in your interest to accept.
Furthermore, a strong BATNA can also enhance your power in negotiation. That’s because telling a counterpart that you have a strong alternative to doing business with them can motivate them to compromise to keep you from walking away.
When thinking about negotiations strategically, knowledge of your BATNA allows you to leverage your position at the bargaining table.
The following do’s and don’ts will help you manage information about your BATNA with confidence.
Never share your BATNA with the other party if it is hopelessly weak.
If the other side asks you about your BATNA directly, explain (truthfully) that you are working on various possibilities but want to concentrate on the deal on the table for the time being.
Even if you’re certain your BATNA is rock solid, hold off on revealing it. It could prove to be a useful bargaining chip during the final stages of a negotiation after you’ve exhausted all other strategies.
Don’t be surprised if your counterpart disparages your BATNA. Recognize that he has very real incentives to convince you that your outside options are not as good as you’d like to believe.
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
If you’re in a negotiation with many parties who have varying positions, it may be tempting to join a coalition with parties who share at least some of your goals. But should you join one?
… Read Managing Multiparty Negotiations
Introducing a new way to go in-depth when teaching the most important negotiation concepts and to measure learning outcomes.
If you are new to teaching negotiation or are looking to go in-depth on teaching key concepts, the All-In-One Curriculum Package will provide you with everything you need. The Teaching Negotiation Resource Center has created All-In-One Curriculum … Read Check Out the New All-In-One Curriculum Packages!
There’s a better, third way of negotiating—one that doesn’t rely on toughness or accommodation, but that will improve your likelihood of meeting your negotiation goals. In their pivotal negotiation text, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In (Penguin, 2nd edition, 1991), Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton of the Harvard Negotiation Project promote … Read More
Written by some of the nation’s foremost experts in negotiation, Business Negotiation Strategies: How to Negotiate a Better Business Deal gives you the tools you need to navigate even the stickiest business deals.
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Many people dread negotiation, not recognizing that they negotiate on a regular, even daily basis. Most of us face formal negotiations throughout our personal and professional lives: discussing the terms of a job offer with a recruiter, haggling over the price of a new car, hammering out a contract with a supplier.
… Read What is Negotiation?
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
If you work with others, sooner or later you will almost inevitably face the need for conflict resolution. You may need to mediate a dispute between two members of your department. Or you may find yourself angered by something a colleague reportedly said about you in a meeting. Or you may need to engage in … Read More
Your BATNA, or the ability to identify a negotiator’s best alternative to a negotiated agreement, is among one of the many pieces of information negotiators seek when formulating dealmaking and negotiation strategies. If your current negotiation reaches an impasse, what’s your best outside option?
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Increasingly, business negotiators recognize that the most effective bargainers are skilled at both creating value and claiming value—that is, they both collaborate and compete. The following 10 negotiation skills will help you succeed at integrative negotiation.
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This video simulation on power asymmetry and principal agent dynamics by Professor Lawrence Susskind and Robert Wilkinson was designed to give students insights into the challenges surrounding difficult conversations, both with people across the table, as well as with people on their own side.
… Read Power Asymmetry and the Principal Agent Problem
When an important negotiation is looming, “winging it” is never the answer. The best negotiators engage in thorough negotiation preparation. That means taking plenty of time to analyze what you want, your bargaining position, and the other side’s likely wants and alternatives.
… Read Negotiation Preparation Strategies
In sales negotiations, making the first offer is often a smart move. The first offer can anchor the discussion that follows and can have a powerful effect on the final outcome.
But if the other party makes the first offer, you’ll need to be prepared to frame your counteroffer carefully. What is framing in negotiation? It … Read Sales Negotiation Techniques
Learning great BATNA examples, or estimations of your best alternative to a negotiated agreement as well as that of your negotiating counterpart, are essential to effective negotiation strategies. When preparing to negotiate, always take time to consider these important questions.
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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
Sometimes your best alternative to a negotiated agreement (BATNA) is realizing that the negotiation itself is worth the risk. Back in May 2012, the United States and Russia announced a plan to hold a peace conference aimed at ending the civil war in Syria, which had killed more than 70,000 people at that time.
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Asynchronous role-play simulations teach valuable negotiation skills outside of a typical class format.
Asynchronous learning is a term used to describe education, instruction, or learning that does not occur in the same time or place. Asynchronous learning uses resources that facilitate knowledge sharing outside the constraints of time and place among a group of people. Using … Read More
Negotiation is not only something we do at work; often the toughest negotiations we encounter are in our personal lives. Some of the most successful negotiation examples of the power of negotiation skills in dispute resolution is when they repair relationships between friends.
… Read Repairing Relationships Using Negotiation Skills
In most negotiations, we face two goals: claiming value and creating value. Value can be defined as anything you would like to get out a negotiation, whether it be more dollars, a consulting contract, a new rug, an end to conflict, and so on.
… Read Value Claiming in Negotiation
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.
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Upset by a delay in the delivery of one of your products, a longtime buyer threatens to turn to the media unless you meet his extreme demands. Not only is the relationship in jeopardy, but your company’s reputation seems to be as well. What should you do? Turn to some tried and true hostage negotiation … Read More
In business negotiation, two polar-opposite errors are common: reaching agreement when it wouldn’t be wise to do so, and walking away from a mutually beneficial outcome.
How can you avoid these pitfalls? Through careful preparation that includes an analysis of the zone of possible agreement, or ZOPA in business negotiations.
… Read How to Find the ZOPA in Business Negotiations
Wise negotiators recognize the value of both collaborating and competing at the bargaining table. They look for ways to increase the pie of value for all parties, often by identifying differences across issues and making tradeoffs. And they also rely on distributive bargaining strategies to try to claim as much of that larger pie for … Read Distributive Bargaining Strategies
Whether in business, law, or international diplomacy, many negotiations are actually comprised of a multi-round process with negotiations internal to the organization preceding external ones. Using multi-round negotiation simulations can help students understand the connection between internal and external negotiations, handle more complex scenarios, and better get into their roles. Engaging in a multi-round negotiation … Read More
Your boss asks you to disrupt some family plans to work through the weekend. The PTA president at your children’s school wants you to chair an important benefit that no one else will lead. A customer asks you to participate in an auction rather than negotiating one-on-one for his contract. Being asked to do something … Read More
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.
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To guard against acting irrationally or in ways that can harm you, authors of Beyond Reason: Using Emotions As You Negotiate Roger Fisher and Daniel Shapiro advise you to take your emotional temperature during a negotiation. Specifically, try to gauge whether your emotions are manageable, starting to heat up, or threatening to boil over.
… Read More
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
Camp Lemonnier is a United States Naval Expeditionary Base located in Djibouti and is the only permanent U.S. military base in Africa. Djibouti, bordering Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, has been home to Camp Lemonnier since the September 11, 2001 attacks prompted the United States to seek a temporary … Read More
“Winging it” is a fine approach to life’s minor decisions, but when you negotiate, it can be disastrous. Follow these three preparation steps and improve your agreements.
… Read Are You Ready to Negotiate?
In today’s market, consumers are often the more powerful parties in negotiations with sellers.
To claim the most value in your next haggling experience, use the following six negotiation strategies.
… Read More
The clearest method for achieving exclusivity in negotiation is an exclusive negotiation period during which both sides agree not to talk to third parties, even if approached unexpectedly by others. In some arenas, these terms are called no-talk periods.
… Read More
Here are some concrete guidelines for fostering a strong relationship between deal making partners, drawn from The Global Negotiator: Making, Managing, and Mending Deals Around the World in the 21st Century, by Tufts University professor Jeswald W. Salacuse:
… Read Dealmaking: Relationship Rules for Dealmakers
The best bargaining tips taught by the experts should offer ways to enhance your bargaining power in negotiation. To do this, you must cultivate a strong BATNA, or best alternative to a negotiated agreement. The more appealing your best alternative is, the more comfortable you will feel asking for more in your current negotiation—secure in … Read 6 Bargaining Tips and BATNA Essentials
When we think of failed business negotiations, most of us picture negotiators walking away from the table in disappointment. But that’s only one type of disappointing negotiation. Failed business negotiations also include those that parties come to regret over time and those that fall apart during implementation. The following three types of negotiation failures are … Read Why Negotiations Fail
In a negotiation scenario, you always have a best alternative to a negotiated agreement. Negotiation research and negotiation strategy helps negotiators find their BATNA, leverage it at the bargaining table, and illustrates the impact that knowing your BATNA has on a negotiation.
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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
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.
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In recent months, U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders have struggled to find a winning strategy to convince Russian President Vladimir Putin to back away from his aggressions toward Ukraine. In a Wall Street Journal editorial, Ken Adelman, U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s ambassador to the United Nations and arms-control director, writes that recently … Read More
When determining the best alternative to a negotiated agreement or BATNA (the point at which the negotiators ought to walk away from the table), executives should check in with key organizational leaders.
… Read More
When it comes to great business negotiation strategies, there’s no better example than the cast of Friends in their heyday.
David Schwimmer, the actor who played Ross on the hit NBC sitcom Friends, famously convinced the show’s five other leads in the early years of its run to negotiate their contracts with NBC as a team. … Read More
What is distributive negotiation? Distributive negotiation involves haggling over a fixed amount of value—that is, slicing up the pie. In a distributive negotiation, there is likely only one issue at stake, typically price. When you are negotiating with a merchant in a foreign bazaar, or over a used car closer to home, you are generally … Read What Is Distributive Negotiation?
Looking to update your curriculum with innovative new simulations? Check out these new simulations from the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC).
Ren the Robot – New Simulation
Ren the Robot is a one-and-a-half hour, two-party, multi-issue negotiation between a Tokyo-based robotics company, Grubotics, and a U.S.-based tech company, Delivered, over a potential acquisition deal. It is designed to … Read The Best New Simulations
How can you uncover additional value, make useful trades, and put together a package that exceeds your party’s expectations? Here are four integrative negotiation strategies for value creation that all negotiators should add to their toolkit.
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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 lawsuit, or damage your reputation? These negotiation tips will help.
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Although most Americans treat those they know differently than they treat strangers, Chinese relationship building towards insiders and outsiders tends to be more extreme than in the United States – and therefore more important in negotiations in China than many Americans understand.
… Read The Importance of Relationship Building in China
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
In the heat of conflict, it can be difficult to think rationally about how you got where you are and how you might make things better. But by taking a break to consider the elements of conflict, you can move toward a more rational assessment of the dispute and come up with ways to address … Read More
At the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, William Ury, a founding member of the Program on Negotiation and co-author of the seminal book Getting to Yes, spoke about his latest book, Getting to Yes with Yourself (and Other Worthy Opponents). Over 250 community members, students, and faculty members filled Austin Hall to hear Ury … Read More
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
A common topic in our business negotiations articles are negotiation topics in business about enhancing your deal after signing the negotiated agreement. After all, not all contracts are created equal.
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In their negotiation training, police and professional hostage negotiators are taught skills that will help them defuse tense situations over the course of long phone calls, such as engaging in active listening, determining the person’s emotions from his or her inflection, and trust building.
… Read More
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
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
Some of our most heated negotiations and disputes involve value conflict over our core values, such as our personal moral standards, our religious and political beliefs, and our family’s welfare.
Consider these value conflict examples:
Sometimes a negotiation is all about managing perceptions. As this question below shows, focusing a counterpart on his own BATNA can persuade him to reduce the intensity of his hard-bargaining tactics.
Q: A customer is pressuring me to make a deal fast. I don’t want to be forced into a one-sided agreement and prefer to reach … Read Dear Negotiation Coach: Managing Perceptions
In our negotiations, we all regularly cope with counterparts who try too hard—such as salespeople who pester us with phone calls or show up at our office or home unannounced. Their desperation to reach a deal comes through loud and clear, making them seem not only annoying but also potentially ripe for exploitation. At the … Read More
Black men and women continue to be vastly underrepresented in leadership roles in corporate America due to unconscious biases in the workplace, amongst other reasons that may be more conscious. Those who advance in majority-white organizations encounter both covert and overt bias, and often struggle to feel authentic and connected, write contributors to the book … Read More
If you needed a lawyer to help you settle a business dispute, would you prefer (a) one who was completely partisan toward your point of view or (b) one who acted as a mediator and saw both sides of the conflict?
You might assume that the partisan lawyer would work harder for you than someone who … Read More
How can you negotiate the best possible price for a new car? This is a common negotiation question, and naturally so. A car is one of the most significant purchases you’ll ever make—and the price is almost always negotiable. Here are a few tips to improve your performance:
… Read More
Introducing a new way to go in-depth on the fundamental negotiation concepts and measure learning outcomes.
If you are new to teaching negotiation or are looking to go in-depth on the fundamental negotiation concepts, the Three-Party Coalition All-In-One Curriculum Package will provide you with everything you need to teach negotiation.
Three-Party Coalition, one of the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center’s most popular … Read More
In your negotiations, have you ever faced a truly difficult negotiator—someone whose behavior seems designed to provoke, thwart, and annoy you beyond all measure? We often have strong incentives to negotiate with those we find obstinate, unpredictable, abrasive, or untrustworthy. When we avoid dealing with difficult people, we risk missing out on important opportunities. But … Read More
With its booming economy and growing international consumer influence, the role of negotiation in international business is more important than ever and negotiation skills appropriate for China are in high-demand. Here are a few negotiation tips to help you successfully navigate your next round of business negotiations in China.
… Read The Negotiation Process in China
New to Teaching Negotiation?
If you are new to teaching negotiation or are looking to go in-depth on the fundamental negotiation concepts, the Parker-Gibson All-In-One Curriculum Package will provide you with everything you need to teach negotiation.
Parker-Gibson, one of the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center’s most popular simulations, is a two-party, single-issue, distributive negotiation between two neighbors regarding the potential sale … Read More
Managing expectations at the negotiation table can be a challenge, especially when our counterparts ideas and our own are far apart. But what happens when it’s our own expectations of other people’s behaviors we have to manage? We had a question around this topic recently.
Q: There have been a few times recently when I felt … Read More
Negotiators are often taught that the more alternatives they have, the more fortunate they are. If it’s good to have one strong best alternative to a negotiated agreement, or BATNA, then it’s better to have many BATNAs, right?
Not necessarily, results from a study by Michael Schaerer of INSEAD and his colleagues show. In a series … Read More
New to Teaching Negotiation?
If you are new to teaching negotiation or are looking to go in-depth on the fundamental negotiation concepts, the Bakra Beverage All-In-One Curriculum Package will provide you with everything you need to teach negotiation.
Bakra Beverage, one of the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center’s most popular simulations, is a two-party negotiation between a beverage manufacturer and a … Read More
How should you decide whether to accept or reject your counterpart’s final offer in negotiation? In their influential book, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton advise comparing the deal to your BATNA, or best alternative to a negotiated agreement. If the offer is better than the best … Read Learning from BATNA Examples in Negotiation
One of the more interesting segues to job negotiation advice emerged from the December 2014 leaks of hacked Sony Pictures data and an e-mail revealing a young actress’s efforts to be paid on the same level as her male peers.
In a December 2013 e-mail to Sony Pictures cochair Amy Pascal, Columbia Pictures executive Andrew Gumpert … Read Job Negotiation Advice to Help You Succeed
Running a multinational corporation, starting a small business, or leading a diplomatic mission all require critical leadership skills. Being an effective leader necessitates negotiating both within your organization and with external partners. In Real Leaders Negotiate, author Jeswald Salacuse explains that leaders can increase their effectiveness by using negotiation in each of the three phases … Read Teaching Critical Leadership Skills
In their best-selling book Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton (Penguin, 1991) introduced the concept of having a BATNA strategy (best alternative to a negotiated agreement) as “the standard against which any proposed agreement should be measured.” When you know what you’ll do if you don’t reach … Read BATNA Strategy: Should You Reveal Your BATNA?
In 1975, Leigh Steinberg launched his career as a sports agent by proving that even a little power can be a dangerous thing. He faced what appeared to be a tough negotiation with the Atlanta Falcons. The team had chosen Steinberg’s client, rookie quarterback Steve Bartkowski, as their first pick in the first round of … Read When a Little Power is a Dangerous Thing
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
Over the years, what many believe to be Jesus’s tomb in Jerusalem’s Old City has been the site of tensions that have at times escalated into violence. Inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Greek Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, and Roman Catholic communities guard the shrine surrounding the tomb, which they consider the holiest site in … Read Moving Toward Group Conflict Resolution
The BATNA (best alternative to a negotiated agreement) concept, popularized by Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton in their book Getting to Yes (Penguin Books, third edition, 2011), has been disseminated all over the world and doubtless helped thousands avoid settling for less than what they want in negotiations. When you have identified your … Read More
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
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
Imagine yourself in the following negotiation scenarios and attempting to make a good deal:
You’re a chef who is having trouble finding cooks in an oversaturated restaurant market. You’re so desperate to get fully staffed that you find yourself making significant concessions on salary, scheduling, and other issues during interviews with potential hires.
You are trying to … Read How to Make a Good Deal When You Lack Power
In negotiation, visions of collaborating to create new sources of value can quickly evaporate when the other party engages in a hardball strategy—such as penalizing us financially, attacking our reputation, walking away, or threatening to do all of the above. Suddenly we find ourselves on the defensive, scrambling to do more than just break even.
That’s … Read More
In-depth Teaching Materials with Real Time Data Analytics Designed to Enhance Teaching Negotiation
From the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) at PON, and iDecisionGames: digitally enhanced simulation packages designed to take your teaching to the next level.
The Enhanced Simulation Package from the TNRC and iDecisionGames brings a new, interactive learning experience to teaching negotiation. This easy … Read More
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
With the spread of a global pandemic, climate crisis, and the war on terror, resolving international conflicts has become increasingly complex. Training to address these difficult global conflicts must also reflect the modern issues and dynamics that face the international community. The Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) has several new international negotiation simulations that reflect … Read More
Teach Your Students to Promote Organizational Development and Build Leadership Skills
Efforts to impact change in any kind of organization usually involve multiple kinds of negotiations or consensus-building efforts. Organizational development is most effective when the participants in the organization, whether public, private or civil society, are directly engaged in deciding what might need to change, … Read Negotiating Organizational Development
Do you have regrets about the deals that got away? If so, you might be newly motivated by the deal-making process of famed Hollywood movie and television producer Albert S. Ruddy. For 50 years he pursued two pet film projects—each of which finally led to a negotiated agreement and is coming to fruition.
A Deal-Making Process … Read The Deal-Making Process: Playing the Long Game
In December 2015 in Paris, delegates from 195 nations celebrated the results of effective group leadership when they reached agreement on a landmark global climate accord. But a year and a half later, the future of the accord sank into doubt when American president Donald Trump revealed he was withdrawing the United States from the … Read More
Whether at the local, federal, or international level, negotiations with governments often involve unique pressures and constraints. Does the official at the table actually have decision-making authority? What kinds of regulatory or policy constraints are they operating under? Governments often pursue very different interests in negotiations from those of a private company. In Seven Secrets for … Read More
Back on July 11, 2000, U.S. president Bill Clinton welcomed Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat to a summit at Camp David aimed at resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict once and for all. The summit covered various contentious issues, including territory, settlements, security, and the status of refugees.
After about two weeks, … Read In Negotiation, it’s All in the Timing
Are You Your Own Worst Enemy?
We interviewed William Ury, co-founder of the Program on Negotiation, one of the world’s leading experts on negotiation, and bestselling author of Getting to Yes and Getting Past No, about his book, Getting To Yes With Yourself.
Great negotiators know that the path to resolution is not always linear but rather … Read More
Do you know how to negotiate price? Is there a better way to approach this type of negotiation that differs from other negotiation strategies? In this week’s Dear Negotiation Coach column, we answer the question.
I’m trying to decide whether to make the first offer in a price negotiation. I’ve heard arguments in favor of both … Read More
In negotiation, a strong best alternative to a negotiated agreement, or BATNA, is generally regarded as our best source of power. When we know we can walk away and get a great deal elsewhere, we’ll insist on an even better agreement at our current bargaining table. Our BATNA powerfully anchors our targets, first offers, and … Read More
Do you negotiate via text message? If you’re a young person early in your career, there’s a good chance you could easily pull up message strings full of discussions about issues and offers. If you’re a little older, you might have answered no. Even so, if you took a closer look at the saved text … Read How to Negotiate via Text Message
We tend to forget—at our peril—that not everyone at the bargaining table wants to close a deal and may be bargaining in bad faith.
Consider the following negotiations:
A competitor approaches you about a potential partnership. After a series of meetings that seemed promising, however, your counterpart stops returning your calls. You are left with the nagging … Read More
Business negotiators know that persistence and tenacity can make all the difference between impasse and a game-changing breakthrough. Take the saga behind Microsoft’s 2013 announcement of its pending $7.2 billion acquisition of Finnish mobile phone company Nokia’s handset and services business. The two parties engaged in many months of fruitless talks before either side believed … Read More
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, or so they say. As we look ahead to winter vacation and seemingly endless days of family celebrations, many feel a sense of dread, anticipating tensions and conflict as drearily predictable as overcooked turkey and practical gifts. Even those who look forward to family get-togethers often end … Read More
Without a doubt, the biggest mistake that negotiators make—and one that many make routinely—is failing to thoroughly prepare. When you haven’t done the necessary analysis and research, you are highly likely to leave value on the table and even to be taken advantage of by your counterpart. A negotiation preparation checklist can help you avoid … Read A Negotiation Preparation Checklist
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
As the starting point from which all commercial transactions occur, from purchasing equipment to setting salaries, negotiatiosn in business is an essential skill no matter what field a negotiator finds herself. Using an objective standard can strengthen your proposal and eliminate emotional bias.
… Read Setting Standards in Negotiations
When life becomes routine we are more likely to overlook details or, conversely, we cannot see the forest for the trees. In both instances, what we may lack is a creative outlook on the situation at hand. In negotiations, creativity can lead to value-creation for both parties.
… Read More
This past summer, the White House and the pharmaceutical industry buckled down to negotiate a long-awaited deal aimed at lowering the price of prescription drugs for Americans. Both parties had strong motivations to reach an agreement: With the 2020 presidential election looming, President Donald Trump was eager to fulfill a campaign promise he’d made during … Read More
In negotiation, your best source of power is typically your best alternative to a negotiated agreement, or BATNA. When you are aware that you have an appealing alternative deal to the one you’re working on, you will be less tempted to accept an agreement that doesn’t meet your minimum requirements. A strong BATNA gives you … Read More
Multiparty negotiations can be incredibly challenging. Just ask the negotiators from over 170 countries who managed to reach agreement on October 15 on a legally binding accord to combat climate change.
… Read Managing a Multiparty Negotiation
Imagine that at the beginning of class, a professor produces a jar full of coins and announces that he is auctioning it off. Students can write down a bid, he explains, and the highest bidder wins the contents of the jar in exchange for his or her bid.
… Read Winner’s Curse: Negotiation Mistakes to Avoid
The prospect of boosting our negotiation skills can be so overwhelming that we often delay taking the necessary steps we can follow to improve, such as taking time to prepare thoroughly. The following five guidelines will help you break this daunting task into a series of manageable—and often essential—strategies.
… Read 5 Tips for Improving Your Negotiation Skills
In negotiation, our success often hinges on our bargaining power—which in turn can depend on forces beyond our control. That truism was highlighted in two recent disputes arising from business negotiations over the pricing of copyrighted material in the digital era, one from the music world, the other from publishing.
… Read More
Businesspeople who are looking for effective negotiation strategies often confront a dizzying array of advice. It can be useful to take a step back and categorize these strategies into various types of negotiation tactics. Highlighting the benefits of negotiation in business, the following five types of negotiation tactics can help you think more broadly about … Read 5 Types of Negotiation Skills
Opening offers have a strong effect in price negotiations. The first offer typically serves as an anchor that strongly influences the discussion that follows. In research documenting price anchoring, psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky found that even random numbers can have a dramatic impact on people’s subsequent judgments and decisions.
… Read Price Anchoring 101
Excerpted from the article “Will Your Negotiation Make It to the Finish Line?” in the December 2020 issue of Negotiation Briefings, the Program on Negotiation’s monthly newsletter of advice for professional negotiators.
When it comes to closing the deal in negotiations, agreements sometimes fall apart for good reason. If one or more parties realize they could … Read More
Some cultures have a long tradition of haggling—bargaining back and forth about the price of an item—in markets and bazaars. By contrast, in the United States and many other countries, haggling between buyers and sellers is an under-practiced skill. You might routinely pass up opportunities to haggle in situations where financial negotiations are not the … Read More
One of the most popular questions concerning negotiation strategy and an area of negotiation research that draws heavily on negotiation examples in real life is how do negotiators identify their BATNA, or best alternative to a negotiated agreement, and even better, how do they identify their counterpart’s BATNA? Consider the saga of a company that … Read Understanding Your Counterpart’s BATNA
Among the many types of power in negotiation a negotiator can exhibit is an ability to exert control over the negotiation process. But what about those bargaining scenarios in which the negotiator unable to gain control of proceedings? How should she formulate her negotiation strategy?
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In negotiation, your best source of power typically is your “best alternative to a negotiated agreement,” or BATNA. By cultivating appealing options away from the table, you free yourself up to walk away in the event of a disappointing deal.
… Read More
Since the start of the global economic recession in 2008, few issues have proven as explosive as the Greek debt crisis. The Greek government’s commitment to repay billions of dollars in loans has been a source of contention with creditors ever since a sizable bailout was issued in 2010.
… Read Leadership Styles in Crisis Negotiations
The following question was featured in the “Ask the Negotiation Coach” section of the Negotiation Briefings newsletter, April 2010 issue. Question: What should I do when a negotiation seems to be all about price, I have no BATNA, and the other side knows it?
… Read What to Do When Your BATNA is Not Good Enough
Experienced negotiators understand they should reject any deal that is inferior to their best alternative to a negotiated agreement, or BATNA. What is a BATNA in negotiation? Your BATNA is the best possible outcome you could get if you walked away from your current negotiation and bargaining situation. When negotiating at an auto dealership, for … Read More
The following question was posed to Program on Negotiation faculty member and associate professor of business administration at Harvard Business School in the Negotiations, Organizations & Markets Unit, Francesca Gino and involves a negotiation example from real life from the world of business negotiations.
… Read The Hidden Hazards of BATNA Development
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?
Ethics in negotiation can involve expectations of fairness, equity, and honesty but, sometimes, despite your best intentions, one or more of these four forces might lead you to behave unethically during job offer negotiations:
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Improving your negotiation skills can only take you so far – eventually you need to assess you behavior preferences as a negotiator. Being able to predict how you will behave in a given bargaining scenario will help you augment the negotiation training you have received as well as help you achieve better outcomes at the … Read More
Some of the most successful negotiation examples that we have covered here include negotiators engaging in improvisation at the negotiation table, turning chaotic situations into advantages in negotiation scenarios.
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In group negotiation, turf battles—heated conflicts over territory, control, rights, or power—are common. Department heads clash over scarce resources. Companies, community groups, and governments get tied up in lawsuits over undeveloped land. Across the globe, fishing groups have depleted fish stocks in their rush to catch the biggest share for themselves.
… Read In Group Negotiation, Avoid a Turf Battle
Knowing when to walk away in a negotiation is some of the most powerful information in negotiation a negotiator can bring to the bargaining table – and this means a negotiator should know her BATNA or best alternative to a negotiated agreement.
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The Advanced Materials Search feature allows you to search for teaching materials based on nine different categories, including time required, number of parties, and the negotiation concepts you want to teach.
The Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) is pleased to announce the launch of our new Advanced Materials Search, which allows you to quickly find the … Read More
In negotiation, a combination of several negotiation strategies may be needed to move past a difficult impasse. The decades-long protracted negotiations between North Korea and South Korea provides such a case study.
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Going to trial, it’s said, is like rolling the dice. In this article, we discuss what negotiators need to be aware of to avoid negotiation games before heading to the courtroom.
… Read Negotiation Games
It’s official: Price negotiations aren’t just for big-ticket items anymore. The prices of furniture, electronics, wine, jewelry, and other “medium-ticket” goods are now frequently up for discussion. The ancient art of haggling has made a comeback, so brush up on your skills with our six price negotiation tactics.
… Read Price Negotiation Advice for Consumers
David Schwimmer, the actor who played Ross on the hit television comedy Friends, famously convinced the show’s five other leads in the early years of its run to negotiate their contracts with NBC as a team. The “mini union” formed by the actors ultimately helped them negotiate an unprecedented $1 million each per episode during … Read More
Deceptive tactics in negotiation can run rampant: parties “stretch” the numbers, conceal key information, and make promises they know they can’t keep. The benefits of negotiation in business offer strong incentives to detect these behaviors. Unfortunately, however, most of us are very poor lie detectors.
Even professionals who encounter liars regularly, such as police officers and … Read More
What is a BATNA in negotiation? In their bestseller Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton (Penguin, 1991) described BATNA, or best alternative to a negotiated agreement, as the path you’ll follow if you don’t reach agreement in your current negotiation.
Awareness of your BATNA will keep you … Read BATNA Examples—and What You Can Learn from Them
Here are 15 things about dispute resolution in environmental negotiations that Program on Negotiation faculty member Lawrence Susskind published on his website, Consensus Building Approach.
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Before and during your negotiation, think about who you’ve chosen as a reference group against which you measure yourself. Did you select the group purely to enhance your own status, or did you try to make a more appropriate comparison? What are your negotiation skills in business communication?
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In July 2019, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) imposed a roughly $5 billion fine on Facebook for mishandling its users’ personal data. It was the biggest penalty the U.S. government has levied against a technology company, yet in Congress and beyond, praise for the settlement was muted. The agreement highlights the difficulty of negotiating … Read BATNA in Negotiation: A Key Source of Power
The numbers are staggering: As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, unemployment in the United States rose from 3.5% in February to 14.7% by the end of April, the highest rate since the Great Depression. The number of unemployed Americans leapt to 23.1 million by the end of April, according to the Labor Department. With many … Read Get the best job possible in a tough market
Black men and women continue to be vastly underrepresented in leadership roles in corporate America. Those who advance in majority-white organizations encounter both covert and overt bias, and often struggle to feel authentic and connected. The Program on Negotiation’s Negotiation Briefings newsletter spoke with University of Virginia Darden School of Business professor Laura Morgan Roberts, … Read More
In negotiation, awareness of your BATNA, or your best alternative to negotiated agreement, is often your greatest source of power. What is a BATNA in negotiation? It can be thought of as the best back-up plan you can reasonably expect to achieve. Think of a solid job offer that you plan to accept if your … Read In BATNA Analysis, Knowledge Is Power
Have you ever negotiated with someone who seemed intent on sabotaging the negotiation or taking unfair advantage? If so, you would benefit from learning more about what it mean to negotiate in good faith.
… Read How to Negotiate in Good Faith
What is your greatest source of power in negotiation? In their landmark negotiation book Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In (Penguin, 1991), Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton write that it is often a strong BATNA, or best alternative to a negotiated agreement. Before and during their negotiations, wise negotiators determine their … Read More
Ask almost any real estate agent, and you’ll hear that homeowners often turn down decent offers in the hope of getting a better one that never materializes. Such miscalculations reflect the difficulty of assessing an uncertain BATNA, or best alternative to a negotiated agreement.
According to negotiation experts, the ability to accurately compare the deal on … Read Skills Needed for Negotiation: BATNA Analysis
Here are ten popular business negotiation articles on the Program on Negotiation website. Drawn from a variety of negotiation case studies as well as negotiation research, the following articles offer strategies for engaging in integrative negotiations aimed at creating win-win scenarios for each party at the negotiation table.
1. What is the Right of First Refusal?
Rights … Read 10 Popular Business Negotiation Articles
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
How do you teach your students to identify and create value in real estate negotiations?
Real estate negotiation can be difficult for both the buyer and the seller. Teaching real estate negotiation can involve value creation, distributive bargaining, as well as issue linkages. It is important for both buyers, sellers, and agents to identify ways to … Read More
What’s one of the best ways to teach the art and science of negotiation? Case studies and articles that spark lively discussion or facilitate self-reflection. Based on real-world examples, these teaching resources are designed to help students envision how to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom and beyond.
The Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) at … Read Best-In-Class Negotiation Case Studies
When opposing parties cannot come to a satisfactory resolution, a strong mediator can make all the difference. By effectively examining the issues at hand and helping parties identify creative solutions, a well-trained mediator builds consensus where there once was none.
To help professionals learn the art of mediation, the Program on Negotiation’s Teaching Negotiation Resource Center … Read More
In 2016, political dealmaking and corporate mergers took center stage. We look back on some of the most notable of these negotiations, which offer significant lessons to professional negotiators.
… Read 10 Notable Negotiations
International law and diplomacy is a rapidly evolving field that depends on the brokering of agreements between nations and other stakeholders. Whether there are language barriers, cultural differences, or both, some of the most challenging negotiations involve parties from different nations. Because of the relative lack of clear legal precedents and the difficulties of enforcement, … Read Global Impact Negotiation Simulation
In negotiation, we’re often advised that our most important source of power is our best alternative to a negotiated agreement, or BATNA. If we feel powerless when making business deals, it’s often because we don’t have a strong alternative if the current deal falls apart or fails to meet our needs. Thus, the key to … Read More
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
Here’s a list of some of the most notable negotiation flops – from deals that were over before they started, to those that were botched at the table, to those that proved disastrous well after the ink had dried.
… Read 10 Negotiation Failures
The most heated types of conflict in organizations and in our personal lives often concern our core values, such as our personal moral standards, our religious and political beliefs, and our family’s welfare. Such values conflicts can escalate and intervening quickly in cases of conflict is essential. The following three conflict resolution scenarios can help … Read Conflict Resolution Scenarios: Negotiating Values
Imagine you’re a chef who is having trouble finding cooks in an oversaturated restaurant market. You’re so desperate to get fully staffed that you find yourself making significant concessions on salary, scheduling, and other issues during interviews with potential hires.
… Read Negotiation Techniques and Tactics: Power Plays
In business negotiations, a little power is better than none at all, right? After all, if talks with a prospective client fail, we’d rather have a few unpromising leads to turn to rather than none.
… Read More
Update Your Teaching Materials with Our Top Negotiation Role Play Simulations
The field of negotiation is constantly evolving, and as such, requires new ways of teaching negotiation. It can sometimes happen that students come into a class having already encountered the negotiation simulation being used in the course, or that a different kind of exercise is … Read More
Multiparty negotiations can be difficult to manage if you are unprepared for the formation of coalitions. Two-party and multiparty negotiations share some important similarities: the goal of discovering the zone of possible agreement, for example. However, there are some key differences that set them apart. As soon as the number of parties increases past two, … Read More
Negotiation refers to the process of working out agreements that meet each party’s needs and address their interests. People negotiate all the time in their everyday lives: in the workplace, within families, and when buying goods and services. Knowing which negotiation strategies to use in different circumstances can make a significant difference. The Teaching Negotiation … Read More
In business negotiations, our mistakes sometimes end up affecting not only the current deal, but our best alternative to a negotiated agreement, or BATNA, in deals that lie down the road. That’s a lesson that Ann Marie Gardner, the founder and editor of the hip new magazine Modern Farmer, has learned the hard way.
… Read A Bad BATNA for Modern Farmer Magazine
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
Imagine you’re competing with multiple parties to secure a coveted resource, such as your dream house, a cool invention, or a talented new hire. How might you stand out from the pack and win the prize? While negotiating its $13.4 billion acquisition of upscale grocer Whole Foods in 2017, online retailer Amazon did so in … Read More
Legal Disputes Where Emotions Override Reason
Negotiating with a colleague or client can be complicated, but negotiating with a family member can cause us to leave reason at the door. Negotiating with family, where emotions are heightened, can lead to a reluctance to compromise. This is especially true when it comes to legal disputes between family … Read Negotiating with Family
What’s faster than the pace of technological development? The pace of lawsuits being filed about the adoption of new technologies, patent infringement, and intellectual property rights. In our modern world, professionals must be able to resolve highly challenging technology-related disputes – often before they reach the courtroom. That’s where the Program on Negotiation’s Teaching … Read More
As you know, gender stereotypes often enter the negotiation process. Women and men are perceived to, and often do, act differently in negotiations. Furthermore, gender-based discrimination—such as less pay, unequal treatment, and sexual harassment—is often a source of conflict. With the resources available through the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC), professionals can learn how to … Read More
It may be the most burning question in business negotiation: Should you make the first offer?
Traditionally, negotiators were advised to wait for the other side to make a first offer. According to this reasoning, the other side’s offer gives you valuable information about his goals and alternatives.
More recently, however, research on the anchoring bias has … Read What is the Anchoring Bias?
It’s Negotiation 101: to get what you want, you need to be able to make a credible threat to walk away from a subpar deal. And for your threat to be credible, you can’t walk in with a bad BATNA, you have to have a strong BATNA, or best alternative to a negotiated agreement. In … Read How a Bad BATNA Keeps Medicare Drug Prices High
Teach Your Students to Address Fundamental Value Differences While Negotiating Indigenous Land Rights
Indigenous land rights have been a key aspect of negotiations by private companies and governments around the world. Indigenous land rights are the rights of indigenous peoples to land and natural resources, which they have occupied for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. … Read Negotiating Indigenous Land Rights
In a recent Slate.com article, writer and PhD in Psychology Jane Hu described the findings of a research study by Professor Laura J. Kray, University of California, Berkeley.
Kray, along with co-authors Jessica Kennedy, PhD, and Alex Van Zant, PhD, investigated the role gender played in negotiation and focused specifically on whether the stereotype of women … Read More
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
Understanding how to arrange the meeting space is a key aspect of preparing for productive negotiations. In this video, Guhan Subramanian, professor at Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School, discusses a real world example of how seating arrangements can influence a negotiator’s success. The discussion was held in his negotiation training workshop “Setting the … Read More
On June 18, 2015 the board of retailer American Apparel informed the company’s controversial founder, Dov Charney, that it was ousting him from his roles as chairman and CEO. For years, Charney had fended off sexual-harrassment lawsuits and rumors of inappropriate behavior. But only when the company’s creditors grew anxious about its long-term liability did … Read More
Negotiators often are advised to seek out lots of information about their counterpart, including information about the other party’s power. One of the most important measures of power is a negotiator’s BATNA, or best alternative to a negotiated agreement—the ability to walk away, secure in the knowledge that you can get what you want somewhere … Read More
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
A European Union summit held in late October 2013 failed to make headway toward more coordination of economic policies. Facing resistance from Germany in particular, European officials grew pessimistic regarding their odds of negotiating a deal over the next year to lay the foundation for a banking union for the 17 nations that use the … Read More
A standoff between Democrat President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans in 2012 focused attention on the negotiation styles employed by the two parties as they sought to secure their interests while also working toward the resolution of a budgetary battle.
… Read More
Selecting the right person for a challenging job is often more than just a hiring decision. It’s a negotiation. Doing it well requires exceptional leadership skills. Nowhere is this clearer than in late night television. Last year, Jay Leno left The Tonight Show.
… Read The Leadership Skills of Late Night
Starting construction on an 800-mile rail network in the world’s 8th largest economy without the funds in place to finish the job may seem crazy, but in California Governor Jerry Brown’s case it was a calculated gamble by a seasoned leader intent on winning a long-term negotiation.
… Read More
Suppose your research reveals that the TV you want is fairly new on the market. Further research about your local store leads you to believe it may be willing to go as low as Amazon.com’s price of $900. Now you have a general sense of the ZOPA, or zone of possible agreement: between $900 (your … Read More
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
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
Here are some of the worst negotiation tactics displayed during calendar year 2015 – from hard-bargaining, distributive negotiation strategies aimed at getting the whole pie to stonewalling strategies intended to stymy the development of a negotiated agreement.
… Read Worst Negotiation Tactics of 2015
Here are some of the worst negotiation tactics displayed during calendar year 2015 – from hard-bargaining, distributive negotiation strategies aimed at getting the whole pie to stonewalling strategies intended to stymy the development of a negotiated agreement.
… Read Worst Negotiation Tactics of 2015
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
The transfer of an agreement from negotiators to lawyers or other professional deal drafters can introduce three main types of mistakes. Read on to discover how you can avoid making these same mistakes at the bargaining table during your next dealmaking negotiation session.
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Looking back on the past, 2013 witnessed a series of colorful mergers, acquisitions, and other deals. Here are the 10 top negotiations and negotiation trends of that year from which business dealmakers can learn.
… Read 10 Top Business Negotiations
Many U.S. law schools are in crisis, to hear some tell it. To combat economic downturns, many law firms instituted policies of mass layoffs and pay cuts. Years after the 2008 financial recession, few have recovered.
… Read More
Experienced negotiators understand that they should reject any deal on the table that is inferior to their best alternative to a negotiated agreement, or BATNA. At an auto dealership, for example, you shouldn’t buy a used car if you are pretty sure you can get a better deal on a comparable car elsewhere. Yet in … Read More
The 41-day armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon ended on February 11 when the last occupiers surrendered. Federal authorities in six states also arrested seven others accused of being involved in the occupation, according to the Associated Press. The standoff had begun when Ammon Bundy and his followers took over the … Read More
If you’re thinking about buying a house, one of your first moves may be to choose a real estate agent who can advise you through the process. If you want a big-name publisher to buy your book, you probably will try to sign on an experienced literary agent as your counselor and advocate. Less formally, … Read More
The Green Bay Packers beat the Kansas City Chiefs 35 to 10 in Super Bowl I. But that’s not the end of the story. In business negotiations, and particularly sales negotiation, enthusiasm is required when trying to convince our counterparts that we have what they need. But that enthusiasm isn’t always infectious. The tale of … Read More
In negotiation, your best source of power is typically your best alternative to a negotiated agreement, or BATNA. Having a strong outside alternative enables you to walk away from a deal that doesn’t meet your needs or that would compromise your vision or ethics.
But when you are dealing with a negotiating partner who seems irreplaceable, … Read More
Here are the top 10 celebrity negotiations from the year 2015. From integrative bargaining strategies to building bridges with counterparts in contentious talks, these negotiation scenarios demonstrate the effectiveness of collaborative, win-win negotiation tactics.
… Read Top 10 Celebrity Negotiations of 2015
In this negotiation scenario straight from reality television, Lu Ann de Lesseps, Ramona Singer, and Sonja Morgan test their negotiating prowess against reality tv network Bravo in their contract renewal renegotiations. Skinnygirl mogul and financial whiz kid, Bethenny Frankel, offers a template for bargaining for success on reality tv and beyond.
… Read Win-Win Negotiation with Bethenny Frankel
Sometimes in negotiation, we bargain less as the equal of our counterpart than as a supplicant, hands outstretched in the hope that the other party will help us stay afloat. Negotiating as the weaker party requires a special set of skills as we strive to advocate for our needs without irritating the other party into … Read More
The buzz of excitement that arose in February at the news that Harper Lee, author of the beloved novel To Kill a Mockingbird, would be publishing a second novel quickly turned to concern. The 88-year-old Lee, who suffered a stroke in 2007 and resides in an assisted-living facility in her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, long … Read When armed with negotiating power, use it wisely
Program on Negotiation faculty discuss the negotiation strategies used by US President Barack Obama and Congressional Republicans negotiating the end of the shutdown of the United States government.
… Read More
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.
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Fans of the television show Friends got a treat last month when Netflix made all 236 episodes of the blockbuster hit available to stream online. At first glance actors Lisa Kudrow, Jennifer Aniston and the rest of the star-studded cast might not be your first pick to peg as formidable negotiators, but at the height … Read Tough Negotiation Tips from Jennifer Aniston?
As he entered his second term in office, President Obama set a goal of taking concrete steps to address global climate change. A global agreement on the issue is in sight, but a key obstacle stands in the way: the U.S. Senate. According to the Constitution, a president needs approval from a two-thirds majority of … Read More
Negotiation often marks a new beginning: of a partnership, a project, or employment relationship. At other times, the goal of dealmaking is as much about reaching an ending as it is about moving forward.
That’s the attitude with which Bank of America wrapped up its settlement negotiations with the Department of Justice (DOJ) last month. For … Read For Bank of America, Dealmaking to Turn the Page
At some point or another, most negotiators claim that a certain issue is a deal breaker.If you’re trying to sell your business, for instance, you might walk away from talks with a potential buyer who you believe would lay off many of your longtime employees. Or if someone asks you to go in on a … Read More
Whether you’re purchasing a new home or car, or negotiating a discount on an inventory purchase for your firm, the art of haggling enables negotiators to make a strong claim for their share of the pie. Here are six tips from the Negotiation Briefings newsletter to help you start becoming a better at haggling in … Read More
At this point, you have entered the realm of haggling: the dance of concessions that follows each party’s first offer. (In our TV negotiation, the $1,100 list price was the store’s first offer.)
For some, this is where the real fun begins; for others, it’s time of great anxiety. To manage your stress, keep your BATNA … Read More
On April 15, Detroit city employees and retirees breathed a huge sigh of relief after the city’s emergency manager and its pension fund managers reached a deal that would significantly reduce proposed cuts to pension benefits, CNNMoney reports. Some civilian workers will face a 4.5% reduction in pensions and lose cost-of-living adjustments. Retired public-safety workers … Read More
With home sales heating up in some U.S. regions in 2013, homebuyers faced competition they haven’t seen since before the real-estate bubble burst, and it showed up in the form of packed open houses, multiple bids above the asking price, and all-cash offers.
… Read More
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
As the U.S. government approaches a potentially catastrophic default on its debt in October, President Obama remains determined to avoid negotiations with Republican leaders on the issue, the New York Times reports, a situation that leaves House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner with an uncertain BATNA, or best alternative to a negotiated agreement.
… Read More
When it comes to negotiation, the more choices on the table, the better your outcomes will be – right? Not necessarily. An excess of options can stand in the way off efficient agreements and, moreover, prevent you from being satisfied with the final result.
… Read Choosing When to Choose
Car salespeople truly understand how to use modest concessions to extract much larger ones.
First, they spend a long time legitimating the sticker price and suggesting that it’s not only fair, but nonnegotiable.
… Read Wheelers and Dealers?
Does anyone down there know how to cut a deal?” Senate Republican Mitch McConnell said to Vice President Joe Biden. It was Sunday, December 30, 2012, the day before the “fiscal cliff ” deadline, and the minority leader had phoned Biden out of a sense of desperation, report Patrick O’Connor and Peter Nicholas in the … Read Learning from the deficit-reduction talks
How can we avert a full-throttle drive over the fiscal cliff? Despite some promising signs of movement on both sides of the aisle, the current negotiation approach – positional bargaining – is bound to bring us dangerously close to the edge.
… Read Negotiating the Fiscal Crisis
How can you figure out the motives behind someone’s seemingly stubborn position? Begin by questioning her about the problem she is trying to solve. Deal blockers may be held back by financial, legal, personal, or other constraints you don’t know about, according to Harvard Business School professor Deepak Malhotra. A tough stance could also communicate … Read More
Going to trial, it’s said, is like rolling the dice. That proved true when an exasperated federal judge, the Honorable Gregory A. Presnell, ordered litigants to play a game of Rock Paper Scissors if they could not privately resolve their differences over a procedural issue. The lawyers were stalemated on where to depose a witness … Read Crisis Negotiations – Rolling the Dice in Court
Lawrence Susskind (Ford Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
“Win-win” has become a popular term in the field of negotiation, but many people have mis-perceptions about what it actually means. In this blog post, Professor Lawrence Susskind, a member of PON’s Executive Committee, clarifies that a “win-win” negotiated outcome is … Read Winning at “Win-Win”
Adapted from “Strength in Numbers: Negotiating as a Team,” by Elizabeth A. Mannix (professor, Cornell University), first published in the Negotiation newsletter, May 2005.
The widespread belief in “strength in numbers” suggests that having more players on your team should be a benefit, not a burden. But this belief can lead team members to underprepare … Read Get Ready for Team Talks
Why are some negotiation exercises still used in a great many university classes even twenty years after they were written? In an effort to understand more about the enduring quality of some classic teaching materials, we asked faculty affiliated with PON to explain why they think some role play simulations remain bestsellers in the Clearinghouse … Read Why Classic Cases?
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
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
Adapted from “When Tough Talk Is Beside the Point,” by Hal Movius (instructor, The Program on Technology Negotiation, Program on Negotiation, Harvard Law School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter.
Most of us intuitively believe that personality traits such as toughness matter a great deal in negotiation. Yet studies by Bruce Barry and Raymond Friedman of … Read When Does Personality Matter?
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
The PON Clearinghouse offers hundreds of role simulations, from two-party, single-issue negotiations to complex multi-party exercises. Ocean Splash is a two-party, two-issue scoreable negotiation between a charity and a corporate sponsor regarding the number and placement of advertising banners at a fundraising walk.
SCENARIO: The U.S. Cancer Association (USCA) chapter in Sixton City is organizing its … Read Advertising at a charity walk
The PON Clearinghouse offers hundreds of role simulations, from two-party, single-issue negotiations to complex multi-party exercises. Negotiating Budget Cuts at Newtowne Hospital is a six-person negotiation among hospital administration and employee representatives to reach consensus on budget cuts in three departments.
Dr. Van Hagen, a distinguished heart surgeon, will soon join the staff at Newtowne Hospital, … Read Budget turmoil inside a hospital
The Clearinghouse at PON offers hundreds of role simulations, from two-party, single-issue negotiations to complex multi-party exercises. Teflex Products is a five-party, multi-issue negotiation among representatives of a pharmaceutical company, a medical drug manufacturer, and three consumer organizations over the delayed release of a new drug.
Midland Pharmaceutical Company has developed Renaid, a breakthrough drug that … Read Dealing with pharmaceutical delays
The PON Clearinghouse offers hundreds of role simulations, from two-party, single-issue negotiations to complex multi-party exercises. Mountain View Farm is a two-party, multi-issue integrative negotiation between a farmer and a neighbor over the sale or lease of part of the neighbor’s land.
SCENARIO: A Vermont farmer somewhat interested in the possibility of expanding activities … Read Expanding the farm
Adapted from “Accept or Reject?” by Deepak Malhotra (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter.
Negotiators usually have strong feelings about fairness. Unfortunately, our fairness perceptions tend to be biased in a self-serving manner. Research has shown that, at the end of a negotiation, most people feel they were more cooperative … Read When “fairness” is a distraction
Adapted from “Negotiating with Sole Suppliers,” by David Lax (managing principal, Lax Sebenius LLC), first published in the Negotiation newsletter.
Negotiators often wonder how to do business with sole suppliers who know they don’t have any real outside alternative and who take advantage of this. Without the power of a realistic best alternative to a negotiated … Read Gain greater leverage with sole suppliers
For many people, thinking about the role of power in negotiation can be paralyzing. In fact, the same people who are anxious about negotiating in general tend to be anxious about exerting their power during negotiation. Why? Perhaps because most of us realize that power, even when not explicitly discussed, is often the precipitating and … Read Powerful Thoughts
Adapted from “Are You Overly Committed to the Deal?” First published in the Negotiation newsletter.
A telecommuter hires a carpenter to build a workstation for her home office. The carpenter’s contract requires payment of 50% upon signing, an additional 30% halfway through the job, and the final 20% upon completion. When the job is done, … Read Too much commitment?
Ron McAfee, a carpenter and roofing expert, spent considerable time working with a condominium association on the design of a new roof deck. After gaining agreement on the proposed layout, design, and materials, McAfee submitted a written bid of $12,500. One of the board members subsequently showed McAfee’s plans to another roofer, who offered to … Read “Are We Exclusive?”
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?
The Clearinghouse at PON offers hundreds of role simulations, from two-party, single-issue negotiations to complex multi-party exercises. The Ship Bumping Case is a two-party international negotiation between Russian and U.S. negotiators over a naval incident. Teams internally prepare instructions for a representative not involved in the preparation.
SCENARIO: Vessels from the United States … Read Instructing the negotiator
Basic negotiation skills may seem easy to apply in business situations but what about when business and family collide?
For example, a 69-year-old CEO of a large financial firm that has been in his family for three generations is considering retirement. He has three children who may be interested in taking over the business in addition … Read Negotiating When Business and Family Collide
The Clearinghouse at PON offers hundreds of role simulations, from two-party, single-issue negotiations to complex multi-party exercises. The following role simulation explores client/attorney relationships and the complexity of information exchange.
… Read Concealed information in Business Negotiations