It’s often said that great leaders are great negotiators. That’s one reason that improving your business negotiation skills is so important.
Our business negotiation skills can help us reach a win-win negotiation where both sides are satisfied with their agreement, and the odds of a long-lasting and successful business partnership are much higher. Those skills may include anything from how you prepare for a negotiation to how you frame the deal to more subtle skills, such as how well negotiators’ personalities complement one another.
Some more “concrete” business negotiation skills that we can learn or improve upon include construction of a strong BATNA, or best alternative to a negotiated agreement, understanding the power of MESOs, or multiple equivalent simultaneous offers, and thorough preparation, not to mention familiarity with laws, ethics, and structuring a solid agreement.
One of the business negotiation skills that is often overlooked is an understanding of fairness when negotiating. Psychologist David Messick has found that people commonly choose among fairness norms based on their self-serving desire for more. That is, our greed determines how we define fairness in a given situation.
Of all the business negotiation skills, however, one of the most important is looking for a win-win outcome. Consider that people tend to view negotiation as a competition between parties fighting over the biggest piece of a “fixed pie.” Even when negotiators prefer the same outcome, they tend to believe that the other side’s interests are opposed to their own.
But in a win-win negotiation, when both sides are satisfied with their agreement, the odds of a long-lasting success are much higher. Finding your way to a win-win negotiation often involves reaching mutual gains by trading off your differing preferences to create value.
So, you’ve offered what you think is a great deal, but your counterpart doesn’t seem to agree. What’s the problem? The offer may be excellent—it’s how you’ve approached framing in negotiation that’s holding you back.
… Read Framing in Negotiation
Salary negotiations are often stressful and challenging. But with the right strategies, you can negotiate your employment terms with ease. In Salary Negotiations: How to Negotiate Salary: Learn the Best Techniques to Help You Manage the Most Difficult Salary Negotiations and What You Need to Know When Asking for a Raise, you’ll discover innovative ways … Read Salary 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
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
Discover how to refine your negotiation skills with this free special report, Negotiation Training: How Harvard Negotiation Exercises, Negotiation Cases and Good Negotiation Coaching Can Make You a Better Negotiator, from Harvard Law School.
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Some negotiations end with a negotiated agreement that is a plan of action rather than a signed contract – for example, a plumber agrees to fix the tile damage caused by his work. Other negotiations wouldn’t be appropriate to commemorate in writing, such as how you and your spouse decide to discipline your young … Read Writing the Negotiated Agreement
Students who master business negotiation become better leaders. But it starts with building the right skills. And that’s where our latest free report comes in. In Negotiation Skills: Negotiation Strategies and Negotiation Techniques to Help You Become a Better Negotiator, you’ll learn:
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To get an idea or innovation off the ground takes strong business negotiation skills as an entrepreneur.
Yet, in their book Entrepreneurial Negotiation: Understanding and Managing the Relationships that Determine Your Entrepreneurial Success (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2018), Program on Negotiation instructor Samuel Dinnar and MIT professor Lawrence Susskind write that many entrepreneurs are falling short. Here, Susskind explains … Read More
Performers have increasingly learned business negotiation skills and played an outsized role in shaping plays and musicals vying for a Broadway stage. In 2016, the original off-Broadway cast of Hamilton negotiated with the show’s producers to acknowledge their contributions to the hit musical by guaranteeing them a small share of the show’s profits.
With other actors … Read More
In this Special Report, we offer advice from the world of sports to help you navigate your most important negotiations. You will learn to get your head in the game, manage team dynamics, and get a competitive edge.
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What are business negotiators responsible for in contract negotiation? Many would say they’re in charge of building relationships and new business, crafting creative solutions, and fighting for the best deal possible. Few, however, would say they’re responsible for ensuring that the deal holds up well over time.
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A three-year dispute between Starbucks and Kraft Foods over distribution of Starbucks packaged coffee in grocery stores was resolved in 2013 when an arbitrator determined that Starbucks had breached its agreement with Kraft and ordered the coffeemaker to pay the food giant $2.75 billion.
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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
Looking for ways to get more value out of your sales negotiations? You may be able to do so by negotiating a right of first refusal.
A right of first refusal, also known as a matching right or right of first offer, is a contractual guarantee that one party to a business deal can match … Read More
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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Dissatisfied with her initial book contract, comedian Amy Schumer used her negotiation skills to bargain for an even better contract. Find out how she did it in this article drawn from examples of negotiation in real life.
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As dealmakers look for more sophisticated ways to reduce risks and increase returns, a right of first refusal—a contractual guarantee that one side can match any offer that the other side later receives—has become a common and useful tool to add to your business negotiation skills.