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.


concession

Something, such as a point previously claimed in argument, that is later conceded.

The following items are tagged concession:

For Price Negotiators, Preparation is the Key to Success

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

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 

Collective Bargaining at Central Division

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Lawrence Susskind, Charles Hecksher, and Elaine Landry Two-team, multi-issue collective bargaining contract negotiation between three union representatives and three management representatives for a telephone company; includes an internal team meeting before external negotiations … Read More 

Dealing with Difficult People

Posted by & filed under Free Report.

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

5 Dealmaking Tips for Closing the Deal

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

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

What to Do When Your BATNA is Not Good Enough

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

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 More 

Rosenberg v. Lincoln Landscaping

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Pat Aaron Three-person small claims mediation between a landscaping company and its client over a disputed bill and quality of service … Read More 

Deal with Last-Minute Demands

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “When They Slice the Deal Too Thin,” by Michael Wheeler (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Suppose that, after months of negotiation, you reach a detailed agreement with a customer and shake hands. A week later, the customer’s procurement officer calls to tell you that there have to be some … Read More 

MAPO – Administration Negotiation

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Mark Gordon, Elizabeth Gray, Tim Rieser, and Lynn Gerber Two-team, multi-issue collective bargaining negotiation between three police union representatives and three municipal representatives over police salaries, benefits, and working conditions … Read More 

How to Defend Against “Scope Creep” at the Negotiation Table

Posted by & filed under Win-Win Negotiations.

The following question was asked of Negotiation Coach and PON faculty member Guhan Subramanian in the February 2014 issue of the Negotiation Briefings newsletter: Question: I run a small consulting firm that has a services contract with a major multinational corporation. The team we work with has a bad habit of continually adding items to the … Read More 

Cape Development Case

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

NEW! International Investor-State Arbitration Video Course

Posted by & filed under Teaching Negotiation.

Master Class on International Investor-State Arbitration: What is it? How Does it Work? This two-hour video course is intended to teach students, legal practitioners, business executives, and government officials the essentials of international investor-state arbitration, an area of increasing concern for legal practice, business strategy, and government policy. In the video Master Class on International Investor-State Arbitration: … Read More 

Brachton Collective Bargaining Exercise

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

In Group Negotiation, Avoid a Turf Battle

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

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 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 

Bentley Convertible

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

Diplomacy and Negotiation Skills Fall Short In U.S.-China Trade Talks

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

Among the many diplomacy and negotiation skills required in international negotiation, business negotiators need to be able to size each other up accurately, taking into account cultural, organizational, and other differences. To capitalize on the benefits of diplomacy, they also need to be able to present a united front. Those diplomacy and negotiation skills came … Read More 

Price Negotiation Advice for Consumers

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

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

Win Win Negotiation: Managing Your Counterpart’s Satisfaction

Posted by & filed under Win-Win Negotiations.

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

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 

How to Find the ZOPA in Business Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

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

Hostage Negotiation Techniques for Business Negotiators

Posted by & filed under Crisis Negotiations.

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

What is a Win-Win Negotiation?

Posted by & filed under Win-Win Negotiations.

In an episode of the American television show The Office, bumbling manager Michael Scott consults with a manual on conflict resolution while attempting to mediate a dispute between two of his subordinates, Angela and Oscar. After Scott explains that there are five approaches to resolving conflict, beginning with “win-lose,” an annoyed Angela interrupts: “Can we … 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 

Types of Negotiation for Business Professionals

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

What is negotiation? In her book The Mind and Heart of the Negotiator, Northwestern University professor Leigh Thompson defines negotiation as “an interpersonal decision-making process necessary whenever we cannot achieve our objectives single-handedly.” This definition stresses the interdependence that’s fundamental to any negotiation. Narrowing in on this definition, when preparing to negotiate, business professionals often wonder … Read More 

Principled Negotiation: Focus on Interests to Create Value

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

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 

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 More 

Managing negotiators? Avoid 3 common mistakes

Posted by & filed under Leadership Skills.

A second round of face-to-face meetings between U.S. president Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, held in Hanoi, Vietnam, at the end of February, 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, … Read More 

Success & Messes: Nancy Pelosi’s next-to-last stand

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

On February 14, the White House announced that President Donald Trump would sign a federal budget deal that included only a fraction of the funds he had demanded for a border wall with Mexico and attempt to secure the remaining wall funding by declaring a national emergency. For many congressional Democrats, Trump’s capitulation on the budget— following … Read More 

Building Trust in Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

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

What To Do When Negotiations Hit a Wall

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

A budget impasse growing more adversarial by the day. A government shutdown that kept hundreds of thousands unpaid, suspended vital services, and damaged the economy. Presidential threats to bypass Congress and declare a national emergency. How did we get there? The budget impasse in Washington, D.C., apparently started in 2014 when those advising Donald Trump on … Read More 

On Broadway, a revolutionary negotiation fans a spark into a flame

Posted by & filed under Salary Negotiations.

In the summer of 2015, the cast of Hamilton was on top of the world. Their highly anticipated hip-hop musical about the life of Founding Father and U.S. treasury secretary Alexander Hamilton had opened to rave reviews and euphoric audiences at Broadway’s Richard Rodgers Theatre after a stint off-Broadway. A long run, Tony awards, touring … Read More 

Conflict Resolution Scenarios: Negotiating Values

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

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

Claiming Value in Negotiation: Do Extreme Requests Backfire?

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Negotiators often wonder how they can get the biggest slice of the pie when claiming value in negotiation. Certain deal-making techniques can be useful, such as the well-known “foot in the door” technique, which is designed to get people to comply with a large request by securing their agreement to a smaller one first, and … Read More 

Negotiation in the news: In U.S.-China trade dispute, mixed signals abound

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump repeatedly asserted that if he were elected, eliminating the U.S. trade deficit with China would be a top priority. “We can’t continue to allow China to rape our country, and that’s what they’re doing,” he said at a campaign rally in 2015. “It’s the greatest theft in the history of … Read More 

Anchoring for Maximum Effect

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

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

When our “principles” crash up against our negotiation goals

Posted by & filed under Dealing with Difficult People.

Martin’s Beach is a hidden gem on California’s Pacific coastline. Surrounded by cliffs, farmland, and a gated community, the beach can be accessed only through a gated road located on private land. Yet, for nearly a century, surfers, fishers, and others who prized the cove’s rugged and wild beauty have had access to the beach. … Read More 

The Two Koreas Practice Conflict Management

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

In August 2015, the decades-long conflict between South Korea and North Korea threatened to reach a breaking point. The causes of conflict between North and South go deep, but in this case, the South accused the North of planting landmines that seriously injured two South Korean border guards. South Korea retaliated with an old tactic … Read More 

Redoing the deal: Lessons from the NAFTA renegotiations

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, then-candidate Donald Trump blamed the trilateral North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) among Canada, Mexico, and the United States for the U.S. trade deficit with Mexico and lost American manufacturing jobs. Upon taking office, Trump said he was determined to either renegotiate NAFTA or walk away from the pact. Mexican president … Read More 

Sales Negotiation Techniques

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

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 More 

The “Door in the Face” Technique: Will It Backfire?

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

In a classic and rather amusing study from 1975, Arizona State University professor Robert Cialdini and his colleagues sent research assistants around campus posing as employees of the county’s juvenile detention center. They stopped people randomly on walkways and asked them if they would consider chaperoning a group of juvenile delinquents on a day trip … Read More 

Carrots and Sticks: Use Both to Get the “Issue Mix” Right

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

In 1987, U.S. president Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev took early steps to end the Cold War by signing the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) arms control treaty in Washington, D.C. Banning all ground-launched nuclear and conventional missile systems within a certain range, the INF treaty put in place a strict monitoring system … Read More 

In the room where it happened: A tale of two meetings

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

On September 5, 2017, President Donald Trump announced that in six months he would phase out Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the Obama-era policy that has shielded from deportation about 800,000 people brought to the United States illegally as children. Members of Congress seeking permanent protections for the so-called Dreamers covered under DACA then … Read More 

For Serial Negotiators, Pride May Come Before A Fall

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

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

Negotiation Update: In Senate health care defeat, it’s déjà vu all over again

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

In negotiation, learning from past mistakes is a critical skill. In our July issue, we detailed errors that Republicans made in their initial attempt to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act in the House of Representatives. Although the House narrowly passed its American Health Care Act (AHCA) in May, Senate Republicans repeated many of … Read More 

Successes & Messes: The Florida Marlins sale: Did one bad deal beget another?

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

The fallout from a disadvantageous negotiation can reverberate for years to come. That’s what the City of Miami is learning from its 2009 stadium deal with Florida Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria as he reached an agreement to sell the team this past August. Off to a winning start Loria launched his career as a Major League Baseball … Read More 

Back up your offer with a strong rationale

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Imagine that you are a café owner who is soliciting quotes for a redesign of your space. One of the interior designers you’ve been talking to is known for being affordable, if not innovative. But the designer’s initial estimate, $20,000, is well over your $16,000 budget for the project and, you believe, excessive. As you … Read More 

How the “Party of No” Didn’t Get to Yes

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

For Republican leaders, the desire to repeal President Barack Obama’s signature health-care legislation, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), has been a unifying goal for seven years. So it was no surprise that after Donald Trump won the presidency and the Republicans retained both houses of Congress in the 2016 election, they made health-care reform their … Read More 

Resolving Conflicts Over Deeply Held Values

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

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

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 More 

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 More 

Beware Your Counterpart’s Biases

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

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

Breaking through impasse

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

This summer, Illinois became the only U.S. state in the past 80 years to go an entire year without a full operating budget, according to Reuters. It reached that dubious milestone thanks to an epic negotiation impasse between Republican governor Bruce Rauner and the Democratic-controlled state legislature. The story of the destructive stalemate suggests lessons … Read More 

Moving beyond “us versus them”

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

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 More 

Negotiation Research You Can Use: Make Stronger First Offers in Multi-Issue Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Make stronger first offers in multi-issue negotiations New research suggests how to frame your opening offer for maximum advantage. Should you make the first offer in a negotiation? It’s not a trivial question. The negotiator who makes the first offer can powerfully anchor the discussion in her favor, research has found. In fact, the first offer accounts for … Read More 

In Acrimonious Disputes, Conflict Management is Key

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Parties to a business dispute often become so focused on beating the other party that they lose sight of their most important goals. Conflict management efforts can be even more intense and seeming insurmountable between estranged romantic partners with a history of acrimony and distrust. Consider rock star Madonna’s ongoing legal dispute with her ex-husband, film … Read More 

In Business Negotiations, Set the Stage for Success

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

In negotiation, it’s said, preparation is key. Without careful research and logistical planning, we may be left trying to skate by on wits and charm alone—and in today’s business world, they will seldom carry us far. Advance work is especially critical when you expect your talks to be complex, involving numerous issues, multiple parties, and plenty … Read More 

Trying to Come to Terms with an Adversary?

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

A string of recent deals between longtime opponents could give you the inspiration you need to reach agreement with your most difficult partners. Republicans and Democrats. North and South Korea. The United States and China. All of these pairs have a reputation for conflict, rivalry, and impasse. Yet despite their ongoing differences, each pair recently managed … Read More 

Try a Game-Changing Move in Your Next “Negotiauction”

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Increasingly in the business world, negotiators must compete not only with their counterpart across the table but also with others fighting for the same deal. A procurement officer may announce to a longtime supplier that she is putting their contract up for an auction for the first time, for example. Or competitors bidding for a … Read More 

In negotiation, sadness can have a silver lining

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

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

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 

When Negotiations Go Down to the Wire

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

From the start, the negotiations were precarious. In late 2013, Iran agreed to temporarily freeze portions of its nuclear program and to negotiate a more comprehensive nuclear dismantlement with the United States, Russia, China, France, Germany, and Great Britain in exchange for reduced economic sanctions. The negotiations proceeded in fits and starts over the next … Read More 

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

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

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

Dealing with difficult people— even when you don’t want to

Posted by & filed under Dealing with Difficult People.

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? For some Western leaders these days, the negotiator who best fits that description might be Russian president Vladimir Putin. Since the beginning of the crisis in Ukraine, the Russian leader has seemed … Read More 

Arguing over who’s right? Change the discussion

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

In 2013, negotiators from Citigroup and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) began meeting to discuss what penalties the bank should face for allegedly defrauding investors in 2006 and 2007. The DOJ accused Citigroup of ignoring signs that a significant portion of the mortgages it had packaged and sold had underwriting defects. Widely criticized for … Read More 

When Facing An Ideological Impasse, Appeal to Status

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

In October 2013, the two houses of Congress failed to reach agreement on appropriations funding for fiscal year 2014, triggering a government shutdown that lasted 16 days. The deadlock was rooted in the insistence of the Tea Party caucus of the Republican Party that the appropriations bill include language defunding President Barack Obama’s signature piece … Read More 

Bet you didn’t know…Negotiation research you can use

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

As state and local governments in the United States have been stretched to the breaking point, conflicts between public-sector employers and employees have become increasingly acrimonious, often resulting in stalemates. When governments and employee unions reach impasse, they often turn to alternative dispute-resolution practices such as mediation and arbitration. Though these practices can be successful, the … Read More 

In negotiation, it’s all in the timing

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

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

In negotiation, put your best foot forward

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Imagine yourself in these negotiating scenarios:

After a freelance designer has finished a big project for your company, you discover some urgent extra work that you should have given him. The designer mentioned that he needs a break and is going to take a few days off. Would you approach him about doing the work, and … Read More 

Expressing emotions strategically

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Damage Control for Disappointing Results,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, March 2011. Following what he described as the “shellacking” he and congressional Democrats received during the 2010 midterm elections, President Barack Obama invited GOP leaders of the lame-duck Congress to meet with him at the White House. The leaders postponed the president’s invitation … Read More 

Negotiating ‘Sacred’ Issues

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution, Daily.

Adapted from “Break Down ‘Sacred’ Barriers to Agreement,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, April 2009. As negotiators, we’re trained to believe that almost every issue is ripe for tradeoffs and concessions. At the same time, most of us hold core values that we believe to be non-negotiable. Your family’s welfare, your personal code of ethics, … Read More 

Get Ready for Team Talks

Posted by & filed under Daily, Mediation.

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 More 

How to Turn a Maybe Into a Yes

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

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

Offering Gifts—With Strings Attached

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “Give a Gift that Keeps on Giving (to You),” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. It was the kind of windfall that would make any employee feel appreciated. In October 2009, Jenna Lyons, the creative director of New York–based fashion retailer J. Crew, received a cash bonus of $1 million from her boss, J. … Read More 

When “fairness” is a distraction

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

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 More 

Give at work

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Pitch Your Offer—and Close the Deal,” by Deepak Malhotra and Max H. Bazerman (professors, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. When you’re having trouble persuading someone, you might be tempted to sweeten the pot with hefty financial incentives. Before doing so, consider whether there are cheaper ways of gaining compliance. A … Read More 

Don’t fight City Hall

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Tired of Fighting City Hall? Negotiate Instead,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. No matter what organization you work for or where you choose to live, sooner or later you’ll find yourself facing off with a government official or agency. Here are a few examples:

You apply for a permit from your local zoning board … Read More 

Is Your Agent Faulty?

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

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

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 More 

Negotiating with Your Children

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Negotiating with your children may seem counterintuitive but parents can build stronger relationships with them by implementing a problem-solving approach when trying to resolve family conflicts. In his book How to Negotiate with Kids…Even When You Think You Shouldn’t (Viking, 2003), Scott Brown, a founder of the Harvard Negotiation Project at Harvard Law School, outlines a … Read More