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.


concessions

The things one side gives up in order to deescalate or resolve a conflict. They may simply be points in an argument, a reduction in demands, or a softening of one side’s position. (from http://www.colorado.edu/conflict/peace/glossary.htm

The following items are tagged concessions

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Price Anchoring 101

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Price Anchoring 101

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 this anchoring effect, psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky found that even random numbers can have a dramatic impact on people’s subsequent judgments and decisions. … Read More 

Courses and Training

Six Guidelines for “Getting to Yes”

Posted by & filed under Harvard Negotiation Institute (5 Day Courses), Negotiation Skills.

Six Guidelines for “Getting to Yes”

In their revolutionary book Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In (Penguin, 3rd edition, 2011), Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton introduced the world to the possibilities of mutual-gains negotiation, or integrative negotiation. The authors of Getting to Yes explained that negotiators don’t have to choose between either waging a strictly competitive, win-lose … Read More 

Product

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 

Free Report

NEW FREE REPORT! Salary Negotiations

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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. … Read More 

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Product

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 

Free Report

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Six Guidelines for “Getting to Yes”

Posted by & filed under Harvard Negotiation Institute (5 Day Courses), Negotiation Skills.

Six Guidelines for “Getting to Yes”

In their revolutionary book Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In (Penguin, 3rd edition, 2011), Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton introduced the world to the possibilities of mutual-gains negotiation, or integrative negotiation. The authors of Getting to Yes explained that negotiators don’t have to choose between either waging a strictly competitive, win-lose … Read More 

Product

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 

Free Report

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Product

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 

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Product

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Product

Bentley Convertible

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

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

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power in negotiation the impact on negotiators and the negotiation process

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

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7 Tips for Closing the Deal in Negotiations

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7 Tips for Closing the Deal in Negotiations

“ABC: Always Be Closing.” That’s the sales strategy that actor Alec Baldwin’s character Blake shared in the 1992 film Glengarry Glen Ross as he tried to motivate a group of real estate salesmen. In his verbally abusive, profanity-laced speech, Blake presented a ruthless model of closing a business deal that ignores customers’ needs and cuts … Read More 

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Win Win Negotiation: Managing Your Counterpart’s Satisfaction

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How to arrive at optimal agreements and make everyone happy with win win negotiation

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 

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5 Tips for Improving Your Negotiation Skills

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5 Tips for Improving Your Negotiation Skills

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 More 

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5 Dealmaking Tips for Closing the Deal

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dealmaking tips: 5 tips for closing the deal in business negotiations drawn from negotiation case studies_250w

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 barriers to agreement, including … Read More 

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Best Negotiators in History: Nelson Mandela and His Negotiation Style

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Best Negotiators in History: Nelson Mandela and His Negotiation Style

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

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When a Job Offer is “Nonnegotiable”

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When a Job Offer is "Nonnegotiable"

Question: I am in my final year of business school and starting to prepare for job interviews. I have heard many of the organizations that recruit on campus are not open to negotiating specific terms of employment. Rather, they offer everyone roughly the same deal terms. To what extent should I respect such conventions versus … Read More 

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Why First Impressions Matter in Negotiation

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Why First Impressions Matter in Negotiation

Even when not based in reality, the expectation that someone is “tough” or “cooperative” becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy at the bargaining table. When you approach an allegedly tough competitor with suspicion and guardedness, he is likely to absord these expectations and become more competitive. … Read More 

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Peace and Conflict Resolution with Difficult Partners

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peace and conflict resolution

When peace and conflict resolution are your goals, what should you do when your would-be counterpart doesn’t want to come to the negotiating table? U.S. president Donald Trump faces this question as he tries to determine the right path to take with North Korea. Tensions have ratcheted up lately as concerns mount that North Korea could … Read More 

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Four Strategies for Making Concessions in Negotiation

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Four Strategies for Making Concessions in Negotiation

Skilled negotiators know that making strategic concessions at the right time can be an effective tactic in negotiations. In this article, Deepak Malhotra, professor at Harvard Business School and PON affiliated faculty member, suggests four ways to make your concessions work to your best advantage. 1. Label Your Concessions In negotiation, don’t assume that your actions will … Read More 

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How to Deal with “Difficult” Customers

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how to deal with "difficult" customers

To hear some salespeople and service representatives tell it, difficult behavior from customers is at an all-time high. Stories of demanding customers proliferate in the press and on social media, while customers likewise complain that their needs increasingly are not being met by companies focused on the bottom line. … Read More 

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Video: Setting the Stage for Productive Negotiations

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productive negotiations

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 

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The Opposite of Autocratic Leadership Styles

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advantages and disadvantages of leadership styles the opposite of autocratic leadership

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 

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Emotional Intelligence as a Negotiating Skill

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successful negotiation examples emotional intelligence as a negotiating skill and negotiation tactic

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

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For Price Negotiators, Preparation is the Key to Success

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For Price Negotiators Preparation is the Key to Success

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 

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When a Win-Win Negotiation Creates Controversy

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When a Win-Win Negotiation Creates Controversy

In negotiation, the concessions we are willing to make in public sometimes are very different from the concessions we are willing to make in private. Take the statement that U.S. secretary of state Rex Tillerson made during his visit to China in March. … Read More 

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Famous Negotiations Cases – NBA and the Power of Deadlines at the Bargaining Table

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Famous Negotiations Cases - NBA and the Power of Deadlines at the Bargaining Table

It was a classic professional sports negotiation case. In the summer of 1988, National Basketball Association (NBA) team owners and players were at loggerheads over their new contract. At midnight on June 30, the owners declared a lockout, halting preparations for the start of the 1998–99 NBA season. The players and owners negotiated for six … Read More 

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Dealing with Difficult People? Negotiation Lessons from Ronald Reagan

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Dealing with Difficult People? Negotiation Lessons from Ronald Reagan

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 

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Negotiation Ethics: Dealing with Deception at the Bargaining Table

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Negotiation Ethics: Dealing with Deception at the Bargaining Table

In his book Bargaining for Advantage: Negotiation Strategies for Reasonable People (Penguin, 2006), G. Richard Shell analyzes this story from Nancy Griffin and Kim Masters’s book Hit & Run: How Jon Peters and Peter Guber Took Sony for a Ride in Hollywood (Simon & Schuster, 1996) as an example of the deceptive tactics negotiators sometimes … Read More 

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Conflict Management and Negotiation: Personality and Individual Differences That Matter

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Although Elfenbein and her colleagues did find that negotiators performed at a similar level from one negotiation to the next, to their surprise, these scores were only minimally related to specific personality traits. And traits that are basically unchangeable, such as gender, ethnic background, and physical attractiveness, were not closely connected to people’s scores. A small … Read More 

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How to Overcome Cultural Barriers at the Negotiation Table

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How to Overcome Cultural Barriers at the Negotiation Table

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

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The Importance of Power in Negotiations: Taylor Swift Shakes it Off

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The Importance of Power in Negotiations: Taylor Swift Shakes it Off

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 

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Dealmaking: Don’t Wait for Them to Blink

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dealmaking

In labor disputes and dealmaking, negotiators on both sides are likely to overestimate the odds that the other side will view their proposals as fair. In fact, however, self-serving perceptions of what constitutes a fair settlement can cause negotiators to remain miles apart. These factors appear to have come into play when the National Hockey … Read More 

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Famous Negotiators: Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin

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famous negotiators

At a January press conference last year, German chancellor Angela Merkel dangled a carrot in front of Russian president Vladimir Putin: the possibility of a summit in Kazakhstan aimed at easing the Ukraine crisis, to be attended by her and the leaders of France and Ukraine. That carrot, however, was dangling from a significant string. … Read More 

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Alternative Dispute Resolution: Corporate Stakeholder Engagement and Mineral Extraction in Colombia

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Alternative Dispute Resolution

Corporations around the world are being pressed by their shareholders to do a better job of taking local concerns into account when they initiate mineral extraction projects. Indeed, both stakeholders and risk managers are demanding this. Many companies are now systematically assessing the concerns of a wide range of stakeholders and seeking to demonstrate (in … Read More 

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The Importance of Relationships in Negotiation

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The Importance of Relationship in Negotiation

A relationship is a perceived connection that can be psychological, economic, political, or personal; whatever its basis, wise leaders, like skilled negotiators, work to foster a strong connection because effective leadership depends on it. … Read More 

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Leadership Styles in Crisis Negotiations

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euro crisis in Greece leadership qualities for a negotiation in crisis

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 More 

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Are You Ready to Negotiate?

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characteristics of negotiation styles are you ready to negotiate

“Winging it” is a fine approach to life’s minor decisions, but in negotiation, it can be disastrous. Follow these three preparation steps and improve your agreements. … Read More 

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Negotiation Skills: Building Trust in Negotiations

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Trust 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. … Read More 

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Make the Most of Your Salary Negotiations

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Make the Most of Your Salary Negotiations

What salary negotiation skills can you use if a potential employer asks you about your past salary? If you earned a competitive wage, your concern may be whether the new employer can afford you. … Read More 

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Promoting Fair Outcomes in Negotiation

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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 

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Will You Avoid a Negotiation Impasse?

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10 Hard Bargaining Negotiation Skills

In the summer of 2016, 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 negotiation … Read More 

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Closing the Deal in Negotiations

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business negotiations

In dealmaking, we typically devote significant time to trying to convince a counterpart of the logic and appeal of our proposals. But sometimes our role becomes a more defensive one, as our negotiation behaviors focus on trying to dissuade others from pursuing a route that we believe could be disastrous. That was the task outgoing United … Read More 

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How Professional Negotiators Can Avoid Public Controversy

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successful negotiation examples emotional intelligence as a negotiating skill and negotiation tactic

In negotiation, we sometimes become so focused on what we’re trying to achieve at the bargaining table that we fail to adequately account for how the deal could look to observers. As two recent deals that the U.S. government reached with Iran show, it’s important for professional negotiators to consider the optics. … Read More 

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Diplomatic Negotiations to Build a Winning Coalition to Negotiate with Iran

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The five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany were able to arrive at a negotiated agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran to curtail its nuclear weapons development program. Read this article to find out what diplomatic negotiation strategies were employed by the representatives from the bargaining countries and how they impacted … Read More 

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In Platform Negotiations with Clinton, Sanders Was Victorious

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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 

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Top International Negotiation Examples: The East China Sea Dispute

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Even when negotiators believe they sincerely want to reach an outcome that is fair to all, their perceptions of what constitutes a fair agreement are likely to be self-serving. As a result, they are likely to believe they deserve a greater share of a given resource than an unbiased observer would judge to be fair. … Read More 

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10 Top Negotiation Examples

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Famous Negotiators Feature in Top Negotiations of 2012

It never hurts to learn from the past. Here’s a recap of some of the most interesting and challenging negotiations from the past, featuring many of the world’s most famous negotiators. … Read More 

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In “Non-negotiation” with Antonio Brown, Steelers Find Mutual Gains

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The National Football League’s Pittsburgh Steelers faced a dilemma. Mid-contract, the team’s star wide receiver, Antonio Brown, asked the team to improve upon the six-year, $42.5 million deal they negotiated back in 2012. Brown had risen to become the best receiver in football and believed he was underpaid. … Read More 

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Top 10 Negotiation Skills

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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. … Read More 

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10 Negotiation Failures

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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 More 

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How Your Organization Can Benefit from Mediation Techniques

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

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Negotiation Training with Heart

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negotiation training with heart

In typical negotiation skills training, we are taught to get beyond our emotions and look at situations rationally. There’s merit to this approach, of course, as feelings can cloud our judgment. But consider what Lieutenant Jack Cambria, who retired in August as the longest-running head of the New York Police Department’s (NYPD’s) hostage negotiation team, … Read More 

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In Acrimonious Disputes, Conflict Management is Key

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

In Acrimonious Disputes Conflict Management is Key

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 

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Using Mediation to Resolve International Disputes

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

As businesses increasingly branch out globally, they also face the possibility of broken contracts and strained relationships. Mediation can be an effective means of resolving disputes and getting business partners back on track, but do intercultural differences complicate the process? If so, how can disputants and mediators adjust? Elizabeth D. Salmon of the University of Maryland … Read More 

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Emotion in Negotiations: How to Detect Sincerity at the Bargaining Table

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Following the British Petroleum oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in the spring of 2010, some media observers criticized President Barack Obama for seeming to be emotionally detached. Obama ultimately did display anger about the oil spill in a televised interview, only to be further critiqued on the grounds that his anger did not … Read More 

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Negotiation Skills for Resolving International Conflicts

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What are the essential skills a negotiator needs to resolve conflicts abroad? How do international conflicts differ from domestic conflicts? What issues specific to bargaining across borders emerges in intercultural negotiations? In this article we explore ways in which negotiators can develop bargaining skills to overcome any barriers to communication they may encounter in negotiations … Read More 

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Dispute Resolution in Job Negotiations: Repairing a Work Relationship

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On October 15, 2012, Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit walked into the office of the bank’s chairman, Michael E. O’Neill, expecting a routine meeting and perhaps some words of praise. The day before, Citigroup had released a favorable earnings report that suggested the bank was beginning to rebound from the financial crisis. Citi had received a … Read More 

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How to Overcome Barriers and Save Your Negotiated Agreement at the Bargaining Table

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On November 20 of last year, Hostess Brands announced that it had failed to reach agreement with its second-biggest union and, as a result, was permanently shutting down its operations. The news was met with dismay by baby boomers and others who had grown up with the 80-year-old company’s shelf-stable confections. But consumers had been passing … Read More 

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Dealmaking and the Trade Deal: Obama’s Uphill Battle with Congress

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Sometimes in dealmaking, reaching agreement would require us to make compromises that we know will displease those who need to authorize the deal, such as our superiors back at the office. Fail to compromise, and impasse may be inevitable. Compromise and save the deal, and accept the difficulty of closing the deal in negotiations with … Read More 

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In Negotiations with Ben Affleck, No Appealing BATNA

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in negotiations with ben affleck no appealing batna

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

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In The Simpsons Dealmaking, Harry Shearer Goes Public

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How did actor Henry Shearer and the producers of the hit television show The Simpsons arrive at a win-win negotiated agreement? In this article drawn from examples of negotiation in real life, we examine the negotiations between the actor and the producers and offer insights into the bargaining strategies employed by each. … Read More 

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The Risks and Pitfalls of Stonewalling in Negotiations

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Contract negotiations between Jason Pierre-Paul and the New York Giants demonstrates the hazards of intentionally stonewalling your counterpart in negotiations. A successful defensive end with the Giants since 2010, Pierre-Paul was renegotiating his contract after a couple of mildly disappointing seasons. The Giants’ offer of a “franchise tag” designation did not sit well with Pierre-Paul, … Read More 

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The Fiscal Cliff and the Debt Ceiling: Program on Negotiation Chair Robert Mnookin Discusses Recent and Future Negotiations Between Congressional Republicans and the White House

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

What methodology was driving the posturing and statements behind congressional Republicans and the Obama administration’s negotiations regarding the debt ceiling and how both sides came together to avoid going off of the “fiscal cliff.” … Read More 

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New Findings in the Field of Negotiation: Session One

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The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School is pleased to present: New Findings in the Field of Negotiation: Research from the PON Graduate Research Fellows with

Vera Mironova PhD candidate in political science at the University of Maryland and

Abbie Wazlawek PhD candidate in management at Columbia Business School and

Boshko Stankovski PhD candidate in politics and international studies at University of Cambridge   Tuesday, April 21 12:00 – 1:30 … Read More 

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What Does Conflict Management Mean in Business Negotiations with Competitors?

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

They say it pays to keep your friends close and your enemies closer, but in business negotiation, keeping your enemies—or competitors—close could end you up in court, as Apple’s recent encounter with the U.S. Department of Justice suggests. The story begins back in 2007 when, unhappy with Amazon’s low, flat price of $9.99 for e-books, five … Read More 

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Negotiation Skills: View Your Counterpart as an Agent

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Looking for yet another way to build your power at the negotiating table? Examine the incentives of your counterpart—and then consider whether they align with those of the group she represents. In most business negotiations, notes Harvard professor Guhan Subramanian, your counterpart is acting as her organization’s representative, or agent (just as you’re acting as … Read More 

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Negotiation Skills: Which Negotiating Style Is Best?

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Is one negotiating style “better” than another? Most research suggests that negotiators with a primarily cooperative style are more successful than hard bargainers at reaching novel solutions that improve everyone’s outcomes. Negotiators who lean toward cooperation also tend to be more satisfied with the process and their results, according to Weingart. At the same time, … Read More 

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How to Deal When the Going Gets Tough

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Most business negotiators understand that by working collaboratively with their counterparts while also advocating strongly on their own behalf, they can build agreements and longterm relationships that benefit both sides. During times of economic hardship, however, many negotiators abandon their commitment to cooperation and mutual gains. Instead, they fall back on competitive tactics, threatening the other … Read More 

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Dealmaking: Haggling and Exploring Interests in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

One common misconception of haggling is that it must focus only on a single issue: price. Although price might be the most important issue at stake, you could sweeten the deal for both sides by discussing other issues, such as delivery, financing, and the possibility of repeat business. You can open up such opportunities through direct questioning … Read More 

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Reciprocation and Creating Value or Claiming Value Through Haggling

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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 

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Master the Art and Science of Haggling for More Productive Business Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Just like the prices of houses, cars, and other big-ticket items, the prices of furniture, electronics, wine, jewelry, another “medium-ticket” goods are now frequently up for discussion. The ancient art of haggling—the back-and-forth dance of offers and concessions between buyer and seller—is making a comeback, and you would do well to brush up on your … Read More 

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Others May Be More Powerful Than You Think They Are

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Imagine that you’re a national account sales manager and are preparing to negotiate your annual raise. You have met all your sales objectives and feel that you are not only a valuable employee but also the top producer in the department. You feel quite confident that you will receive the highest possible salary increase. But during an … Read More 

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Searching for a Debt Ceiling: Boehner’s Uncertain BATNA

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

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 

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Wheelers and Dealers?

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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 More 

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International Negotiations: Threats at the Bargaining Table

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

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Negotiating the Fiscal Crisis

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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 More 

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Daily

Predicting Your Response to Conflict

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Imagine an upcoming negotiation. How will you respond if your opponent seems bent on provoking an argument? If you’re like most people, you’ll have difficulty predicting your precise response. Professor Dan Gilbert of Harvard University found that when asked how a positive or negative event will affect your happiness, people accurately predict the direction of … Read More 

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Finally, A Win-Win Deal from Congress

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To the surprise of many, Congress reached a bipartisan agreement on the 17th of February to extend payroll tax cuts and unemployment benefits. It was only the second time a House bill in the 112th Congress split roughly along party lines, according to the New York Times. Largely regarded as a coup for Congressional Democrats, … Read More 

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Get Time on Your Side

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When negotiators can’t manage to resolve a final sticking point, time can be one of the best tools at your disposal. How can you use time to move forward? First, and perhaps most obviously, take a break from talks. That might mean adjourning until the next day, next week, or even longer. In negotiation, a pause … Read More 

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When not to show your hand

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In all your negotiations, you must calculate the risks and rewards of sharing information with your counterpart. Here, we consider four types of information that may be best kept under wraps: sensitive or privileged information, information that isn’t yours to share, information that diminishes your power, and information that may fluctuate. Fearful of being hurt by … Read More 

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How much authority do they have?

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Adapted from “Contracts 101: What Every Negotiator Should Know about Contract and Agency Law” by Guhan Subramanian (professor, Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter, February 2006. While hammering out an agreement, a mid-level manager offered a customer a significant price discount. When the discount failed to materialize, the customer … Read More 

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Winning at “Win-Win”

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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 More 

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Why it pays to haggle

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Adapted from “Master the Art and Science of Haggling,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, August 2009. Businesses that never would have considered negotiating with customers before the global economic crisis are now willing, even eager, to make a deal. Just like the prices of houses, cars, and other big-ticket items, the prices of furniture, electronics, … Read More 

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Negotiating ‘Sacred’ Issues

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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 

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Successful negotiation strategies lead to bright future for 2011 Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins

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As Zdeno Chara, the captain of the Boston Bruins, hoisted the Stanley Cup at the conclusion of the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs, fans could celebrate with abandon, secure in the knowledge that their star defenseman will be wearing black and gold through the 2017-2018 season. Without the last minute contract extension signed days before … Read More 

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Nonviolent Power in Action: observations from an expert on what happened in Egypt, Tunisia and beyond

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Watch the video of the PON Brown Bag Lunch: The Dynamics of Nonviolent Power: Egypt, Tunisia and beyond

with Hardy Merriman Senior Advisor at the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (ICNC) Recorded: April 20, 2011   Click here to watch the video: http://www.law.harvard.edu/media/2011/04/20_pon.mov   About the Event: The Dynamics of Nonviolent Power: Egypt, Tunisia and Beyond By: Carrie O’Neil, PON Research Assistant What makes nonviolent, civilian-based movements … Read More 

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Irrationality in Negotiations: How to Negotiate the Impossible

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Negotiators often struggle with the task of bargaining with those who behave rashly, reason poorly, and act in ways that contradict their own self-interest. But as it turns out, behavior that negotiators often view as evidence of irrationality may in fact indicate something entirely different. … Read More 

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Tempering Your Temper

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Adapted from “The Downside of Anger,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. According to conventional wisdom, responding angrily to another negotiator’s offer sometimes helps you get more of what you want. This notion is confirmed by some recent studies. In 2004, for example, professor Gerben A. van Kleef of the University of Amsterdam and his colleagues … Read More 

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Dealing With a Stubborn Counterpart

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Adapted from “Stubborn or Irrational? How to Cope with a Difficult Negotiating Partner,” by Lawrence Susskind (professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Suppose you’re an experienced salesperson entering into negotiations for a contract renewal with a company you’ve successfully done business with for years. Recently, your counterpart at the other company … Read More 

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How to Turn a Maybe Into a Yes

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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 

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Pitfalls of the Powerful

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Adapted from “Are You Too Powerful for Your Own Good?” by Ann E. Tenbrunsel (professor, Notre Dame University), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Imagine that you’re a national account sales manager and are preparing to negotiate your annual raise. You have met all your sales objectives and feel that you are not only a valuable … Read More 

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Do You Really Know Yourself?

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Adapted from the Negotiation newsletter. Imagine an upcoming negotiation. How will you respond if your opponent seems bent on provoking an argument? If you’re like most people, you’ll have difficulty predicting your precise response. Professor Dan Gilbert of Harvard University found that when asked how a positive or negative event will affect their happiness, people accurately … Read More 

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Too Tough Talk?

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

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Change the Trust Default

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

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Offering Gifts—With Strings Attached

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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 

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After the deal is inked

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Adapted from “Uncover Hidden Value with a Post-settlement Settlement,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. You’ve reached an agreement that you find satisfactory and your counterpart does as well-but you can’t shake the sense that you could have done even better. For example, you might be happy with the price you achieved in a purchasing contract … Read More 

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When “fairness” is a distraction

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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 

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Great expectations?

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Adapted from “Faulty Expectations,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. One of the most common, clear recommendations to emerge from negotiation literature is the need to consider the other party’s decisions. Ample evidence shows that negotiators too often fail to think about the other negotiator or do so in a simplistic manner. Professors Kristina A. Diekmann … Read More 

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Powerful Thoughts

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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 More 

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Overestimating our resolve

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Aggressive Negotiation Tactics: Threats at the Bargaining Table

Adapted from “Predicting Your Response to Conflict,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter.

Imagine an upcoming negotiation. How will you respond if your opponent seems bent on provoking an argument? If you’re like most people, you’ll have difficulty predicting your precise response. Professor Dan Gilbert of Harvard University found that when asked how a … Read More 

Daily

Daily

Should you be nasty or nice?

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Adapted from “Honey or Vinegar?”, first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Who brings out the best in us: someone nice or someone nasty? According to a recent study by Gerben A. van Kleef and colleagues of the University of Amsterdam, we may be more generous toward angry people than toward happy people. In the first two … Read More 

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Turn Vicious Cycles Into Virtuous Ones

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For decades, Hormel Foods and its employees enjoyed one of the most cooperative and productive labor-management relationships in the processed foods industry. But beginning in the late 1970s, when Hormel pushed for wage concessions, the company’s relationship with its workforce began to deteriorate, especially at the plant in Austin, Minn., the quiet “company town” where … Read More 

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Deception in Negotiation

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

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Daily

Tough Tactics: Do ‘Death Threats’ Really Work?

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Aggressive Negotiation Tactics: Threats at the Bargaining Table

What would you do if someone threatened you? Strike back? Run away? Beg for mercy? Try to negotiate? Last April, The New York Times in effect held a gun to the heads of Boston Globe employees – twice. The confrontation, say experts at the Harvard Program on Negotiation, offers valuable lessons in handling high-risk, high-stakes situations. Background: … Read More