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Courses and Training

Secrets of Successful Dealmaking

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

Course Dates: June 5-9, 2017 In corporate dealmaking, much of the action happens away from the negotiating table. Successful dealmakers understand that deal set-up and design greatly influence negotiation outcomes. In this program, you will examine the legal, tactical, and structural elements of dealmaking and acquire practical skills and techniques for navigating difficult tactics and pursuing … Read More 

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Viatex

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Hal Movius Two-party negotiation between representatives of Viatex and one of its clients, Brattlebury, involving trade-offs between short and long-term gains as well as dealing with internal stakeholders. … Read More 

Free Report

Negotiation and Leadership Fall 2017 Brochure

Posted by & filed under Free Report.

It’s often said that great leaders are great negotiators. But how does one become an effective negotiator? On-the-job experience certainly plays a role, but for most executives, taking their negotiation skills to the next level requires outside training. … Read More 

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Courses and Training

Negotiation Workshop: Strategies, Tools, and Skills for Success

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

Course Dates: June 12-16, 2017 Turn disputes into deals. Transform deals into better deals. Resolve intractable problems. Negotiating effectively requires the ability to change the game – moving away from conflict and toward collaboration. In this intensive, interactive program, you acquire a proven framework for maximizing the value of your negotiation. … Read More 

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Negotiation Pedagogy Video Series, Part I

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Professor Michael Wheeler An unscripted video showing an experienced negotiation professor teaching a complete class session through role simulation debrief, video, and discussion, interspersed with instructor commentary … Read More 

Free Report

Spring 2017 Brochure

Posted by & filed under Free Report.

It’s often said that great leaders are great negotiators. But how does one become an effective negotiator? On-the-job experience certainly plays a role, but for most executives, taking their negotiation skills to the next level requires outside training. … Read More 

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Case Study of Business Negotiations and Deal Making: Giving Voice to Negotiators Away from the Bargaining Table

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Case Study of Business Negotiations and Deal Making: Giving Voice to Negotiators Away from the Bargaining Table

Sometimes negotiators focus too much on the bargaining session at hand, to the detriment of bargainers away from the negotiation table, a group whose concerns and input is just as valid as those of the negotiators themselves. Here are some negotiation tips to help make sure your bargaining strategies include the voices and concerns of … Read More 

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Lawyers & Clients

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Robert H. Mnookin and Susan Hackley An illustration of interviewing and listening techniques appropriate for lawyer-client interviews, featuring Harvard Law School Professor Robert Mnookin … Read More 

Free Report

Fall 2016 Brochure

Posted by & filed under Free Report.

It’s often said that great leaders are great negotiators. But how does one become an effective negotiator? On-the-job experience certainly plays a role, but for most executives, taking their negotiation skills to the next level requires outside training. … Read More 

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What is Negotiation?

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

negotiation style

Many people dread negotiation, not recognizing that they negotiate on a regular, even daily basis. Most of us face formal negotiations throughout our personal and professional lives: discussing the terms of a job offer with a recruiter, haggling over the price of a new car, hammering out a contract with a supplier. … Read More 

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3-D Negotiation

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David Lax & James Sebenius A path-breaking introduction to the “three dimensions” of complex negotiated deal-making: table tactics, deal design, and the crucial but often overlooked dimension of setup … Read More 

Free Report

Spring 2016 Seminar Program Guide

Posted by & filed under Free Report.

It’s often said that great leaders are great negotiators. But how does one become an effective negotiator? On-the-job experience certainly plays a role, but for most executives, taking their negotiation skills to the next level requires outside training. … Read More 

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Product

You Can’t Enlarge the Pie Six Barriers to Effective Government

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When they learn how to negotiate and solve problems, students in management schools are taught two things. First, they are to look for and recognize any cognitive biases that may be affecting their own decisions about possible solutions. Second, in any disagreement, they are to seek out “wise tradeoffs”: resolutions that minimize the costs and … Read More 

Free Report

Business Crisis Management: Crisis Communication Examples and How to Use Police Negotiation Tecniques

Posted by & filed under Free Report.

In this free special report negotiation experts offers advice on how to turn crisis situations into collaborative negotiations. Throughout the report, you will discover how to apply the lessons of professional hostage negotiators, avoid disasters through careful planning, diffuse tensions with angry members of the public, and break through impasse with open communication. … Read More 

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Product

Technology Equipment Partners

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Tracey Brenner, under the supervision of Lawrence Susskind Two-team, six-party, four-issue negotiation between representatives of two corporations setting up a simultaneous high-tech joint venture and purchasing agreement … Read More 

Free Report

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

Posted by & filed under Free Report.

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

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When a Job Offer is “Nonnegotiable”

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

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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Stakes of Engagement, The

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Nicholas Sabin Two-party, multi-issue, scoreable negotiation regarding a prenuptial agreement, calling for a balance of substantive and relationship concerns … Read More 

Free Report

Harborco: Role-Play Simulation

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

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Amending Approval for the Storyville Pulp and Paper Mill

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Consensus Building Institute and Alberta Environmental Appeal Board Mediation of a three-party dispute among a paper mill, a community group, and an environmental regulatory agency over the paper mill’s air pollution permit … Read More 

Free Report

Sally Soprano: Role-Play Simulation

Posted by & filed under Free Report.

Sally Soprano is a distinguished soprano who is now somewhat past her prime. She has not had a lead role in two years but would like to revive her career. The Lyric Opera has a production scheduled to open in three weeks, but its lead soprano has become unavailable. Lyric’s representative has requested a meeting … Read More 

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Why First Impressions Matter in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

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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MESO Negotiation Strategies and Negotiation Techniques

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

negotiation strategies and negotiation techniques meso negotiation

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

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What is a Win-Win Negotiation?

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What is a Win-Win Negotiation?

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 

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3 Negotiation Strategies for Conflict Resolution

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3 Strategies for Conflict Resolution

When a dispute flares up, the outcome can be sadly predictable: the conflict escalates, with each side blaming the other in increasingly strident terms. The dispute may end up in litigation, and the relationship may be forever damaged. … 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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Win Win Negotiation Example: Different Cultures, Shared Meals

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

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

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Negotiating with Millennials – How to Overcome Cultural Differences in Communication

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

how to overcome cultural differences in communication - negotiating with the next generation

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

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5 Good Negotiation Techniques

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Use Integrative Negotiation Strategies to Create Value at the Bargaining Table

You’ve mastered the basics of good negotiation techniques: you prepare thoroughly, take time to build rapport, make the first offer when you have a strong sense of the bargaining range, and search for wise tradeoffs across issues to create value. Now, it’s time to absorb five lesser-known but similarly effective negotiation topics and techniques that … Read More 

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Putting Your Negotiated Agreement Into Action

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

negotiation examples in business implementing your negotiated agreement

Normally negotiators focus on the deal-at-hand as well as those present at the negotiation table, neglecting other aspects of the negotiated agreement that would not only impact others outside of the room but also require their cooperation for the agreement’s success and viability. … Read More 

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Four Ways to Manage Conflict in the Workplace

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Conflict in the workplace

Samantha was livid. While making a presentation during a meeting that both attended, Brad, a newcomer in her department, had shared some slides during a presentation that were clearly based on ideas for a project she’d shared with him privately—without giving her credit. Samantha angrily confronted Brad in his office after the meeting; he became … Read More 

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Win Win Negotiations: Can’t Beat Them? Join a Coalition.

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Win Win Negotiations: Can’t Beat Them? Join a Coalition.

This negotiation case study demonstrates the power of coalitions to achieve objectives at the bargaining table. How can negotiators cooperate with bargaining counterparts to create value for both sides? Here is the strategy used by Wyoming ranchers to achieve just that. … Read More 

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Deal-Making Negotiation Strategies: Short on Cash? Try Bartering

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

In an economic downturn, negotiation opportunities sometimes dry up because parties think they have nothing left to give. During times like these, bartering flourishes. This article will help you decide how and when to include bartering as a component of your negotiations. Here are four guidelines to help you bargain successfully at the negotiation table. … Read More 

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Police Negotiation Techniques from the NYPD Crisis Negotiations Team

Posted by & filed under Crisis Negotiations.

Police Negotiation Techniques from the New York City Police Department Hostage Negotiations Team

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

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How to Control Your Emotions in Conflict Resolution

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

How to Control Your Emotions in Conflict Resolution

To guard against acting irrationally or in ways that can harm you, authors of Beyond Reason: Using Emotions As You Negotiate Roger Fisher and Daniel Shapiro advise you to take your emotional temperature during a negotiation. Specifically, try to gauge whether your emotions are manageable, starting to heat up, or threatening to boil over. … Read More 

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Are You Ready to Negotiate?

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

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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Your Reputation at the Bargaining Table in Business Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

business negotiations

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

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Ten Popular Business Negotiation Articles

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

top 10 business negotiation articles

Here are ten popular business negotiation articles on the Program on Negotiation website. Drawn from a variety of negotiation case studies as well as negotiation research, the following articles present negotiation examples in real life and offer strategies for engaging in integrative negotiations strategies aimed at creating win-win scenarios for each party at the negotiation … Read More 

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How Chaos at the Bargaining Table Can Help Negotiators Reach Agreement

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

negotiators - examples of negotiation situations

Here are some examples of negotiation situations in which chaos at the bargaining table works to the negotiator’s advantage. Whether conducting business negotiations involving commercial transactions or personal disputes with a friend, the following negotiating skills and techniques can be used. … Read More 

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Promoting Fair Outcomes in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

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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In Employment Contract Negotiation, “No Haggling” Isn’t the Answer

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

in employment contract negotiation no haggling isn’t the answer

In spring 2015, Ellen Pao, the former CEO of social networking and news website Reddit, revealed in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that her company had taken a bold move in its efforts to create an “equal opportunity environment for everyone” at the company. Specifically, Reddit no longer negotiates salary with job candidates, … Read More 

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MESO Negotiation: Learn from a Seller’s Market

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

MESO Negotiation: Learn from a Seller's Market

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

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In Platform Negotiations with Clinton, Sanders Was Victorious

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

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

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Case Studies: Ten Great Conflict Resolutions

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

top ten conflict resolution posts

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

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Value Creation in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Use Integrative Negotiation Strategies to Create Value at the Bargaining Table

Many people say they dread negotiating and avoid it whenever they can. Why? Typically, because they view negotiation as a competition in which one party’s gains come at the expense of the other party. … Read More 

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Value Claiming in Negotiation

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In most negotiations, we face two goals: claiming value and creating value. Value can be defined as anything you would like to get out a negotiation, whether it be more dollars, a consulting contract, a new rug, an end to conflict, and so on. … Read 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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Is Your Deal Too Good to Be True?

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

In an episode of the fictional HBO series Silicon Valley, partners in a red-hot technology startup, Pied Piper, receive funding offers from a number of venture capitalist firms. Raviga Capital is by far the highest bidder; its offer of $20 million values Pied Piper at a whopping $100 million. … Read More 

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How to Use MESOs in Business Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

It’s not uncommon in business negotiations to find yourself on the brink of impasse. You and your counterpart have exchanged a series of offers and counteroffers, and you’ve met somewhere close to the middle—but not close enough. With each side firmly rooted in its position, there may seem to be no way forward. … Read More 

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Negotiating with Your Agent

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Toby knew that Dara was the perfect New York literary agent for him as soon as he heard her friendly, professional voice on the phone. Never mind that 17 other agents had already rejected his book proposal. Dara’s enthusiasm and recent sales convinced him to sign the three-year exclusive contract she mailed to him in … Read More 

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

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

meso negotiation and dealing with difficult people make multiple equivalent simultaneous offers to create value in dealmaking

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

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In Business Negotiations, Capitalize on a Right of First Refusal

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

in business negotiations capitalize on a right of first refusal

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.

in business negotiations capitalize on a right of first refusal

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.

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When the mergers-and-acquisitions (M&A) boom began in 1993, many deals simply required the seller to let the buyer know if a “superior proposal” came along. By the late 1990s, buyers were demanding—and receiving—more than this: an exclusive negotiating period of several days, during which they could decide whether to match or improve upon another bidder’s offer. In current business negotiations, rights of first refusal, also known as matching rights or rights of first offer, are being rapidly incorporated into business negotiations at all levels and in many industries.

In the typical right of first refusal, the grantor gives the right holder the right to buy an asset on the same terms that the grantor would receive from any other bona fide, prospective bidder, otherwise known as the third party.

Suppose, for example, that a private company is negotiating an equity infusion from an investor in exchange for a 20% ownership stake and a set on the board. To preserve its stability, the company conditions the deal on a right of first refusal: before the investor can sell his stake to someone else, the company can buy it back at the negotiated price. The investor accepts the deal, and the company gets its equity.

Now suppose that two years have passed since the company (the right holder) and the investor (the grantor) signed their deal. The investor now wants to liquidate his investment. One potential buyer offers to purchase the 20% interest for $3.4 million. The investor now is required to ask the company, which holds the matching right, if it wants to match the offer. This contractual obligation has important consequences that depend in large part upon the role you play in a negotiation.

Advice for the grantor In negotiation, including a right of first refusal in an agreement can be a classic win-win move. To take a real estate right of first refusal, suppose you’re a landlord negotiating with a prospective tenant. You want to maintain the ability to sell the apartment to someone else in the future, while your prospective tenant wants a commitment to rent the apartment for as long as she wants. The solution might be to offer the tenant a right of first refusal—the power to match any legitimate third-party offer. In this manner, the tenant gains the opportunity to avoid the disruption of a move, and you preserve your own flexibility.

A right of first refusal can also create value through tradeoffs on negotiators’ different expectations. Let’s return to the case of the investor who buys a 20% ownership stake in a private company, and assume that the investor plans to hold the stake for a long time. If the company is not as sure about his commitment, a right of first refusal is cheap for the investor to give and valuable for the company to receive.

Advice for the right holder As the prospective right holder, you should know precisely what a proposed right of first refusal will give you. Many deals that seem to guarantee a right of first refusal are, in fact, murky about the consequences that could arise.

For potential right holders, the most common mistake is to fail to specify what will happen if you choose to match a bid. Will your matching bid call off the contest with the third party or launch a bidding war?

Other details are equally important. How long do you have to decide whether to match an offer? If the duration of the right of first refusal is ambiguous, a third party could short-circuit your right by making an exploding offer with a short fuse. You might fail to match the offer due to time pressure rather than to your unwillingness to pay. The end result is a right of first refusal worth significantly less than you thought.

Advice for third parties What if you’re thinking about making an offer that would trigger a right of first refusal? Returning to the case of the investor with a 20% stake in a company, imagine that you approach the investor about buying him out. When you learn about the company’s right of first refusal, you face a difficult situation. If the company exercises its right of first refusal, you’ve wasted time conducting due diligence and negotiating. If the company doesn’t exercise its right of first refusal, you likely have overpaid. Why? Because the company probably has better information about the true value of the 20% stake than you do. As a result of this information asymmetry, many sophisticated investors avoid deals that trigger a right of first refusal.

Yet the winner’s curse may not apply to you. First, the right holder simply might not be able to match your offer due to a liquidity crunch. Second, you may have just as much or better information about the value of the asset as the right holder. If the right holder doesn’t match your bid, she may not recognize these sources of value. Third, you might bring some special value to the table that the right holder lacks. Try to assess whether any of these three justifications apply before making a bid. If one of them does, you’re ready for business.

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Adapted from “Matching Rights: A Boon to Both Sides,” by Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School professor Guhan Subramanian, first published in the Negotiation newsletter.

When the mergers-and-acquisitions (M&A) boom began in 1993, many deals … Read More 

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Seeking a Win-Win Negotiation? Pass the Chips and Salsa

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

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

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Crossed Wires? Negotiation Games To Help Your Business Deal Sidestep Legal, Technical And Emotional Glitches

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

What’s faster than the pace of technological development? The pace of lawsuits being filed about the adoption of new technologies, patent infringement, and intellectual property rights. In our modern world, professionals must be able to resolve highly challenging technology-related disputes – often before they reach the courtroom. That’s where the Program on Negotiation’s Teaching … Read More 

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In United Nations International Negotiations, A Demand for Openness

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Sometimes the question of how to negotiate can be more hotly debated than the issues that come up during the negotiation itself. Who should be involved in making key decisions? Should the negotiation process be public or private? How can parties ensure that all involved feel they’ve had a voice? … Read More 

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Hong Kong Lawyer Benny Tai Inspired by Harvard Negotiation Project Authors

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

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

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Matching Rights in Business Negotiations: Advice for the Grantor – Use Matching Rights to Bridge the Gap

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

In negotiation, including a matching right in an agreement can be a classic win-win move. Suppose you’re a landlord negotiating with a prospective tenant. You want to maintain the ability to sell the apartment to someone else in the future, while your prospective tenant wants a commitment to rent the apartment for as long as … Read More 

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

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

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

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Negotiate, Don’t Litigate

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

When you’re thinking about resolving a dispute in court, it’s crucial to remember that the decision that will be imposed on you is binding. If blinders lead a judge to grant a motion that should be denied, deny a motion that should be granted, assign responsibility to the wrong party, or award too much or … Read More 

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Negotiation Tips: A Value-Creation Checklist

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

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Water Diplomacy: Value Creating Approachs to Water Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Zero-sum thinking emerges when people conceive of water as a fixed resource – one provided by nature in a given quantity that is either static or diminishing. Based on these assumptions, diplomats often focus on what share of the existing water will be given to each entity. Negotiations of this type typically involve decision makers … Read More 

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Water Diplomacy: The Role of Science in Water Diplomacy

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Scientific and technical knowledge is important in water negotiations, but not in the ways it has often been used. It is counterproductive to use scientific information to justify arbitrary (political) decisions. For example, scientific information about water has increased dramatically over the last several decades, but our ability to manage water resources has not improved … Read More 

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Business Negotiations: Cooperate to Claim Value

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What happens in negotiations between two individuals who care little about each other’s outcomes? Suppose an engineer and an industrial designer are arguing over the design of a car bumper. The designer only cares about whether the bumper matches the style of the vehicle; the engineer is concerned only about how the bumper connects to … Read More 

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The Program on Negotiation Mourns the Loss of Co-Founder Roger Fisher

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Roger Fisher, co-founder of the Program on Negotiation and the Harvard Negotiation Project, died on August 25 at age 90. A true pioneer and leader, he helped launch a new way of thinking about negotiation, and he worked tirelessly to help people deal productively with conflict. “Through his writing and teaching, Roger Fisher’s seminal contributions literally … Read More 

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Specific versus Abstract Negotiation Skills Training

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Researchers have argued that negotiators learn more from cases and real-world experiences when they can take away an abstract version of the lesson. Such abstractions come from analogies developed across two or more different negotiation contexts, say Leigh Thompson and Dedre Gentner of Northwestern University and Jeffrey Loewenstein of the University of Texas, who propose … Read More 

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Accounting for Outsiders in Your Negotiations

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If you’re in the middle of talks that seem to be going well, here’s a warning: consider the impact of the agreement on those who aren’t at the table, or suffer the consequences. That’s a lesson that Apple and some of the largest U.S. book publishers are currently learning the hard way. On April 12, the … Read More 

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When Negotiations Take Advantage of Outsiders

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In March, reported Rob Wildeboer of Chicago’s WBEZ radio station broke the news that inmate in Cook County prisons (including those in the city of Chicago) were being charged inflated phone rates due to a profit-generating contract between the county and Securus Technologies, the company that operates the jail phone service. The contract requires Securus … Read More 

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Closing the Deal is Only the Beginning of the Endgame

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Often it is the relatively small details of an agreement that can cause the most consternation in negotiation. When viewed in light of the big picture, these details can be of minor importance, but while in the heat of the action they can become points of contention capable of derailing the process altogether, especially if … 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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Resolving conflict, creating value

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Significant business disputes typically involve more than one issue—including disputes that appear to be “just about the money.” Who pays and when? In what form is payment made, with what level of confidentiality, and with what effect on future disputes? In the heat of the moment, disputants too often focus on one conspicuous issue (such as … Read More 

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Capitalize on negotiator differences

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Adapted from “What Divides You May Unite You,” by James K. Sebenius (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter, July 2005. Some years ago, an English property development firm had assembled most of the land outside London that it needed to build a large regional hospital. Yet a key parcel remained, and its … Read More 

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Set your sales force up for success

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Adapted from “Managing for Better Results,” by Max H. Bazerman, first published in the Negotiation newsletter, October 2008. If you’ve ever been disappointed by the negotiation results of your sales force, you’re not alone. There could be many reasons for your employees’ unimpressive results, but there are two most likely culprits: a failure to understand what … Read More 

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Joining the barter economy

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In an economic downturn, negotiation opportunities sometimes dry up because parties think they have nothing left to give. During times like these, bartering flourishes. Whether it’s toxic assets, piano lessons, manicures, or a fleet of new cars, most cash-strapped negotiators have something of value they can trade for what they want. Bartering doesn’t need to be … Read More 

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After the deal breaks down

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Adapted from “Redoing the Deal,” by Jeswald W. Salacuse (professor, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University), first published in the Negotiation newsletter, August 2005. If you’re like many professionals in these uncertain times, you are probably spending as much time redoing old deals as you are negotiating new ones. Here are four suggestions on … 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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When Negotiators Act Like Parasites

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

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Who’s Looking Over Your Shoulder?

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Adapted from “Onlooker Alert!” First published in the Negotiation newsletter. Unless your official title is “lawyer” or “agent,” you probably don’t think of yourself as an agent. But if you’ve ever represented a family member, your boss, your department, or your organization in a negotiation, you’ve served as that party’s agent. Representing others at the bargaining table … Read More 

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The Angry Negotiator

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Adapted from “Emotional Strategy” by Margaret A. Neale (professor, Stanford University), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Most negotiations require us both to compete to claim value and to cooperate to create value. The ability to move back and forth between these two goals is a critical—and difficult—skill. How do emotions affect value creation and claiming? Researchers … Read More 

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When Does Personality Matter?

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Adapted from “When Tough Talk Is Beside the Point,” by Hal Movius (instructor, The Program on Technology Negotiation, Program on Negotiation, Harvard Law School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Most of us intuitively believe that personality traits such as toughness matter a great deal in negotiation. Yet studies by Bruce Barry and Raymond Friedman of … Read More 

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Expand the Pie with Matching Rights

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Adapted from “Create Value with Matching Rights,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. The problem: You and your counterpart have different ideas about how much freedom you should have to negotiate with others and/or how long your agreement should last. The tool: Matching rights (sometimes known as rights of first refusal) are a contractual guarantee between negotiators … Read More 

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Negotiating love birds

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The Clearinghouse at PON offers hundreds of role simulations, from two-party, single-issue negotiations to complex multi-party exercises. The Stakes of Engagement is a two-party, multi-issue, scoreable negotiation regarding a prenuptial agreement, calling for a balance of substantive and relationship concerns. Marlene Mayberry and Jacques Parker are young adults planning their marriage. After … Read More 

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Improve their satisfaction

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Adapted from “Make Them More Satisfied with Less,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. In negotiation, sometimes you just don’t have much to give. If your department’s budget has been slashed, your subordinates will have to settle for smaller raises than usual – or none at all. When consumer demand for your red-hot product levels … Read More 

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