Discover step-by-step techniques for avoiding common business negotiation pitfalls when you download a copy of the FREE special report, Business Negotiation Strategies: How to Negotiate Better Business Deals, from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.


dealmaking

What is Dealmaking in Negotiation?

Creative dealmaking can help you build a foundation of trust and cooperation—and avoid conflict and chaos—in negotiations.

While speedy dealmaking may seem efficient, remember that any time saved during contract negotiation may be more than offset by the time you’ll spend renegotiating the deal. Alternatively, when negotiators engage in thoughtful deal design, they position themselves to capitalize on the upsides of negotiations and minimize the potential costs.

Remember, too, that in negotiation, we generally view important dealmaking skills as those that play well at the table: the ability to persuade the other party, to drive a hard bargain on price, to build relationships that last. Yet we often overlook the fact that negotiation often requires real grunt work before the dealmaking begins: specifically, a willingness to take the time to build a strong argument and thoroughly analyze the issues and problems at stake.

Here are five dealmaking tips for successful negotiation outcomes:

  1. Imagine the range of possible future scenarios. Prevent future disappointment by limiting the time frame of agreements.
  2. Be ready with enticements. Although business negotiators typically benefit from a more methodical pace, there may be times when you might choose to set the stage for a quick yes from your counterpart.
  3. Listen to learn. Don’t overlook the value of using a “soft” approach to build rapport and uncovered key interests.
  4. Look for linkages. When engaged in multiple negotiations, we tend to concentrate on those that are most financially lucrative and pay less attention to those that don’t seem as critical.
  5. Find opportunities to do good. In negotiation, when we seize on opportunities to help those less fortunate, we enrich them and the deal.

Remember that collaborative dealmaking can improve your odds of finding common ground and closing the deal as compared with simply exchanging a series of proposals.

Discover how to boost your power at the bargaining table in this free special report, Dealmaking: Secrets of Successful Dealmaking in Business Negotiations, from Harvard Law School.

 

The following items are tagged dealmaking:

Getting the Deal Done

Posted by & filed under Free Report.

Negotiation is one of the most complex yet important skills to learn. Even individuals who are “born negotiators” need to practice and acquire new strategies to get some deals done. In Getting the Deal Done, you’ll discover bargaining strategies that have been used by many of the world’s most successful leaders. … Read Getting the Deal Done

Secrets of Successful Dealmaking

Posted by & filed under Harvard Negotiation Institute, Harvard Negotiation Institute (Five-Day Programs).

Course Dates: This course is closed 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 … Read Secrets of Successful Dealmaking

Dealing with Difficult People: Coping with an Insulting Offer in Contract Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Dealing with Difficult People.

The following “Ask the Negotiation Coach” question was posed to Dwight Golann, Suffolk University Law School professor and negotiation expert: “I deal with legal disputes and would like to find reasonable solutions without wasting years in court. But my opponents seem to feel compelled to make extreme—actually, insulting—opening offers. How should I respond to these … Read More

The Importance of a Relationship in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Training.

At the negotiation table, what’s the best way to uncover your negotiation counterpart’s hidden interests? Build a relationship in negotiation by asking questions, then listening carefully. Even if you have decided to make the first offer and are ready with a number of alternatives, you should always open by asking and listening to assess your … Read The Importance of a Relationship in Negotiation

A Top International Negotiation Case Study in Business: The Microsoft-Nokia Deal

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

Let’s look at the international negotiation case study of Microsoft’s decision to purchase Finnish mobile phone company Nokia’s mobile device business for $9.5 billion. The deal, which closed in 2014, quickly proved disastrous: Microsoft wrote off nearly all of the deal’s value and laid off thousands of workers in July 2015. Although there were many … Read More

Contract Negotiations and Business Communication: How to Write an Iron-Clad Contract

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

In contract negotiations, writing a contract that both encapsulates the negotiated agreement but also incorporates future elements such as the business relationship and the sustainability of the agreement can be a daunting task for even the most experienced negotiators. Executives often leave the legal issues surrounding their deals to their attorneys. While this division of … Read More

Dealmaking Secrets from Henry Kissinger

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

More than 1,600 international relations experts from across the political spectrum overwhelmingly rate Henry Kissinger, who served under former presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, the most effective secretary of state of the last half-century. In their book, Kissinger the Negotiator: Lessons from Dealmaking at the Highest Level (Harper, 2018), James K. Sebenius, R. Nicholas … Read Dealmaking Secrets from Henry Kissinger

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

Posted by & filed under Crisis Negotiations.

It’s a classic famous negotiations 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 long months, … Read More

Negotiation Examples in Real Life: Buying a Home

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

While many of our articles discuss negotiation theory and the latest research, sometimes it helps to discuss negotiation examples in real life when offering negotiation tips and advice. The following negotiation example is based on bargaining in real estate, a negotiation scenario many of us may face in our lifetime. … Read Negotiation Examples in Real Life: Buying a Home

How to Negotiate a Business Deal

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

In late 2016 and early 2017, news stories abounded of companies that were having second thoughts about planned mega-mergers. Abbott Laboratories began looking for ways to exit its acquisition of Alere, citing investigations of the medical test maker, for example. And Verizon started rethinking its acquisition of Yahoo! following a data breach at the tech … Read How to Negotiate a Business Deal

Principled Negotiation: Focus on Interests to Create Value

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Inexperienced negotiators and even many experienced negotiators tend to assume they have a choice between two main strategies: negotiate in a tough, demanding manner or in a friendly, accommodating manner. In fact, there’s a better, third way of negotiating—one that doesn’t rely on toughness or accommodation, but that will improve your likelihood of meeting your … Read More

Negotiation Advice: When to Make the First Offer in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

When or when not to make the first offer in negotiations is a question many expert negotiators ask themselves when approaching business negotiations, real estate transactions, or even interpersonal negotiations with friends and family. In this article drawn from negotiation research, we offer negotiating skills and negotiation tips for when, and when not, to make … Read More

Top Ten Posts About Conflict Resolution

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

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 Top Ten Posts About Conflict Resolution

BATNA and Other Sources of Power at the Negotiation Table

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

BATNA negotiations involve a negotiators knowledge of her best alternatives to a negotiated agreement and are one of three sources of negotiating power at the bargaining table, according to negotiation researcher Adam D. Galinsky and New York University’s Joe C. Magee. … Read More

Cross Cultural Communication: Translation and Negotiation

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

In previous international negotiation articles from cross cultural negotiation case studies, we have focused on how international negotiators can avoid cognitive biases and overcome cultural barriers. But how do negotiators dealing with counterparts that speak another language modify their negotiation techniques to accommodate for the lack of a common language? … Read More

How to Use Tradeoffs to Create Value in Your Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Win-Win Negotiations.

How do expectations of fairness and reciprocity at the bargaining table impact negotiator decisions regarding the strategies and tactics they use during bargaining? Sometimes talks get off on the wrong foot. Maybe you and your partner had a different understanding of your meeting time, or one of you makes a statement that the other misinterprets. … Read More

Managing Difficult Negotiators

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

In negotiation, we are often confronted with the task of dealing with difficult people—those who seem to prefer to set up roadblocks rather than break down walls, or who choose to take hardline stances rather than seeking common ground. If you’re skilled in BATNA negotiations, you’ll have an easier time dealing with such people. … Read Managing Difficult Negotiators

Beware the Winner’s Curse in Auctions

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

In 2017, Amazon announced it was taking bids from cities interested in being the site of its second headquarters, known as HQ2. The online behemoth said it would be investing $5 billion in a campus and creating 50,000 well-paying jobs. Cities and regions across North America snapped to attention, and Amazon received 238 proposals. … Read Beware the Winner’s Curse in Auctions

How To Avoid a Business Contract Bidding War

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Back in 2014, Nike was the undisputed king of superstar endorsements, dominating the field by paying top talent millions for the right to sell lines of collectible shoes in their names. But sportswear and footwear supplier Under Armour made a bold play to change the landscape. Basketball star Kevin Durant, then of the Oklahoma City … Read How To Avoid a Business Contract Bidding War

How to Control Your Emotions in Conflict Resolution

Posted by & filed under 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

How to Resolve Cultural Conflict: Overcoming Cultural Barriers at the Negotiation Table

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

After recently losing an important deal in India, a business negotiator learned that her counterpart felt as if she had been rushing through the talks. The business negotiator thought she was being efficient with their time. In this useful cross-cultural conflict negotiation example, how should this negotiator improve her negotiation skills? … Read More

Negotiation Mistakes: Apple TV’s Botched Expansion Deals

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Apple isn’t used to making negotiation mistakes. The company has often found success by charging headfirst into unfamiliar industries, from book publishing to music to mobile phones, and disrupting its long-standing business models. In the early 2000s, for example, the company’s cofounder, Steve Jobs, pressured music labels to switch from selling $15 CDs to selling … Read More

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

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

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

Dispute Resolution for India and Bangladesh

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

Sometimes in international negotiation, disputes are left to fester for years, even decades, until parties decide there is something to be gained from reaching agreement. In an example of a cross cultural negotiation case study, the nations of Bangladesh and India seized on an opportunity to push the “restart” button on their bumpy relationship by … Read Dispute Resolution for India and Bangladesh

Negotiation in Business Without a BATNA – Is It Possible?

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

In a negotiation scenario, you always have a best alternative to a negotiated agreement. Negotiation research and negotiation strategy helps negotiators find their BATNA, leverage it at the bargaining table, and illustrates the impact that knowing your BATNA has on a negotiation. … Read More

Dear Negotiation Coach: Negotiating a Win Win Relationship with Friends

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Though we’re often advised against mixing friends and business, it’s not only inevitable at times; it can also be beneficial to everyone involved. The key is to negotiate in a way that ensures a win win relationship between parties, and in bigger business deals, that may include seeking outside help. We connected with Guhan Subramanian, Joseph … Read More

Job Negotiation Advice from Leading Ladies

Posted by & filed under Salary Negotiations.

Thanks to a series of cultural events and news stories, job negotiation advice has become a hot topic among women professionals and businesspeople more generally. First came Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead (Knopf, 2013) and corresponding movement, which encouraged women to take on leadership roles and … Read Job Negotiation Advice from Leading Ladies

Business Negotiation Skills: How to Deal with a Failing Business Partnership

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

It had seemed like the beginning of a fruitful relationship. In April 2012, six wealthy businessmen teamed up to buy the Philadelphia Inquirer and several affiliated businesses for $61.1 million, promising to work together to reverse the newspaper’s flagging fortunes. Their infusions of cash and appointment of a Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter, William K. Marimow, as … Read More

Are Introverts at a Disadvantage in Negotiation?

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Are extroverts by nature better negotiators than introverts? Or are they at a disadvantage in negotiation? As we’ll see, the answer is far from decided. However, we all have clear opportunities to build on our own strengths and learn from those of others. Introversion is a personality trait marked by a desire to think through ideas … Read Are Introverts at a Disadvantage in Negotiation?

When Business Negotiation Tactics Fail

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

When business negotiation tactics fail to consider outside interests, especially in the case of international mergers, deals can fall apart quickly. Automakers Renault and Fiat Chrysler discovered this when they ignored other stakeholders in an ill-fated attempt at a deal. The idea of a merger was sparked because of tightening global competition and demand for new … Read When Business Negotiation Tactics Fail

Dear Negotiation Coach: Deal Structuring and Negotiating with “Bad Acts”

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Deal structuring and negotiating can feel challenging in the best of situations. But when you’re dealing with “bad acts,” there are additional factors to consider when you structure your negotiation strategy. This is what one reader asked about when facing a deal to buy out a company. Here’s their question: Q: I work for an international … Read More

Dear Negotiation Coach: Can External Advisers Hinder a Problem Solving Approach?

Posted by & filed under Mediation.

There are numerous advantages to hearing from external advisers and experts in a high-stakes negotiation. However, when talks are at an impasse, limiting the negotiation to a small number of participants may be a more beneficial problem solving approach than including outside opinions. This was at the heart of a recent question answered by Guhan Subramanian, … Read More

In Crisis Negotiations, Stay Rational Under Pressure

Posted by & filed under Crisis Negotiations.

At the time, it seemed to be an example of coolheaded dealmaking in the midst of disaster. In 2009, hit hard by the 2008 financial crisis and changes in consumer preferences, U.S. automaker Chrysler was on the brink of collapse. The U.S. Treasury Department stepped in to run a crisis negotiation. In exchange for about … Read More

For Hollywood Writers, a Heavily Negotiated Business Contract

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

In its negotiations for a new business contract with entertainment companies back in 2017, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) delivered at the bargaining table what many film and TV viewers crave onscreen: plenty of suspense and a hard-won, if imperfect, victory. The WGA, which represents more than 12,000 film and TV writers, negotiated for seven … Read More

Trump’s Negotiating Style as President-Elect

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Donald J. Trump entered the Oval Office with considerable dealmaking experience in the business world. But his blank slate as an elected official combined with his fluctuating positions on key issues such as immigration and tax policy throughout the presidential race left many wondering what his negotiating style would be. In the months between being elected U.S. president … Read Trump’s Negotiating Style as President-Elect

Dear Negotiation Coach: How Do I Handle Reverse Auctions in a Business Contract Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Reverse auctions are becoming a more frequent reality of business contract negotiations as companies work to cut expenses. In most negotiations, however, price is not the only issue. Guhan Subramanian, Joseph Flom Professor of Law & Business at Harvard Law School and Douglas Weaver Professor of Business Law at Harvard Business School, answered a question … Read More

Dear Negotiation Coach: How Can I Use Deal Structuring and Negotiating to Resolve an Impasse?

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

When two sides seem far apart on a contract dispute, careful and creative deal structuring and negotiating can often result in a winning agreement for both sides. Here’s an example of how that might look in a business deal, based on a question we recently received. “My company, a large multinational, contracts with an outside vendor … Read More

Dear Negotiation Coach: Are There Benefits To the Absence of Truth in Negotiations?

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

We hear a lot about the benefits of telling the truth in negotiations. But some negotiators find themselves struggling with the question of how trusting to be. Is there a benefit to mistrust in negotiation? Should you always assume your counterpart is telling the truth? In negotiation, our outcomes depend in large part on our ability … Read More

Dear Negotiation Coach: To Get Unstuck, Hire a Mediator

Posted by & filed under Mediation.

Most business people understand the value of using mediation to resolve conflicts, but did you know that professional mediators can help you reach an agreement during the dealmaking phase? Stephen Goldberg, professor emeritus at Northwestern School of Law, describes how you can hire a mediator to aid both parties in creating value at the negotiating … Read More

M&A Negotiation Tactics: In Discovery-WarnerMedia Deal, AT&T Tries, Tries Again

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

It was a dramatic about-face. In mid-2018, AT&T finalized its $85 billion purchase of Time Warner after successfully fighting off U.S. government antitrust lawsuits. Just less than three years later, in May 2021, AT&T announced it was spinning off Time Warner, now known as WarnerMedia, after merger-and-acquisition (M&A) negotiations with media company Discovery. If approved … Read More

Bipartisan Agreement Proved Elusive in 2017 Immigration Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

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

Negotiation in the News: Last Negotiating Moves From A Never-Boring President

Posted by & filed under Crisis Negotiations.

Whether they love him or hate him, one thing negotiation analysts and practitioners should be able to agree on is that outgoing U.S. president Donald Trump has provided fascinating negotiations to examine and learn from over the past four years. His dealmaking both at home and abroad has been marked by impulsive, sometimes head- scratching decisions; … Read More

What to expect from Joe Biden, Negotiator-in-Chief

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

During a Philadelphia town hall a few weeks before the 2020 presidential election, Democratic candidate Joe Biden said that the first thing he’d do if elected president would be to call congressional Republicans and say, “‘Let’s get together. We’ve got to figure out how we’re going to move forward here.’ Because there are so many … Read More

Diplomacy Examples in the Covid-19 Era

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

In 2020, grounded by the Covid-19 pandemic, international diplomats accustomed to traveling from capital to capital found themselves stuck in a never-ending stream of videoconferences. To take a number of diplomacy examples, the G7, the G20, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank all met online, reduced to tiny faces on a screen. The … Read Diplomacy Examples in the Covid-19 Era

Learning from Crisis Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

When businesses and industries are hit by an unforeseen disaster, they often need to quickly launch crisis negotiations and wrap them up as soon as possible. But time pressure can stifle essential elements of sound dealmaking, including rational thinking, perspective taking, and collaboration, while also promoting dysfunctional competition. Recent negotiations within industries facing crisis offer … Read Learning from Crisis Negotiations

MESO Negotiation Strategies and Negotiation Techniques

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

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

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

Win Win Negotiation: Different Cultures, Shared Meals

Posted by & filed under Win-Win Negotiations.

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

Negotiating From a Social Distance

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

As the COVID-19 virus began to spread through the United States, Xerox CEO John Visentin announced on March 13 that the company was putting its hostile takeover of HP on hold in order to “prioritize the health and safety of its employees, customers, partners and affiliates over and above all other considerations.” With health experts worldwide advising citizens … Read Negotiating From a Social Distance

Online Negotiation in a Time of Social Distance

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Negotiation thrives on physical presence. Handshakes, eye contact, shared meals, and long meetings in stuffy conference rooms are everyday tools of the trade, and with good reason: Negotiators who meet in person reach better deals than those who negotiate online, research shows. Face-to-face meetings offer invaluable nonverbal and verbal cues, such as eye contact, body … Read Online Negotiation in a Time of Social Distance

Notable Negotiation Books for 2020

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

If one of your new year’s resolutions is to strengthen your skills needed for negotiation, the following recent negotiation books—and one journal special issue—will help you do just that with their host of perspectives and strategies. These negotiation books will also entertain and educate you along the way with insights on topics such as political … Read Notable Negotiation Books for 2020

Negotiating for a brighter future

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

For decades, the Colorado River has been in trouble. The river supplies water to 40 million people and five million acres of farmland in seven U.S. states and Mexico. But following 19 years of drought and population growth, the water levels of the river’s largest reservoirs, Lake Mead and Lake Powell, have sunk to record lows. … Read Negotiating for a brighter future

Conflict and Negotiation Case Study: Long-Term Business Partnerships and Negotiated Agreements

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

To protect the future interests of their organization, negotiators sometimes must accept fewer benefits or absorb greater burdens in the short run to maximize the value to all relevant parties – including future employees and shareholders – over time. Suppose that the operations VPs of two subsidiaries of an energy company are preparing to negotiate the … Read More

Hostage Negotiation Techniques for Business Negotiators

Posted by & filed under Crisis Negotiations.

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

Business Negotiation Solutions: To Eat or Not to Eat?

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

We’ve all shared a meal with a negotiating counterpart at one point or another, whether a business lunch, a working dinner, or sandwiches in a conference room. What are the advantages and potential pitfalls of combining food and drink with negotiation? Here, we offer business negotiation solutions for those who are trying to decide whether … Read More

Building Trust in Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

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

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

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

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

Negotiation in the news: “Victim” of Banksy’s prank laughs all the way to the bank

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

They say negotiation is an art, and that certainly was the case on October 5, 2018, when the mysterious artist known as Banksy turned a Sotheby’s auction into a clever—and very expensive—piece of performance art. Drawing a crowd An anonymous and highly celebrated street artist, British-based Banksy is known for his subversive graffiti and cheeky pranks, such as … Read More

Kissinger the Negotiator: New Book on Dealmaking and Diplomacy

Posted by & filed under Teaching Negotiation.

Lessons from Dealmaking at the Highest Level In this groundbreaking, definitive guide to the art of negotiation, PON faculty James Sebenius (Harvard Business School) and Robert Mnookin (Harvard Law School), along with R. Nicholas Burns of the Harvard Kennedy School, offer a comprehensive examination of one of the most successful dealmakers of all time: Henry Kissinger. Politicians, … Read More

Negotiation in the News: How Congress got to “yes” on new banking rules

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

It’s hardly news that in the U.S. Congress, bipartisan dealmaking has been virtually nonexistent for years. That’s why it was newsworthy when Democrats and Republicans came together to negotiate changes to the Dodd-Frank law, which tightened regulations on banks and other firms following the 2008 financial crisis. Accounting for the opposition After President Donald Trump took office, … Read More

How to Write a Contract that Lasts

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Joint ventures, strategic alliances, purchasing agreements, and other types of partnerships between organizations often begin with a great deal of promise—and a hefty amount of risk. Serious misunderstandings and opportunistic behavior are relatively common in such relationships. Formal contracts offer a method for reducing such risk, but negotiators and their attorneys are often unsure about … Read How to Write a Contract that Lasts

Deal Design: Strategies for Complex Dealmaking

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

As experienced negotiators well know, the more parties involved in a negotiation, the more difficult it often is to come to agreement, due in part to the logistical challenge of making sure each voice is heard. Yet multiparty negotiation offers considerable benefits. Most notably more opportunities for making tradeoffs and creating value in negotiation than … Read Deal Design: Strategies for Complex Dealmaking

Deal Design Guidelines: Set Yourself Up for a Better Deal

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Without realizing it, we leave many of our most important decisions in negotiation up to chance. When talking to a potential negotiating partner, we may assume that we have met the best person possible to do this particular deal. We make tacit assumptions about whether we’ll negotiate in person, what we’ll discuss, how long the … Read More

Negotiation in the News: Before building a coalition, consider the consequences

Posted by & filed under Leadership Skills.

This past July, the News Media Alliance (NMA), a trade association of approximately 2,000 U.S. and Canadian news organizations, announced that it was planning to ask Congress for a limited antitrust exemption to allow its members to negotiate collectively with Google and Facebook regarding digital advertising. With consumers increasingly accessing their news through web platforms, … Read More

MESO Negotiation: Learn from a Seller’s Market

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

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

Exercising Your BATNA: When American Apparel Ousted Dov Charney

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

On June 18, 2015 the board of retailer American Apparel informed the company’s controversial founder, Dov Charney, that it was ousting him from his roles as chairman and CEO. For years, Charney had fended off sexual-harrassment lawsuits and rumors of inappropriate behavior. But only when the company’s creditors grew anxious about its long-term liability did … Read More

Dealmaking: Don’t Wait for Them to Blink

Posted by & filed under 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 Dealmaking: Don’t Wait for Them to Blink

Dealmaking: Dealing with the Other Side’s Constituents

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

During a meeting with a potential customer, a new salesperson leaves the room several times to make phone calls. Each time when she returns, she tells the customer she can’t accept the terms they just negotiated. Exasperated by her apparent lack of authority, the customer ends the meeting abruptly. … Read More

BATNA: Negotiation Preparation to Help Avoid Giving Up at the Bargaining Table

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

When you expect an opponent to be competitive, your confidence in the outcomes you can achieve in negotiation is likely to plummet. In negotiation research with Adam Galinsky of Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, negotiators were provided with some background about their counterpart including information on how competitive their counterpart has been in previous negotiations. … Read More

Win-Win Business Negotiations: The Wachovia Buyout

Posted by & filed under Win-Win Negotiations.

Changing financial and legal conditions can create and destroy wealth in the blink of an eye. How does a negotiator take advantage of such periods of change? During the financial crisis of 2008, Wachovia Corporation found itself looking for a buyer to avoid collapse while the financial industry as a whole was the grips of … Read More

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

Creating and Claiming Value Through Haggling – Assess The Other Party’s BATNA in Dealmaking Negotiations

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

Now it’s time to assess the best deal you might get. Figuring out the other party’s reservation price is the key to knowing how far you will be able to push him, write Deepak Malhotra and Max H. Bazerman in their book Negotiation Genius: How to Overcome Obstacles and Achieve Brilliant Results at the Bargaining … Read More

Are You in It to Win It?

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

For the New York Mets, a deal with outfielder Yoenis Céspedes is all in the timing Just because a deal isn’t working out in the present doesn’t mean it never will. That’s the key takeaway from a recent contract agreement reached between the New York Mets and star outfielder Yoenis Céspedes this past January. A temporary impasse Céspedes, … Read Are You in It to Win It?

A Bidding War at Sundance

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Filmmaker Nate Parker sticks to his dreams in a heated “negotiauction.” Most sellers dream about driving up the price of a commodity in a bidding war. But how can you stay true to your nonfinancial goals in an auction fixated on price? Nate Parker, the filmmaker, star, and producer behind the film The Birth of a … Read A Bidding War at Sundance

For Kesha, Support of Peers Could Bring Settlement Leverage

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

Business negotiators are typically advised to keep their dealmaking and dispute resolution efforts private. Complaining about an adversary’s negotiation and conflict resolution strategies to the press or on social media can escalate disputes and increase the likelihood of impasse. Yet when a negotiation becomes so contentious that it requires formal dispute resolution, such as a lawsuit, … Read More

Overcoming Cultural Barriers in Negotiations: The Importance of Culture and Etiquette in Bargaining Scenarios

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

Learn how and when to engage in appropriate cultural traditions when negotiating with counterparts from a different culture. In this article we offer negotiation tips for overcoming cultural barriers in negotiation and present additional articles drawn from negotiation research that may be of benefit to negotiators who need to improve their international negotiation skills. … Read More

In The Simpsons Dealmaking, Harry Shearer Goes Public

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

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

Trying to Come to Terms with an Adversary?

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

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

Working on multiple deals? Look for ways to connect the dots

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

In negotiation, lightbulb moments—the kind that seem to magically dissolve disputes and create stellar contracts—can be few and far between. We might be lucky to have one such flash of insight over the course of a complicated dealmaking process. Recently, Major League Baseball’s (MLB’s) New York Yankees were fortunate to experience a breakthrough that neatly … Read More

PON Faculty Members Jeswald Salacuse, Deborah Kolb, and William Ury Honored on Time’s List of the Five Best Negotiation Books of 2015

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Program on Negotiation faculty members Jeswald Salacuse, Deborah Kolb, and William Ury were named by Time magazine as the authors of three of the five best negotiation books of 2015. Jeswald Salacuse’s latest work, The Global Negotiator: Making, Managing and Mending Deals Around the World in the Twenty-First Century, describes the negotiation skills people need to succeed … Read More

Deal Negotiation and Dealmaking: What to Do On Your Own

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Six negotiation skills tips for negotiators seeking to creative value during their next round at the bargaining table. Business negotiators are often faced with the complex task of coordinating multiple parties – here are some tips for the individual business negotiator on how to achieve success in her next deal negotiation. … Read More

In Dealmaking, Look for the Needle in the Haystack

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

When you’re desperate to make a good deal, breakthroughs can come at unexpected times and places. Consider what happened when Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Elias was looking through a sheaf of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. documents while taking care of his newborn son in 2012. At the time, directed by President Barack Obama, the … Read More

Conflict Resolution: Just what the doctor ordered? Bringing Judges Into Medical-Malpractice Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Medical-malpractice litigation can be a lengthy, expensive, and contentious process. Lawyers on both sides might spend months or years conducting discovery and deposing witnesses. As for settlement negotiations, they tend to occur late in the process and are often treated as a perfunctory step before a trial. … Read More

Dealmaking: Beyond Collusion – How to Include Outsiders in Your Deal in Business Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

The issue of bidder collusion raises a larger question for negotiators: What ethical responsibility do we have to those who aren’t seated at the table with us? Harvard Business School professor Max H. Bazerman uses the term “parasitic value creation” to describe the common tendency of negotiators to focus so narrowly on identifying benefits for those … Read More

Women and Negotiation: Why Women Sometimes Ask for Less

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

The average college­-educated woman earns $713,000 less over the course of her working life than her male counterpart, according to the Coalition of Labor Union Women. What explains this persistent gender gap? Women employees’ awareness that they could be penalized for negotiating assertively on their own behalf is one factor, according to new research from … Read More

In the NFL, Roger Goodell’s Dealmaking for Mutual Gains

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Because an agent’s incentives are rarely, if ever, perfectly aligned with those of her principal (principal-agent theory), many business negotiators have been burned by agents who put their own interests first. Agents in many fields, for example, have a motivation to close deals quickly – rather than for the best price – and earn quick … Read More

For Bank of America, Dealmaking to Turn the Page

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Negotiation often marks a new beginning: of a partnership, a project, or employment relationship. At other times, the goal of dealmaking is as much about reaching an ending as it is about moving forward. That’s the attitude with which Bank of America wrapped up its settlement negotiations with the Department of Justice (DOJ) last month. For … Read For Bank of America, Dealmaking to Turn the Page

Cooperation in Congress? Liberals and Libertarians Polish Their Negotiation Skills

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

On June 19, Republican Representative Thomas Massie of Kentucky, a libertarian, teamed up with two liberal Democrats, Zoe Lofgren of California and Rush D. Holt of New Jersey, to push through an amendment that places new prohibitions on the National Security Agency and the CIA’s surveillance operations, including barring the agencies from engaging in warrantless … Read More

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

In Career Dealmaking, Strike the Right Balance

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Two stories emerged in the news this month that illustrate polar opposite attitudes toward negotiating salary and benefits in the workplace. First, a New York Times profile revealed that Ira Glass, the creator and host of the popular radio show “This American Life,” is highly uncomfortable earning a high salary. In recent years, Glass earned … Read In Career Dealmaking, Strike the Right Balance

At the Met, Conflict Management in a Minor Key

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

This spring, the Metropolitan Opera opened labor talks with the 16 unions representing its workers, whose contracts all expire at the end of July, the New York Times reports. Labor and management agree on one fundamental point—that the opera is struggling financially amid falling ticket sales, a depleted endowment, and growing expenses. Perhaps not surprisingly, … Read At the Met, Conflict Management in a Minor Key

Pull Ahead of the Pack with a “Negotiauction”

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Robert Barnett, a corporate attorney based in Washington, D.C., moonlights as a book agent for celebrity politicians—including Barack Obama, Laura Bush, and Bill and Hillary Clinton. New York editors line up to sign Barnett’s clients and, they hope, rake in blockbuster profits. Barnett’s technique is to introduce his latest superstar to the major publishing houses and … Read Pull Ahead of the Pack with a “Negotiauction”

Business Negotiations: Imposing Procedural Constraints

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Sometimes the courts will be unwilling to get involved in the substantive terms of the deal but will impose procedural constraints on the more powerful party. Consider the case of a controlling shareholder in a publicly traded company – someone who holds more than 51% – who wants to “cash out” the minority shareholders. Under the corporate … Read More

Bringing Congress back to the negotiating table

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

“I’ve always had a Republican partner, every time,” says former Democratic senator Chris Dodd, speaking of his legislative victories during his 30 years of service. Members of Congress do not always need bipartisan support to push through their legislative agendas, yet some of the most significant initiatives passed by the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives … Read Bringing Congress back to the negotiating table

In College Athletics, Dealmaking Could Be a Win-Win

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

A recent ruling by a regional branch of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) raises the question of whether college football and basketball players will engage in the kind of collective dealmaking with university administrations that is found in business and government. In March, the NLRB in Chicago sided in favor of a group called the … Read More

Dealmaking: Why It’s Tempting to Trust Your Gut

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

In his best-selling novel Blink, Malcolm Gladwell scans the psychological literature and uncovers fascinating nuggets of knowledge. He describes people who can assess the integrity of a work of art within seconds, predict the likelihood that a couple will get divorced based on a short conversation, and assess their romantic interest in another on a “speed … Read Dealmaking: Why It’s Tempting to Trust Your Gut

Ambassador Tommy Koh of Singapore Named the Great Negotiator by the Program on Negotiation and the Future of Diplomacy Project

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

The Program on Negotiation, an inter-university consortium of Harvard, MIT, and Tufts, and Harvard’s Future of Diplomacy Project have named Ambassador Tommy Koh of Singapore the recipient of the 2014 Great Negotiator Award. In public events at Harvard planned for the afternoon of Thursday, April 10, 2014 (details to be announced), participants will honor Koh’s … Read More

From negotiation to auction: The rise of real-time bidding

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Because of a technological innovation called real-time bidding, or RTB, more and more online-advertising transactions are being completed through auctions rather than negotiations. The transformation could foreshadow similar changes in other realms, as negotiations gain the potential to become more automated. How RTB works In the dark ages of the Internet, websites would negotiate individually with potential … Read More

Launch successful business partnerships

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

On November 20, 2012, just a year after its $11.1 billion purchase of British data company Autonomy, high-tech giant Hewlett-Packard (HP) announced that it was taking an $8.8 billion write-down and a huge quarterly loss in connection with the deal. According to HP CEO Meg Whitman, a lengthy investigation by HP had determined that Autonomy … Read Launch successful business partnerships

Sellers: Stay out of legal hot water

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

When it comes to business negotiations, you probably understand the importance of being as principled as possible to protect your reputation and ward off legal trouble. You probably expect your counterparts to follow the straight and narrow as well. Yet negotiators often have only a fuzzy grasp of which claims and strategies are legal and … Read Sellers: Stay out of legal hot water

Are you asking enough questions?

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

At the time of the final presidential debate between President Jimmy Carter and challenger Ronald Reagan during the 1980 election campaign, the U.S. economy was tanking and the Iranian hostage crisis smoldering. Ronald Reagan used his concluding statement of the debate to address a string of questions to the nation that highlighted Carter’s vulnerabilities: “Are … Read Are you asking enough questions?

Joining the barter economy

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

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 Joining the barter economy

Bringing Mediators to the Bargaining Table

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution, Daily.

Adapted from “Mediation in Transactional Negotiation,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, July 2004. We generally think of mediation as a dispute-resolution device. Federal mediators intervene when collective bargaining bogs down. Diplomats are sometimes called in to mediate conflicts between nations. So-called multidoor courthouses encourage litigants to mediate before incurring the costs—and risks—of going to trial. Scott … Read Bringing Mediators to the Bargaining Table

Prof. Guhan Subramanian featured in Forbes India

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Professor Guhan Subramanian was featured in Forbes India in April 2010. Professor Subramanian discusses his latest book Negotiauctions: New Dealmaking Strategies for a Competitive Marketplace, which was published in February 2010. Click here to read the full article. Professor Subramanian will be teaching Advanced Negotiation: Deal Design and Implementation at the Harvard Negotiation Institute June 14-18. For … Read Prof. Guhan Subramanian featured in Forbes India

How to Avoid a Do-Over

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Remember that big sales contract you negotiated last fall, the one that got you a fat year-end bonus? Well, your manufacturing department has just told you that delivery will be two months late. So now it’s your job to persuade your customer to accept a new date without canceling the deal. And that’s not all. … Read How to Avoid a Do-Over

Professor Guhan Subramanian featured in TheDeal.com

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily, Resources, Reviews of Books.

Guhan Subramanian is one of the most prominent — and ambitious — legal academics of his generation. The 39-year-old is the only person who’s ever held tenured positions at Harvard’s law and business schools, and on the side he advises companies on M&A and corporate governance. After authoring numerous academic papers and a corporate law … Read More

Program on Negotiation saddened by the loss of 2007 Great Negotiator, Bruce Wasserstein

Posted by & filed under Daily, Great Negotiator Award, News.

The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School was saddened to learn of the death of Bruce Wasserstein, PON’s 2007 Great Negotiator. The Great Negotiator Award is  given to recognize an individual whose lifetime achievements in the field of negotiation and dispute resolution have had a significant and lasting impact. Wasserstein, Chairman and CEO of  … Read More