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expanding the pie

What is Expanding the Pie in Negotiation?

In integrative negotiations, creativity can lead to expanding the pie and creating more value for both parties involved in the deal.

Coming up with innovative ideas in the middle of the collaborative process can be difficult, but it’s the key to expanding the pie in negotiation. In a typical negotiation, you hold your cards close and share as little information as needed to achieve your goal.

But expanding the pie, and creating a broader range of issues to work with, begins with us imagining a different scenario, one in which both parties reveal their interests at the onset of a negotiation.You’ll have to ask a lot of questions to get a clear picture of someone’s interests. And to model the type of response you’re seeking, you must be willing to reveal your own interests. Practitioners often assume that exposing their interests will give the other side an unfair advantage, but this is rarely true.

Finding a common interest can help in expanding the pie and giving both parties better outcomes.

In some cases, when two parties have found little or nothing to trade, they can also create value by inviting still other potentially interested parties to participate in the negotiation. While adding parties to a negotiation undoubtedly adds complexity, it can also help you enlarge the pie before turning to traditional issues.

In sum, remember that situations that appear to be zero-sum rarely are.

The key to value creation? Bringing a degree of optimism about the chances of expanding the pie to every negotiation.

Discover how to boost your power at the bargaining table in this free special report, Business Negotiation Strategies: How to Negotiate Better Business Deals, from Harvard Law School.

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The following items are tagged expanding the pie:

How to Negotiate with Friends and Family

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

“Never do business with friends,” the adage goes. But should you always stay away from an opportunity to negotiate with friends and family? A strict policy of keeping friends and family members out of our business lives would be impractical, and it could cause us to pass up potentially valuable negotiating opportunities. … Read How to Negotiate with Friends and Family 

Negotiation Tactics for Bargaining with Difficult People: The Comcast Merger

Posted by & filed under Dealing with Difficult People.

If a competitive bargaining session shifts in a counterpart’s direction, your anger could send the wrong signals to your negotiation counterpart. In this instance, strong emotions portray desperation rather than strength. Here are some bargaining and negotiation tactics for dealing with difficult situations in relationships. … Read More 

How to Make a Good Deal When You Lack Power

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

Imagine yourself in the following negotiation scenarios and attempting to make a good deal:

You’re a chef who is having trouble finding cooks in an oversaturated restaurant market. You’re so desperate to get fully staffed that you find yourself making significant concessions on salary, scheduling, and other issues during interviews with potential hires. You are trying to … Read How to Make a Good Deal When You Lack Power 

Bargaining at a Fever Pitch

Posted by & filed under Leadership Skills.

Have you ever won an auction only to realize later that you overbid for the prize? In competitive bidding situations, it’s easy to get carried away in the heat of the moment and overpay. The Boston Red Sox 2006 procurement of Japanese pitching phenomenon Daisuke “Dice-K” Matsuzaka offers a lesson in keeping cool in these … Read Bargaining at a Fever Pitch 

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 

Hong Kong Lawyer Benny Tai Inspired by Harvard Negotiation Project Authors

Posted by & filed under Teaching Negotiation.

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 

The Paradox of Positions

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

It’s not difficult for negotiators haggling over seemingly finite resources to become entrenched in their positions. Sometimes the only way to get unstuck is to think appreciatively and creatively about the other side. Rather than trying to determine why a person has taken a particular position, consider what she wants, appreciate it, and try to … Read The Paradox of Positions 

The Story of Goldman Sachs: Negotiating a Vision

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

In 1986, the investment bank Goldman Sachs was a $38 billion business owned by more than 100 active and retired partners. While the partnership structure had insulated the company from the vicissitudes of the stock market and given the company a strong culture of teamwork, it had some significant disadvantages, particularly an unstable capital base and … Read The Story of Goldman Sachs: Negotiating a Vision 

When More is Less

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

It’s an article of faith in negotiation that expanding the pie of value enhances the parties’ welfare. When there’s only one issue on the bargaining table, the size of the pie is fixed. If one party gets more, the other party gets less. But when multiple issues exist, negotiators can expand the size of the … Read When More is Less 

Make more out of less

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “When More Is Less,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. It’s an article of faith in negotiation that expanding the pie of value enhances parties’ welfare. When there’s only one issue on the bargaining table, the size of the pie is fixed. If one party gets more, the other party must get less. But … Read Make more out of less