Executives rarely view themselves as diplomats engaged in international diplomacy but business negotiators often find the two fields share negotiation skills and negotiation techniques. Rightly or wrongly, diplomacy evokes images of frivolity – days spent wandering exotic capitals, nights spent cruising embassy cocktail parties.
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?
Renegotiation is generally triggered for one of two reasons: an imperfect contract or changed circumstances. The goal of any written contract is to express the parties’ full understanding of their deal.
When a dispute flares up and conflict resolution is required, 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.
Master Class on International Investor-State Arbitration: What is it? How Does it Work?
This two-hour video course is intended to teach students, legal practitioners, business executives, and government officials the essentials of international investor-state arbitration, an area of increasing concern for legal practice, business strategy, and government policy.
In the video Master Class on International Investor-State Arbitration: … Read
Here are some concrete guidelines for fostering a strong relationship between deal making partners, drawn from The Global Negotiator: Making, Managing, and Mending Deals Around the World in the 21st Century, by Tufts University professor Jeswald W. Salacuse:
Organizations have long recognized the value of hiring professional mediators to help resolve disputes. More and more, managers have begun to also see value in securing mediation training for themselves and their employees. Although there are times when the services of an unbiased, professional mediator are needed, there may also be instances in which employees … Read
Communication in negotiation is the means by which negotiators can achieve objectives, build relationships, and resolve disputes. Most negotiators know that it is the most important tool you can have for successful negotiations.
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
When thinking about how to negotiate with your boss, you likely focus on negotiations over your salary, responsibilities, and workload. But negotiating with your boss can also set you up for success in negotiations outside your organization.
Many of us have been frustrated by a superior’s involvement in a negotiation, whether because they micromanaged talks, contradicted … Read
Running a multinational corporation, starting a small business, or leading a diplomatic mission all require critical leadership skills. Being an effective leader necessitates negotiating both within your organization and with external partners. In Real Leaders Negotiate, author Jeswald Salacuse explains that leaders can increase their effectiveness by using negotiation in each of the three phases … Read
Forging close bonds typically helps negotiators reach better deals, work together effectively over time, and manage conflict—yet negotiators often rush through the process of relationship-building in negotiation. Here’s advice on how to approach this important aspect of negotiation more methodically.
Overcome Partisan Perceptions
An unconscious bias often gets in the way of relationship-building in negotiation: partisan perceptions, or … Read
In 1994, the Walt Disney Company faced an unexpected test of leadership and communication after its president and CEO, Frank Wells, died in a helicopter crash. Disney chairman and CEO Michael Eisner believed his longtime friend Michael Ovitz, the founder and majority owner of successful Hollywood talent firm Creative Artists Agency, or CAA, as it … Read
Whether at the local, federal, or international level, negotiations with governments often involve unique pressures and constraints. Does the official at the table actually have decision-making authority? What kinds of regulatory or policy constraints are they operating under? Governments often pursue very different interests in negotiations from those of a private company. In Seven Secrets for … Read
Expressions of gratitude have a number of positive effects, such as helping us savor pleasurable experiences, manage stress, and strengthen relationships, researchers have found. In negotiation and other contexts, showing gratitude also motivates those we thank to keep on giving.
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.
On November 4, 2020, the day after the U.S. presidential election, President Donald Trump officially pulled the United States out of the global climate agreement known as the Paris Accord. The United States is the only country to have exited the pact, which President-elect Joe Biden vowed to reenter upon taking office in January.
The 195 … Read
As the starting point from which all commercial transactions occur, from purchasing equipment to setting salaries, negotiatiosn in business is an essential skill no matter what field a negotiator finds herself. Using an objective standard can strengthen your proposal and eliminate emotional bias.
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
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
At one time or another, most of us have found ourselves coping with difficult coworkers. We might experience flare-ups over workload, funding, or personality issues, to name just a few sources of workplace conflict. The experience of coping with difficult coworkers can be extremely stressful. The following conflict negotiation skills can help you address this … Read
Do you teach negotiation to students from different cultural backgrounds? Are you teaching students how to negotiate in a cross-cultural context? Do you teach a “one world” model of negotiation; or, are there cultural variables that require changes in the basic model of negotiation that you teach?
The Program On Negotiation at Harvard Law School invited … Read
Leaders in government, business, and beyond are struggling to respond to the economic and health ramifications of the Covid-19 pandemic. Drawing on insights from his book Real Leaders Negotiate! Gaining, Using, and Keeping the Power to Lead Through Negotiation (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), Jeswald Salacuse describes how leaders can use the tools of negotiation to react … Read
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
Many of us know the feeling of being frustrated by a superior’s involvement in our business negotiation strategies, whether because she hovers too closely over the talks, contradicts our carefully crafted strategy, or doesn’t give us the authority we need to sign off.
Avoid cross-cultural misunderstandings with these negotiation exercises
It’s no secret that communication and negotiation etiquette varies widely across cultures. In France, for example, it is rude to talk money over dinner, while in Brazil the American ‘A-OK’ gesture (thumb and forefinger forming a circle) can be a major insult.
The increasingly diverse and global nature of business … Read
“The language of international business,” a British executive once said to Tufts University professor Jeswald Salacuse, “is broken English.” The observation is rooted in the fact that most international business and diplomacy is conducted in English, Salacuse writes in his book Negotiating Life: Secrets for Everyday Diplomacy and Deal Making (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).
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
According to U.S. president Donald Trump, trade pacts forged by past American presidents have left the nation with a slew of raw deals. To reduce trade deficits, the president announced on March 1 that he would be imposing tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, a move that would impact China, Europe, and Canada in one … Read
Organizations, large and small, look to their leaders to establish an organizational vision. Popular commentary on corporate leadership presupposes that a company’s vision comes from its CEO and that, without a strong CEO, the company has no vision. But that’s not the case.
Travis Kalanick, until recently the CEO of ride-hailing service Uber, helped grow the company from the seed of an idea in 2009 into a global firm valued at nearly $70 billion. He cemented his power by becoming Uber’s single biggest shareholder, negotiating for a seat on Uber’s board, and filling other board seats with his supporters. … Read
David Fairman—Managing Director of the Consensus Building Institute—recently shared his extensive experience in negotiating with, and teaching negotiation to, a variety of groups from a broad range of cultural backgrounds.
Imagine a typical leader, and you might think of someone who is bold, decisive, visionary, assertive, and charismatic. Now think about the kinds of actions that such a leader might regularly engage in. Delegating, making top-down decisions, and otherwise exerting one’s power might immediately come to mind.
A behavior that’s not typically at the top of … Read
If you manage people, disputes will show up at your door. The marketing VP protests that the budget cap you and your new finance VP proposed is hindering a research initiative you supported. Two young sales representatives are embroiled in a turf war. Your administrative assistant is upset because the HR director won’t approve the … Read
In the workplace, negotiations with coworkers over issues such as project assignments, departmental funding, and vacation requests can sometimes flare into conflicts. When they do, the experience can be stressful, and the organizational outcomes sometimes suffers as a result.
Why should the people you’re supposed to lead follow you?
If you believe that your charisma, your exalted office, or your vision is reason enough, you’re in trouble.
While these qualities may affect how others relate to you, the unvarnished truth is that other people will follow you when they judge it’s in their best interest to … Read
In negotiation, it’s said, preparation is key. Without careful research and logistical planning, we may be left trying to skate by on wits and charm alone—and in today’s business world, they will seldom carry us far.
Advance work is especially critical when you expect your talks to be complex, involving numerous issues, multiple parties, and plenty … Read
The US Supreme Court’s decision in BG Group v. Republic of Argentina relied upon insights from PON faculty member Jeswald Salacuse’s The Law of Investment Treaties.
Writing for the majority, Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, and writing for the minority, Chief Justice John Roberts, both cite the first edition of the foundational work by Jeswald Salacuse … Read
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
Cooperative negotiators know that more value can be had at the bargaining table if they take an integrative bargaining approach to negotiations. Read here to find out how much value negotiators can create by cooperating with counterparts.
To reach agreement, negotiators sometimes postpone the resolution of certain issues until a later date. We look at how this practice plays out in the real world. Remember the federal debt ceiling talks? In mid-2011, congressional Republicans insisted on significant spending reductions from their Democratic counterparts in exchange for voting to raise the nation’s debt … Read
At last, the deal is done. After 18 months of negotiation, eight trips across the country, and countless meetings, you’ve finally signed a contract creating a joint venture with a Silicon Valley firm to manufacture imaging devices using your technology and their engineering.
The contract is clear and precise. It covers all the contingencies and has … Read
When the poet Walt Whitman wrote, “Surely, whoever speaks to me in the right voice, him or her shall I follow,” he conveyed the notion that persuasive communication is fundamental to effective leadership. Whitman’s words also underscore the importance of shaping leadership communications to meet individual concerns, interests, and styles.
When deciding how to communicate, recognize … Read
Founded in 1983, the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School is a pioneer in the fields of negotiation, mediation, and alternative dispute resolution.
In commemoration of the program’s 30th anniversary this year, the Program on Negotiation is proud to present a video describing many of PON’s various educational and research activities.
According to Chair Robert Mnookin, … Read
Whenever one side fails to meet its contractual obligations, renegotiation is more likely to succeed if the parties have a strong relationship. Ideally, the aggrieved party will value long-term relations more than potential gains from a claim for breach of contract. For example, a bank will be more willing to renegotiate a loan with a … Read
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
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
Tufts Magazine: Negotiating Life
By Jeswald Salacuse (Henry J. Braker Professor of Law, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University)
When involved in conflict, it is often difficult to decide whether or not to negotiate with an adversary. In this article, Professor Salacuse discusses five questions that can help you decide when negotiating is in … Read
Adapted from “The Crucial First Five Minutes,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, October 2007.
Your designated meeting place can have a critical impact on talks. When you don’t have a choice about where to meet, be aware that situational factors may color your judgment. For instance, the visual cues of a car lot—flashy banners, cheerful … Read
Why are some negotiation exercises still used in a great many university classes even twenty years after they were written? In an effort to understand more about the enduring quality of some classic teaching materials, we asked faculty affiliated with PON to explain why they think some role play simulations remain bestsellers in the Clearinghouse … Read
Adapted from “Write First, Talk Later? Using Drafts to Make Deals,” by Jeswald Salacuse (professor, Tufts University), first published in the Negotiation newsletter.
How can you gain an edge when you’re in the seemingly weak position of negotiating a favor from a government or a powerful bureaucracy? Present the other side with a draft agreement that … Read
PON Executive Committee member Jeswald Salacuse published a column in the Winter 2011 issue of Tufts Magazine.
“Opening Moves: They Can Make or Break Any Deal” suggests that how a negotiation ends can be directly affected by how the negotiation begins.
Before entering a negotiation, he suggests you consider these three factors: 1) Your options; 2) The … Read
Adapted from “Build the Right Connection,” by Jeswald Salacuse (professor, Tufts University), first published in the Negotiation newsletter.
To hold the attention of your counterparts, you need to connect with them as early as possible in the negotiation. A human connection with the other side not only distinguishes you from your competitors and other parties they … Read
Jeswald W. Salacuse (Henry J. Baker Professor of Law; former Dean, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University; author of The Global Negotiator and Seven Secrets for Negotiating with Government
Most of us see negotiation as a one-on-one encounter, but bringing in outside help can make your negotiations more effective. In this article, Jeswald Salacuse … Read
Tufts Magazine, Tufts University: Negotiating Life
Jeswald W. Salacuse (Henry J. Baker Professor of Law; former Dean, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University; author of The Global Negotiator and Seven Secrets for Negotiating with Government
Negotiation may be a universal tool, but culture affects how people around the world wield it. In this article, professor … Read
Jeswald Salacuse’s article Teaching International Business Negotiation: Reflections on Three Decades of Experience was published in International Negotiation, Volume 15, Number 2. The full article can be purchased here.
The author has taught international business negotiation in a wide variety of university courses and executive training programs throughout the world during the last three decades. He … Read
In 2004, U.S. Air Force procurement officer Darleen Druyun was sentenced to nine months in prison on corruption charges after it was discovered that she had favored Boeing in her negotiations for aircraft purchases to win jobs at Boeing for herself, her daughter, and her son-in-law. Druyun had unfettered control over the air force’s annual … Read
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
Professor Jeswald Salacuse recently published a new book, The Law of Investment Treaties. Professor Salacuse is a member of PON’s Executive Committee and experienced in international negotiation, international business transactions, leadership, and law and development. The Law of Investment Treaties explains the nature, history, and significance of investment treaties and their impact on international investors … Read
Adapted from “Resolve Employee Conflicts with Mediation Techniques,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter.
If you manage people, disputes will show up at your door. The marketing VP protests that the budget cap you and your new finance VP proposed is hindering a research initiative you supported. Two young sales representatives are embroiled in a … Read
Ambassador Lakhdar Brahimi (middle) with James Sebenius (left) and Jeswald Salacuse at Harvard Business School on October 2, 2002
The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School is pleased to announce that the recipient of the 2002 Great Negotiator Award is Ambassador Lakhdar Brahimi, the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy to Afghanistan.
Ambassador Brahimi is a … Read