Learn how to negotiate like a diplomat, think on your feet like an improv performer, and master job offer negotiation like a professional athlete when you download a copy of our FREE special report, Negotiation Skills: Negotiation Strategies and Negotiation Techniques to Help You Become a Better Negotiator, from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.


mutually beneficial

What is a Mutually Beneficial Agreement?

How to rise above your differences and carve out a mutually beneficial agreement

What exactly is a mutually beneficial agreement?

Some negotiation experts would have you believe that a mutually beneficial agreement is one in which each side grabs as much as it can from a finite pot of resources and calls it a day. But when negotiators bring a win-lose mindset to the negotiation table, they often fail to reach a mutually beneficial agreement.

Contrary to what negotiators often assume, you don’t have to lean toward either creating value or claiming value. Rather, by using a number of well-tested negotiation moves, you can help the other side benefit from a deal while also claiming substantially more value for yourself.

The following four strategies can help us reach mutually beneficial outcomes in a business negotiation between groups.

1. Embrace a Shared Identity or Goal. When launching a group negotiation, discuss the overarching goal you share with members of the other group or groups.

2. Separate Sacred from Pseudo-sacred Issues. Many of the issues negotiators consider sacred are actually pseudo-sacred. That is, the issues are off-limits in some but not all conditions.

3. Try the “GRIT” Strategy. The GRIT strategy (Graduated Reduction in Tension” begins by communicating your sincere desire to reduce conflict by making a small, one-sided, and public concession to the other group

4. Take advantage of logrolling. Logrolling is the process of making beneficial trades across issues based on an understanding of each other’s preferences. If one side values something more than the other, they should be given it in exchange for reciprocity on issues that are a higher priority to their opponent.

To learn more about mutually beneficial agreements and become a better dealmaker and leader, download our FREE special report,Negotiation Skills: Negotiation Strategies and Negotiation Techniques to Help You Become a Better Negotiator, from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.

 

 

The following items are tagged mutually beneficial:

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  

The Best New Simulations

Posted by & filed under Teaching Negotiation.

Looking to update your curriculum with innovative new simulations? Check out these new simulations from the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC). Ren the Robot – New Simulation  Ren the Robot is a one-and-a-half hour, two-party, multi-issue negotiation between a Tokyo-based robotics company, Grubotics, and a U.S.-based tech company, Delivered, over a potential acquisition deal. It is designed to … Read  

Individual Differences in Negotiation—and How They Affect Results

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Negotiation advice is often “one size fits all,” yet we approach negotiations with vastly different experiences and traits. How do individual differences in negotiation play out? In one study, Washington University professor Hillary Anger Elfenbein and her colleagues found evidence that individual differences, including personality, accounted for an impressive 49% of the variance in negotiators’ … Read  

Harborco: Role-Play Simulation

Posted by & filed under Free Report.

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  

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  

Negotiation Preparation Strategies

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

When an important negotiation is looming, “winging it” is never the answer. The best negotiators engage in thorough negotiation preparation. That means taking plenty of time to analyze what you want, your bargaining position, and the other side’s likely wants and alternatives. … Read  

New Simulation: International Business Acquisition Negotiated Online

Posted by & filed under Teaching Negotiation.

New from the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC), Ren the Robot is a one-and-a-half hour, two-party, multi-issue negotiation between a Tokyo-based robotics company, Grubotics, and a U.S.-based tech company, Delivered, over a potential acquisition deal. It is designed to be conducted using online video conferencing. The use of online video conference technology highlights the conveniences … Read  

Managing Emotions in Negotiation: Teaching Students to Turn Emotions into an Opportunity for Mutual Gain

Posted by & filed under Teaching Negotiation.

How do you move from an emotionally charged moment in a negotiation to a mutually beneficial agreement? In negotiations of all types, whether buying a house or negotiating a company acquisition, emotions naturally manifest. Left unaddressed, emotions can derail a negotiation and make agreement seem impossible. When emotions are managed properly, however, they can allow the … Read  

Why Great Negotiators Earn More Money

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

What’s the best way to claim more money in a negotiation? Many professional negotiators would recommend hard-bargaining tactics, such as asking the other party to disclose their bottom line, standing firm on price, and threatening to walk away. But truly great negotiators recognize that using haggling strategies alone may leave significant money on the table. … Read  

How to Find the ZOPA in Business Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

In business negotiation, two polar-opposite errors are common: reaching agreement when it wouldn’t be wise to do so, and walking away from a mutually beneficial outcome. How can you avoid these pitfalls? Through careful preparation that includes an analysis of the zone of possible agreement, or ZOPA in business negotiations. … Read  

Teaching the Fundamentals: The Best Introductory Negotiation Role Play Simulations

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Introductory negotiation courses are taught in law and business schools around the world, but are also increasingly taught to undergraduates and in all types of corporate settings. No matter the context, though, the basic elements of negotiation are roughly similar. Teaching interest-based negotiation, the Zone of Possible Agreement (ZOPA), the Best Alternative to a Negotiated … Read  

Check Out the New All-In-One Curriculum Packages!

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Introducing a new way to go in-depth when teaching the most important negotiation concepts and to measure learning outcomes. If you are new to teaching negotiation or are looking to go in-depth on teaching key concepts, the All-In-One Curriculum Package will provide you with everything you need. The Teaching Negotiation Resource Center has created All-In-One Curriculum … Read  

Dear Negotiation Coach: Managing Perceptions

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

Sometimes a negotiation is all about managing perceptions. As this question below shows, focusing a counterpart on his own BATNA can persuade him to reduce the intensity of his hard-bargaining tactics. Q: A customer is pressuring me to make a deal fast. I don’t want to be forced into a one-sided agreement and prefer to reach … Read  

Negotiation Research Says to Make Stronger First Offers in Multi-Issue Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Should you make the first offer in a negotiation? What about multi-issue negotiations? It’s not a trivial question. The negotiator who makes the first offer can powerfully anchor the discussion in her favor, research has found. In fact, the first offer accounts for between 50% and 85% of the variance in a negotiation’s final outcome, Adam … Read  

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

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

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

Are Introverts at a Disadvantage in Negotiation?

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

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  

Ask Better Negotiation Questions

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Consider negotiation questions you might overhear in a typical business negotiation: ■ “ You want how much for that order?” ■ “Can you see what an excellent offer this is?” ■ “Are you ready to take this deal, yes or no?” It’s not difficult to see the limitations of these negotiation questions. The first one is likely to promote … Read  

Settling Out of Court: Negotiating in the Shadow of the Law

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

When disputes arise, negotiators face the difficult question of whether to try to reach a settlement on their own or hand decision-making power over to a judge, a jury, or an arbitrator. Parties often benefit from settling their disputes before going to court, write Robert H. Mnookin, Scott R. Peppet, and Andrew S. Tulumello in … Read  

Team Negotiation: Tackle Common Pitfalls

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

When a team negotiates on behalf of an organization, it can often achieve more than an individual would, thanks to team members’ cumulative knowledge and experience. Yet team negotiation can create new problems. Groupthink—the tendency to go along with the dominant point of view rather than challenging it—can promote overly simplistic decision making in teams … Read  

Business Negotiations: How to Improve Your Reputation at the Bargaining Table

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

In multi-issue business 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 … Read  

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  

Moving Toward Group Conflict Resolution

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Over the years, what many believe to be Jesus’s tomb in Jerusalem’s Old City has been the site of tensions that have at times escalated into violence. Inside the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Greek Orthodox, Armenian Orthodox, and Roman Catholic communities guard the shrine surrounding the tomb, which they consider the holiest site in … Read  

In Business Disputes, Conflict Resolution Styles Can Make All the Difference

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Business disputes don’t have to be antagonistic. Nor does litigation need to be the go-to method of solving conflicts. Thoughtful negotiation can often often result in an amicable solution. To see the difference between two different conflict resolution styles, take a look at two real-life copyright cases in the music industry. Imagine that you’re an up-and-coming … Read  

Managing the “Negotiator’s Dilemma” with Multiple Equivalent Simultaneous Offers

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

There are two common perspectives on negotiation that can seem at odds, leaving negotiators to decide between these options. But one way around this negotiator’s dilemma is through multiple equivalent simultaneous offers, or MESOs. Consider the following two perspectives on negotiation:

Following the finalization of a new trade agreement among Canada, Mexico, and the United States, … Read  

Digitally Enhanced Simulation Packages – With Live Data Analytics

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

In-depth Teaching Materials with Real Time Data Analytics Designed to Enhance Teaching Negotiation  From the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) at PON, and iDecisionGames: digitally enhanced simulation packages designed to take your teaching to the next level. The Enhanced Simulation Package from the TNRC and iDecisionGames brings a new, interactive learning experience to teaching negotiation. This easy … Read  

M&A Negotiation Strategy: Dealing with an Unpredictable Counterpart

Posted by & filed under Dealing with Difficult People.

In the high-stakes world of mergers and acquisitions (M&As), negotiation missteps can amplify into disasters, and lucky breaks into triumphs. As a result, there is much that business negotiators can learn from stories of M&A negotiation strategy in the news. To take one case study, the 2015-2016 bidding war between hotel chain Marriott International and … Read  

For Greater Value Creation, Look Beyond Your BATNA

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

For value creation in negotiation, you may need to look beyond your greatest source of power. You may have learned— perhaps in this newsletter or in Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton’s landmark negotiation book Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In (Penguin, 1991)—that your most powerful asset is often a strong BATNA, or … Read  

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  

How an Authoritarian Leadership Style Blocks Effective Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Leadership Skills.

Those who favor an authoritarian leadership style, also known as an autocratic leadership style, tend to believe their approach to management is more efficient and decisive than a more collaborative leadership style. But because a top-down approach can heighten the power differential between leaders and those who report to them, it often backfires, generating resentment … Read  

Renegotiation Lessons from the NAFTA Talks

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump blamed the trilateral North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) among Canada, Mexico, and the United States for the U.S. trade deficit with Mexico and for lost American manufacturing jobs. Upon taking office, Trump said he was determined to either engage in renegotiation of NAFTA or walk away from the … Read  

When Hard-Bargaining Isn’t Enough

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

Leonardo da Vinci’s painting Salvator Mundi has long been shrouded in mystery. The 16th-century portrait of Jesus Christ periodically disappeared over hundreds of years before being mistakenly sold at auction as another artist’s work for just £45 in 1958. In 2005, art dealers purchased the damaged painting for approximately $10,000 in an estate auction. After … Read  

Negotiating the Healthcare Industry

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Teach Your Students to Negotiate One of the Most Critical Global Industries With an ongoing pandemic devastating communities around the world, the acute importance of the healthcare industry to community welfare has become even more apparent. Healthcare is one of the biggest economies in the world, with billions of dollars spent on treatments and associated research. … Read  

Tired of Liars? Promote More Ethical Negotiation Behavior

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Promoting ethical negotiation is one of the steps we can take to reduce the odds that someone will try to deceive you, and is likely to be a more fruitful strategy than trying to improve your ability to detect lies. Negotiators tend to view lies on a spectrum ranging from marginally acceptable to egregious. Certain types … Read  

Leveraging BATNA at the Dinner Table: Negotiate Your Way to Holiday Cheer

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, or so they say. As we look ahead to winter vacation and seemingly endless days of family celebrations, many feel a sense of dread, anticipating tensions and conflict as drearily predictable as overcooked turkey and practical gifts. Even those who look forward to family get-togethers often end … Read  

Casino Two: Updated Version of Casino Now Available from the TNRC

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Gender can play a complex role in workplace dynamics, and so teaching students about how to approach these issues is critical. The Casino simulation, available from the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC), has been widely used to teach participants about the role gender can play in the workplace. Now there is a new, updated version which … Read  

For a Mutually Beneficial Agreement, Collaboration is Key

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

At the Program on Negotiation, we urge you to aim higher by combining such competitive value-claiming with collaborative value creation. Not because it’s the “nice” thing to do, but because it’s been proven to be the best path to a truly mutually beneficial agreement. … Read  

International Negotiation Role Playing: Understanding the Theory and Practice of Systemic Peacebuilding

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Policymakers, practitioners, and academics have seized on the need for peacebuilding negotiation strategies in international negotiation to be as complex and adaptive as the societies within which they work. As a result, there are loud calls for “whole of government” or “whole of community” approaches that cross traditional sectoral boundaries.  The problem is that these approaches are … Read  

The Right Way to Regulate Emotion in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

Emotional flooding – when strong, specific, and often negative feelings overwhelm us – poses obvious hazards to negotiators, who need to be able to think clearly when faced with the complex, strategically demanding task of creating and claiming value. For this reason, emotional regulation can be an essential component of negotiation. But different types of regulation create … Read  

In Group Negotiation, Avoid a Turf Battle

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

In group negotiation, turf battles—heated conflicts over territory, control, rights, or power—are common. Department heads clash over scarce resources. Companies, community groups, and governments get tied up in lawsuits over undeveloped land. Across the globe, fishing groups have depleted fish stocks in their rush to catch the biggest share for themselves. … Read  

How Mood Affects Negotiators

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

What are social psychologists learning about the connections among emotions, negotiation, and decision making? Negotiation contributor Jennifer S. Lerner of Harvard Kennedy School and her colleagues have identified two critical themes. First, they have studied the carryover of emotion from one episode, such as a car accident, to an unrelated situation, such as a workplace … Read  

Dealing with challenging negotiators

Posted by & filed under Dealing with Difficult People.

We often enter negotiations with a new counterpart with excitement. Unfortunately, our high expectations are sometimes dashed when our new negotiating partner exhibits behavior that’s puzzling, upsetting, or downright bizarre. A trio of new articles by negotiation scholars offers advice that can help us respond effectively to bargaining partners who threaten to throw us off … Read  

What’s so great about small talk?

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

This spring and summer, professional sports leagues scrambled to negotiate deals with players’ unions to start or resume their seasons with health, financial, and logistical accommodations for the Covid-19 pandemic. Most reached mutually agreeable deals, with some bumps in the road. Then there was Major League Baseball (MLB). As they tried to work out when the 2020 … Read  

Get the best job possible in a tough market

Posted by & filed under Leadership Skills.

The numbers are staggering: As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, unemployment in the United States rose from 3.5% in February to 14.7% by the end of April, the highest rate since the Great Depression. The number of unemployed Americans leapt to 23.1 million by the end of April, according to the Labor Department. With many … Read  

Business Team Building: The Value of Self-Reflection

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Exercises designed to build trust and rapport are often touted as the key to business team building and improved business skills. Such exercises—from falling backwards into the arms of teammates to competing in scavenger hunts—can be effective at onboarding new employees, overcoming cultural barriers, and strengthening existing teams. But not all business team building efforts need … Read  

Set Yourself Up to Make Better Choices

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

When weighing our options in negotiation, we try to focus on what matters most to us over the long term. Yet aspects of the decision-making process, many of them irrelevant, can interfere with our best judgment. In particular, the number of options we’re facing, the quest for the “perfect” choice, and status concerns can all get … Read  

In BATNA Analysis, Knowledge Is Power

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

In negotiation, awareness of your BATNA, or your best alternative to negotiated agreement, is often your greatest source of power. What is a BATNA in negotiation? It can be thought of as the best back-up plan you can reasonably expect to achieve. Think of a solid job offer that you plan to accept if your … Read  

Negotiation in the News: Scrutinizing a Win-Win Deal

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

When trust between negotiators is low and rancor is high, they may have difficulty accepting a mutually beneficial deal even as it stares them in the face. As 2019 drew to a close, House Democrats were trying to come to terms with a renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that checked off many important boxes … Read  

When High Prices Are a Bitter Pill to Swallow

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

There’s at least one thing that politicians as ideologically dissimilar as President Donald Trump and Senator Elizabeth Warren have agreed on: Prescription drug prices are too high in the United States. Americans pay about $1,200 per year, on average, for their medication, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development— about twice as much … Read  

Positional Bargaining Pitfalls

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

When they think of negotiation, many people imagine a positional bargaining scenario where two people are haggling back-and-forth over the price of an item, both refusing to budge. In positional bargaining, “each side takes a position, argues for it, and makes concessions to reach a compromise,” write Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton in … Read  

What is Divorce Mediation?

Posted by & filed under Mediation.

A divorce can take years—and cost a small fortune—to resolve. The task of negotiating child and spousal support, dividing property and other possessions, and establishing child-custody arrangements can be overwhelming, especially when the principals are barely speaking to each other. In the worst-case scenario, separating spouses hire cutthroat lawyers to make rigid (and sometimes outrageous) … Read  

10 Negotiation Failures

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Here’s a list of some of the most notable negotiation flops – from deals that were over before they started, to those that were botched at the table, to those that proved disastrous well after the ink had dried. … Read  

Add Variety to Your Curriculum with These Top Simulations

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Update Your Teaching Materials with Our Top Negotiation Role Play Simulations The field of negotiation is constantly evolving, and as such, requires new ways of teaching negotiation. It can sometimes happen that students come into a class having already encountered the negotiation simulation being used in the course, or that a different kind of exercise is … Read  

Facing controversy? Don’t forget to negotiate

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Looking back, it’s almost hard to imagine, but when then–San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began sitting down for pregame performances of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” no one noticed. He’d sat through two national anthems during the 2016 preseason before reporters asked him about it. Citing racial oppression and police brutality, Kaepernick explained that he planned … Read  

Negotiate Business Contracts that Last

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

After engaging in the complex process of business negotiation, business negotiators are often happy to pass off the technicalities of deal drafting to their attorneys. Unfortunately, this handoff is prone to errors. Vague, contradictory, and missing deal terms are not uncommon, and they can lead to serious problems during the implementation stage, according to Harvard … Read  

Teach Your Students Dispute Resolution for Their Everyday Lives

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Negotiation refers to the process of working out agreements that meet each party’s needs and address their interests. People negotiate all the time in their everyday lives: in the workplace, within families, and when buying goods and services. Knowing which negotiation strategies to use in different circumstances can make a significant difference. The Teaching Negotiation … Read  

When Conflict Becomes a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

When one party brings up the possibility of a lawsuit in a business dispute, the threat can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Yet business negotiators often benefit from settling their disputes before going to court, write Robert H. Mnookin, Scott R. Peppet, and Andrew S. Tulumello in their book Beyond Winning: Negotiating to Create Value in … Read  

Video: Setting the Stage for Productive Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Daily.

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  

Beware Your Counterpart’s Biases

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

In the past we have encouraged you to ‘debias’ your own behavior by identifying the assumptions that may be clouding your judgment. We have introduced you to a number of judgment biases – common, systematic errors in thinking that are likely to affect your decisions and harm your outcomes in negotiation. Learn how to identify … Read  

Dear Negotiation Coach: Taking the Shame Out of Networking

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

QUESTION I manage a team of consultants who engage in negotiations. We often discuss the importance of networking to create new negotiating opportunities, but I rarely see them following through. Any advice on how to help them overcome their reluctance to network? ANSWER The reticence you’ve encountered when trying to sell your team members on the benefits of … Read  

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  

Negotiation Skills in Business Communication: Status Anxiety

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Negotiation Skills in Business Communication: Campeau Corporation and Federated Department Stores Sometimes in negotiation we are forced to deal not only with the issues on the table but also with concerns about status. One famous instance took place in the late 1980s, when Robert Campeau, head of the Campeau Corporation and then one of Fortune magazine’s “50 … Read  

Successes & Messes: Bare-knuckle negotiating

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Perhaps it’s no surprise that two boxers, bitter rivals, took many years to negotiate the terms of their hotly anticipated matchup. But the fact that a bout between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao—held May 2 in Las Vegas—came together at all offers hope that even the fiercest competitors can secure a mutually beneficial agreement. Hitting … Read  

Stop outsiders from sabotaging your deal

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

A deal had been a long time coming. Back in November 2013, Iran agreed to limit its nuclear enrichment program in exchange for lighter economic sanctions from Western nations. To hammer out the details, Iran entered into talks with six nations: China, Russia, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Eventually, the talks … Read  

Announcing the 2015-2016 PON Graduate Research Fellows

Posted by & filed under Daily, Graduate Research Fellowships.

The Program on Negotiation Graduate Research Fellowships are designed to encourage young scholars from the social sciences and professional disciplines to pursue theoretical, empirical, and/or applied research in negotiation and dispute resolution. Consistent with the PON goal of fostering the development of the next generation of scholars, this program provides support for one year of … Read  

What Does Conflict Management Mean in Business Negotiations with Competitors?

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

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

Negotiation Skills: Should Put Off What You Could Negotiate Today?

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

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  

Build On Your Past Success in Business Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

For fans of AMC’s hit show Mad Men, the news was terrible. In late March 2011, the network publicly confirmed that the fifth season of the show, originally set to air summer of 2011, would not air until early 2012. A contract dispute with the show’s creator, producer, and head writer, Matthew Weiner, had held … Read  

Lawyers in Mediation and the Mediation Process

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

How does the presence of lawyers affect the process of mediation? You might guess that when one or both sides bring an attorney to a mediation, the process would become more contentious and adversarial, with impasse more likely, than if the parties worked solely with a mediator. That conventional wisdom is contradicted by new research … Read  

How to win at win-win negotiation

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

When parties to a negotiation can’t seem to find common ground, it sometimes seems as if the only solution is “winner take all.” Consider the decade-long campaign by the backers of the Cape Wind project to build the first offshore wind farm in the United States off the coast of Massachusetts in Nantucket Sound. Led by … Read  

Mediating Tragedy: Managing the Boston Victim’s Compensation Fund

Posted by & filed under Mediation.

In mid-May, about a month after the Boston Marathon bombings of April 15, lawyer and mediator Kenneth Feinberg stood in an auditorium at the Boston Public Library to address families who had been directly impacted by the tragedy. Feinberg was in charge of administering One Fund Boston, a fund created to distribute donations to the … Read  

Bet you didn’t know… Personnel matters in negotiation.

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

When outsiders become overachievers When faced with the task of assigning a subordinate to represent their organization in a negotiation, managers might look for strong negotiating experience, intelligence, a good attitude, and a winning personality. In a new study, professor Gerben A. Van Kleef of the University of Amsterdam and his colleagues identify another beneficial quality … Read  

Learning from the deficit-reduction talks

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

Does anyone down there know how to cut a deal?” Senate Republican Mitch McConnell said to Vice President Joe Biden. It was Sunday, December 30, 2012, the day before the “fiscal cliff ” deadline, and the minority leader had phoned Biden out of a sense of desperation, report Patrick O’Connor and Peter Nicholas in the … Read  

Keeping the Game Out of Court

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Sometimes those on opposite sides of a bitter dispute can achieve great gains – if only they can spot the ways in which they are similar. In 2001, the Metropolitan Intercollegiate Basketball Association (MIBA), an organization of five New York-area colleges best known for staging college basketball’s National Invitation Tournament, filed a lawsuit against the National … Read  

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  

A Worse Deal than You Think?

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Most negotiators leave the bargaining table believing they were better at pushing the other side to its limit than was actually the case, according to recent experimental studies by Richard P. Larrick of Duke University and George Wu of the University of Chicago. … Read  

Did You Really Get a Great Deal?

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “A Worse Deal Than You Think?” First published in the Negotiation newsletter, August 2006. Most negotiators leave the bargaining table believing they were better at pushing the other side to its limit than was actually the case, according to experimental studies by Richard P. Larrick of Duke University and George Wu of the University … Read  

Agreeing to Disagree

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “What Divides You May Unite You,” by James K. Sebenius (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Mark Twain once quipped that “it is differences of opinion that make horse races.” Along these lines, differences in beliefs about how future events will unfold—what a key price will be, whether a technology … Read  

Pitfalls of the Powerful

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

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

Dealing With Constituents

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “Dealing with Backstage Negotiators,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Negotiated agreements sometimes go off the rails in the final hour because one side caves in to a constituent’s wishes despite having the authority to make a commitment. Because people tend to approach negotiations with an “us versus them” mentality, they may succumb to … Read  

Is Your Possession Really Sacred?

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “What’s It Worth to You?” by Max H. Bazerman, first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Imagine that a beloved aunt passes away and leaves you a 50-acre parcel of Colorado land. You have often visited the area, and though you never considered owning rural property, the fact that the land has been in your … Read  

Trusting from Square One

Posted by & filed under Daily.

Adapted from “How Much Should You Trust?” by Iris Bohnet (professor, Harvard Kennedy School) and Stephan Meier (professor, Columbia Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. What’s the best way to cope with a fellow negotiator who has betrayed your trust? Ignoring the problem is rarely the best solution. When you distrust someone, you’re forced to … Read  

Caveat Emptor?

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Fair Enough? An Ethical Fitness Quiz for Negotiators,” by Michael Wheeler (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Imagine that you bought a rustic cabin at its asking price. Now flash-forward a few years. You’ve enjoyed the place immensely but just learned that a motorcycle racetrack will be up and running … Read  

Pharma talks

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

The PON Clearinghouse offers hundreds of role simulations, from two-party, single-issue negotiations to complex multi-party exercises.  The following role simulation is a three-party, multi-issue contract negotiation among representatives for an HMO and two pharmaceutical companies over the purchase of a new antidepressant drug. SCENARIO: Hopkins HMO is the largest independent managed health care organization in the … Read  

Dealing with pharmaceutical delays

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

The Clearinghouse at PON offers hundreds of role simulations, from two-party, single-issue negotiations to complex multi-party exercises. Teflex Products is a five-party, multi-issue negotiation among representatives of a pharmaceutical company, a medical drug manufacturer, and three consumer organizations over the delayed release of a new drug. SCENARIO: Midland Pharmaceutical Company has developed Renaid, a breakthrough drug that … Read  

Stuck between manufacturer and customer

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

The Clearinghouse at PON offers hundreds of role simulations, from two-party, single-issue negotiations to complex multi-party exercises.  Software Return is a two-party negotiation between a customer and a returns clerk about the return of a defective software package. Scenario: The complaints clerk in a retail software store sees a customer approaching, carrying a software package … Read  

When We Expect Too Much

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

How often have you heard a friend or colleague refer to a contract as being “in the bag,” only to find out later that the deal didn’t go through? There always turns out to be a good reason a negotiation fell apart. Yet the fact remains that most negotiators are overconfident about their chances of … Read  

Negotiate how you’ll negotiate

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Have You Negotiated How You’ll Negotiate?” by Robert C. Bordone, Professor, and Gillien S. Todd, Lecturer, Harvard Law School. Breakdowns in negotiation are common. In the face of impasse at the bargaining table, managers are quick to blame either the challenges of the issues being negotiated or the hard-line tactics of the opposing parties. … Read  

Go the extra mile

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Build Rapport—and a Better Deal,” by Janice Nadler, professor, School of Law, Northwestern University. In negotiation, rapport is a powerful force that can promote mutually beneficial agreements. Negotiators who already have a good working relationship are fortunate to have rapport built into their interactions. Strangers, however—especially those whose communications are limited to telephone or … Read