When two or more parties need to reach a joint decision but have different preferences, they attempt to work out a negotiated agreement.
A negotiated agreement happens through back-and-forth communication in the hopes of reaching a deal when you and the other side have both shared and opposing interests. Of course, finding your counterparts’ interests and reconciling them with your own is a process.
Furthermore, some negotiation experts would have you believe that a mutually beneficial negotiated agreement is one in which each side grabs as much as it can from a finite pot of resources and calls it a day.
Unfortunately, most people are not natural-born negotiators. The good news is that research consistently shows that most people can significantly improve their negotiation skills through education, preparation, and practice. How can you create value at the bargaining table and get on the path to a mutually beneficial agreement?
Share information. Negotiators often fear they will give away too much if they express their true preferences on various issues. But expressing preferences isn’t the same as giving away your bottom line.
Ask questions. Listening actively and asking lots of questions will help you collect the information you need to develop a mutually beneficial agreement.
Make multiple equivalent simultaneous offers (MESO). Craft three offers that are different across issues but equally appealing to you. The other party may reject all three of the offers, but is likely to communicate which one she likes best—and put you back on a track toward a mutually beneficial agreement.
In addition, remember that it rarely hurts to ask your negotiating counterpart for what you want from a negotiated agreement. You will be amazed by what you can get simply by asking.
Armed with a better understanding of these building blocks of negotiation, you are positioned to learn more about how to create and claim value in negotiations, manage fairness concerns, and reach the best deal possible—both for you and for your counterpart.
Although most Americans treat those they know differently than they treat strangers, Chinese relationship building towards insiders and outsiders tends to be more extreme than in the United States – and therefore more important in negotiations in China than many Americans understand.
Your BATNA, or the ability to identify a negotiator’s best alternative to a negotiated agreement, is among one of the many pieces of information negotiators seek when formulating dealmaking and negotiation strategies. If your current negotiation reaches an impasse, what’s your best outside option?
What impact do cognitive biases have on bargaining scenarios? Work by negotiation researchers Russell B. Korobkin of UCLA and Chris P. Guthrie of Vanderbilt University suggests how to turn knowledge of four specific biases into tools of persuasion.
Written by some of the nation’s foremost experts in negotiation, Business Negotiation Strategies: How to Negotiate a Better Business Deal gives you the tools you need to navigate even the stickiest business deals.
Negotiation research suggests that email often poses more problems than solutions when it comes to relationships, information exchange, and outcomes in conflict resolution negotiation scenarios. First, establishing social rapport via email can be challenging. The lack of nonverbal cues and the dearth of social norms regarding its use can cause negotiators to be impolite and … Read
In the heat of conflict, it can be difficult to think rationally about how you got where you are and how you might make things better. But by taking a break to consider the elements of conflict, you can move toward a more rational assessment of the dispute and come up with ways to address … Read
At the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, William Ury, a founding member of the Program on Negotiation and co-author of the seminal book Getting to Yes, spoke about his latest book, Getting to Yes with Yourself (and Other Worthy Opponents). Over 250 community members, students, and faculty members filled Austin Hall to hear Ury … Read
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.
We generally think of mediation as a dispute-resolution device. Federal mediators intervene when collective bargaining breaks down. Diplomats are sometimes called in to mediate conflicts between nations. So-called multi-door courthouses encourage litigants to mediate before incurring the costs – and risks – of going to trial.
A common topic in our business negotiations articles are negotiation topics in business about enhancing your deal after signing the negotiated agreement. After all, not all contracts are created equal.
The problem: Your negotiation seems to be over before it has begun. Your targeted counterpart is refusing to sit down with you or simply ignoring your requests. How can you get her to see that she would benefit from negotiating with you?
In their negotiation training, police and professional hostage negotiators are taught skills that will help them defuse tense situations over the course of long phone calls, such as engaging in active listening, determining the person’s emotions from his or her inflection, and trust building.
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.
In sales negotiations, making the first offer is often a smart move. The first offer can anchor the discussion that follows and can have a powerful effect on the final outcome.
But if the other party makes the first offer, you’ll need to be prepared to frame your counteroffer carefully. What is framing in negotiation? It … Read
Back in November 2012, Hostess Brands announced that it had failed to reach a negotiated agreement with its second-biggest union and, as a result, was permanently shutting down its operations.
The news was met with dismay by baby boomers and others who had grown up with the 80-year-old company’s shelf-stable confections. But consumers had been passing … Read
Learning great BATNA examples, or estimations of your best alternative to a negotiated agreement as well as that of your negotiating counterpart, are essential to effective negotiation strategies. When preparing to negotiate, always take time to consider these important questions.
If your current negotiation reaches an impasse, what’s your best outside option? Most seasoned negotiators understand the value of evaluating their BATNA, or best alternative to a negotiated agreement, a concept that Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton introduced in their seminal book, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In (Penguin, 1991, second … Read
Sometimes your best alternative to a negotiated agreement (BATNA) is realizing that the negotiation itself is worth the risk. Back in May 2012, the United States and Russia announced a plan to hold a peace conference aimed at ending the civil war in Syria, which had killed more than 70,000 people at that time.
Have you ever wondered if your negotiation style is too tough or too accommodating? Too cooperative or too selfish? You might strive for an ideal balance, but, chances are, your innate and learned tendencies will have a strong impact on how you negotiate.
Successful negotiators work hard to ensure that when they and their counterpart leave a negotiation, both sides feel satisfied with the agreement. Why should you care whether the other side is pleased with negotiations or not?
When parties find themselves involved in a serious conflict, they often try to avoid the expense and hassle of litigation by turning to one of the two most common alternative dispute resolution processes: mediation or arbitration. Disputants who are concerned about these drawbacks might want to consider a hybrid mediation-arbitration approach called med-arb.
Negotiation is not only something we do at work; often the toughest negotiations we encounter are in our personal lives. Some of the most successful negotiation examples of the power of negotiation skills in dispute resolution is when they repair relationships between friends.
Arbitration vs mediation: Traditionally, the arbitrator is not limited to selecting one of the parties’ contract proposals but may determine the contract terms on his own. If negotiators know that impasse will lead to traditional arbitration, they typically assume that the arbitrator will reach a decision that’s an approximate midpoint between their final offers.
In most negotiations, we face two goals: claiming value and creating value. Value can be defined as anything you would like to get out a negotiation, whether it be more dollars, a consulting contract, a new rug, an end to conflict, and so on.
Most negotiations call for very different, even opposing, skills: collaboration and competition. To get a great deal, we typically must work with others to find new sources of value while also competing with them to claim as much of that value for ourselves. Before mastering the intricacies of value creation in negotiation, it helps to … Read
As we’ve discussed in previous articles about negotiation examples in business, a negotiator’s beliefs concerning negotiation ethics are affected by cognitive biases. You probably can recall times when a negotiating opponent made what appeared to be a blatant misstatement. If you’re like most people, you assumed the person was lying to gain an advantage.
In MESO, negotiation in which multiple offers are presented simultaneously at the negotiation table, effective negotiators seek opportunities to create value. By making tradeoffs across issues, parties can obtain greater value on the issues that are most important to them.
What are the best negotiation examples from real life? Imagine that you’ve been negotiating the sale of a property that is owned by your company. The buyer has made an attractive offer that you’ve tentatively accepted. Your boss is pleased with the terms as they stand, but suggests that you go back to the buyer … Read
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.
Imagine that you’re the CEO of a sports clothing manufacturer based in Chicago. You recently traveled to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, to meet with a distributor who has a rich and diverse network in the European sports market.
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.
Wise negotiators recognize the value of both collaborating and competing at the bargaining table. They look for ways to increase the pie of value for all parties, often by identifying differences across issues and making tradeoffs. And they also rely on distributive bargaining strategies to try to claim as much of that larger pie for … Read
How do negotiators reach consensus while engaged in intense negotiated agreements, often contentious, bargaining sessions with their counterparts? Here are some ways negotiators have reached consensus with colleagues and counterparts in the workplace.
There is a better way to resolve your dispute: by hiring an expert mediator with a focus on interests – the needs, desires, or concerns that underlie each side’s positions according to negotiation research on mediation techniques.
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
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
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
Who achieves the best negotiated agreements: strangers, friends, or romantic partners? In a 1993 negotiation role-play simulation, Margaret Neale of Stanford University and Kathleen McGinn found that pairs of friends achieved higher joint gains than married couples and pairs of strangers.
Many people dread negotiation, not recognizing that they negotiate on a regular, even daily basis. Most of us face formal negotiations throughout our personal and professional lives: discussing the terms of a job offer with a recruiter, haggling over the price of a new car, hammering out a contract with a supplier.
In business negotiations, we tend to assume that it’s the more financially successful party that has an edge. But if that party has a weak BATNA, or best alternative to a negotiated agreement, it could be the seemingly weaker party that comes out on top.
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
Increasingly, business negotiators recognize that the most effective bargainers are skilled at both creating value and claiming value—that is, they both collaborate and compete. The following 10 negotiation skills will help you succeed at integrative negotiation.
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.
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.
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.
The Program on Negotiation has identified three basic sets of circumstances in business negotiations where you’ll be better off tapping an agent (see also principal-agent theory) to take your place at the bargaining table (at least for part of the negotiating process):
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
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 negotiation goals. In their pivotal negotiation text, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In (Penguin, 2nd edition, 1991), Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton of the Harvard Negotiation Project promote … Read
In today’s market, consumers are often the more powerful parties in negotiations with sellers.
To claim the most value in your next haggling experience, use the following six negotiation strategies.
Lack of transparency regarding negotiations between hospitals and the insurers known as preferred provider organizations, or PPOs, is a key contributor to spiraling health-care costs in the United States, back in a 2013 article in the New York Times. This topic has many questioning ethics in negotiating within the healthcare industry.
The problem starts with the … 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:
The clearest method for achieving exclusivity in negotiation is an exclusive negotiation period during which both sides agree not to talk to third parties, even if approached unexpectedly by others. In some arenas, these terms are called no-talk periods.
Sometimes our negotiation mistakes are glaring: We accidentally reveal our bottom line, criticize the other party when patience was warranted, or get our numbers mixed up. More often, though, our negotiation mistakes are invisible: We get a perfectly good deal, but are unaware that we could have gotten a better one if we hadn’t succumbed … Read
The best bargaining tips taught by the experts should offer ways to enhance your bargaining power in negotiation. To do this, you must cultivate a strong BATNA, or best alternative to a negotiated agreement. The more appealing your best alternative is, the more comfortable you will feel asking for more in your current negotiation—secure in … Read
When we think of failed business negotiations, most of us picture negotiators walking away from the table in disappointment. But that’s only one type of disappointing negotiation. Failed business negotiations also include those that parties come to regret over time and those that fall apart during implementation. The following three types of negotiation failures are … Read
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.
Imagine that after some negative experiences at the bargaining table or if you are frustrated in your efforts to improve your negotiation skills, you’ve started to worry that you simply don’t have the right personality to be a great negotiator let alone a value-creating, integrative negotiations expert. The other party always seems to get the … Read
Sometimes even the best agreements arising out of negotiation in business and are liable to failure and such is the case with the dispute between food giants Starbucks and Kraft (now Kraft-Heinz).
When you expect people to be competitive, it’s not only your own behavior that changes. You also set up a self-fulfilling prophecy, such that your expectations about the other side’s behavior lead him to behave in ways that confirm your expectations.
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.
In recent months, U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders have struggled to find a winning strategy to convince Russian President Vladimir Putin to back away from his aggressions toward Ukraine. In a Wall Street Journal editorial, Ken Adelman, U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s ambassador to the United Nations and arms-control director, writes that recently … Read
When determining the best alternative to a negotiated agreement or BATNA (the point at which the negotiators ought to walk away from the table), executives should check in with key organizational leaders.
Some negotiations end with a negotiated agreement that is a plan of action rather than a signed contract – for example, a plumber agrees to fix the tile damage caused by his work. Other negotiations wouldn’t be appropriate to commemorate in writing, such as how you and your spouse decide to discipline your young … Read
After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, U.S. president George H. W. Bush and his secretary of state, James Baker, were eager to win international support for German reunification and German membership in NATO. But Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev faced strong opposition to these measures from members of his own Communist Party. Both … Read
Like a contingency, a condition to a deal is a related though far less common deal-structuring technique. A condition is an ‘if’ statement like a contingency, but, whereas a contingency depends on unknown future events, a condition is entirely within the control of the parties involved.
The National Football League’s Pittsburgh Steelers faced a dilemma. Mid-contract, the team’s star wide receiver, Antonio Brown, asked the team to improve upon the six-year, $42.5 million deal they negotiated back in 2012. Brown had risen to become the best receiver in football and believed he was underpaid.
How can you negotiate the best possible price for a new car? This is a common negotiation question, and naturally so. A car is one of the most significant purchases you’ll ever make—and the price is almost always negotiable. Here are a few tips to improve your performance:
What is distributive negotiation? Distributive negotiation involves haggling over a fixed amount of value—that is, slicing up the pie. In a distributive negotiation, there is likely only one issue at stake, typically price. When you are negotiating with a merchant in a foreign bazaar, or over a used car closer to home, you are generally … Read
How can you uncover additional value, make useful trades, and put together a package that exceeds your party’s expectations? Here are four integrative negotiation strategies for value creation that all negotiators should add to their toolkit.
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.
“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.
Business negotiators tend to want the best of both worlds. When reaching an agreement, they want to pin down parties’ respective rights and responsibilities, but they also want to retain the flexibility they need to deal with ever-changing business conditions. One solution to this apparent dilemma is to craft an umbrella agreement.
In integrative negotiation, each side seeks to create and claim value with an eye towards the future of the negotiating relationship. One way of securing this relationship is a noncompete agreement: Employers sometimes ask potential employees to agree not to work for their competitors in the future but don’t assume such requests are nonnegotiable.
Sooner or later, every negotiator faces threats at the bargaining table. How should you respond when the other side threatens to walk away, file a lawsuit, or damage your reputation? These negotiation tips will help.
With its booming economy and growing international consumer influence, the role of negotiation in international business is more important than ever and negotiation skills appropriate for China are in high-demand. Here are a few negotiation tips to help you successfully navigate your next round of business negotiations in China.
When a team is preparing for a critical negotiation, members need to appoint a leader, allocate roles and responsibilities, and discuss their at-the-table strategy. Another key objective that teams sometimes fail to discuss is the importance of staying “on message” – that is, making sure that statements by individual members don’t contradict the group’s agreed-upon … Read
If you work with others, sooner or later you will almost inevitably face the need for conflict resolution. You may need to mediate a dispute between two members of your department. Or you may find yourself angered by something a colleague reportedly said about you in a meeting. Or you may need to engage in … Read
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
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
What is your negotiation style? Some negotiators make a strong impression through bold opening statements and mesmerizing presentations. Others closely observe and gather information before making any decisive moves. Angela Merkel, who chose not to run for reelection in 2021 after nearly 16 years as Germany’s chancellor, has demonstrated the latter type of negotiation style: … Read
Do you have regrets about the deals that got away? If so, you might be newly motivated by the deal-making process of famed Hollywood movie and television producer Albert S. Ruddy. For 50 years he pursued two pet film projects—each of which finally led to a negotiated agreement and is coming to fruition.
A Deal-Making Process … Read
Back on July 11, 2000, U.S. president Bill Clinton welcomed Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat to a summit at Camp David aimed at resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict once and for all. The summit covered various contentious issues, including territory, settlements, security, and the status of refugees.
After about two weeks, … Read
Are You Your Own Worst Enemy?
We interviewed William Ury, co-founder of the Program on Negotiation, one of the world’s leading experts on negotiation, and bestselling author of Getting to Yes and Getting Past No, about his book, Getting To Yes With Yourself.
Great negotiators know that the path to resolution is not always linear but rather … Read
If there’s one thing that negotiators have practiced this year, it’s thinking on their feet. As our 10 notable negotiations of 2020 illustrate, the coronavirus pandemic left individuals, businesses, nonprofits, and governments trying to replace outmoded plans with more workable alternatives.
10 Notable Negotiations of 2020
10. Struggling to play ball. This year, sports leagues scrambled to … Read
How does the presence of lawyers affect the mediation process and mediations in general? 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.
Business negotiators know that persistence and tenacity can make all the difference between impasse and a game-changing breakthrough. Take the saga behind Microsoft’s 2013 announcement of its pending $7.2 billion acquisition of Finnish mobile phone company Nokia’s handset and services business. The two parties engaged in many months of fruitless talks before either side believed … Read
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
Without a doubt, the biggest mistake that negotiators make—and one that many make routinely—is failing to thoroughly prepare. When you haven’t done the necessary analysis and research, you are highly likely to leave value on the table and even to be taken advantage of by your counterpart. A negotiation preparation checklist can help you avoid … Read
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.
Your BATNA is your “best alternative to a negotiated agreement.” Expect that your negotiating counterpart has one going into a negotiation, and so should you. Below is a good BATNA negotiation example involving how to leverage your away-from-the-bargaining-table options and the risks inherent with such a negotiation strategy.
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.
In negotiation, your best source of power is typically your best alternative to a negotiated agreement, or BATNA. When you are aware that you have an appealing alternative deal to the one you’re working on, you will be less tempted to accept an agreement that doesn’t meet your minimum requirements. A strong BATNA gives you … Read
Imagine leading negotiations involving representatives from most of the world’s nations on a contentious topic such as sustainable development. Where would you start? How would you proceed when conflict emerged? How would you know when it was time to wrap things up?
Multiparty negotiations can be incredibly challenging. Just ask the negotiators from over 170 countries who managed to reach agreement on October 15 on a legally binding accord to combat climate change.
A three-year dispute between Starbucks and Kraft Foods over distribution of Starbucks packaged coffee in grocery stores was resolved in 2013 when an arbitrator determined that Starbucks had breached its agreement with Kraft and ordered the coffeemaker to pay the food giant $2.75 billion.
Negotiation training often focuses on bridging gaps between negotiators with different styles, backgrounds, or objectives, but what about overcoming generational barriers in negotiation? Generational differences need not stymie efforts at the bargaining table. In this segment from “Dear Negotiation Coach,” we explore how to overcome cultural differences in communication with members of the Millennial generation.
The prospect of boosting our negotiation skills can be so overwhelming that we often delay taking the necessary steps we can follow to improve, such as taking time to prepare thoroughly. The following five guidelines will help you break this daunting task into a series of manageable—and often essential—strategies.
In negotiation, our success often hinges on our bargaining power—which in turn can depend on forces beyond our control. That truism was highlighted in two recent disputes arising from business negotiations over the pricing of copyrighted material in the digital era, one from the music world, the other from publishing.
Businesspeople who are looking for effective negotiation strategies often confront a dizzying array of advice. It can be useful to take a step back and categorize these strategies into various types of negotiation tactics. Highlighting the benefits of negotiation in business, the following five types of negotiation tactics can help you think more broadly about … Read
Opening offers have a strong effect in price negotiations. The first offer typically serves as an anchor that strongly influences the discussion that follows. In research documenting price anchoring, psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky found that even random numbers can have a dramatic impact on people’s subsequent judgments and decisions.
Salary negotiations are never predictable. Imagine that you are a sales rep with a company that is getting hit hard by a financial crisis. No one has been laid off yet, but everyone is nervous about that possibility. In an effort to save jobs, your sales manager has quietly proposed that everyone take lower base … Read
Some cultures have a long tradition of haggling—bargaining back and forth about the price of an item—in markets and bazaars. By contrast, in the United States and many other countries, haggling between buyers and sellers is an under-practiced skill. You might routinely pass up opportunities to haggle in situations where financial negotiations are not the … Read
One of the most popular questions concerning negotiation strategy and an area of negotiation research that draws heavily on negotiation examples in real life is how do negotiators identify their BATNA, or best alternative to a negotiated agreement, and even better, how do they identify their counterpart’s BATNA? Consider the saga of a company that … Read
People tend to irrationally fixate on the first number put forth in a negotiation—the anchor—no matter how arbitrary it may be. Even when we know the anchor has limited relevance, we fail to sufficiently adjust our judgments away from it. This is the anchoring effect.
In negotiation, your best source of power typically is your “best alternative to a negotiated agreement,” or BATNA. By cultivating appealing options away from the table, you free yourself up to walk away in the event of a disappointing deal.
Since the start of the global economic recession in 2008, few issues have proven as explosive as the Greek debt crisis. The Greek government’s commitment to repay billions of dollars in loans has been a source of contention with creditors ever since a sizable bailout was issued in 2010.
The following question was featured in the “Ask the Negotiation Coach” section of the Negotiation Briefings newsletter, April 2010 issue. Question: What should I do when a negotiation seems to be all about price, I have no BATNA, and the other side knows it?
Negotiating opportunities sometimes come from challenging sources: a family member who has been unreliable in the past but promises to make a change; a business competitor that approaches you about a joint venture; a difficult boss with whom you would like to work out a better relationship.
As integrative negotiations students know well, focusing on interests in negotiation has proven to be the most reliable way to create value and resolve conflicts. Experience indicates that communicating with your lawyers the motivations behind a deal or negotiated agreement is well worth the time.
Experienced negotiators understand they should reject any deal that is inferior to their best alternative to a negotiated agreement, or BATNA. What is a BATNA in negotiation? Your BATNA is the best possible outcome you could get if you walked away from your current negotiation and bargaining situation. When negotiating at an auto dealership, for … Read
Even those who effectively engage in an integrative negotiations or mutual-gains approach to negotiation, a bargaining scenario in which parties work together to meet interests and maximize value creation during the negotiation process, can be stymied by the task of dividing up a seemingly fixed pie of resources, such as budgets, revenue, and time.
The following question was posed to Program on Negotiation faculty member and associate professor of business administration at Harvard Business School in the Negotiations, Organizations & Markets Unit, Francesca Gino and involves a negotiation example from real life from the world of business negotiations.
After buying a new car, you’re eager to sell your old car. It looks well kept, but you had problems with the engine last winter. Now it’s late summer. Should you tell prospective buyers about the engine, which might or might not act up when the weather turns?
What is BATNA? Negotiations in which each counterpart has a best alternative to a negotiated agreement are scenarios in which the incentive to work together must exceed the value of alternatives away from the negotiation table.
Improving your negotiation skills can only take you so far – eventually you need to assess you behavior preferences as a negotiator. Being able to predict how you will behave in a given bargaining scenario will help you augment the negotiation training you have received as well as help you achieve better outcomes at the … Read
Some of the most successful negotiation examples that we have covered here include negotiators engaging in improvisation at the negotiation table, turning chaotic situations into advantages in negotiation scenarios.
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.
Knowing when to walk away in a negotiation is some of the most powerful information in negotiation a negotiator can bring to the bargaining table – and this means a negotiator should know her BATNA or best alternative to a negotiated agreement.
Negotiation skills in business communication and seeking advice from others, what are the potential benefits? Advice seeking inherently employs multiple self-presentation tactics (including ingratiation, self-promotion, and supplication), it allows us to improve both our competence and our likability.
Business negotiators understand the importance of reaching a win-win negotiation: when both sides are satisfied with their agreement, the odds of a long-lasting and successful business partnership are much higher. But concrete strategies for generating a win-win contract often seem elusive. The following five, from experts at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, … Read
In negotiation, a combination of several negotiation strategies may be needed to move past a difficult impasse. The decades-long protracted negotiations between North Korea and South Korea provides such a case study.
It’s official: Price negotiations aren’t just for big-ticket items anymore. The prices of furniture, electronics, wine, jewelry, and other “medium-ticket” goods are now frequently up for discussion. The ancient art of haggling has made a comeback, so brush up on your skills with our six price negotiation tactics.
David Schwimmer, the actor who played Ross on the hit television comedy Friends, famously convinced the show’s five other leads in the early years of its run to negotiate their contracts with NBC as a team. The “mini union” formed by the actors ultimately helped them negotiate an unprecedented $1 million each per episode during … Read
Deceptive tactics in negotiation can run rampant: parties “stretch” the numbers, conceal key information, and make promises they know they can’t keep. The benefits of negotiation in business offer strong incentives to detect these behaviors. Unfortunately, however, most of us are very poor lie detectors.
Even professionals who encounter liars regularly, such as police officers and … Read
Before and during your negotiation, think about who you’ve chosen as a reference group against which you measure yourself. Did you select the group purely to enhance your own status, or did you try to make a more appropriate comparison? What are your negotiation skills in business communication?
For decades, the United Methodist Church (UMC) has grappled with internal disagreement over its doctrine on LGBTQ rights, which prohibits same-sex marriage and noncelibate gay clergy. Methodists in the United States, who comprise more than half of the church’s 12.5 million members, increasingly have found those positions untenable, particularly after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized … Read
Have you ever negotiated with someone who seemed intent on sabotaging the negotiation or taking unfair advantage? If so, you would benefit from learning more about what it mean to negotiate in good faith.
What is your greatest source of power in negotiation? In their landmark negotiation book Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In (Penguin, 1991), Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton write that it is often a strong BATNA, or best alternative to a negotiated agreement. Before and during their negotiations, wise negotiators determine their … 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
The fallout from Iceland’s financial crisis offers a case study in dealing with those who have suffered a significant blow to their self-esteem. In late 2008, Iceland teetered on the edge of bankruptcy following the collapse of its three largest banks. Since becoming independent of the government in 2002, the banks had pursued a strategy … Read
Here are ten popular business negotiation articles on the Program on Negotiation website. Drawn from a variety of negotiation case studies as well as negotiation research, the following articles offer strategies for engaging in integrative negotiations aimed at creating win-win scenarios for each party at the negotiation table.
1. What is the Right of First Refusal?
Rights … Read
Here are some negotiating skills from the world of crisis negotiations: Hostage negotiators stress the importance of discussing the “drill”—goals, ground rules, and operating principles—with their team before beginning talks with a hostage taker.
As a collaboration between UST School of Law and the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, the following is the transcript of a conversation between the creator of the multi-door courthouse, Harvard Law Professor Frank E.A. Sander, and the executive director and founder of the University of St. Thomas (UST) International ADR [Alternative Dispute … Read
International negotiation brings on more challenges than most. On September 3, 2013, Microsoft announced a deal to acquire Finnish mobile phone company Nokia’s handset and services business for $7.2 billion, the New York Times reported. The agreement marked a belated but bold move by Microsoft to upgrade its presence in handheld devices and signals an … Read
What’s one of the best ways to teach the art and science of negotiation? Case studies and articles that spark lively discussion or facilitate self-reflection. Based on real-world examples, these teaching resources are designed to help students envision how to apply what they’ve learned in the classroom and beyond.
The Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) at … Read
When opposing parties cannot come to a satisfactory resolution, a strong mediator can make all the difference. By effectively examining the issues at hand and helping parties identify creative solutions, a well-trained mediator builds consensus where there once was none.
To help professionals learn the art of mediation, the Program on Negotiation’s Teaching Negotiation Resource Center … Read
In 2016, political dealmaking and corporate mergers took center stage. We look back on some of the most notable of these negotiations, which offer significant lessons to professional negotiators.
A distinguished older soprano, Sally has not had a lead role in two years. However, when another soprano falls ill, the Lyric Opera is eager to hire Sally…but at what price?
Sally Soprano is one of the best-known role-play simulations from the Program on Negotiation’s Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC). And it’s a classic for good … Read
Amazon’s announcement on February 14 that it was backing out of a recent deal to build a major new campus in New York City was as bitter as a Valentine’s Day breakup could be. But the budding relationship between Amazon and New York didn’t have to end in acrimony and broken dreams, Harvard Business School … Read
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.
The most heated types of conflict in organizations and in our personal lives often concern our core values, such as our personal moral standards, our religious and political beliefs, and our family’s welfare. Such values conflicts can escalate and intervening quickly in cases of conflict is essential. The following three conflict resolution scenarios can help … Read
Imagine 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.
In business negotiations, a little power is better than none at all, right? After all, if talks with a prospective client fail, we’d rather have a few unpromising leads to turn to rather than none.
Finding the zone of possible agreement in negotiations can be difficult, especially when dealing with friends and family. We all know people who have “alligator arms.” When the restaurant check comes, they can’t manage to reach their wallets, or they quibble that they had the small tomato juice, and you had the large.
In business negotiations, our mistakes sometimes end up affecting not only the current deal, but our best alternative to a negotiated agreement, or BATNA, in deals that lie down the road. That’s a lesson that Ann Marie Gardner, the founder and editor of the hip new magazine Modern Farmer, has learned the hard way.
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
Imagine you’re competing with multiple parties to secure a coveted resource, such as your dream house, a cool invention, or a talented new hire. How might you stand out from the pack and win the prize? While negotiating its $13.4 billion acquisition of upscale grocer Whole Foods in 2017, online retailer Amazon did so in … Read
Here are some examples of negotiation situations in which chaos at the bargaining table works to the negotiator’s advantage. Whether conducting business negotiations involving commercial transactions or personal disputes with a friend, the following negotiating skills and techniques can be used.
Group negotiations are a fact of managerial life, yet the outcomes of teamwork are highly unpredictable. Sometimes groups cohere, reaching novel solutions to nagging problems, and sometimes infighting causes them to collapse. How can you predict when conflict will emerge in groups, and what can you do to stop it?
Dora Lau of the Chinese University … Read
What’s faster than the pace of technological development? The pace of lawsuits being filed about the adoption of new technologies, patent infringement, and intellectual property rights. In our modern world, professionals must be able to resolve highly challenging technology-related disputes – often before they reach the courtroom. That’s where the Program on Negotiation’s Teaching … Read
As you know, gender stereotypes often enter the negotiation process. Women and men are perceived to, and often do, act differently in negotiations. Furthermore, gender-based discrimination—such as less pay, unequal treatment, and sexual harassment—is often a source of conflict. With the resources available through the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC), professionals can learn how to … Read
It may be the most burning question in business negotiation: Should you make the first offer?
Traditionally, negotiators were advised to wait for the other side to make a first offer. According to this reasoning, the other side’s offer gives you valuable information about his goals and alternatives.
More recently, however, research on the anchoring bias has … Read
It’s Negotiation 101: to get what you want, you need to be able to make a credible threat to walk away from a subpar deal. And for your threat to be credible, you can’t walk in with a bad BATNA, you have to have a strong BATNA, or best alternative to a negotiated agreement. In … Read
In negotiation, we sometimes face the dreaded task of asking difficult people, intimidating opponents, and otherwise daunting counterparts for a big favor. How can we close the deal when we can barely summon up the courage to talk to the person in the first place?
In a recent Slate.com article, writer and PhD in Psychology Jane Hu described the findings of a research study by Professor Laura J. Kray, University of California, Berkeley.
Kray, along with co-authors Jessica Kennedy, PhD, and Alex Van Zant, PhD, investigated the role gender played in negotiation and focused specifically on whether the stereotype of women … Read
What can you do to protect a negotiation from spoilers?
The greatest risk to a negotiation can come from parties at the table who are intent on spoiling the agreement. Spoilers are parties in a negotiation who believe that the agreement will threaten their power and interests, and so they spoil the negotiation.
Some spoilers have limited … Read
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
Negotiators tend to concentrate too closely on the here and now. By incorporating future concerns into your talks, you’ll make sounder decisions and guard against crises.
In the midst of the current U.S.financial crisis, accusations of greed on Wall Street have sounded across the globe. Greed may be a significant factor in the collapse of credit … Read
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
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
When partners are negotiating a new business deal, overconfidence can lead them to overlook the possibility that the business will fail or otherwise struggle. Wise negotiators envision not only the best-case scenario, but the worst-case scenario, and prepare for it before signing on the dotted line.
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.
A European Union summit held in late October 2013 failed to make headway toward more coordination of economic policies. Facing resistance from Germany in particular, European officials grew pessimistic regarding their odds of negotiating a deal over the next year to lay the foundation for a banking union for the 17 nations that use the … Read
A standoff between Democrat President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans in 2012 focused attention on the negotiation styles employed by the two parties as they sought to secure their interests while also working toward the resolution of a budgetary battle.
Selecting the right person for a challenging job is often more than just a hiring decision. It’s a negotiation. Doing it well requires exceptional leadership skills. Nowhere is this clearer than in late night television. Last year, Jay Leno left The Tonight Show.
Starting construction on an 800-mile rail network in the world’s 8th largest economy without the funds in place to finish the job may seem crazy, but in California Governor Jerry Brown’s case it was a calculated gamble by a seasoned leader intent on winning a long-term negotiation.
The five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany were able to arrive at a negotiated agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran to curtail its nuclear weapons development program. Read this article to find out what diplomatic negotiation strategies were employed by the representatives from the bargaining countries and how they impacted … Read
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.
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
Here are some of the worst negotiation tactics displayed during calendar year 2015 – from hard-bargaining, distributive negotiation strategies aimed at getting the whole pie to stonewalling strategies intended to stymy the development of a negotiated agreement.
Here are some of the worst negotiation tactics displayed during calendar year 2015 – from hard-bargaining, distributive negotiation strategies aimed at getting the whole pie to stonewalling strategies intended to stymy the development of a negotiated agreement.
The transfer of an agreement from negotiators to lawyers or other professional deal drafters can introduce three main types of mistakes. Read on to discover how you can avoid making these same mistakes at the bargaining table during your next dealmaking negotiation session.
Looking back on the past, 2013 witnessed a series of colorful mergers, acquisitions, and other deals. Here are the 10 top negotiations and negotiation trends of that year from which business dealmakers can learn.
When times are tight, contracts are often broken. These days, parties on both sides of sales agreements are struggling to fulfill their promises, and contract workers are having trouble getting paid by their employers.
Whatever the root causes of faulty drafting, negotiators need to better understand and manage certain aspects of the deal drafting process. Here are three ways to ensure that breakdowns don’t occur on the way from handshake to contract.
Some of the trickier aspects of designing the right contract with your agent include properly aligning her incentives and monitoring her work. Supervising your agent can be especially hard when she knows more than you do about the area of work. For example, hiring an agent who is a lawyer and paying her on an … Read
“Give them an inch, and they’ll take a mile.” Unfortunately, that’s the attitude with which many people approach negotiation. Convinced that their counterparts will take advantage of any concessions and compromise they make, they refuse to make any at all.
Many U.S. law schools are in crisis, to hear some tell it. To combat economic downturns, many law firms instituted policies of mass layoffs and pay cuts. Years after the 2008 financial recession, few have recovered.
High-Stakes Conflict Resolution Games
In Drug Testing in the Workplace—a popular role-play from the TNRC—a truck driver tests positive for marijuana in a random drug test. To play this conflict resolution game, participants assume the roles of truck driver, personnel director, and a representative from the Employee Assistance
Program Center, and then explore the question:
What is the … Read
How often have you heard that, when entering a negotiation, you should get your allies onboard first? Conventional wisdom, but not always the best advice. When the United States sought to build a global anti-Iraq coalition following Iraq’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait, for instance, Israel appeared to be its strongest regional ally.
What do a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, the CEO of an international financial advisory firm, and the former United States ambassador to the United Nations have in common? They’ve all received the Great Negotiator Award.
Every year, the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School bestows this prestigious honor on distinguished leaders whose lifelong accomplishments in … Read
The 41-day armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon ended on February 11 when the last occupiers surrendered. Federal authorities in six states also arrested seven others accused of being involved in the occupation, according to the Associated Press. The standoff had begun when Ammon Bundy and his followers took over the … Read
The Green Bay Packers beat the Kansas City Chiefs 35 to 10 in Super Bowl I. But that’s not the end of the story. In business negotiations, and particularly sales negotiation, enthusiasm is required when trying to convince our counterparts that we have what they need. But that enthusiasm isn’t always infectious. The tale of … Read
In negotiation, your best source of power is typically your best alternative to a negotiated agreement, or BATNA. Having a strong outside alternative enables you to walk away from a deal that doesn’t meet your needs or that would compromise your vision or ethics.
But when you are dealing with a negotiating partner who seems irreplaceable, … Read
Here are the top 10 celebrity negotiations from the year 2015. From integrative bargaining strategies to building bridges with counterparts in contentious talks, these negotiation scenarios demonstrate the effectiveness of collaborative, win-win negotiation tactics.
In this negotiation scenario straight from reality television, Lu Ann de Lesseps, Ramona Singer, and Sonja Morgan test their negotiating prowess against reality tv network Bravo in their contract renewal renegotiations. Skinnygirl mogul and financial whiz kid, Bethenny Frankel, offers a template for bargaining for success on reality tv and beyond.
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
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
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
Knowing how to manage your own internal conflicts before engaging in negotiations is an invaluable negotiation skill negotiators should develop prior to engaging in international negotiations, business or otherwise.
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.
Fans of the television show Friends got a treat last month when Netflix made all 236 episodes of the blockbuster hit available to stream online. At first glance actors Lisa Kudrow, Jennifer Aniston and the rest of the star-studded cast might not be your first pick to peg as formidable negotiators, but at the height … Read
On April 29, the National Basketball Association (NBA) banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling from the league for life and fined him $2.5 million in reaction to racist remarks he made during a phone call, which were made public. The NBA’s announcement, as reported by Scott Cacciola in the New York Times, set off … Read
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
As he entered his second term in office, President Obama set a goal of taking concrete steps to address global climate change. A global agreement on the issue is in sight, but a key obstacle stands in the way: the U.S. Senate. According to the Constitution, a president needs approval from a two-thirds majority of … Read
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
At some point or another, most negotiators claim that a certain issue is a deal breaker.If you’re trying to sell your business, for instance, you might walk away from talks with a potential buyer who you believe would lay off many of your longtime employees. Or if someone asks you to go in on a … Read
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
With home sales heating up in some U.S. regions in 2013, homebuyers faced competition they haven’t seen since before the real-estate bubble burst, and it showed up in the form of packed open houses, multiple bids above the asking price, and all-cash offers.
A lack of transparency regarding negotiations between hospitals and the insurers known as preferred provider organizations, or PPOs, is a key contributor to spiraling health-care costs in the United States, according to an August article in the New York Times.
The problem starts with the somewhat arbitrary, sky-high prices that hospitals put on their supplies and … Read
As the U.S. government approaches a potentially catastrophic default on its debt in October, President Obama remains determined to avoid negotiations with Republican leaders on the issue, the New York Times reports, a situation that leaves House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner with an uncertain BATNA, or best alternative to a negotiated agreement.
When it comes to negotiation, the more choices on the table, the better your outcomes will be – right? Not necessarily. An excess of options can stand in the way off efficient agreements and, moreover, prevent you from being satisfied with the final result.
Car salespeople truly understand how to use modest concessions to extract much larger ones.
First, they spend a long time legitimating the sticker price and suggesting that it’s not only fair, but nonnegotiable.
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
If you’ve ever been part of an organization team preparing to negotiate an agreement with another organization, you probably have faced this frustrating task: Aligning your individual interests , other team members’ interests, and those of your company as a whole.
Program on Negotiation and Harvard Business School professor Deepak Malhotra recently sat down with CNBC to discuss the fiscal cliff and how Democrats and Republicans can not only complete their current negotiation successfully, but also their future negotiations.
How can you figure out the motives behind someone’s seemingly stubborn position? Begin by questioning her about the problem she is trying to solve. Deal blockers may be held back by financial, legal, personal, or other constraints you don’t know about, according to Harvard Business School professor Deepak Malhotra. A tough stance could also communicate … Read
Going to trial, it’s said, is like rolling the dice. That proved true when an exasperated federal judge, the Honorable Gregory A. Presnell, ordered litigants to play a game of Rock Paper Scissors if they could not privately resolve their differences over a procedural issue. The lawyers were stalemated on where to depose a witness … Read
Adapted from “How to Negotiate When You’re (Literally) Far Apart,” by Roderick I. Swaab (professor, INSEAD) and Adam D. Galinsky (professor, Northwestern University), first published in the Negotiation newsletter, February 2007.
Growing economic globalization offers a multitude of new opportunities yet often necessitates alternatives to face-to-face meetings, such as phone calls, e-mails, videoconferences, or instant messages. … Read
Lawrence Susskind (Ford Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
“Win-win” has become a popular term in the field of negotiation, but many people have mis-perceptions about what it actually means. In this blog post, Professor Lawrence Susskind, a member of PON’s Executive Committee, clarifies that a “win-win” negotiated outcome is … Read
Adapted from “Before You Sign on the Dotted Line…”first published in the Negotiation newsletter, May 2009.
After reaching an agreement, professionals often rely on their lawyers to draw up the official contract. Unfortunately, miscommunication between negotiators and their lawyers often leads to costly mistakes. Contract terms may not accurately represent the negotiated agreement, key deal terms … Read
Adapted from “Strength in Numbers: Negotiating as a Team,” by Elizabeth A. Mannix (professor, Cornell University), first published in the Negotiation newsletter, May 2005.
The widespread belief in “strength in numbers” suggests that having more players on your team should be a benefit, not a burden. But this belief can lead team members to underprepare … Read
Adapted from “Make Your Weak Position Strong,” by Deepak Malhotra (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter.
A common complaint among managers and executives who attend negotiation courses and seminars is that they don’t learn enough about negotiating from a position of weakness. What can you do when you have a weak BATNA, … Read
Adapted from “Better or Best: Keeping Your Options Open,” by Michael Wheeler (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter.
Jim, a well-regarded residential developer operating outside Philadelphia, has been scouting around for a site for his next project. Two properties seem promising. The Abbott estate consists of 75 acres of woodlands and some … Read
Adapted from “When Tough Talk Is Beside the Point,” by Hal Movius (instructor, The Program on Technology Negotiation, Program on Negotiation, Harvard Law School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter.
Most of us intuitively believe that personality traits such as toughness matter a great deal in negotiation. Yet studies by Bruce Barry and Raymond Friedman of … Read
Adapted from “How to Defuse Threats at the Bargaining Table,” by Katie A. Liljenquist (professor, Brigham Young University) and Adam D. Galinsky (professor, Northwestern University), first published in the Negotiation newsletter.
Sooner or later, every negotiator faces threats at the bargaining table. How should you respond when the other side threatens to walk away, file a … Read
Adapted from “Accept or Reject?” by Deepak Malhotra (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter.
Negotiators usually have strong feelings about fairness. Unfortunately, our fairness perceptions tend to be biased in a self-serving manner. Research has shown that, at the end of a negotiation, most people feel they were more cooperative … Read
Adapted from “Negotiating with Sole Suppliers,” by David Lax (managing principal, Lax Sebenius LLC), first published in the Negotiation newsletter.
Negotiators often wonder how to do business with sole suppliers who know they don’t have any real outside alternative and who take advantage of this. Without the power of a realistic best alternative to a negotiated … Read
For many people, thinking about the role of power in negotiation can be paralyzing. In fact, the same people who are anxious about negotiating in general tend to be anxious about exerting their power during negotiation. Why? Perhaps because most of us realize that power, even when not explicitly discussed, is often the precipitating and … Read
Adapted from “Are You Overly Committed to the Deal?” First published in the Negotiation newsletter.
A telecommuter hires a carpenter to build a workstation for her home office. The carpenter’s contract requires payment of 50% upon signing, an additional 30% halfway through the job, and the final 20% upon completion. When the job is done, … Read
Ron McAfee, a carpenter and roofing expert, spent considerable time working with a condominium association on the design of a new roof deck. After gaining agreement on the proposed layout, design, and materials, McAfee submitted a written bid of $12,500. One of the board members subsequently showed McAfee’s plans to another roofer, who offered to … Read
For decades, General Electric (GE) and the Environmental Protection Agency sparred over who would pay for the removal of PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, that GE had discharged into New York’s Hudson River, a cleanup project expected to cost hundreds of millions of dollars. In October 2005, the two sides came to an agreement.
Adapted from “Overcoming Stage Fright: How to Prepare for a Negotiation,” by Michael Wheeler (Professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter.
Many negotiators grow anxious as they approach the bargaining table, a reaction that puts them in good company with other distinguished professionals. Laurence Olivier’s stage fright almost ended his acting … Read
The winners of Harvard Law School’s 56th annual Williston competition were announced on Tuesday, April 28. The competition, sponsored by the Board of Student Advisers and organized and run by Harvard Negotiators, offers first-year students the opportunity to practice negotiation and contract drafting. Teams of two students participate in the competition which focuses primarily on … Read
Basic negotiation skills may seem easy to apply in business situations but what about when business and family collide?
For example, a 69-year-old CEO of a large financial firm that has been in his family for three generations is considering retirement. He has three children who may be interested in taking over the business in addition … Read