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.


negotiation newsletter

The following items are tagged negotiation newsletter:

Cognitive Biases in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution – Common Negotiation Mistakes

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Negotiators planning to engage in conflict resolution in a personal or business disputes should be aware of cognitive biases in negotiation, particularly when your dispute is being decided by a judge. Before doing so, you should consider carefully what psychologists, political scientists, and legal scholars have learned about judges from negotiation research and social science: … Read More 

The New Conflict Management: Effective Conflict Resolution Strategies to Avoid Litigation

Posted by & filed under Free Report.

This report reveals how wise negotiators extract unexpected value using an indirect approach to conflict management. An aggressive management style can set you up for repeated failure. Direct conflict management approaches can be overly combative and counter-productive. Experienced negotiators know that compromise seldom succeeds. Win/lose is really lose/lose. The best negotiation strategy results in … Read More 

Salary Negotiation: How to Ask for a Higher Salary

Posted by & filed under Salary Negotiations.

For a new employee, salary negotiation skills can be the most important and the most intimidating, but the most important, of difficult conversations to have at the beginning of your career. A new employee, successfully negotiating a salary offer up by $5,000 could make a huge difference over the course of her career. … Read More 

Learning From Negotiation Role-Plays

Posted by & filed under Teaching Negotiation.

It’s a familiar practice in negotiation training: Students are divided up and assigned to engage in role-play exercises known as simulations. Each person reads confidential information about her role, the two (or more) players get together and negotiate, and then the class reconvenes to debrief the experiences. Simulation took root as a common method for teaching … Read More 

Cultural Barriers and Conflict Negotiation Strategies: Apple’s Apology in China

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

When dealing with a difficult counterpart, it helps to take a conciliatory approach to the bargaining table. While apologies necessarily involve moments of vulnerability, they can also open doors to value creation and strengthen the relationship you have with your bargaining counterpart. Let’s look back at Apple’s apology in China for its maligned warranty policies … Read More 

How to Negotiate Online

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

International negotiators are often faced with the problem of how to overcome cultural barriers to communication. When you communicate in person, social norms – including body language, manners, and physical appearance – guide your behavior and ease the process. Here are some tips on how to negotiate online and building a rapport with your counterpart … Read More 

New Conflict Management Skills: Understand How to Resolve “Hot Conflicts”

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Negotiating effectively with colleagues can be more challenging than dealing with outsiders. Conventional wisdom advises addressing team conflict by staying focused on tasks and avoiding relationship issues. Yet a case study of conflict management by Harvard Business School professor Amy Edmondson and Diana McLain Smith of The Monitory Group concludes that this approach to dispute … Read More 

An Example of the Anchoring Effect

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

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. … Read More 

Negotiating the Good Friday Agreement

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution, Daily.

Retired US Senator George Mitchell played a critical role in negotiating the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland. In an interview with Susan Hackley, Managing Director of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, in the February 2004 Negotiation newsletter, he describes how he was able to facilitate an agreement between these long-warring parties. … Read More 

Mediation and the Conflict Resolution Process

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

It’s often the case that when two people or organizations try to resolve a dispute by determining who is right, they get stuck. That’s why so many disputes end up in court. There is a better way to resolve your dispute: by hiring an expert mediator who focuses not on rights but on interests—the needs, … Read More 

The Importance of a Relationship in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Training.

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

Negotiation Styles for Win-Win Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

A few characteristics of negotiation styles include hard bargaining tactics focused on claiming as much value as possible and integrative negotiation strategies such as value creation or win-win negotiation scenarios. What negotiation styles leads to optimal negotiated agreements and are suitable to win-win negotiations? One skill to cultivate that will have a positive impact on … Read More 

Team Building Using Negotiation Skills

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

To avoid conveying weakness to the other side, rather than calling for a break at the first sign of trouble, some negotiation teams devise secret signals they can use to bring wayward members in line—for instance, someone might stretch out her arms to communicate to another member that he’s getting off track. … Read More 

Cross Cultural Communication: Translation and Negotiation

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

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

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

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

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

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

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

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

Essential Negotiation Skills: Limiting Cognitive Bias in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

In past articles, we have highlighted a variety of psychological biases that affect negotiators, many of which spring from a reliance on intuition, and may hinder integrative negotiation. Of course, negotiators are not always affected by bias; we often think systematically and clearly at the bargaining table. Most negotiators believe they are capable of distinguishing … Read More 

Using Body Language in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Negotiation experts typically advise us to meet with our counterparts in person whenever possible rather than relying on the telephone or Internet. As convenient as electronic media may be, they lack the visual cues that help convey valuable information and forge connections in face-to-face talks. Without access to gestures and facial expressions, those who negotiate … Read More 

When Not to Show Your Hand in Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Here, we consider four types of information that may be best kept under wraps: sensitive or privileged information, information that isn’t yours to share, information that diminishes your power, and information that may fluctuate during negotiations. Fearful of being hurt by revealing too much information, most negotiators play their facts and preferences close to the vest. … Read More 

Negotiation Games

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Going to trial, it’s said, is like rolling the dice. In this article, we discuss what negotiators need to be aware of to avoid negotiation games before heading to the courtroom. … Read More 

Reservation Point in Negotiation: Reach Negotiated Agreements by Asking the Right Questions

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

A reservation point negotiation is a bargaining scenario in which each side is trying to reconcile the other’s highest offer and the other’s lowest price. This negotiation example can apply to many other bargaining situations and demonstrates the value of open communication with your counterpart at the negotiation table. … Read More 

What is Dispute System Design?

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

Dispute System Design (DSD) is the process of identifying, designing, employing, and evaluating an effective means of resolving conflicts within an organization. In order to be effective, dispute systems must be thoroughly thought out and carefully constructed. … Read More 

Case Study of Conflict Management: To Resolve Disputes and Manage Conflicts, Assume a Neutral 3rd Party Role

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

In their book Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most (Penguin Putnam, 2000), authors Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Heen tell us how to engage in the conversations in our professional or personal lives that make us uncomfortable by examining a case study of conflict management. Tough, honest conversations are critical for managers, … Read More 

Negotiation Skills: Building Trust in Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Trust in negotiations may develop naturally over time, but negotiators rarely have the luxury of letting nature take its course. Thus it sometimes seems easiest to play it safe with cautious deals involving few tradeoffs, few concessions, and little information sharing between parties. But avoiding risk can mean missing out on significant opportunities. For this reason, … Read More 

Communicate Your Interests Behind the Deal

Posted by & filed under Mediation.

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. … Read More 

Lessons for Business Negotiators: Negotiation Techniques from International Diplomacy

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

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. … Read More 

Integrative Negotiations: Dispute Resolution Through Joint Fact-Finding

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Sometimes parties to a dispute disagree on key facts and forecasts but lack the technical or scientific expertise needed to come to a consensus. Suppose, for instance, that a developer is seeking to build a high-rise condominium building in a village that is experiencing a development boom. Longtime residents fight the proposal, arguing that another … Read More 

The Negotiation Process in China

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

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. … Read More 

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

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

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 More 

The Benefits of Coalitions at the Bargaining Table

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Labor unions may be the most obvious example of a negotiating coalitions. When a company negotiates with an employee individually, it could threaten to hire someone else in the face of the employee’s demands. By contrast, when employees bargain collectively through a union, they avoid the need to compete against one another (at least on … Read More 

Ethics and Negotiation: 5 Principles of Negotiation to Boost Your Bargaining Skills in Business Situations

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Training.

Knowing the norms of ethics and negotiation can be useful whether you’re negotiating for yourself or on behalf of someone else. Each ethical case you come up against will have its own twists and nuances, but there a few principles that negotiators should keep in mind while at the bargaining table. … Read More 

Conflict Management and Negotiation: Personality and Individual Differences That Matter

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Although Elfenbein and her colleagues did find that negotiators performed at a similar level from one negotiation to the next, to their surprise, these scores were only minimally related to specific personality traits. And traits that are basically unchangeable, such as gender, ethnic background, and physical attractiveness, were not closely connected to people’s scores. A small … Read More 

Writing the Negotiated Agreement

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

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 More 

Developing Negotiation Skills for Integrative Negotiations – Does Personality Matter?

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

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 More 

International Negotiations and Agenda Setting: Controlling the Flow of the Negotiation Process

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

When two groups are embroiled in a conflict, it is common for the party with less power to have difficulty convincing the more powerful party to sit down at the negotiating table in international negotiations. Think of a labor union that wants to convince company management to agree to pay increases. In such cases, the … Read More 

How to Balance Your Own Values in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

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 More 

Arbitration vs Mediation: What’s Wrong with Traditional Arbitration?

Posted by & filed under Mediation.

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. … Read More 

Debunking Negotiation Myths

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

In her book The Mind and Heart of the Negotiator, Leigh Thompson cites four widely held negotiation myths that bar negotiators from improving their skills. This analysis is worth the attention of anyone who wants to move beyond platitudes to a deeper understanding of negotiation. Myth 1: Great negotiators are born. While we’re all born with … Read More 

Overcoming Cultural Barriers in Negotiation: China and the Gold Rush Mentality

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

If Chinese culture favors insiders, it stands to reason that outsiders face an uphill battle. In One Billion Customers: Lessons from the Front Lines of Doing Business in China (Free Press, 2005), business executive and Wall Street Journal bureau chief James McGregor writes of the 1996 attempt by Xinhua, the official Chinese news agency, to … Read More 

Conflict Management: Intervening in Workplace Conflict

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Question: I’m aware of lots of unresolved personnel issues that seem to be festering in my department, such as complaints about someone who is not doing his share of the work, another person whose griping is causing a drop in morale, and two coworkers who can’t seem to get along. I’m comfortable negotiating with customers, … Read More 

The Angry Negotiator

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Most negotiations require us both to compete to claim value and to cooperate to create value. The ability to move back and forth between these two goals is a critical—and difficult—skill. How do emotions affect value creation and claiming? Researchers Alice Isen and Peter Carnevale found that a positive mood leads to greater value creation. … Read More 

Deal with Last-Minute Demands

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “When They Slice the Deal Too Thin,” by Michael Wheeler (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Suppose that, after months of negotiation, you reach a detailed agreement with a customer and shake hands. A week later, the customer’s procurement officer calls to tell you that there have to be some … Read More 

Does Small Talk in Negotiation Offer Big Gains?

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

According to conventional wisdom, small talk builds rapport and gets both sides a better deal in the end. But in fact, the question of whether to engage in small talk can be highly context-specific. New York City investment bankers, for example, tend to be far less likely than Texas oil executives to engage in small … Read More 

Coming Up with Win-Win Solutions at the Bargaining Table

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

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. … Read More 

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

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

MESO negotiation, a negotiation strategy for creating value with a counterpart who may be reluctant to negotiate, allows negotiators to propose multiple offers without signaling commitment or preference for any one option. Business negotiators that practice integrative negotiation strategies often complain that although they try to focus on creating value, they run into far too many difficult … Read More 

Learn How to Detect Lies in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Whether we like it or not, negotiators often lie. Researchers have found that while most of us are generally aware of this fact, few of us are adept at detecting actual lies in negotiation. In two studies, Maurice E. Schweitzer and Rachel Croson of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania move beyond the challenge … Read More 

Try to Avoid the Winners Curse When Negotiating

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

In a winner’s curse negotiation scenario, the winner may often find herself on the losing end of the deal. Ever win something you wanted, then realize too late you got a raw deal? Here’s how to recognize when backing away is your best bet in a negotiation. … Read More 

Putting Negotiation Training to Work: The Limits of Lectures

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Training.

Negotiation training lectures, like publications, are an excellent means of transmitting knowledge from an expert to a less knowledgeable audience. I have attended many amazing lectures on a multitude of topics and have learned fascinating information about the ecosystem, politics in different nations, animal species, and so on. I even have enjoyed hearing negotiation experts talk … Read More 

Bargaining at a Fever Pitch

Posted by & filed under Leadership Skills.

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

What is Dispute Resolution in Law: The Ins and Outs of Arbitration

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

A “one-shot” form of dispute resolution, arbitration is usually faster and cheaper than litigation. In addition, rather than being assigned a judge, parties are able to select their arbitrator. What is dispute resolution in law and how do alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods like arbitration operate inside and outside a courtroom? Here are some examples of … Read More 

Managing Faultlines Group Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Mediation.

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 More 

BATNA and Negotiation Scenarios Where Alternatives are Preferable to Negotiated Agreements

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

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 More 

Business Negotiations: Matching Rights – The Fundamentals

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

When the mergers-and-acquisitions boom began in 1993, many deals simply required the seller to let the buyer know if a “superior proposal” came along. By the late 1990s, buyers were demanding – and receiving – more than this: an exclusive negotiating period of several days, during which they could decide to match or improve upon … Read More 

Satisficing and Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

It stands to reason that devoting less time to relatively unimportant choices should free you up for more meaningful pursuits and increase your overall satisfaction. But how does the concept of satisficing apply to your most important decisions and negotiations? … Read More 

How to Capitalize on Luck in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Imagine that you have just negotiated a great deal on a house – and rightly so, given how deftly you managed the process from start to finish. You diligently studied the local real estate market and uncovered the seller’s motives for listing her property. You even created mutual gain by allowing the seller to stay … Read More 

How Short-Term Focus Contributes to Future Disasters in Business Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

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 More 

Integrative Negotiation Examples: MESOs and Expanding the Pie

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

In our society, we’re bombarded with a multitude of decisions each day, beginning with the increasingly complex question of how to order our morning coffee. In his book The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less (Ecco, 2004), Swarthmore College psychology professor Barry Schwartz describes the contemporary phenomenon of becoming exhausted by “the tyranny of … Read More 

Negotiation Topics in Business: Make a Bump Plan

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Regrouping from the cancellation of the 2004–2005 season due to failed labor negotiations, National Hockey League (NHL) teams and players faced the challenge of radically restructuring their collective bargaining agreement (CBA) in July 2005. The new CBA instituted a uniform cap (as well as a floor) on team payrolls. It also set maximums and minimums … Read More 

Arbitration vs Mediation: Using Teambuilding and ADR in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Mediation.

During his years as George H.W. Bush’s Secretary of State, one of James A. Baker, III’s, goals was to encourage the free-market reforms that Communist Party of the Soviet Union General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev had launched in the late 1980s. One day during his tenure, a high-level Bush administration official commented in the press that … Read More 

Dealmaking: Dealing with the Other Side’s Constituents

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

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

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

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

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

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 More 

A Closer Look at Court-Sponsored Mediation

Posted by & filed under Mediation.

No one likes to go to court. Not only is it expensive and time-consuming, it often leads to frustrating results and damaged relationships. So is court-sponsored mediation a better route? The answer is “sometimes,” according to a comprehensive survey of court-affiliated mediation programs by Roselle L. Wissler of Arizona State University’s College of Law in Tempe. … Read More 

What is the Winner’s Curse?

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Imagine that while exploring an outdoor bazaar in a foreign country, you see a beautiful rug that would look perfect in your home. While you’ve purchased a rug or two in your life, you’re far from an expert. Thinking on your feet, you guess that the rug is worth about $5,000. You decide to make … Read More 

A Second Look at Rights of First Refusal

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

When transferring property, sellers sometimes insist on rights of first refusal—the chance to be first in line to repurchase the property if their buyer later decides to sell. A right of first refusal can be an obvious advantage if your financial circumstances later change. … Read More 

Conflict Management Training and Negotiation Research: How Nervous Energy Affects Negotiation Scenarios and Attempts at Conflict Resolution

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Negotiation is often characterized as a physiologically arousing event marked by pounding hearts, queasy stomachs, and flushed faces. We might assume that heightened physiological arousal would mar our negotiation performance, but this is only true for some, researchers Ashley D. Brown and Jared R. Curhan of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found in a new … Read More 

Is Mediation Expertise What You Need?

Posted by & filed under Mediation.

When a negotiation escalates into a dispute, most managers understand the value of seeking out a mediator for professional assistance with the matter. The question of whom to hire, however, is less clear-cut. What type of expetise should your mediator have, and where should you look for her? In this article, we will walk you … Read More 

How to Practice Interests-Based Leadership

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Why should the people you’re supposed to lead follow you? If you believe that your charisma, your exalted office, or your vision is reason enough, you’re in trouble. While these qualities may affect how others relate to you, the unvarnished truth is that other people will follow you when they judge it’s in their best interest to … Read More 

Financial Negotiations During the Banking Crisis: Did the Mortgage Foreclosure Settlement Meet Its Goals?

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

The mortgage foreclosure settlement reached by the Obama Administration and major US banks bailed out during the 2008 financial crisis illustrates the importance of an integrative negotiations approach to bargaining with your counterpart. Here are the strategies and techniques employed by each side to reach a consensus on the mortgage foreclosure settlement. … Read More 

In Business Negotiations, Capitalize on a Right of First Refusal

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

As dealmakers look for more sophisticated ways to reduce risks and increase returns, a right of first refusal—a contractual guarantee that one side can match any offer that the other side later receives—has become a common and useful tool to add to your business negotiation skills.


Build powerful negotiation skills 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.


When the mergers-and-acquisitions (M&A) boom began in 1993, many deals … Read More 

Negotiation Skills in Business Communication: Heading Off Deception

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

In all types of negotiations and across all phases of the process, people can sometimes misrepresent or fail to tell the truth. Individual negotiators lie with the hope of improving their own outcomes. When negotiating his salary with the Cranbury, N.J.–based pharmaceutical marketing firm Carter-Wallace in 1997, Robert Bonczek misrepresented his prior title and salary … Read More 

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 More 

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

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

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

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

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

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 More 

Negotiation Skills: How “Close Calls” Can Hurt You

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

In the early 1990s, NASA managers and engineers were warned by an expert in risk analysis that the heat-resistant tiles that protected space shuttles during reentry into Earth’s atmosphere could be damaged by debris from the insulating foam on the shuttle’s’ fuel tanks. During missions over the next 10 years, debris did, indeed, hit tiles, but the damage … Read More 

Pull Ahead of the Pack with a “Negotiauction”

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

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

Dealmaking: What About the Fine Print?

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Choosing the right words for your contract is a negotiation in itself. Five guidelines will help you achieve greater precision. When negotiators sign on the dotted line, they sometimes worry about the wrong concerns. “Did I overpay?” wonders the buyer as he inks the sales agreement. Across the table, the seller is thinking, “I bet if I’d pushed … Read More 

The Lessons of Diplomacy

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

Max Bazerman has had extensive experience teaching corporation’s executive negotiation courses. In addition to the faculty and students, some of his sessions have been attended by high level former diplomats who had worked on cases discussed in class. The diplomats were invited, where appropriate, to provide insight into local customs, changing politics, and business norms. … Read More 

Disappointed by Results? Improve Accountability in Business Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

When it comes to planning and carrying out talks, negotiators are too often left to their own devices. Here’s how to guide your employees toward better results. How satisfied are you with the outcomes that negotiators in your organization achieve? Most likely, you can think of a few successes worth crowing about, a few you’d like to sweep … Read More 

Business Negotiations: Why Does Process Matter?

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Negotiating the right process for your negotiation is well worth the time and effort, for two important reasons. First, process drives substance. Imagine what might have happened if the pharmaceutical company and the biotech firm had agreed up front to resolve the royalty issue rather than simply exchanging their best arguments before splitting the difference. … Read More 

Have You Negotiated How You’ll Negotiate?

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

A large pharmaceutical company was engaged in licensing negotiation with a small biotech firm over the terms of a technology transfer. When the talks reached a standstill over royalty rates, the two sides began an all-weekend marathon session. Each side came armed with supporting arguments and data, but, by Sunday afternoon, they had failed to converge toward … Read More 

Business Negotiations: Imposing Procedural Constraints

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

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

Deal Making: When You Hold All the Cards

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Consider the following hypothetical negotiation scenarios, in which you seem to hold all the cards: – One of your customers has just landed a lucrative new contract, and you’re the only supplier who can add a critical component to that customer’s production process. – You own a controlling interest in a publicly traded company and are seeking … Read More 

Three Things to Consider When Choosing a Mediator

Posted by & filed under Mediation.

When choosing a mediator, keep in mind that you need not accept the proposals that he makes. In other words, you have total power to prevent mediation from leading to an undesirable outcome. As a result, the only risk of mediation is that you will expend time and money without reaching agreement. According to experts, mediation success … Read More 

Dealmaking: Why It’s Tempting to Trust Your Gut

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

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

Business Negotiations: Advice for the Rights Holder – Know What You’re Getting

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Not all matching rights are created equal. As the prospective right holder, you should know precisely what a proposed matching right will give you. Many deals that seem to guarantee a matching right are, in fact, murky about the exact consequences that could arise. For potential right holders, the most common mistake is to fail to specify … Read More 

Matching Rights in Business Negotiations: Advice for the Grantor – Use Matching Rights to Bridge the Gap

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

In negotiation, including a matching right in an agreement can be a classic win-win move. Suppose you’re a landlord negotiating with a prospective tenant. You want to maintain the ability to sell the apartment to someone else in the future, while your prospective tenant wants a commitment to rent the apartment for as long as … Read More 

Social Comparisons in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Social comparisons – the assessments we make about how we measure up to others – are key to understanding how status operates in negotiation. These comparisons, which signal concern about relative status, have a profound impact at the bargaining table. To make social comparisons, first we choose a reference group against which we can measure ourselves. … Read More 

What If We Have the Same Social Motive at the Bargaining Table?

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

When two people share the same motive, they fall prey to the same flaws and reinforce each other’s failings. Consider a labor negotiation in which the chief management negotiator withholds information about revenue projections, while the labor leader holds back details about workforce sentiment. Impasse is the predictable result. When you’re negotiating with a fellow … Read More 

Questioning Compromises

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

People often wonder if they should constantly monitor their decisions to avoid bias. The answer is no. Social heuristics serve a useful function, allowing our social interactions to run more smoothly. When it comes to minor decisions, go ahead and compromise. But when your organization is negotiating over important decisions and strategies, you must question the … Read More 

How Mental Shortcuts Lead to Misjudging

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Judges don’t make decisions based on a thorough accounting of all the relevant and available information. Instead, like all of us, they rely on heuristics – simple mental shortcuts – to make decisions. As many past articles have noted, heuristics often lead to good decisions, but they can also create cognitive blinders that produce systematic … Read More 

How Inadmissible Evidence Leads to Misjudging

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Throughout the litigation process, judges gain new information at settlement conferences, motion hearings, discovery disputes, and the trial itself. Inevitably, some of this information, though relevant to the case at hand, will be inadmissible under the rules of evidence. Unfortunately, informational blinders can prevent judges from disregarding this information when making decisions. … Read More 

How Nervous Energy Affects Negotiators and Conflict Management

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Negotiation is often characterized as a physiologically arousing event marked by pounding heart, queasy stomachs, and flushed faces. We might assume that heightened physiological arousal would mar our negotiation performance, but this is only true for some, researchers Ashley D. Brown and Jared R. Curhan of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found in a new … Read More 

When You Shouldn’t Go It Alone

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

A five-year old American manufacturer of medical equipment has just secured a patent on its primary product, a new kind of heart monitor. The potential market is even stronger than the company imagined, yet its second round of venture capital funding is coming to an end. A few other manufacturers are about to go public … Read More 

Find the Right Leadership Voice

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

When the poet Walt Whitman wrote, “Surely, whoever speaks to me in the right voice, him or her shall I follow,” he conveyed the notion that persuasive communication is fundamental to effective leadership. Whitman’s words also underscore the importance of shaping leadership communications to meet individual concerns, interests, and styles. When deciding how to communicate, recognize … Read More 

Choosing When to Choose

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

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. … Read More 

Deal Making Without a Net: Yahoo’s Tumblr Acquisition

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

On May 19, Internet company Yahoo announced that it was purchasing the blogging service Tumblr for about $1.1 billion in cash. The acquisition could put a fresh face on the aging Internet company and provide it with a profitable revenue source—or it could turn out to be another instance of the Web pioneer overpaying for … Read More 

What If You Have to Arbitrate?

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

The likelihood that a provision for final-offer arbitration in the event of impasse will actually result in arbitration is slim. However, as a precaution, you and your counterpart should agree on an arbitrator before you start negotiating. It’s easier to choose an arbitrator when both sides view arbitration as an unlikely event when arbitration is … Read More 

Becoming a More Ethical Negotiator

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Given the prevalence of corporate scandals in recent years, many have questioned whether ethics training for professionals has done much good. One of the reasons that such training has achieved limited success is its focus on intentional, explicitly unethical behavior. Such training encourages students to do what is right rather than what is profitable. Yet, most … Read More 

What to Do Before the Deal Breaks Down

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Whenever one side fails to meet its contractual obligations, renegotiation is more likely to succeed if the parties have a strong relationship. Ideally, the aggrieved party will value long-term relations more than potential gains from a claim for breach of contract. For example, a bank will be more willing to renegotiate a loan with a … Read More 

A Better Approach to Decision Making

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

When you’re making important decisions during a negotiation and have the luxury of time, what’s the alternative to Blink? Should you completely ignore your rapid cognitions? In the article “Strategies for Negotiating More Rationally,” we described University of Toronto professor Keith Stanovich and James Madison University professor Richard F. West’s distinction between System 1 and System … Read More 

Dear Negotiation Coach: “Should we leave external advisers out of the room?”

Posted by & filed under Mediation.

Q: My company is involved in a contentious and high-stakes intellectual-property dispute with a longtime competitor in our industry. We have been engaged in mediation for several months, thus far without success. In each session, there are dozens of people on each side, perhaps reflecting the high stakes and complex issues of law and technology … Read More 

International Negotiations: Threats at the Bargaining Table

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

The agreement seemed well on its way to being passed. On November 20, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the United States and Afghanistan had finished negotiating a bilateral security agreement.  The terms included a continued American troop presence through 2024 and a promise of billions in international aid to the Afghan government. The … Read More 

Team Building, One Player at a Time

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

In late October, the Detroit Tigers were preparing to face off against the San Francisco Giants in Major League Baseball’s World Series. In 2002 and 2003, the Tigers had two of the worst seasons in baseball history, losing a combined 225 games. But through years of calculated decision making and negotiations, team president Dave Dombrowski … Read More 

In Deal Making, Broaden Your Focus

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Imagine that you are in charge of renting a new location for a branch of your company in a nearby city. After researching the reputations of a number of local real estate agents, you meet with several and choose the one who seems most knowledgable and responsive. … Read More 

Google Searches for a More Diverse Team

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Recently, executives at the Silicon Valley-based internet giant Google noticed a disturbing trend: the company was having difficulty hiring and retaining female employees, from engineers to senior executives, Claire Cain Miller writes in the August 22 issue of the New York Times. Women were dropping out during the job interview process and were not being … Read More 

A Peacekeeper Abandons Negotiations in Syria

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

On August 2, Kofi Annan announced he was resigning as the special peace envoy of the United Nations and the Arab League. reports Rick Gladstone in the New York Times. Since February, the former Nobel Peace Prize winner and former U.N. Secretary General has attempted to negotiate a resolution of the Syrian conflict. The peaceful … Read More 

Accounting for Outsiders in Your Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

If you’re in the middle of talks that seem to be going well, here’s a warning: consider the impact of the agreement on those who aren’t at the table, or suffer the consequences. That’s a lesson that Apple and some of the largest U.S. book publishers are currently learning the hard way. On April 12, the … Read More 

When Negotiations Take Advantage of Outsiders

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

In March, reported Rob Wildeboer of Chicago’s WBEZ radio station broke the news that inmate in Cook County prisons (including those in the city of Chicago) were being charged inflated phone rates due to a profit-generating contract between the county and Securus Technologies, the company that operates the jail phone service. The contract requires Securus … Read More 

2012 Great Negotiator Award event will honor former Secretary of State James A. Baker, III on March 29th

Posted by & filed under Great Negotiator Award, International Negotiation, News.

The Program on Negotiation (PON) at Harvard Law School and the Future of Diplomacy Project at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) will jointly honor former U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker, III with the 2012 Great Negotiator Award on Thursday, March 29, 2012, at the Ames Courtroom, Austin Hall, Harvard Law School. The Great Negotiator Award … Read More 

Should Your Boss Be at the Negotiation Table?

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Imagine that you are about to begin a negotiation whose subject matter is squarely within your area of responsibility at my company. However, the dollar amounts at stake are so large that you are tempted to kick it upstairs to your boss, or at least involve your boss directly in the negotiation. What are the … Read More 

Are You Avoiding a Key Negotiation?

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Imagine that it’s time to shop for a new car. A friend has told you that she solicited bids from dealers on a no-haggle website and was offered a good, nonnegotiable price. You consider going this route but wonder if you could get an even better deal by negotiating at the dealership. Would you choose … Read More 

Touchy-feely Negotiators?

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

In a series of studies, Joshua M.Ackerman of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Christopher C. Nocera of Harvard University, and John A. Bargh of Yale University explored how the feel of physical objects could arbitrarily be influencing our choices without our knowledge. In one study, the researchers asked passersby to evaluate a job candidate by reviewing … Read More 

Negotiate How You’ll Negotiate

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

When a negotiation ends, our satisfaction with the final outcome doesn’t depend solely on how much we objectively gained or lost, according to research by Jared Curhan and Hen Xu of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Hillary Anger Elfenbein of the University of California at Berkeley. In fact, negotiator satisfaction hinges on four factors: our … Read More 

Are You Talking to the Right Person?

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

When someone is reluctant to engage in negotiation, you might try to wear her down until she finally caves in. Before you risk becoming a pest, however, ask yourself a critical question: Am I talking to the right person? When negotiators fail to map out the negotiation process in advance, they can encounter detours and dead … Read More 

Offer Your Counterpart a Graceful Retreat

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Sometimes negotiators back themselves into a corner by taking a tough stance that brings talks to an impasse. In such cases, they are likely to view retreat as a sign of weakness – a surefire way of losing face. To move talks forward, you’ll need to help the other party make a graceful retreat, write … Read More 

Managers: improve your team members’ negotiating power

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Research on stereotypes has reached conclusions about how lack of power and status can affect performance on negotiation and other tasks. Laura Kray of the University of California at Berkeley and her colleagues found in their research  that women negotiators performed worse than men when they were led to believe that their performance reflected negotiating … Read More 

Does the majority really rule?

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

When a group of people are negotiating, what’s the best way to arrive at a decision? Ever since U.S. general Henry M. Robert published Robert’s Rules of Order in 1876, groups have relied on the principle of majority rule, measured with a simple yea or nay vote at the end of the negotiation process. Majority rule … Read More 

Sellers: Stay out of legal hot water

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

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

Negotiate your role as advisor

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Whether you spend most or just a fraction of your workday advising others, it pays to reconsider how you approach your advisees, writes Tufts University professor Jeswald W. Salacuse in his book The Wise Advisor: What Every Professional Should Know About Consulting and Counseling (Praeger, 2000). When advisors and their clients clash over expectations and … Read More 

Are you really an ethical negotiator?

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Are you more ethical than your coworkers? If you’re like most people, you answered yes. Lisa L. Shu and Max H. Bazerman of Harvard Business School and Francesca Gino of the University of North Carolina found in their research that most people think they’re more honest and trustworthy than average. What’s more, through a process … Read More 

Negotiator toolbox: Capitalize on differences

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

The problem: You and your negotiating counterpart express differing opinions about the future success, performance, or timeliness of an item or service. A homeowner might be skeptical of a contractor’s promise to complete an extensive remodeling project within six months, for instance. Differing forecasts can breed suspicion and stand in the way of agreement. The tool: … Read More 

Why your lawyer could be wrong about apologies

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

If you’ve ever had a minor car accident in which neither you nor the other driver was obviously at fault, familiar advice may have run through your head as you got out of your car: Don’t say you’re sorry! Don’t say you’re sorry! Most of us have been cautioned in such contexts that an apology can … Read More 

Resolving conflict, creating value

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Significant business disputes typically involve more than one issue—including disputes that appear to be “just about the money.” Who pays and when? In what form is payment made, with what level of confidentiality, and with what effect on future disputes? In the heat of the moment, disputants too often focus on one conspicuous issue (such as … Read More 

Avoid conflict and broken trust

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

While negotiations are inherently risky, there are proven ways to reduce risk and improve your odds of success. To do so, you must focus on the very basis of your relationship with the other party: trust. Think about a time when you lost trust in a fellow negotiator. Did you try to renegotiate the terms of … Read More 

How comparisons affect satisfaction

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Social comparisons are a critical factor in guiding negotiator satisfaction, Maurice E. Schweitzer of the University of Pennsylvania and Yale psychologist Nathan Novemsky have found in their research. Not only do negotiators compare their profit from a deal with the profit they imagine their counterpart earned, but they also compare their profit with the profits … Read More 

Making threats strategically

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

In negotiation, the time, energy, and resources that you devote to reaching agreement can suggest that you’re desperate for a deal—any deal. The greater your investment in the negotiation, the less credible the threat of walking away becomes. In such instances, one way to make this threat more credible is to find someone else to take … Read More 

Address your negotiation jitters

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

The prospect of negotiating often sparks anxiety, especially if substantive or emotional stakes are high. The mere thought of failing can be self-fulfilling. In sports, it’s called choking. While negotiators don’t have to worry about fans’ reaction to dropping the ball in a packed stadium, critical voices can come from within. The negotiation process is … Read More 

Choose the right messenger

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

The evidence from social science is clear: people’s behavior is powerfully influenced by the actions of those who are like them. A classic study by Harvey Hornstein, Elisha Fisch, and Michael Holmes found that New York City residents were highly likely to return a lost wallet after learning that a “similar other”—another New Yorker—had first … Read More 

Are you asking enough questions?

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

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

Negotiate for what you really want

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

It may seem elementary, but one of the first questions you should ask when you’re thinking about negotiating for an important purchase is whether you truly want or need it. We tend to assume that future events—such as buying a new car or signing a seemingly important contract—will have a lasting impact on our overall happiness. … Read More 

Further reading on “Israel’s Prisoner Exchange: An Irrational Trade?” from the January 2012 issue of the Negotiation newsletter

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation, Middle East Negotiation Initiative.

Read more on “Israel’s Prisoner Exchange: An Irrational Trade?” from the January 2012 issue of the Negotiation newsletter in the following two articles: Israel’s Deals with the Devils

By: Robert Mnookin

The Shalit Deal: Opportunities for Negotiators

By: Dr. Ehud Eiran

Read More 

Capitalize on negotiator differences

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “What Divides You May Unite You,” by James K. Sebenius (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter, July 2005. Some years ago, an English property development firm had assembled most of the land outside London that it needed to build a large regional hospital. Yet a key parcel remained, and its … Read More 

Hardball tactics from a major leaguer

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Adapted from “Becoming a Team Player: Lessons from Professional Athletics,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, October 2009. In Major League Baseball (MLB), one particular player’s agent is widely blamed for the contentious nature of contract negotiations: Scott Boras. Boras has negotiated unprecedented contracts for many of the most highly paid players, including Manny Ramirez, Johnny … Read More 

When women negotiators thrive

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “What Happens When Women Don’t Ask,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, June 2008. Some negotiation research has found that men generally initiate negotiations to advance their own interests much more often than women do. Yet researchers also have identified certain contexts in which women routinely negotiate and achieve outcomes that match or exceed … Read More 

Negotiating the Distance Between You

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

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 More 

Avoid judicial bias with negotiation

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution, Daily.

Adapted from “Blind Justice? Think Twice Before Going to Court,” by Chris Guthrie (professor, Vanderbilt University Law School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter, April 2007. Planning to resolve a personal or business dispute in court? Consider that judges don’t make decisions based on a thorough accounting of all the relevant and available information.  Instead, like … Read More 

Sellers: Set the right price

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Adapted from “Why Your Selling Price May Be Too High,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, October 2007. Imagine that you are moving from one city to another and putting your home on the market. How would you determine the true value of the residence? Now imagine that you are in the market for the same … Read More 

The late-night-TV disputes

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “Comedy of Errors: The Late-Night-TV Wars,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, April 2010. In 2004, NBC asked Jay Leno, the longtime host of The Tonight Show, to yield the show in five years to Conan O’Brien, his younger rival and host of NBC’s Late Night. As the date of O’Brien’s promotion approached, Leno’s Tonight … Read More 

Making room for intuition in negotiation

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “The Heat of the Moment,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, January 2007. Imagine that after ample preparation and weeks of negotiations with three potential vendors, you have to choose among their proposals, each of which has numerous strengths and weaknesses. What’s more, you have only five minutes left to make this tough decision. How … Read More 

When negotiation goals backfire

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “Managers: Think Twice Before Setting Negotiation Goals,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, May 2009. In the years leading up to its collapse, energy-trading company Enron promised its salespeople large bonuses for meeting challenging revenue goals. This focus on revenue rather than profit contributed to widespread fraud and, ultimately, to the firm’s downfall. To encourage … Read More 

Conflict management from the start

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

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 More 

The link between happiness and negotiation success

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “How Mood Affects Negotiator Trust,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, September 2006. Social psychologists are learning a great deal about the connections among emotions, negotiation strategies, and decision making. Negotiation contributor Jennifer S. Lerner of Carnegie Mellon University and her colleagues have identified two critical themes. First, they have studied the carryover of … Read More 

Have you negotiated the authority you need?

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Great Deal—But How Will It Play at the Office?” by Jeswald W. Salacuse (professor, Tufts University), first published in the Negotiation newsletter, October 2006. To close any deal, you not only have to reach agreement with the other side but also convince your own organization of the deal’s value. In fact, you may … Read More 

Negotiating among friends

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “Pick the Right Negotiating Team,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, November 2007. We’ve all seen teams and work groups implode under the stress of personality clashes. These experiences might lead you to conclude that your negotiating team should be a tight-knit and harmonious group of colleagues. Yet in their research, Leigh Thompson, … Read More 

Defend yourself against deception

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Are You Prepared for Dirty Tricks?” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, August 2010. Should you simply refuse to negotiate with someone you know has lied to you? Consider the results of a 1998 survey of 750 MBA students by researchers Robert J. Robinson, Roy J. Lewicki, and Eileen M. Donohue. Most of the … Read More 

Negotiation: Challenge or threat?

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Do Attitudes Influence Results?” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, January 2007. Many people consider negotiations to be stressful and threatening. Others view them as challenges that can be overcome. Do these different attitudes influence the outcomes that people reach? Research by professors Kathleen O’Connor of Cornell University and Josh Arnold of California State … Read More 

Have you chosen the right counterpart?

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “Reach Your Target with Backward Mapping,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, March 2010. Here’s 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 … Read More 

Why it pays to build relationships

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “When Lose-Lose Wins,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, August 2004. Does negotiation research promote the creation of joint gain at the expense of relationship building? Researchers Jared R. Curhan, Margaret A. Neale, and Lee D. Ross suggest that the field is guilty as charged. To illustrate, the team apply author O. Henry’s classic tale … Read More 

When you have all the power

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “The Danger of ‘Take It or Leave It,’” by Ian Larkin (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter, January 2010. Imagine that one of your organization’s suppliers, with whom you have been very happy, recently lost its only other big customer. Your contract comes up for renegotiation next month. You know … Read More 

New York courts offer judge directed negotiations for medical malpractice lawsuits

Posted by & filed under Daily, Mediation.

Settlement negotiations for medical malpractice lawsuits often occur late in the litigation process, when adversarial positions have become well-entrenched, and parties have little or no inclination to compromise. In an effort to improve the success rate of these settlement negotiations, some courts in New York State are now offering “judge-directed negotiations” for parties involved … Read More 

When we judge others too harshly

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Overconfident, Underprepared: Why You May Not Be Ready to Negotiate,” by Kristina A. Diekmann (professor, University of Utah) and Adam D. Galinsky (professor, Northwestern University), first published in the Negotiation newsletter, October 2006. In 1991, during Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas’s confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Anita Hill, then a law … Read More 

Is it really worth that much?

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “Trying to Make a Sale? Avoid These Common Pitfalls,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, April 2010. Why is it that even in sluggish markets, some homes are plucked off the real estate listings within days or weeks, and others sit for months, even years? Location and curb appeal have something to do with … Read More 

Sizing up the competition

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “The Ins and Outs of Making Sealed Bids,” by Guhan Subramanian (professor, Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter, July 2007. Imagine you’re bidding for a house against another “very interested party,” according to your real-estate agent, and the seller wants a sealed bid from you by close … Read More 

Negotiating the Gender Gap

Posted by & filed under Mediation.

Is there a social cost for women who negotiate assertively for themselves in the workplace? Research suggests that women who negotiated higher compensation are viewed by evaluators as being more “demanding,” which leads to a disinclination to work with them in the future. In our most recent “Dear Negotiation Coach” feature in the … Read More 

Should you deal with the devil?

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Should You Do Business with the Enemy?” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, March 2010. At one time or another, most of us have faced the prospect of negotiating with a sworn enemy—whether a “greedy” sibling, an “evil” ex-spouse, or an “immoral” company. There is no right or wrong answer to the question … Read More 

When emotions linger

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “The Lasting Influence of Emotions,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, April 2010. Psychologists have long known that an emotion triggered in one realm—anger over an argument at home, for example—can affect how we behave in a subsequent situation, including a negotiation. Such incidental, or unrelated, emotions might influence how fully we trust someone … Read More 

Expressing emotions strategically

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Damage Control for Disappointing Results,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, March 2011. Following what he described as the “shellacking” he and congressional Democrats received during the 2010 midterm elections, President Barack Obama invited GOP leaders of the lame-duck Congress to meet with him at the White House. The leaders postponed the president’s invitation … Read More 

Involving mediators in settlement talks

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution, Daily.

Adapted from “The Mediator as Team Adviser,” by Stephen B. Goldberg (professor, Northwestern University), first published in the Negotiation newsletter, May 2006. When faced with a trial, a corporation sometimes engages one law firm to represent it in court and a second law firm to explore settlement possibilities. According to conventional wisdom, the second law firm … Read More 

When irrationality isn’t the issue

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “Is Your Counterpart Rational . . . Really?” by Deepak Malhotra (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter, March 2006. How can you negotiate with someone who seems irrational? First, by questioning whether it is reasonable for you to judge your counterparts as irrational. As it turns out, behavior that negotiators … Read More 

Why it pays to haggle

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Master the Art and Science of Haggling,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, August 2009. Businesses that never would have considered negotiating with customers before the global economic crisis are now willing, even eager, to make a deal. Just like the prices of houses, cars, and other big-ticket items, the prices of furniture, electronics, … Read More 

Set your sales force up for success

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “Managing for Better Results,” by Max H. Bazerman, first published in the Negotiation newsletter, October 2008. If you’ve ever been disappointed by the negotiation results of your sales force, you’re not alone. There could be many reasons for your employees’ unimpressive results, but there are two most likely culprits: a failure to understand what … Read More 

The creative negotiator

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “Learning to Be Creative,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, April 2010. In negotiation, creativity – the ability to generate new ideas – enables parties to generate solutions that expand the pie of value. Reflecting the common view that creativity is an innate talent that can’t be taught, most organizations seek out creatively minded … Read More 

Joining the barter economy

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

In an economic downturn, negotiation opportunities sometimes dry up because parties think they have nothing left to give. During times like these, bartering flourishes. Whether it’s toxic assets, piano lessons, manicures, or a fleet of new cars, most cash-strapped negotiators have something of value they can trade for what they want. Bartering doesn’t need to be … Read More 

After the deal breaks down

Posted by & filed under Daily, International Negotiation.

Adapted from “Redoing the Deal,” by Jeswald W. Salacuse (professor, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University), first published in the Negotiation newsletter, August 2005. If you’re like many professionals in these uncertain times, you are probably spending as much time redoing old deals as you are negotiating new ones. Here are four suggestions on … Read More 

When we expect selfish behavior

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “The Darker Side of Perspective Taking,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, April 2007. Many negotiation experts recommend that you try to take the other party’s perspective, particularly when attempting to resolve disputes. Research by Nicholas Epley of the University of Chicago and Eugene Caruso and Max Bazerman of Harvard University suggests a dark … Read More 

Holding negotiators accountable

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “Disappointed by Results? Improve Accountability,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, January 2009. How can you make the negotiators who report to you more accountable for their behavior? When negotiators know they will have to justify their actions, they become more focused, researchers have found. But accountability can backfire if negotiators become so vigilant … Read More 

Negotiators: Keep yourself honest

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “When You’re Tempted to Deceive,” by Ann E. Tenbrunsel (professor, the University of Notre Dame) and Kristina A. Diekmann (professor, University of Utah), first published in the Negotiation newsletter, July 2007. To ensure that you negotiate ethically, you’ll need to identify ethical dilemmas and view unethical behavior clearly. Four guidelines will help you meet … Read More 

When advice to negotiators is wasted

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Is Giving Advice a Waste of Time?” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, July 2007. It’s the end of the week, and you’re trying to crank out an important report. A colleague slips into your office. “Do you have a couple of minutes?” he asks. “I need your advice on a negotiation that’s falling … Read More 

Don’t rush into a flawed contract

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “A Contingent Contract? Weigh the Costs and Benefits of Making a ‘Bet’,” by Guhan Subramanian (professor, Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter, August 2006. Contracts in professional sports are often chock-full of contingencies -“bets” that parties place on their different expectations of future outcomes – and former … Read More 

Avoiding “Close Calls” in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “How ‘Close Calls’ Can Hurt You,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, October 2009. In the early 1990s, NASA managers and engineers were warned by an expert in risk analysis that the heat-resistant tiles that protected space shuttles during reentry into Earth’s atmosphere could be damaged by debris from the insulating foam on the … Read More 

Negotiating ‘Sacred’ Issues

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution, Daily.

Adapted from “Break Down ‘Sacred’ Barriers to Agreement,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, April 2009. As negotiators, we’re trained to believe that almost every issue is ripe for tradeoffs and concessions. At the same time, most of us hold core values that we believe to be non-negotiable. Your family’s welfare, your personal code of ethics, … Read More 

When Negotiation Trumps Procurement Auctions

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “Negotiations versus Auctions: New Advice for Buyers,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, August 2007. Economists have long advocated auctions as an effective means of increasing value. Yet recent research contradicts this conventional wisdom. In fact, as compared with negotiations, auctions can actually raise prices in procurement contracts. Suppliers tend to prefer negotiations because … Read More 

How Subtle Favoritism Harms Negotiators

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Adapted from “The Robin Hood Effect in Negotiation,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, March 2009. Business transactions often occur between people of different socioeconomic levels, and our choice of clothing, cars, and other material possessions can signal such differences. We may attempt to treat everyone equally in our negotiations, but do we always succeed? Just as … Read More 

Adapting to Your Counterpart’s Style

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Negotiating with Chameleons,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, April 2007. Like the title character in Woody Allen’s movie Zelig, some people smoothly adopt the manner and attitudes of those around them. Due to the lengths such chameleons go to alter their behavior, contemporary psychologists have dubbed them high “self-monitors.” Whether you think of self-monitors … Read More 

The Value of Satisfaction

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

What do people value when they negotiate? Research by professors Jared R. Curhan and Heng Xu of MIT’s Sloan School of Management and Hillary Anger Elfenbein of Berkeley’s Haas School of Business provides useful insights concerning this basic question. Using survey data collected from everyday negotiators and filtering it through a sorting procedure conducted by negotiation … Read More 

Consider the Setting

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “The Crucial First Five Minutes,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, October 2007. Your designated meeting place can have a critical impact on talks. When you don’t have a choice about where to meet, be aware that situational factors may color your judgment. For instance, the visual cues of a car lot—flashy banners, cheerful … Read More 

Build Your Bargaining Endowment

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “Want to Pull Ahead of the Competition?” by Michael Wheeler (Class of 1952 Professor of Management Practice, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter, October 2005. What happens when lots of other people are selling what you’ve got, or many others are bidding for what you want? One solution to distinguishing yourself … Read More 

Should You Negotiate Sooner or Later?

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “Is Time on Your Side?” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, May 2007. A difficult negotiation looms on the horizon—say, next year’s allocation of resources across divisions or your family’s summer vacation destination. Should you negotiate now or wait? Professors Marlone Henderson, Yaacov Trope and Peter Carnevale of New York University provide experimental … Read More 

Bringing Mediators to the Bargaining Table

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution, Daily.

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

Get Ready for Team Talks

Posted by & filed under Daily, Mediation.

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 More 

Anchors Away?

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “The Enduring Power of Anchors,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, October 2006. In the Negotiation newsletter, we have reviewed the anchoring effect—the tendency for negotiators to be overly influenced by the other side’s opening bid, however arbitrary. When your opponent makes an inappropriate bid on your house, you’re nonetheless likely to begin searching … Read More 

How Accountable are Your Negotiators?

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Adapted from “Disappointed by Results? Improve Accountability,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, January 2009. How satisfied are you with the outcomes that negotiators in your organization achieve? Most likely, you can think of a few successes worth crowing about, a few you’d like to sweep under the carpet, and many more that turned out just … Read More 

Learn More from Your Proposals

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Lessons from Abroad: When Culture Affects Negotiating Style,” by Jeanne M. Brett (professor, Northwestern University) and Michele J. Gelfand (professor, University of Maryland), first published in the Negotiation newsletter, January 2005. Imagine that you have identified a great opportunity to expand your business by negotiating a joint venture with another company. You need … Read More 

Sad Negotiators, Poor Outcomes?

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution, Daily.

Adapted from “How Mood Affects Negotiator Trust,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, September 2006. In recent years, social psychologists have begun to explore connections among emotions, negotiation, and decision making. Negotiation contributor Jennifer S. Lerner of Carnegie Mellon University and her colleagues have identified two critical themes. First, they have studied the carryover of emotion … Read More 

Unlocking Labor Disputes

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution, Daily.

Adapted from “How the Writers Got Back to Work,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, May 2008. When labor talks reach a stalemate, negotiators may be able to get back on track by avoiding extreme demands, thinking carefully about the other side’s point of view, negotiating in smaller groups, and enlisting the help of a neutral … Read More 

Negotiating for the Long Haul

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Adapted from “Take the Long View,” by Kimberly A. Wade-Benzoni (professor, Duke University), first published in the Negotiation newsletter, April 2006. Negotiators often overlook the long-term consequences of various issues on the table. Amid the pressures to meet short-term financial targets, it’s difficult to remember that the effects of managerial decisions may be felt years, even … Read More 

Learning multi-party negotiation from Vice-President Biden

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Vice President Joe Biden is the President’s “secret weapon” in the coming budget negotiations, suggests Victoria Pynchon, in a recent post to the blog She Negotiates…and Changes Everything on Forbes.com.  Pynchon argues that despite the fact that Biden is known for his public gaffes, it is his behind-the-scenes negotiation skills that make him a valuable … Read More 

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 More 

Negotiating Across Borders

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution, Daily.

Adapted from “Hidden Roadblocks in Cross-border Talks,” by James K. Sebenius (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter, September 2009. Imagine you are leading a team that will soon be negotiating for the first time in several foreign countries. You’ve researched likely cultural factors, such as differences in etiquette or risk taking, while … Read More 

Reducing Negotiation Stress

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Poise under Pressure: The Well-Balanced Negotiator,” by Michael Wheeler (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter, December 2006. Too many people overlook the fact that negotiation is a demanding physical act. They cram for negotiations, pulling all-nighters in an attempt to master each and every detail—only to become irritable and fuzzy … Read More 

What’s Relevant?

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Option Overload? Manage the Options on the Table,” by Chris Guthrie (professor, Vanderbilt University Law School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter, August 2007. When choosing among multiple options, negotiators should identify and evaluate the relevant attributes of each option and, if possible, make tradeoffs among them. This approach requires us to factor in … Read More 

The Ambidextrous Negotiator

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Evenhanded Decision Making,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, May 2006. As discussed in past issues of the Negotiation newsletter, anchoring and framing can bias important decisions in negotiation. A buyer may make a more generous offer than she intended, for example, after a seller drops anchor on a bold demand. A litigant who … Read More 

Will Your Deal Thrive in the Real World?

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “The Deal Is Done—Now What?” by Jeswald W. Salacuse (professor, Tufts University), first published in the Negotiation newsletter, November 2005. Whether you’re manufacturing audio components in China, providing data-processing services in Chicago, or constructing a cement plant in Cheyenne, Wyoming, the quality of your relationship with a contractual partner is often the difference … Read More 

How to Avoid the Status Trap

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Don’t Get Stuck in the Status Trap,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, September 2009. Graduating MBA students often tend to choose their first postgraduate jobs based on vivid aspects of their job offers, such as a high starting salary or the prestige of the firm, Harvard Business School professor Max H. Bazerman has … Read More 

Could Your Power Trip Backfire?

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Adapted from “When You Hold All the Cards,” by Guhan Subramanian (professor, Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Being the more powerful party in a negotiation doesn’t guarantee a free ride. Specifically, legal rules may constrain your actions. In particular, the courts might read additional terms into the deal … Read More 

Dealing with Busy People

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Write First, Talk Later? Using Drafts to Make Deals,” by Jeswald Salacuse (professor, Tufts University), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. How can you gain an edge when you’re in the seemingly weak position of negotiating a favor from a government or a powerful bureaucracy? Present the other side with a draft agreement that … Read More 

Learning from Negotiation Training

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Putting Negotiation Training to Work,” by Max H. Bazerman (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Many executives read books and newsletters to improve their negotiating skills. Many also take time out of their busy work lives to attend classes and training programs, including ones focused on negotiation. Their teachers pass … Read More 

A Closer Look at Collective Bargaining

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “Innovation in Labor Relations,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. In 2004, a team of MIT and Harvard researchers published a study of a bold initiative by health-care giant Kaiser Permanente and its many unions to restructure their relationship. Given the recent spotlight focused on collective bargaining, beginning with a very public battle in … Read More 

Dealing with Option Overload

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “Option Overload? Manage the Choices on the Table,” by Chris Guthrie (professor, Vanderbilt University Law School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Consider what happened when Randy, who was opening his first restaurant, met with Albert, the general manager of Best Appliances, to negotiate a deal. Albert pulled out a stack of brochures and … Read More 

Put Apologies in Your Toolbox

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Regain Your Counterpart’s Trust with an Apology,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. The problem: Whether you meant to or not, you’ve hurt or offended your negotiating counterpart through your words or actions. Perhaps you’ve shown up late for an appointment one time too many, neglected to follow through on a key contract term, … Read More 

Negotiation and the Glass Ceiling

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “A Fresh Look Through the Glass Ceiling,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Women are less likely to seize opportunities to negotiate than men, Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever documented in their widely-read book Women Don’t Ask. Subsequent research has indicated that, when they do negotiate on their own behalf, women ask for and … Read More 

When Negotiators Act Like Parasites

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Creating Values, Weighing Values,” by Max H. Bazerman (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. In April 2001, the FTC filed a complaint accusing pharmaceutical companies Schering-Plough and Upsher-Smith of restricting trade. Upsher-Smith had been preparing to introduce a generic pharmaceutical product that would threaten a near monopoly held by Schering-Plough. … Read More 

Put More on the Table

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Adapted from “Putting More on the Table: How Making Multiple Offers Can Increase the Final Value of the Deal,” by Victoria Husted Medvec and Adam D. Galinsky (professors, Northwestern University), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Suppose you open talks with an important customer by making an aggressive first offer. He becomes offended. You back off … Read More 

Consider the Source

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “When Your Thoughts Work Against You,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Remember the firestorm that the cover of The New Yorker magazine’s July 21, 2008, issue created? The cartoon depicted presidential nominee Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, in the Oval Office, he dressed as a flag-burning Muslim, she as a terrorist. It wasn’t … Read More 

Don’t get Lost in Translation

Posted by & filed under Daily, International Negotiation.

Adapted from “Coping with Culture at the Bargaining Table,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. As if intercultural negotiations weren’t complicated enough, you may find yourself facing a language barrier. Whenever one party doesn’t speak the other party’s language well, you should consider hiring a translator (or one for each language, if necessary). The presence of translators … Read More 

Why it Pays to Save Face

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “In Negotiation, How Much Do Personality and Other Individual Differences Matter?” First published in the Negotiation newsletter. When you criticize a negotiator’s arguments or question her motives, you risk threatening her “face,” or social image. Such direct threats to self-esteem can trigger embarrassment, anger, and competitive behavior in your counterpart, according to research … Read More 

When Two Cultures are Better Than One

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Coping with Culture at the Bargaining Table,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Do you have firsthand experience navigating two cultures? Have you lived abroad for a significant period of time? Are you an immigrant, or were you raised by immigrants? If you are “bicultural,” you may be an especially adept negotiator, research suggests. Researchers … Read More 

What to do When the Ink is Dry

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “The Deal Is Done—Now What?” by Jeswald W. Salacuse (professor, Tufts University). First published in the Negotiation newsletter. At last, the deal is done. After 18 months of negotiation, eight trips across the country, and countless meetings, you’ve finally signed a contract. It’s clear and precise. It covers all the contingencies and has … Read More 

How to Get to the Table

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Adapted from “Leading Horses to Water,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. The hardest step in negotiation is often the first. Costly lawsuits can drag on if everyone is afraid to be the first to blink. Prospective buyers and sellers can waste endless hours dancing around a possible deal. And in collective bargaining, labor and management … Read More 

Make Your Best Offer Look Better

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Picking the Right Frame: Make Your Best Offer Seem Better,” by Max H. Bazerman (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Imagine that you bought a house in 2000 for $400,000. You have just put it on the market for $499,000, with a real target of $470,000—your estimation of the house’s … Read More 

Picking Teams

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Pick the Right Negotiating Team,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. We’ve all seen teams and work groups implode under the stress of personality clashes. These experiences might lead you to conclude that your negotiating team should be a tight-knit and harmonious group of colleagues. Yet Northwestern University professor Leigh Thompson and her coauthors … Read More 

Negotiators: Don’t Go on a Power Trip

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “When You Hold All the Cards,” by Guhan Subramanian (professor, Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. One of your customers has just landed a lucrative new contract, and you’re the only supplier who can add a critical component to that customer’s production process. Concerns about violating your … Read More 

Should You Dwell on Past Negotiation Outcomes?

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution, Daily.

Adapted from “Learn to Negotiate with an Open Mind,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. After wrapping up a difficult negotiation, it’s tempting to forget about it and move on. The regret triggered by counterfactual thinking, or reflections on “what might have been,” can be so painful that many people will do whatever they can to … Read More 

Dealing With a Stubborn Counterpart

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Stubborn or Irrational? How to Cope with a Difficult Negotiating Partner,” by Lawrence Susskind (professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Suppose you’re an experienced salesperson entering into negotiations for a contract renewal with a company you’ve successfully done business with for years. Recently, your counterpart at the other company … Read More 

Putting Negotiation Training to Work

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Transferring Negotiation Knowledge,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. After attending intensive executive education courses, managers typically return to the office with a sense of excitement about applying their new knowledge—only to find 200 e-mails and 25 voicemail messages waiting for them. Amid the chaos, the lessons of the past few days are forgotten. … Read More 

Avoid the Green-eyed Monster

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Adapted from “Negotiating with the Green-eyed Monster,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Envy can cause us to engage in deception at the bargaining table. That’s the cautionary finding of research by Simone Moran of Ben-Gurion University in Israel and Maurice E. Schweitzer of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Why might negotiators be more … Read More 

Looking for a Breakthrough

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Adapted from “Speaking the Same Language,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Negotiators can find themselves talking past each other for hours, even days. Then suddenly something happens–a breakthrough. The parties begin conversing on a different plane, one that reveals solutions to problems that had seemed intractable. Professor Linda Putnam, a communications scholar at Texas A&M University, … Read More 

Negotiating Online? Meet Face to Face First

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “How to Negotiate Successfully Online,” by Kathleen L. McGinn (professor, Harvard Business School) and Eric J. Wilson (Cogos Consulting), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. The intricacies of electronic negotiation can be dizzying. You’re likely to find yourself communicating with numerous people you’ve never met about issues you each value differently, and you all … Read More 

Improve Your Online Negotiation Results

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “Strategies for Overcoming E-Mail’s Weaknesses,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Negotiators communicating via e-mail can easily be blinded to the medium’s pitfalls. In her research, professor Janice Nadler of Northwestern University Law School confirms that the “impoverished” nature of e-mail—its dearth of physical, social, and vocal cues—often leads to misunderstandings, ambiguous messages, and … Read More 

How to Turn a Maybe Into a Yes

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Closing the Deal,” by Michael Wheeler (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. You’ve followed the negotiation guidebooks to a T, uncovered the parties’ key interests, brainstormed creative solutions, and even developed good rapport with your counterpart. You’ve done everything right…but you still don’t have agreement. How do you turn the other … Read More 

Let Them Compare and Contrast

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Will Your Proposals Hit the Mark?” First published in the Negotiation newsletter. In negotiation, it’s always better when someone accepts your offer rather than rejecting it, right? Actually, rejection can sometimes be the most effective way to get to “yes.” Let’s look at another story about consumer behavior, as described by Itamar Simonson of Stanford’s … Read More 

Is the Issue Really Sacred?

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Negotiating Sacred Issues,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. In a classic New Yorker cartoon, a dinner guest shows up for the party, hands the host a $20 bill, and announces that this was the amount he had planned to spend on a bottle of wine before he ran out of time. Negotiation buffs … Read More 

When Focus Comes at a Price

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “The High Cost of Low Focus,” by Max H. Bazerman (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Has someone (perhaps a significant other) ever told you that you’ve previously seen or heard something that you don’t recall? When someone says, “I already told you that!” in exasperation, do you assume that … Read More 

The Right Time to Negotiate

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Telling Time in Different Cultures,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Despite the bloody conflicts in the Middle East, people of goodwill from both Arab and Western nations earnestly seek to collaborate in diplomatic and business transactions. An article by Ilai Alon of Tel Aviv University and Jeanne Brett of Northwestern, however, cautions that … Read More 

When Teams Work

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Adapted from “The Surprising Benefits of Conflict in Negotiating Teams,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. In December 2008, incoming U.S. president Barack Obama created a stir by appointing Senator Hillary Clinton, his bitter opponent for the Democratic nomination, to be his secretary of state. Could Obama expect loyalty from someone he had traded barbs with … Read More 

Dealing With the Government

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Adapted from “Negotiating with Regulators,” by Lawrence Susskind (professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. When preparing to launch new products, plans, and innovations, an organization often must apply for licenses, permits, and other types of regulatory approvals from government agencies. Thankfully, even the most elaborate application processes allow individual regulators a … Read More 

A Powerful Strike-out

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “Why Your Next Negotiation Power Trip Could Backfire,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Powerful negotiators generally don’t devote enough time to considering the other side’s point of view, Northwestern University professor Adam D. Galinsky and New York University professor Joe C. Magee have written in Negotiation. As a consequence, the powerful may fail … Read More 

Let Go of Lawsuits

Posted by & filed under Daily, Dispute Resolution.

Adapted from “Helping Your Adversary to Let Go,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Why is it that so many lawsuits aren’t settled until the parties reach the courthouse steps? Sometimes the reason is strategic: each side may be waiting for the other to blink first. Dwight Golann, a legal scholar and veteran mediator, has identified another … Read More 

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 More 

The Upside of Anger

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Will Your Emotions Get the Upper Hand?” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Angry individuals approach situations with confidence, a sense of control, and negative thoughts about others. In negotiation, these tendencies can trigger overconfidence, unrealistic optimism, and aggression, yet they buffer decision makers from indecision, risk aversion, and overanalysis, write professors Jennifer … Read More 

Bridging the Gap Between Groups

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “What Divides You Can Unite You,” by Susan Hackley (managing director, Program on Negotiation), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. When we think about negotiating with people from other cultures, we tend to think globally: how might differences in nationality or race affect our bargaining outcomes? But cultural differences can also be local, existing … Read More 

An Excuse for Selfishness

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Justifying Selfishness,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. In a study of selfishness in negotiation, Fei Song of York University and C. Bram Cadsby and Tristan Morris of the University of Guelph had participants play the “dictator game,” adapted from the experimental economics literature. In this game, Party A is given a sum of … Read More 

Always Connect

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Build the Right Connection,” by Jeswald Salacuse (professor, Tufts University), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. To hold the attention of your counterparts, you need to connect with them as early as possible in the negotiation. A human connection with the other side not only distinguishes you from your competitors and other parties they … Read More 

Who’s Looking Over Your Shoulder?

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “Onlooker Alert!” First published in the Negotiation newsletter. Unless your official title is “lawyer” or “agent,” you probably don’t think of yourself as an agent. But if you’ve ever represented a family member, your boss, your department, or your organization in a negotiation, you’ve served as that party’s agent. Representing others at the bargaining table … Read More 

The Regretful Negotiator

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Second Thoughts,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. “Of all sad words of tongue or pen,” wrote the poet John Greenleaf Whittier, “the saddest are these: ‘It might have been.'” Many negotiators would second that sentiment. Regret can be a powerful emotion when a deal slips through our fingers or when we kick ourselves … Read More 

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 More 

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 More 

Letting Them Down Easy

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily, Negotiation Skills, Webcasts.

First published in the Negotiation newsletter. In recent years, a number of new Web-based systems have changed the very structure of negotiation as we know it. One of most famous of these is Priceline.com, which allows consumers to make bids for rental cars, hotel rooms, and air travel-bids that the car-rental firms, hotels, and airlines can … Read More 

The Power of Schadenfreude

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Negotiating with the Green-eyed Monster,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Envy can cause us to engage in deception at the bargaining table. That’s the cautionary finding of recent research by Simone Moran of Ben-Gurion University in Israel and Maurice E. Schweitzer of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. In one experiment, Israeli … Read More 

Why Disclosure Doesn’t Work

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution, Daily.

Adapted from “Negotiating with Your Advisers,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Our most trusted advisers face conflicts of interest between what is best for them and what is best for us. An attorney might give different advice about whether to settle a lawsuit depending on whether she would be paid by the hour or receive … Read More 

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 More 

Do You Really Know Yourself?

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution, Daily.

Adapted from the Negotiation newsletter. Imagine an upcoming negotiation. How will you respond if your opponent seems bent on provoking an argument? If you’re like most people, you’ll have difficulty predicting your precise response. Professor Dan Gilbert of Harvard University found that when asked how a positive or negative event will affect their happiness, people accurately … Read More 

How Stereotypes Impair Performance

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Why It Pays for Negotiators to Feel Powerful,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Simply knowing that others may be judging us according to negative stereotypes can impair our performance, according to Stanford University professor Claude Steele. All of us—from white males to African American women to those low on the workplace totem pole—experience … Read More 

When You’re on Stage

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “How to Deal When the Going Gets Tough,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Negotiators tend to feel pressured when they’re performing in front of an audience, according to Harvard Business School professor Deepak Malhotra. If your boss is watching your every move, if you are bargaining as part of a team, or if … Read More 

Everyday Ingenuity

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from the Negotiation newsletter. Negotiation expert Roger Fisher sagely counsels, “Solutions are not the answer.” Instead of tossing demands back and forth on their way to an outcome, negotiators should focus on the process of exploring their underlying needs and interests. Get the process right, and practical solutions often follow. But process still depends on the … Read More 

Checking Your Ego

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “When Self-Interest is Sabotage,” by Max H. Bazerman (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Researchers Frederick G. Banting and John Macleod were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in 1923 for their partnership in the discovery of insulin. After receiving the prize, Banting publicly contended that Macleod, the head of their … Read More 

Dueling Experts?

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution, Daily.

Adapted from “Battles of the Experts,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Sometimes conflict is triggered by honest disagreements over the facts. When one partner buys out another, for example, the two might disagree about the value of the business. Similarly, if a piece of high-tech equipment fails, the manufacturer might point to improper maintenance while … Read More 

Adding Value to E-mail Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “Make the Most of E-mail Negotiations,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. At a recent social gathering of professionals, the topic of negotiating via e-mail came up. “My work team is constantly shooting e-mails back and forth,” said Sarita. “But since I’m driving and meeting with clients most of the time, I can’t respond … Read More 

Devilish Contractual Details

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Is the Devil in the Details?,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. You’re close to a deal, but concerns linger. Some of the contract terms seem less than precise. What in the world does “reasonable best efforts” mean, for example, or “good faith”? Negotiators in this commonplace situation face a choice: push for more … Read More 

Too Tough Talk?

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Break Through the Tough Talk,” by Kristina A. Diekmann (University of Utah) and Ann E. Tenbrunsel (Notre Dame University), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. You might think that cultivating a reputation as a tough bargainer might be the best way to cope with a competitive opponent. But this isn’t necessarily the best strategy. … Read More 

Change the Trust Default

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “How to Build Trust at the Bargaining Table,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Carol’s longtime doctor diagnoses her with a serious illness and recommends immediate, aggressive treatment. Carol would like to seek a second opinion, but she doesn’t want to offend her doctor—who, after all, has always provided her with excellent care. Carol … Read More 

When Compromise Fails

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “The Dangers of Compromise,” by Max H. Bazerman (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. In July 2000, Arthur Levitt, then chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), held hearings on the question of auditor independence. Believing that auditors’ close ties to their clients posed a conflict of interest … Read More 

Help Your Organization Do More with Less

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “How to Do More with Less,” by Lawrence Susskind (professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Times are tough, and managers need to find a way to squeeze more out of every contract negotiation. How can you improve how your organization negotiates? Though we tend to think of negotiation as an … Read More 

Free Report on International Negotiations Now Available

Posted by & filed under Daily, International Negotiation.

In this Special Report, we offer expert advice from the Negotiation newsletter to help you in international negotiations. You will learn to: ▶ Cope with culture clashes. ▶ Weigh culture against other important factors. ▶ Prepare for possible cultural barriers. ▶ Deal with translators. ▶ Avoid ethical stereotypes. ▶ Consider the team approach. To download the report, click here or on the … Read More 

Culture and Communication

Posted by & filed under Daily, International Negotiation.

Adapted from “Cultural Notes,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. As members of organizations and families, we all know from experience that even people with identical backgrounds can have vastly differing negotiating styles and values. Nonetheless, we continue to be intrigued by the idea that distinct patterns emerge between negotiators from different cultures. Researchers do confirm a … Read More 

Pull Ahead of the Pack

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “Think You’re Powerless? Think Again,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. If your organization regularly bids for business, you may be accustomed to feeling like the weaker party, write Deepak Malhotra and Max H. Bazerman in their book Negotiation Genius: How to Overcome Obstacles and Achieve Brilliant Results at the Bargaining Table and Beyond … Read More 

To Get Ahead, Grab Their Coattails

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Want to Pull Ahead of the Competition?” by Michael Wheeler (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Lots of people have great ideas for new products and services, but most lack the imagination and doggedness to actually get them launched. Darren Rovell is a notable exception. As a college student, he … Read More 

Consult Your “Inner Outsider”

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Taking an Outside View,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Cognitive biases such as overconfidence affect even smart and highly educated negotiators. Unfortunately, awareness of our biases is not enough to prevent their having a negative impact on our next negotiation. Why is it so hard to keep our biases in check? Researchers Dan Lovallo … Read More 

Help Them Be More Certain

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “Everybody’s Doing It,” by Robert B. Cialdini (professor, Arizona State University), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Brown University Medical School researchers conducted a fascinating study on the factors that influence adolescents to take up cigarette smoking. As expected, several personal, familial, and social circumstances were to blame. For instance, teens who had been … Read More 

To Avoid an Impasse, Keep Talking

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “How the Writers Got Back to Work,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. What happens when people think they’ve invested too much in a dispute to back down from their entrenched positions? This question rose to the fore as the Writers Guild of America (WGA) West and East’s strike against the Alliance of Motion … Read More 

Learn More From Your Deals

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Learning to Learn,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Learning about a concept or technique is one thing. Actually putting new knowledge to work is quite another. The gap between “knowing” and “doing” is a challenge for managers who want to hone their effectiveness, whether through formal training or private reflection on their experience. Recent … Read More 

Honor Your Fellow Negotiator

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Negotiators: Guard Against Ethical Lapses,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. During the past couple of years, a number of scandalous stories involving unethical behavior made headlines: Countrywide’s and AIG’s risky business practices, trader Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, and former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich’s alleged attempt to sell a U.S. Senate seat. As instances … Read More 

Don’t Just Do the Math

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Do the Numbers Get in Your Way?” by Brian J. Hall (professor, Harvard Business School) and P. Trent Staats (vice president, Verenium Corp.), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Consider the customer support center that sought to increase the number of calls it could process per hour without increasing its capacity. When the call … Read More 

The Curse of Knowledge

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “When You Assume Too Much,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Decision makers often overlook others’ viewpoints. When we do take others’ thinking into account, we tend to assume that they know as much as we do. For this reason, marketing experts are generally worse than nonexpert consumers at predicting the beliefs, values, and … Read More 

Negotiate with Your Kids?

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Negotiate Better Relationships with Your Children,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Getting a good night’s sleep and eating a healthy dinner might seem like obvious goals for parents to have for their young children, but kids won’t always agree. When faced with back talk, tantrums, and tears, most parents vacillate between laying down … Read More 

Keep it Out of Court

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “Turn Disputes into Deals,” by by Robert H. Mnookin (professor, Harvard Law School) first published in the Negotiation newsletter. In 1982, writer and movie producer Art Buchwald wrote a screen treatment that his partner, Alain Bernheim, pitched to Paramount Pictures. Settling upon the title King for a Day, Paramount and Bernheim entered into an … Read More 

Former President Martti Ahtisaari honored with Great Negotiator Award!

Posted by & filed under Daily, Events, Great Negotiator Award, International Negotiation.

The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School Will Honor Former President of Finland Martti Ahtisaari with the 2010 Great Negotiator Award Co-sponsored with the Future of Diplomacy Project at the Harvard Kennedy School, the Great Negotiator Event Offers Real-World Negotiation Discussion to All Students For Immediate Release CAMBRIDGE, MA (September 21,  2010) The Program on Negotiation … Read More 

Mirror, Mirror

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “The View from the Other Side of the Table,” by Adam D. Galinsky (Northwestern University), William W. Maddux (professor, INSEAD), and Gillian Ku (professor, London Business School)first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Believe it or not, you can become a better negotiator simply by learning how to effectively mirror your opponent. Psychologist Tanya Chartrand … Read More 

Are Your Talks too Complex?

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

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

Negotiating for Career Satisfaction

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “Beyond Salary: Negotiating for Job Satisfaction and Success,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Most people enter employment negotiations assuming that compensation and benefits are the only issues on the table, according to Negotiation editorial board member David Lax. By contrast, enlightened job seekers realize these concerns are only part of the picture. In … Read More 

Should You Ignore a Threat

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Threat Response at the Bargaining Table,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Consider how you would respond to threats and ultimatums such as these during a negotiation: • “If you try to back out, you’ll never work in this industry again.” • “Give us what we want, or we’ll see you in court.” • “That’s our final … Read More 

Find Strength in Numbers

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

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 More 

Don’t Be Cursed

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “How to Win an Auction—and Avoid the Sinking Feeling that You Overbid,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Imagine that at the beginning of class, a professor produces a jar full of coins and announces that he is auctioning it off. Students can write down a bid, he explains, and the highest bidder will … Read More 

Getting to No

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “When You Mean No, Say So!” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Too often, we say yes when we shouldn’t. Wanting to be team players at work, we postpone a family vacation. Or we pitch in on a community project when we have no time for it. In the short term, we please whoever … Read More 

Trusting from Square One

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

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 More 

Set Yourself Up for Success

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “Do a 3-D Audit of Barriers to Agreement,” by James K. Sebenius (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. When talks stall, it’s tempting to jump to conclusions: “They’re being unreasonable.” “We’re not communicating well.” “We’re in a weak position.” Sometimes, however, setup barriers are to blame—that is, you don’t have … Read More 

When Power Corrupts

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Does Power Corrupt in Negotiation?” First published in the Negotiation newsletter. How does power affect negotiators? In a study of hundreds of pairs of negotiators, researchers Elizabeth A. Seeley of Amherst College and Wendi Gardner and Leigh L. Thompson of Northwestern University examined this question using a simulation called “Viking Investments” (written by Len … Read More 

Get the Kinks Out

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “Should You Get the Kinks Out?” by Ian Larkin (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. You may have heard about the power of contingent contracts in negotiation. As an example, imagine that a supplier has proposed you pay a bonus of 10% if the fault rate for its products is … Read More 

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 More 

Choose Your Words

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Metaphorical Negotiation,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Negotiators talk about building agreement, bluffing the opposition, and volleying offers back and forth. According to mediator Thomas Smith, careful attention to such metaphors can reveal deeper meaning beneath the explicit words that people use, notably regarding how they view the negotiation process and their relationship … Read More 

Offering Gifts—With Strings Attached

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “Give a Gift that Keeps on Giving (to You),” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. It was the kind of windfall that would make any employee feel appreciated. In October 2009, Jenna Lyons, the creative director of New York–based fashion retailer J. Crew, received a cash bonus of $1 million from her boss, J. … Read More 

Family Matters

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

Adapted from “All in the Family: Managing Business Disputes with Relatives,” by Frank E. A. Sander (professor, Harvard Law School) and Robert C. Bordone (professor, Harvard Law School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. What happens when family members go into business together? In a few lucky cases, harmony and success follow without effort. More often, … Read More 

The 900-pound Counterpart

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “Negotiating with a 900-pound Gorilla,” by Lawrence Susskind (professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Does your company ever have to negotiate with a behemoth that dominates your market–the so-called 900-pound gorilla? Whether they’re big-box retailers with aggressive pricing strategies or well-established computer software providers, one or two companies seem … Read More 

Accentuate the Positive

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “Promote the Positive or Minimize the Negative?” First published in the Negotiation newsletter. Tory Higgins, a social psychologist, and his colleagues Lorraine Chen Idson and Nira Liberman have introduced the concept of regulatory focus. According to Higgins, when making decisions, people focus on either promotion or prevention. Those focused on promotion are primarily concerned … Read More 

Keeping Your Options Alive

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

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 More 

When Does Personality Matter?

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

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 More 

When the Sexes Face Off

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Battles of the Sexes,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. What happens when men and women compete with one another for scarce resources? In a fascinating series of studies, Professor Laura Kray of the University of California at Berkeley and her colleagues show that gender stereotypes have unexpected effects on the behavior of pairs … Read More 

Are You Overlooking Mediation?

Posted by & filed under Daily, Mediation.

Adapted from “Why Aren’t Mediation and Arbitration More Popular?” First published in the Negotiation newsletter. Many scholars have noted that the business community would greatly benefit from third-party dispute resolution services. The problem is, there isn’t much demand for mediation or arbitration. If the alternative dispute resolution field has in fact built a better mousetrap, why … Read More 

Choosing Your Next Relationship

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “For Better or Worse: How Relationships Affect Negotiations,” by Kathleen L. McGinn (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Six years ago, Esther Lorenza, an experienced entrepreneur and the founder of a new Internet and catalog retailer, concluded that only one supplier could meet her unique product specifications and high standards … Read More 

Making Time for Relationships

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “Leverage Time to Your Advantage,” by Deepak Malhotra (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Businesspeople often make the mistake of beginning negotiations only after an offer is on the table or after an old contract has expired. Why is this a problem? When money is at stake, it can be … Read More 

What Exactly Are You Saying?

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “The Perils of Powerful Speech,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Death to modifiers! All hail the active verb. Be succinct. Those are Strunk and White’s commandments for simple and direct writing. They also may be rules for establishing verbal power in negotiation—though not always, it turns out. Linguistic studies have shown that hesitations (ums and … Read More 

Think Fast!

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “What Negotiators Can Learn from Improv Comedy,” by Lakshmi Balachandra (lecturer, MIT Sloan School of Management) and Michael Wheeler (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. You’re onstage without a script, relying on your mind and wits to come up with lines and actions that advance the game. Should you trust … Read More 

Check Your Impulses

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Fickle Intuition,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. When it comes to trusting others, negotiators often rely on their gut instincts. Recent studies indicate, however, that extraneous factors can sway such judgments. For example, Michael Kosfeld and other University of Zurich researchers introduced a twist in a classic trust game in which subjects must … Read More 

When Emotions Converge

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “I Know Exactly How You Feel,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Theorists have long distinguished one-shot deals from repeated negotiations. People who know they’ll never see one another again may be tempted to take advantage of one another, for example. By contrast, parties in ongoing relationships, even ones that have a competitive edge, … Read More 

Expand the Pie with Matching Rights

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Create Value with Matching Rights,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. The problem: You and your counterpart have different ideas about how much freedom you should have to negotiate with others and/or how long your agreement should last. The tool: Matching rights (sometimes known as rights of first refusal) are a contractual guarantee between negotiators … Read More 

The Power of Vivid Data

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “What’s Really Relevant? The Role of Vivid Data in Negotiation,” by Max H. Bazerman (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Students at top business schools are in an enviable position to negotiate for issues central to their careers and personal happiness. After all, they’re bright, well-trained, and highly sought after … Read More 

When peace breaks out

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution, Daily.

Adapted from “Framing a Negotiation to Foster Cooperation,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Sometimes in negotiation, against all apparent odds, peace breaks out. Union leaders and management reach a last-minute agreement that averts a work stoppage. Litigants settle their differences as they mount the courthouse steps. Everyone breathes a sigh of relief and moves on. But … Read More 

Questioning threats

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

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 More 

The negotiating QB

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “The Brett Favre Trade: A Win-win Deal in a Win-lose Game,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. In the middle of the National Football League’s off-season, as legendary quarterback Brett Favre weighs for the third year in a row whether to return to football or accept retirement, it’s worth revisiting the negotiations behind his … Read More 

Smoking out liars

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “How Body Language Affects Negotiation,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. In a real-life example of the power of image, Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, a German, successfully passed himself off as a member of the Rockefeller family for many years while living in the United States. Armed with little more than an aloof personality and … Read More 

Negotiation or an auction?

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “Negotiations Versus Auctions in Procurement,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter.

When developing procurement contracts, when should you hold an auction, and when should you negotiate? In a study of more than 4,000 private-sector construction contracts in Northern California between 1995 and 2000, researchers Patrick Bajari, Robert McMillan, and Steven Tadelis examined the differences … Read More 

Make your threat more credible

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Making Threats Credible,” by Deepak Malhotra (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. While the stakes are usually lower, negotiation often resembles a game of Chicken. Both sides make threats in an effort to change their counterpart’s behavior or beliefs. You might threaten to take your business elsewhere unless the other … Read More 

When the going gets tough…

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Taming Hard Bargainers,” by Robert C. Bordone (professor, Harvard Law School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Suppose you’re about to face off with an “old school” negotiator whose reputation for hard bargaining precedes him. You know you’re supposed to adopt a collaborative approach for the best results, but what about when the other … Read More 

Resolving disputes with respect

Posted by & filed under Daily, Dispute Resolution.

Adapted from “Equal Time,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Social scientists have long tried to identify the key drivers of success in resolving disputes. Several factors have been proposed: individualized contact that goes beyond the superficial, equal status among parties, commitment to a common goal, and institutional support. Studies have shown that when such conditions … Read More 

When incentives strike out

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “Managers: Think Twice before Setting Negotiation Goals,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. The next time you’re tempted to dangle performance incentives in front of your employees, think about whether it could backfire. As an illustration, let’s look at Major League Baseball manager Joe Torre’s renegotiation with the New York Yankees in October 2007. Torre … Read More 

Know your rights!

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “Matching Rights: A Boon to Both Sides,” by Guhan Subramanian (professor, Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. As dealmakers look for more sophisticated ways to reduce risks and increase returns, a matching right—a contractual guarantee that one side can match any offer that the other side … Read More 

Teams across cultures

Posted by & filed under Daily, International Negotiation.

Adapted from “Team Negotiating: Strength in Numbers?”, first published in the Negotiation newsletter. According to conventional wisdom, when it comes to negotiation, there’s strength in numbers. Indeed, several experimental studies have supported the notion that you should bring at least one other person from your organization to the bargaining table if you can. On average, this … Read More 

After the deal is inked

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Uncover Hidden Value with a Post-settlement Settlement,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. You’ve reached an agreement that you find satisfactory and your counterpart does as well-but you can’t shake the sense that you could have done even better. For example, you might be happy with the price you achieved in a purchasing contract … Read More 

Get the sequence right

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Set off a Chain Reaction,” by Michael Wheeler (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Artful sequencing in negotiation means lining up deals so that each agreement increases the odds of nailing down the next one. A hedge fund manager might find that certain investors will decline to put their … Read More 

How entitled are you?

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Entitlement in Negotiation,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Simon Gachter of the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland and Arno Riedl of the University of Amsterdam studied the tendency of negotiators to maintain allegiance to past norms concerning entitlement, even when those norms are unrelated to the parties’ real bargaining power. The researchers … Read More 

Aim high…or not?

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “How High Should You Aim?”, first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Research shows that moderately difficult goals can energize people and increase their performance. In negotiation, parties with relatively high aspirations often negotiate higher individual payoffs. But there can be a downside: impasse and unethical behavior may be more likely. In a study conducted by … Read More 

A nudge in the right direction

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from the Negotiation newsletter.

A bank in the Philippines started a program that encouraged would-be nonsmokers to open savings accounts and, for six months, deposit the amount they would have spent on cigarettes. Customers who tested clean for nicotine after six months got their money back; otherwise, the funds were donated to charity. The program … Read More 

When “fairness” is a distraction

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

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 More 

Great expectations?

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Faulty Expectations,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. One of the most common, clear recommendations to emerge from negotiation literature is the need to consider the other party’s decisions. Ample evidence shows that negotiators too often fail to think about the other negotiator or do so in a simplistic manner. Professors Kristina A. Diekmann … Read More 

Gain greater leverage with sole suppliers

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

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 More 

Staying in touch with strategic partners

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “Handle with Care: Negotiating Strategic Alliances,” by Lawrence Susskind (professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Some business partnerships are more important than others. This is especially true in supply chains, where producers of key components can be irreplaceable. Consider the relationship between two hypothetical companies, Brattlebury Corporation, which manufactures … Read More 

Dropping anchors

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

Adapted from “Anchors or Trial Balloons?”, first published in the Negotiation newsletter. The power of anchors in negotiation has been demonstrated time and again. Sellers who demand more tend to get more. Indeed, the initial asking price is usually the best predictor of the final agreement. A trio of researchers may have found an important exception … Read More 

Powerful Thoughts

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

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 More 

When women make good agents

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “When Does Gender Matter in Negotiation?” by Dina W. Pradel (vice president, Y2M), Hannah Riley Bowles (professor, Harvard Kennedy School), and Kathleen L. Mcginn (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Businesspeople often wonder whether men or women are better negotiators. According to research, gender is not a reliable predictor of … Read More 

Too much commitment?

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

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 More 

Overestimating our resolve

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Predicting Your Response to Conflict,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter.

Imagine an upcoming negotiation. How will you respond if your opponent seems bent on provoking an argument? If you’re like most people, you’ll have difficulty predicting your precise response. Professor Dan Gilbert of Harvard University found that when asked how a … Read More 

Fine-Tuning Your Contract

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

When negotiators sign on the dotted line, they sometimes worry about the wrong concerns. “Did I overpay?” wonders the buyer as he inks the sales agreement. Across the table, the seller is thinking, “I bet if I’d pushed a little harder, I would have gotten more.” … Read More 

Beware Your Lawyer’s Biases

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Parties in litigation are often overly optimistic about their chances of winning in court. This tendency reduces the bargaining range for settlement because one or both parties perceive their walkaway alternative (namely, letting the courts decide) to be more attractive than it actually is. According to conventional wisdom, lawyers can help their clients overcome this … Read More 

A second look at snap decisions

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “It’s Not Intuitive: Strategies for Negotiating More Rationally,” by Max H. Bazerman and Deepak Malhotra (professors, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. When deciding whether to start a new business, entrepreneurs should critically and comprehensively analyze negotiations over land, construction, hiring, and so on. Yet in a study by Arnold Cooper … Read More 

Pick the Right Agent

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

So, you’ve decided to use an agent in your next negotiation. Now what? It’s important not to rush headlong into the process of choosing an agent—picking the first one you speak to, for example, and sending him off to talks the next day. You need to choose your agent carefully, then establish a clear, detailed understanding … Read More 

Compare and contrast

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “What Makes Negotiators Happy?” First published in the Negotiation newsletter. We all know that people have a strong need to compare their outcomes with those of others. So a negotiator’s mostly likely target of social comparison is her opponent, right? Maybe not. Nathan Novemsky of the Yale School of Management and Maurice E. Schweitzer of … Read More 

The threat of bad publicity

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Driving the Deal Home,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Having trouble convincing someone to follow through on a promise? Borrow a page from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s playbook. In September 2007, fashion designer Mark Ecko purchased Barry Bonds’ record-setting 756th home run ball in an online auction for $752,467. After … Read More 

“Are We Exclusive?”

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

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 More 

Eyeing the Competition

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Ford vs. GM. Coke vs. Pepsi. Oxford vs. Cambridge. These famous rivalries remind us that the top two achievers in a given realm often compete fiercely with each other. Researchers Stephen M. Garcia and Richard Gonzalez of the University of Michigan and Avishalom Tor of the University of Haifa have produced a useful series of … Read More 

How to Lighten Your Burdens

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

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. … Read More 

Handling Shady Dealers

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

In 2004, U.S. Air Force procurement officer Darleen Druyun was sentenced to nine months in prison on corruption charges after it was discovered that she had favored Boeing in her negotiations for aircraft purchases to win jobs at Boeing for herself, her daughter, and her son-in-law. Druyun had unfettered control over the air force’s annual … Read More 

Make more out of less

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

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

Improve their satisfaction

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Make Them More Satisfied with Less,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. In negotiation, sometimes you just don’t have much to give. If your department’s budget has been slashed, your subordinates will have to settle for smaller raises than usual – or none at all. When consumer demand for your red-hot product levels … Read More 

How to Avoid a Do-Over

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

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

A more cooperative divorce

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Negotiating a More Civil Divorce,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. In the United States, lawyers who recognize the benefits of collaborative negotiation are sometimes stymied by vengeful clients and ruthless opposing counsel.  Many attorneys put up with a contentious settlement process in which litigation is a threat. Yet some U.S. lawyers have begun … Read More 

Should you be nasty or nice?

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Honey or Vinegar?”, first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Who brings out the best in us: someone nice or someone nasty? According to a recent study by Gerben A. van Kleef and colleagues of the University of Amsterdam, we may be more generous toward angry people than toward happy people. In the first two … Read More 

First, know thyself

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Self-Analysis and Negotiation,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. “Separate the people from the problem,” advises the bestselling negotiation text “Getting to Yes”. That’s certainly good counsel when tempers flare and bargaining descends into ego battles, but it’s a mistake to ignore the psychological crosscurrents in negotiation. Unless they are addressed, a deal may … Read More 

Give at work

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Pitch Your Offer—and Close the Deal,” by Deepak Malhotra and Max H. Bazerman (professors, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. When you’re having trouble persuading someone, you might be tempted to sweeten the pot with hefty financial incentives. Before doing so, consider whether there are cheaper ways of gaining compliance. A … Read More 

Don’t fight City Hall

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Tired of Fighting City Hall? Negotiate Instead,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. No matter what organization you work for or where you choose to live, sooner or later you’ll find yourself facing off with a government official or agency. Here are a few examples:

You apply for a permit from your local zoning board … Read More 

Caught in the middle

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “When You’re Stuck in the Middle,” by Susan Hackley (Managing Director, Program on Negotiation), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. At a company in a Midwestern city, employees were divided into two camps: those loyal to the founder and his vision of a mom-and-pop business with a dozen regional stores, and those aligned with … Read More 

Pick the right pace

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Hurry Up and Wait,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Negotiators operate at different speeds. Suppose that one bargainer is impatient, gritting her teeth and thinking, “Cut to the chase, for Pete’s sake!” Feeling pressured, the other person wants to say, “Easy on the coffee, pal! Let’s give this the time it deserves.” According to … Read More 

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 More 

Is that really what you want?

Posted by & filed under Daily.

Adapted from “You Need to Know What You Want,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Do you really know what you want out of life? Most of us don’t, according to Timothy D. Wilson and Daniel T. Gilbert, psychology professors at the University of Virginia and Harvard University, respectively. The impact bias describes the common, systematic … Read More 

Let Them Know How You Feel

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Just before a meeting with her boss, Cindy peeks into his secretary’s office and whispers: “How’s his mood today?” When the secretary gives a thumb’s up, Cindy decides the time is right to ask for a big raise. … Read More 

Allies and Enemies

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Imagine that you and a colleague get into an argument about the layout of a final report in front of a coworker you both like. Now suppose the same argument occurs in front of someone your colleague likes but you do not or vice versa—in front of an ally who is your colleague’s foe. As … Read More 

Mediating disputes on the job

Posted by & filed under Daily, Mediation.

Adapted from “Resolve Employee Conflicts with Mediation Techniques,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter.

If you manage people, disputes will show up at your door. The marketing VP protests that the budget cap you and your new finance VP proposed is hindering a research initiative you supported. Two young sales representatives are embroiled in a … Read More 

Choosing a mediator

Posted by & filed under Daily, Mediation.

Adapted from “Beyond Blame: Choosing a Mediator,” by Stephen B. Goldberg (professor, Northwestern University), first published in the Negotiation newsletter.

When a negotiation escalates into a dispute, most managers understand the value of seeking out a mediator for professional assistance with the matter. The question of whom to hire, however, is less clear-cut. What type of … Read More 

Should You Trust Your Agent?

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

You’ve found a beautiful condo that you’d like to call your own. You conduct a thorough assess¬ment of its value and identify several other ap¬pealing properties in the same neighborhood and price range. Believing you’ve found the magic bid, you phone your real-estate agent. … Read More 

Gender matters

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Gender Assertiveness and Implicit Sexism,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Most gender research in negotiation has examined differences between women and men, such as the tendency of women to be more anxious about the process and to set lower aspirations than men. The question of how people react to female negotiators versus … Read More 

Are you afraid of commitment?

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

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 More 

Learning from the Soda Wars

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

This past November, in an unusual move, Costco, the largest wholesale club in the United States, removed Coca-Cola products from its shelves and posted messages telling shoppers that Coke products would not be available until the company lowered its prices. … Read More 

Business Negotiations: Spoiler Alert!

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

At one time or another, most of us have confronted a fellow negotiator who seemed intent on blocking even our most reasonable requests and actions. This was the situation faced by Alexis, the CIO at a midsize publishing company. Phil, the company’s CEO, hired Alexis to create an online information system tailored to the needs … Read More 

To Avoid Disaster, Plan Ahead

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

In the midst of the recent financial crisis, accusations of greed on Wall Street have sounded across the globe. Greed may be a significant factor in the collapse of credit markets, but it’s not the only one. Overlooked in cries to punish the “bad apples” is the role of a mistake that virtually all negotiators … Read More 

To trust or not to trust

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “The Payoff of Trust,” by Iris Bohnet (Professor, Harvard Kennedy School), first published in the “Negotiation newsletter.” It’s natural to fear trust betrayal, or the violation of pivotal expectations of trustworthiness. Recent corporate and religious scandals have tragically demonstrated the substantial costs of such betrayals. Victims suffer emotional harm, and their ability to trust … Read More 

Your place or mine?

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Your Place or Mine? Deciding Where to Negotiate,” by Jeswald W. Salacuse (Professor, Tufts University), first published in the “Negotiation Newsletter”. Everyone knows the three rules of real estate: “Location! Location! Location!” When it comes to making deals, choosing the right place to negotiate can be just as important. The location you select can … Read More 

Take their advice

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Turn Your Adversary into Your Advocate,” by Katie A. Liljenquist and Adam D. Galinsky, first published in the Negotiation newsletter.

Most of us seek advice on a daily basis, for at least three reasons: to improve the quality of our decisions, to validate our choices, and to diffuse risk. Advice seeking also generates significant … Read More 

Funny business

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

First published in the Negotiation newsletter. You don’t have to be serious to be a serious negotiator. Humor, deftly used, can be a positive factor in promoting agreement. That’s what Finnish researcher Taina Vuorela confirmed in a comparative study of two real-world transactions. One was an internal meeting of a sales team trying to hammer out … Read More 

Should You Go Dutch?

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Most everyday auctions are English: they begin with an opening bid, continue with ascending bids, and end when the bidding stops. But for some assets, the seller opens at a very high price, then moves down rather than up if all bidders are silent. … Read More 

Turn Vicious Cycles Into Virtuous Ones

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

For decades, Hormel Foods and its employees enjoyed one of the most cooperative and productive labor-management relationships in the processed foods industry. But beginning in the late 1970s, when Hormel pushed for wage concessions, the company’s relationship with its workforce began to deteriorate, especially at the plant in Austin, Minn., the quiet “company town” where … Read More 

Deception in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Smart Alternatives to Lying in Negotiation,” by Deepak Malhotra (associate professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Daniel, a senior manager at a large consumer products firm, has been asked by a company vice president to submit a detailed budget request for his department. Daniel has an incentive to overstate anticipated … Read More 

Making the first move

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Should You Make the First Offer?” by Adam D. Galinsky (Professor, Northwestern University). First published in Negotiation Newsletter. Whether negotiators are bidding on a firm, seeking agreement on a compensation package, or bargaining over a used car, someone has to make the first offer. Should it be you, or should you wait to … Read More 

What Makes Negotiators Happy?

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

The question above may seem silly. Getting more of what we care about seems the obvious answer. Yet negotiators often don’t know how to accurately assess a good outcome; instead, they rely on outside indicators to determine their satisfaction, for instance by comparing their outcomes to those of others. Your negotiated annual salary of $100,000 … Read More 

Obama as mediator?

Posted by & filed under Daily, Mediation.

Recently, a local incident grew into a national dispute that seemed ripe for mediation. After being locked out of his home and forcing his way in, Henry Louis Gates, an African-American Harvard University professor, had a confrontation with Cambridge, Massachusetts police sergeant James Crowley and was arrested for disorderly conduct. In a press conference, President … Read More 

Become a Better Haggler

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Imagine you’re celebrating a special occasion with friends at an upscale restaurant. Soon after you take your seats, the wine director introduces himself and hands you a list of high-end bottles of wine. You notice that the prices—all in the $200–$600 range—have been slashed through with a red pen. … Read More 

Coping with cultural differences

Posted by & filed under Daily, International Negotiation.

Have you ever found yourself negotiating with people from other cultures, whether at home or abroad?  If so, did you try to adapt your negotiating style to fit the other person or team’s culture, and if so, how? Most negotiators understand that cultural differences are likely to be a factor in negotiations. Unfortunately, many negotiators actually … Read More