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

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

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

conflict management

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 

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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 

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Salary Negotiation: How to Ask for a Higher Salary

Posted by & filed under Salary Negotiations.

salary negotiation

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 

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Cognitive Biases in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution – Common Negotiation Mistakes

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Cognitive Biases

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 

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

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

agenda

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 

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Integrative Negotiations: Examples of Dispute Resolution Through Joint Fact-Finding

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

integrative negotiations

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 

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

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

reservation point in negotiation

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 

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

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

conflict management

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 

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Overcoming Cultural Barriers in Negotiations and the Importance of Communication in International Business Deals

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

negotiation

Communication in negotiation scenarios is the means by which negotiators achieve objectives, build relationships, and resolve disputes. Communication becomes even more important when negotiating counterparts are from different cultures. The following question was posed to our Negotiation newsletter editorial board and Program on Negotiation faculty member Jeswald Salacuse offers his insights. … Read More 

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Lessons for Business Negotiators: Negotiation Techniques from International Diplomacy

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

business negotiators

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 

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Putting Negotiation Training to Work: The Limits of Lectures

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Training.

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 

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Mediation and the Conflict Resolution Process

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

mediation

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, desires, … Read More 

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Essential Negotiation Skills: Limiting Cognitive Bias in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

negotiation

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 negotiations. 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 

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Writing the Negotiated Agreement

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

negotiated agreement

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 

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

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

power in negotiation

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 

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

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

contract 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 

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Team Building Using Negotiation Skills

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

negotiation

To avoid conveying weakness to the other side, rather than calling for a break at the first sign of trouble, some teams devised secret signals they could 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 

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How to Negotiate Online

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

negotiate online

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. … Read More 

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

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Training.

Ethics and Negotiation

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 

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Using Body Language in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

body language in negotiation

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 

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

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

cultural barriers

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 

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Bargaining at a Fever Pitch

Posted by & filed under Leadership Skills.

bargaining

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 

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The Negotiation Process in China

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

negotiation process

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 

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Negotiation Skills for Win-Win Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

negotiation styles

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 

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

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

cultural conflict

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 negotiation example, how should this negotiator improve her negotiation skills? … Read More 

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Developing Negotiation Skills for Integrative Negotiations – Does Personality Matter?

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

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 

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

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

what is 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 

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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 

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Conflict Management and Negotiation: Personality and Individual Differences That Matter

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

negotiation

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 

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Cross Cultural Communication: Translation and Negotiation

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

cross cultural

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 

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What is Dispute System Design?

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

dispute system design

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 

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BATNA and Negotiation Scenarios Where Alternatives are Preferable to Negotiated Agreements

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

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 

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Does Small Talk in Negotiation Offer Big Gains?

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

small talk in negotiation

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 

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

Posted by & filed under Mediation.

arbitration vs 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 

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Business Negotiations: Matching Rights – The Fundamentals

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

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 

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How to Balance Your Own Values in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

negotiation

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 

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Learning From Negotiation Role-Plays

Posted by & filed under Teaching Negotiation.

negotiation role plays

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 

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Negotiation Topics in Business: Coming Up with Win-Win Solutions at the Bargaining Table

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

integrative negotiation and a win-win solution a place in 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 

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Satisficing and Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Satisficing and Negotiation

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 

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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 

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

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

How Short-Term Focus Contributes to Future Disasters in 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 

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Integrative Negotiation Examples: MESOs and Expanding the Pie

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Integrative Negotiation Examples: MESOs and Expanding the Pie

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 

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Negotiation Topics in Business: Make a Bump Plan

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

negotiation topics in business and negotiation strategy make a bump plan

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 

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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 

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Dealmaking: Dealing with the Other Side’s Constituents

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Dealmaking: Dealing with the Other Side's Constituents

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 

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

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

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

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 

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

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

batna negotiation preparation to help avoid giving up at the bargaining table

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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

MESO

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 

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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 

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In Business Negotiations, Capitalize on a Right of First Refusal

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

in business negotiations capitalize on a right of first refusal

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 

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Negotiation Skills in Business Communication: Heading Off Deception

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

negotiation skills in business communication heading off deception

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 

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Examples of Negotiation in Daily Life – Information Asymmetries and Lies of Omission

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

negotiation

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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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Deal Making: Second-Guessing the Terms of the Deal

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

When most of us think about preparing for a negotiation, we consider the substance of the issues under discussion. Depending on your industry, such issues might include price terms, warranties, liquidated damages clauses, benefits, or wage increases. By contrast, the negotiation-process issues concern how parties go about resolving the various points that have brought them together in … Read More 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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Moving to a Different Table

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

When a negotiation reaches an impasse (or, preferably, sooner), it’s important to consider that you may be at the wrong table. What other individuals or groups might be able to break the deadlock? Perhaps you should be talking to them instead. … Read More 

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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 

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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 

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Team Building, One Player at a Time

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

team-building techniques

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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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When Not to Show Your Hand in Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

negotiations

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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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When emotions linger

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

negotiation

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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

Daily

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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

Daily

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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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Daily

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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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Debunking Negotiation Myths

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “Negotiation Myths, Exposed,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. In her book The Mind and Heart of the Negotiator, Leigh Thompson cites four widely held 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: … Read More 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

Daily

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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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What to do When the Ink is Dry

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

dispute resolution

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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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An Excuse for Selfishness

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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 

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Always Connect

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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 

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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 

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The Regretful Negotiator

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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 

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Pitfalls of the Powerful

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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 

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Dealing With Constituents

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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 

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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 

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The Power of Schadenfreude

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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 

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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 

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Is Your Possession Really Sacred?

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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 

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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 

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How Stereotypes Impair Performance

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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 

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The Angry Negotiator

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Adapted from “Emotional Strategy” by Margaret A. Neale (professor, Stanford University), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. 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 … Read More 

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When You’re on Stage

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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 

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Everyday Ingenuity

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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 

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Checking Your Ego

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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 

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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 

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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 

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Devilish Contractual Details

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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 

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Too Tough Talk?

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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 

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Change the Trust Default

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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 

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When Compromise Fails

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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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 

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