As you prepare to negotiate, make sure you choose the right negotiation process for the most rewarding outcome for you and your counterpart.
While you might choose many from a number of approaches to a negotiation, a mutual gains negotiation process can help you not only achieve a negotiated agreement with a counterpart but also help a negotiator find ways to create value and expand the pie of resources. In fact, our satisfaction with the final outcome of a negotiation doesn’t depend solely on how much we objectively gained or lost. Negotiator satisfaction hinges, in part, on whether the negotiation process was collegial and fair.
To maximize satisfaction and build a strong working relationship, don’t leave the negotiation process up to chance. Instead, take time to discuss how you will negotiate before discussing substance.
It’s tempting to dive into a negotiation without first setting an agenda and clarifying some of your purposes, but before the negotiation begins, explain what you hope to accomplish and how you propose to go about achieving these goals. If the other side envisions a different process, you must negotiate how to proceed.
Remember, too, that while the long-term goals of the negotiation may be clear to all (a signed agreement, for instance), you and your counterpart may have differing assumptions about the results of a particular meeting.
As you’re making commitments about the negotiation process, you and your counterparts should also focus on the sequencing of issues to be discussed. Typically, the best sequencing strategy is to begin with easy issues on which you anticipate significant common ground.
A thorough negotiation preparation process requires taking plenty of time to think through what we want, what alternatives we have to the current deal, and what our counterpart might value.
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Imagine that you’re the American representative of a U.S. food company, and you’re hoping to procure a new ingredient for several of your products from a German company. A representative from the company is flying in to meet with you. Do you expect your German counterpart to behave differently than the Americans you typically deal … Read
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Too many negotiators leave value on the table. They painfully divide a small pie after a costly battle while failing to capture offsetting opportunities for joint gain, or win the battle, but at the cost to relationships and reputation that limit long-term value. Reliably negotiating optimal outcomes requires a keen … Read
Salary negotiations are often stressful and challenging. But with the right strategies, you can negotiate your employment terms with ease. In Salary Negotiations: How to Negotiate Salary: Learn the Best Techniques to Help You Manage the Most Difficult Salary Negotiations and What You Need to Know When Asking for a Raise, you’ll discover innovative ways … Read
Looking to update your curriculum with innovative new simulations? Check out these new simulations from the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC).
Ren the Robot – New Simulation
Ren the Robot is a one-and-a-half hour, two-party, multi-issue negotiation between a Tokyo-based robotics company, Grubotics, and a U.S.-based tech company, Delivered, over a potential acquisition deal. It is designed to … Read
Real-life conflict scenarios can keep groups from being effective. But at a press conference on March 6, Trump suggested that any conflict within the White House has been beneficial: “I like conflict. I like having two people with different points of view, and I certainly have that, and I make a decision. But I like … Read
This negotiation case study demonstrates the power of coalitions to achieve objectives at the bargaining table. How can negotiators cooperate with bargaining counterparts to create value for both sides? Here is the strategy used by Wyoming ranchers to achieve just that.
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.
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?
Learning great BATNA examples, or estimations of your best alternative to a negotiated agreement as well as that of your negotiating counterpart, are essential to effective negotiation strategies. When preparing to negotiate, always take time to consider these important questions.
New from the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC), Ren the Robot is a one-and-a-half hour, two-party, multi-issue negotiation between a Tokyo-based robotics company, Grubotics, and a U.S.-based tech company, Delivered, over a potential acquisition deal. It is designed to be conducted using online video conferencing. The use of online video conference technology highlights the conveniences … Read
Upset by a delay in the delivery of one of your products, a longtime buyer threatens to turn to the media unless you meet his extreme demands. Not only is the relationship in jeopardy, but your company’s reputation seems to be as well. What should you do? Turn to some tried and true hostage negotiation … Read
In business negotiation, two polar-opposite errors are common: reaching agreement when it wouldn’t be wise to do so, and walking away from a mutually beneficial outcome.
How can you avoid these pitfalls? Through careful preparation that includes an analysis of the zone of possible agreement, or ZOPA in business negotiations.
As the following points of win-win negotiation will demonstrate, ensuring that your counterpart is satisfied with a particular deal requires you to manage several aspects of the negotiation process, including his outcome expectations, his perceptions of your outcome, the comparisons he makes with others, and his overall negotiation experience itself.
The question of how to negotiate salary seems to preoccupy negotiators more than any other—and with good reason, considering how dramatically even a small salary increase can impact our lifetime earnings. The following three salary bargaining tips from leading negotiation experts will help you gain more from your new-job negotiations.
Knowing what to look for in a mediator is key to successful dispute resolution. Know what qualities to look for, the purpose of the mediator, and how alternative dispute resolution (ADR) processes like mediation can benefit even the most entrenched disputes.
Between 2017 and 2019, the United Kingdom (U.K.) and the European Union (E.U.) negotiated the terms of Brexit, the U.K.’s official departure from the E.U. The talks were contentious and stalled often, ultimately being extended by six months.
The trouble started even before the negotiations began, as the parties disagreed about how the process should unfold. … Read
The first offer dilemma in negotiations – should you make the first offer? Few questions related to negotiation techniques and negotiation strategies have yielded more academic attention and debate among practitioners in negotiation research.
What special insights do outsiders need to prepare for international negotiations in China? Much of what you know already about negotiation holds true, but four characteristics complicate business negotiation in China.
When we think of failed business negotiations, most of us picture negotiators walking away from the table in disappointment. But that’s only one type of disappointing negotiation. Failed business negotiations also include those that parties come to regret over time and those that fall apart during implementation. The following three types of negotiation failures are … Read
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.
Whether you are facing negotiations with Congress, colleagues, customers, or family members, the following negotiation books, published in recent years by experts from the Program on Negotiation, offer new perspectives on common negotiating dilemmas.
In past articles, we have highlighted a variety of psychological biases that affect negotiators, many of which spring from a reliance on intuition, and may hinder integrative negotiation. Of course, negotiators are not always affected by bias; we often think systematically and clearly at the bargaining table. Most negotiators believe they are capable of distinguishing … Read
Tetsushi Okumura is a professor at the Tokyo University of Science and has been a visiting scholar at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. His research articles have appeared in leading management and psychology journals, and he has translated into Japanese many popular books on negotiation. Recently, Okumura has been interviewing Japanese government negotiators to … Read
Ever since Russia blockaded the Black Sea at the start of its war on Ukraine, most of Ukraine’s abundant grain harvest has been trapped in silos, far from those who count on it for survival. The closing of ports in Ukraine, one of the world’s great breadbaskets, threatened to bring famine and political unrest to … Read
How can you negotiate the best possible price for a new car? This is a common negotiation question, and naturally so. A car is one of the most significant purchases you’ll ever make—and the price is almost always negotiable. Here are a few tips to improve your performance:
“ABC: Always Be Closing.” That’s the sales strategy that actor Alec Baldwin’s character Blake shared in the 1992 film Glengarry Glen Ross as he tried to motivate a group of real estate salesmen. In his verbally abusive, profanity-laced speech, Blake presented a ruthless model of closing a business deal that ignores customers’ needs and cuts … Read
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.
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.
Creating value is the name of the game in integrative negotiations but these principles can also apply to the highly competitive realm of business negotiations. In the business world, why is competition so often the norm, while cooperation seems like an impossible goal?
At the time, it seemed to be an example of coolheaded dealmaking in the midst of disaster. In 2009, hit hard by the 2008 financial crisis and changes in consumer preferences, U.S. automaker Chrysler was on the brink of collapse, and the Treasury Department stepped in to do a deal. In exchange for about $12 … Read
Former UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres received the Program on Negotiation’s 2022 Great Negotiator Award.
On April 14, 2022, the Program on Negotiation (PON) presented its Great Negotiator Award to Christiana Figueres, formerly the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and one of the architects of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. … Read
Organizations often establish elaborate business crisis management plans. Through a rapid, centralized response, an organization can shift swiftly and efficiently from day-to-day operations into crisis-management mode, whether that crisis involves a building evacuation, a tumble in the company’s stock price, or a product recall.
At the time, it seemed to be an example of coolheaded dealmaking in the midst of disaster. In 2009, hit hard by the 2008 financial crisis and changes in consumer preferences, U.S. automaker Chrysler was on the brink of collapse. The U.S. Treasury Department stepped in to run a crisis negotiation. In exchange for about … Read
In this edition of Dear Negotiation Coach, Harvard Business School professor Max H. Bazerman describes how online negotiation could increase efficiency and trust in many realms.
In-person negotiations can offer advantages over electronic negotiations—for example, in terms of rapport building and value creation. But what advantages might online negotiation have over face-to-face negotiation?
Max H. Bazerman: Online … Read
Amid our polarized political climate, dysfunction and conflict seem to rule the day in the U.S. Congress and state legislatures. To help legislators and their staff learn to build bridges and negotiate through impasse, the Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) Legislative Negotiation Project, with support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Madison Initiative, has developed … Read
In the high-stakes world of mergers and acquisitions (M&As), negotiation missteps can amplify into disasters, and lucky breaks into triumphs. As a result, there is much that business negotiators can learn from stories of M&A negotiation strategy in the news. To take one case study, the 2015-2016 bidding war between hotel chain Marriott International and … Read
Major League Baseball (MLB) games are known for their leisurely pacing. In recent years, off-season negotiations between teams and free agents have sometimes proceeded at a similarly glacial rate, to the consternation of players. Changing power dynamics have led teams to resort to hardball negotiation tactics, such as dragging out talks. As a result, players … Read
Back on July 11, 2000, U.S. president Bill Clinton welcomed Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat to a summit at Camp David aimed at resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict once and for all. The summit covered various contentious issues, including territory, settlements, security, and the status of refugees.
After about two weeks, … Read
Q: I lead a team of approximately 50 lawyers in the in-house legal department of a Fortune 500 company. As our team gets larger, reflecting the company’s growth, I’d like to install quality-control measures to ensure that all our attorneys are effectively negotiating settlements when appropriate and taking cases to trial when not. What are … Read
In an interesting example of negotiation team dynamics, during a 2018 New Year’s Day address, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un proposed opening talks with South Korea to discuss the North’s possible participation in the Winter Olympics, to be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea, the following month. Hoping to avoid disruption by the North, South Korean … Read
Imagine leading negotiations involving representatives from most of the world’s nations on a contentious topic such as sustainable development. Where would you start? How would you proceed when conflict emerged? How would you know when it was time to wrap things up?
The concept of emotional intelligence burst into the cultural imagination in 1995 with the publication of psychologist Daniel Goleman’s bestselling book of the same name. Experts have predicted that scoring high on this personality trait would boost one’s bargaining outcomes and have found many successful negotiation examples using emotional intelligence in their research.
Some cultures have a long tradition of haggling—bargaining back and forth about the price of an item—in markets and bazaars. By contrast, in the United States and many other countries, haggling between buyers and sellers is an under-practiced skill. You might routinely pass up opportunities to haggle in situations where financial negotiations are not the … Read
Among the many types of power in negotiation a negotiator can exhibit is an ability to exert control over the negotiation process. But what about those bargaining scenarios in which the negotiator unable to gain control of proceedings? How should she formulate her negotiation strategy?
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.
We’ve all heard nightmarish stories of divorce battles that take years—and cost a small fortune—to resolve. The task of negotiating child and spousal support, dividing property and other possessions, and establishing child-custody arrangements can be daunting, especially when the principals are barely speaking to each other. In the worst-case scenario, bitter spouses hire cutthroat lawyers … Read
Negotiators talk about building agreement, bluffing the opposition, and volleying offers back and forth. According to mediator Thomas Smith, careful attention to such metaphors can reveal deeper meaning beneath the explicit words that people use, notably regarding how they view the negotiation process and their relationship to one another.
Suppose that two businesses have similar sounding names. The similarity is confusing to customers or could be down the line. One of the businesses decides to do something about it. How can they engage in a successful dispute-resolution negotiation process?
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
Deceptive tactics in negotiation can run rampant: parties “stretch” the numbers, conceal key information, and make promises they know they can’t keep. The benefits of negotiation in business offer strong incentives to detect these behaviors. Unfortunately, however, most of us are very poor lie detectors.
Even professionals who encounter liars regularly, such as police officers and … Read
Have you ever negotiated with someone who seemed intent on sabotaging the negotiation or taking unfair advantage? If so, you would benefit from learning more about what it mean to negotiate in good faith.
When they think of negotiation, many people imagine a positional bargaining scenario where two people are haggling back-and-forth over the price of an item, both refusing to budge. In positional bargaining, “each side takes a position, argues for it, and makes concessions to reach a compromise,” write Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton in … Read
In the 1990s, U.S. drug manufacturers unwittingly set a national crisis in motion when they began marketing new and highly addictive prescription opioid medications for the treatment of pain. Between 1999 and 2017, about 400,000 Americans died from a drug overdose involving an opioid, including both prescription and illegal drugs. By 2015, the opioid crisis … Read
The year 2017 offered plenty of negotiation hits and misses in the realms of government, business, and beyond. To avoid failed negotiations in 2018, politicians, business leaders, and the rest of us would be wise to explore the following recent negotiation books, which can help steer us through our most difficult negotiating dilemmas:
Here are ten popular business negotiation articles on the Program on Negotiation website. Drawn from a variety of negotiation case studies as well as negotiation research, the following articles offer strategies for engaging in integrative negotiations aimed at creating win-win scenarios for each party at the negotiation table.
1. What is the Right of First Refusal?
Rights … Read
International negotiation brings on more challenges than most. On September 3, 2013, Microsoft announced a deal to acquire Finnish mobile phone company Nokia’s handset and services business for $7.2 billion, the New York Times reported. The agreement marked a belated but bold move by Microsoft to upgrade its presence in handheld devices and signals an … Read
How does the desire to negotiate stack up against other workplace decision-making procedures? Negotiation seems to be the preferred decision-making mechanism when employees are seeking individually tailored solutions.
In 2017, all eyes were on Washington as a president with a reputation as a dealmaker entered the White House. The following negotiations from the past year, both inside and outside of politics, caught our eye due to the broader lessons they offer business negotiators.
Finding the zone of possible agreement in negotiations can be difficult, especially when dealing with friends and family. We all know people who have “alligator arms.” When the restaurant check comes, they can’t manage to reach their wallets, or they quibble that they had the small tomato juice, and you had the large.
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
It’s been 100 years since Major League Baseball (MLB) had a superstar at both hitting and pitching in its ranks—namely, Babe Ruth. With teams rewarding specialists, players rarely have the talent, drive, and freedom to successfully multitask as so-called two-way players.
That’s why excitement was so high this winter when 23-year-old Japanese hitting and pitching phenomenon … Read
As you know, gender stereotypes often enter the negotiation process. Women and men are perceived to, and often do, act differently in negotiations. Furthermore, gender-based discrimination—such as less pay, unequal treatment, and sexual harassment—is often a source of conflict. With the resources available through the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC), professionals can learn how to … Read
On September 20th, Harvard Law School awarded the prestigious annual Great Negotiator award to Nobel Prize Winner, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, on behalf of the Program on Negotiation. This award recognizes those whose lifetime achievements in the field of negotiation and dispute resolution have had a significant and lasting impact. Santos is also a … Read
Imagine a typical leader, and you might think of someone who is bold, decisive, visionary, assertive, and charismatic. Now think about the kinds of actions that such a leader might regularly engage in. Delegating, making top-down decisions, and otherwise exerting one’s power might immediately come to mind.
A behavior that’s not typically at the top of … Read
Business negotiators seeking to resolve a dispute should foster a cooperative spirit, framing negotiations around gains rather than losses. And when negotiators are far apart, it may take a professional mediator or other independent party to help bridge the divide.
When approached by a partner whispering sweet nothings about untold riches and power, it can be tempting to rush through the negotiation process. But if you do, you could find out too late that your Prince Charming is nothing but a frog—and that those glass slippers on your feet pinch.
When you expect an opponent to be competitive, your confidence in the outcomes you can achieve in negotiation is likely to plummet. In negotiation research with Adam Galinsky of Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, negotiators were provided with some background about their counterpart including information on how competitive their counterpart has been in previous negotiations.
A European Union summit held in late October 2013 failed to make headway toward more coordination of economic policies. Facing resistance from Germany in particular, European officials grew pessimistic regarding their odds of negotiating a deal over the next year to lay the foundation for a banking union for the 17 nations that use the … Read
Suppose your research reveals that the TV you want is fairly new on the market. Further research about your local store leads you to believe it may be willing to go as low as Amazon.com’s price of $900. Now you have a general sense of the ZOPA, or zone of possible agreement: between $900 (your … Read
So, you believe you’ve done everything you can do create value in your negotiation. You engaged in logrolling, making trades based on your and the other party’s different preferences on particular issues. You brainstormed new issues to add to the discussion, added a contingent contract, and proposed multiple offers simultaneously to identify which your counterpart … Read
This past October, as the United Kingdom (UK) began gearing up for its negotiations to exit the European Union (EU)—a process known as Brexit—scheduled to begin in March, Reuters reported that the EU’s lead Brexit negotiator, former French foreign minister Michel Barnier, had asked for the negotiations to be conducted in French rather than English. … Read
Teaching negotiation using case studies focused on the efforts of great negotiators can help achieve several pedagogical goals at the same time. Developed by Professor James Sebenius of Harvard Business School, the Program on Negotiation’s Great Negotiator case study series, available from the PON Clearinghouse, highlights the lessons learned by each recipient of PON’s Great … Read
Here are some of the worst negotiation tactics displayed during calendar year 2015 – from hard-bargaining, distributive negotiation strategies aimed at getting the whole pie to stonewalling strategies intended to stymy the development of a negotiated agreement.
Here are some of the worst negotiation tactics displayed during calendar year 2015 – from hard-bargaining, distributive negotiation strategies aimed at getting the whole pie to stonewalling strategies intended to stymy the development of a negotiated agreement.
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.
The most difficult peace negotiations in recent decades—in Ireland, the Middle East, the former Yugoslavia, and Sri Lanka—were plagued by a common enemy: violent disruptions by spoilers opposed to the peace process. In each of these cases, extremists stalled negotiations by creating security crises that divided public opinion and drove negotiators apart.
The practice of using alcohol to grease the wheels has a long and storied role in famous negotiations. In recent decades, shared drinks during adversarial bargaining helped lead to breakthroughs in conflicts in Serbia and Northern Ireland, for example.
Do you teach students how to structure a negotiation process while helping them to develop the emotional acuity necessary for building relationships with counterparts? Professor Linda Kaboolian refers to this as “teaching head and heart negotiation”; an approach that was central to the 10 years she spent teaching simulation-based negotiation at the Harvard Kennedy School.
Kaboolian … Read
Toby knew that Dara was the perfect New York literary agent for him as soon as he heard her friendly, professional voice on the phone. Never mind that 17 other agents had already rejected his book proposal. Dara’s enthusiasm and recent sales convinced him to sign the three-year exclusive contract she mailed to him in … Read
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
A draft agreement may allow you to control the early stages of talks, but be aware that it also can obstruct agreement in the long run. Putting a draft on the table may lock parties into bargaining positions prematurely, interfering with a search for common interests and creative options.
What do a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, the CEO of an international financial advisory firm, and the former United States ambassador to the United Nations have in common? They’ve all received the Great Negotiator Award.
Every year, the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School bestows this prestigious honor on distinguished leaders whose lifelong accomplishments in … Read
When managing cultural differences in international negotiations, improvisation is a key negotiation skills, one that mimics the quick-thinking and improvisational quality of the art of jazz music.
Learn how and when to engage in appropriate cultural traditions when negotiating with counterparts from a different culture. In this article we offer negotiation tips for overcoming cultural barriers in negotiation and present additional articles drawn from negotiation research that may be of benefit to negotiators who need to improve their international negotiation skills.
Whether dealing with difficult or hard bargainers like Putin or forging business partnerships, international negotiations are fraught with a level of complexity rarely encountered in everyday negotiations. Here are the top ten international negotiation articles on the Program on Negotiation’s website.
A deal had been a long time coming. Back in November 2013, Iran agreed to limit its nuclear enrichment program in exchange for lighter economic sanctions from Western nations. To hammer out the details, Iran entered into talks with six nations: China, Russia, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Eventually, the talks … Read
They say it pays to keep your friends close and your enemies closer, but in business negotiation, keeping your enemies—or competitors—close could end you up in court, as Apple’s recent encounter with the U.S. Department of Justice suggests.
The story begins back in 2007 when, unhappy with Amazon’s low, flat price of $9.99 for e-books, five … Read
Individual negotiators are sometimes overwhelmed by the idea of leading organization-wide changes to negotiation practices. In fact, it doesn’t take much time or effort to set the wheels of reform in motion, write Hallam Movius and Lawrence Susskind in Built to Win.
The issue of bidder collusion raises a larger question for negotiators: What ethical responsibility do we have to those who aren’t seated at the table with us?
Harvard Business School professor Max H. Bazerman uses the term “parasitic value creation” to describe the common tendency of negotiators to focus so narrowly on identifying benefits for those … Read
Help your agreement go the distance If your deal doesn’t work in the real world, it’s not worth the paper it’s printed on. Here’s expert advice on increasing the odds of successful implementation.
Sometimes the question of how to negotiate can be more hotly debated than the issues that come up during the negotiation itself. Who should be involved in making key decisions? Should the negotiation process be public or private? How can parties ensure that all involved feel they’ve had a voice?
The Harvard Negotiation Project was recently mentioned in the Wall Street Journal by David Feith in his interview with Benny Tai, “China’s New Freedom Fighters.”
Benny Tai, a 49 year old lawyer who has been branded an “enemy of the state,” founded Occupy Central with Love and Peace, a group that promotes civil disobedience in order … Read
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
On April 9, Israel said it was “deeply disappointed” by remarks by Secretary of State John Kerry that seemed to primarily blame Israel for the current breakdown in U.S.-mediated Middle East peace talks, as reported in the New York Times.
Last July, the United States brought Israel and the Palestinians back together for a series of … Read
In negotiation, deception can run rampant: parties “stretch” the numbers, conceal key information, and make promises they know they can’t keep.
Unfortunately, most of us are very poor lie detectors. Even professions that encounter liars regularly, such as police officers and judges, do not perform better than chance at detecting deception, Professor Paul Ekman of the … Read
On April 15, Detroit city employees and retirees breathed a huge sigh of relief after the city’s emergency manager and its pension fund managers reached a deal that would significantly reduce proposed cuts to pension benefits, CNNMoney reports. Some civilian workers will face a 4.5% reduction in pensions and lose cost-of-living adjustments. Retired public-safety workers … Read
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
The passage of the 1990 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) fundamentally shifted relationships between museums and Native American tribes. Because it is federal legislation, NAGPRA defines the circumstances, and structure of the negotiation process in the repatriation of sacred objects and other cultural patrimony. Case studies will reveal how outcomes framed within, … Read
On September 15, U.S. secretary of state John Kerry and Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, announced a deal aimed at heading off a U.S. attack on Syria, threatened by President Obama, in exchange for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s promise to dismantle his country’s chemical weapons.
A European Union summit held in late October failed to make much headway toward better coordination of economic policies, the Wall Street Journal reports. Facing resistance from Germany in particular, European officials are growing pessimistic regarding their odds of negotiating a deal over the next year to lay the foundation for a banking union for … Read
Abundant negotiation research suggests that negotiators are better off setting specific, challenging goals rather than vague “I’ll do my best” goals. In a new study, Kevin Tasa of York University in Toronto and his colleagues take a first look at whether it’s better to focus your specific goals on the negotiation process or on its … Read
On April 19, Toyota announced that it would begin manufacturing its Lexus luxury car in the United States for the first time. The Japanese automaker is planning to invest $360 million in a new production line for its Georgetown, Kentucky, plant, which is expected to create about 750 jobs and churn out 50,000 Lexus ES … Read
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 basica question.
Using survey data collected from everyday negotiators and filtering it through a sorting procedure conducted by negotiation … Read
The $23 billion acquisition of H.J. Heinz. Michael Dell’s planned $24 billion buyout of his namesake computer company. The $11 billion merger of American Airlines and US Airways. Office Depot’s $976 million, all-stock acquisition of OfficeMax.
These high-flying deals were announced one after the other this past February. The mad rush to consolidate and partner signaled … Read
How can we avert a full-throttle drive over the fiscal cliff? Despite some promising signs of movement on both sides of the aisle, the current negotiation approach – positional bargaining – is bound to bring us dangerously close to the edge.
Can urban planning tools help negotiators develop creative solutions to complex disputes? Karen Lee Bar-Sinai, Loeb Fellow at Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD), recently explored this topic in a talk entitled “The Role of Urban Planners in Negotiations: Case Study of Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations.” The first in a series of seminars co-sponsored by the Middle … Read
Scientific and technical knowledge is important in water negotiations, but not in the ways it has often been used. It is counterproductive to use scientific information to justify arbitrary (political) decisions. For example, scientific information about water has increased dramatically over the last several decades, but our ability to manage water resources has not improved … Read
Karen Lee Bar-Sinai is the director and co-founder of SAYA/Design for Change (www.sayarch.com). SAYA is based in Israel and specializes in what can be called “peace architecture” — using planning and design to support decision-making, negotiations and peace processes in areas of conflict. Bar-Sinai’s talk will explore how urban design thinking and planning can … Read
Roger Fisher, one of the cofounders of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School and Samuel Williston Professor of Law, Emeritus, was honored on the 8th of April with a celebration of his career, research, and contributions to both the HLS community and the field of negotiation.
Many negotiation experts recommend that you try to take the other party’s perspective, particularly when attempting to resolve disputes.
Recent research by Nicholas Epley of the University of Chicago and Eugene Caruso and Max Bazerman of Harvard University suggests a dark side to this generally sound negotiation advice. The researchers ran a series of experiments … Read
An energy boom has hit the rural counties of the upper Ohio River Valley, resulting in a flood of investment in mineral leasing that is revitalizing economies and creating newfound prosperity for many landowners, Keith Schneider reported in the New York Times on June 4.
Sometimes negotiators get off on the wrong foot. Maybe you and your partner had a different understanding of your meeting time, or one of you makes a statement that the other misinterprets. Such awkward moves at the beginning of an interaction can lead one party to question the other side’s motives.
In a recent article, Robert … Read
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
Tucked away in an idyllic corner of Maine is a summer camp that features many traditional American activities: singing around bonfires, flag raising ceremonies, Color Wars, and chilly dips in the lake. Less ordinary, however, are the daily dialogue sessions, where Israeli and Palestinian campers heatedly discuss their identities, homelands, politics, and pain.
Meet Seeds of … Read
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
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
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
In response to recent power struggles and stand-offs in Congress, most notably House Speaker John Boehner’s dare to the Senate to not return to Washington to negotiate with House Republicans, National Journal interviewed Harvard law professor Robert C. Bordone to get his opinion on Congress’s approach to negotiation.
When asked to give his estimation of Congress’s … Read
Q&A with Professor Susskind, MIT’s Ford Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning, and Vice Chair of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School
Q: You’ve taught for years about overcoming organizational obstacles. What are the most common roadblocks to effective negotiations?
Typically, obstacles occur at all four stages of the negotiation process. First is the preparation … Read
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
Success in negotiation, according to Professor Robert H. Mnookin, Chair of the Program on Negotiation, depends largely on being capable of managing each of the three tensions that he defines as being inevitable within almost any negotiation process. These include the tension between how to expand value and how to divide … Read
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
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
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
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
On December 6, 2010, faculty and associates from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School met at a private lunch with Norway’s Foreign Minister, Jonas Gahr Store, and the ambassador of Norway to the U.S., Wegger Chr. Strommen. At the meeting, the Foreign Minister described how he helped bring decades of negotiation with the … Read
The Program on Negotiation’s 2010 Great Negotiator Award was given to former Finnish President, Martti Ahtisaari, for his many significant achievements in the fields of negotiation and diplomacy. He was central to the Namibian independence negotiations in the late 1980s. He also served as chief United Nations negotiator to Kosovo from 2005-2006, and was instrumental … Read
The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School Will Honor Former President of Finland Martti Ahtisaari with the 2010 Great Negotiator Award
Co-sponsored with the Future of Diplomacy Project at the Harvard Kennedy School, the Great Negotiator Event Offers Real-World Negotiation Discussion to All Students
For Immediate Release
CAMBRIDGE, MA (September 21, 2010) The Program on Negotiation … Read
Adapted from “Metaphorical Negotiation,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter.
Negotiators talk about building agreement, bluffing the opposition, and volleying offers back and forth. According to mediator Thomas Smith, careful attention to such metaphors can reveal deeper meaning beneath the explicit words that people use, notably regarding how they view the negotiation process and their relationship … Read
Jeswald Salacuse’s article Teaching International Business Negotiation: Reflections on Three Decades of Experience was published in International Negotiation, Volume 15, Number 2. The full article can be purchased here.
The author has taught international business negotiation in a wide variety of university courses and executive training programs throughout the world during the last three decades. He … Read
Culture-along with many other variables-often affects international negotiations. The book Culture and Negotiation focuses on the distinctive impact of culture, both in creating unexpected opportunities for dispute settlement and in imposing obstacle to agreement. Part I presents expert views on the nature and limits of culture’s influence on negotiation. Part II comprises the core of … Read
So, you’ve decided to use an agent in your next negotiation. Now what?
It’s important not to rush headlong into the process of choosing an agent—picking the first one you speak to, for example, and sending him off to talks the next day. You need to choose your agent carefully, then establish a clear, detailed understanding … Read
In 2004, U.S. Air Force procurement officer Darleen Druyun was sentenced to nine months in prison on corruption charges after it was discovered that she had favored Boeing in her negotiations for aircraft purchases to win jobs at Boeing for herself, her daughter, and her son-in-law. Druyun had unfettered control over the air force’s annual … Read
Adapted from “Make Them More Satisfied with Less,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter.
In negotiation, sometimes you just don’t have much to give. If your department’s budget has been slashed, your subordinates will have to settle for smaller raises than usual – or none at all. When consumer demand for your red-hot product levels … Read
Adapted from “Negotiating a More Civil Divorce,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter.
In the United States, lawyers who recognize the benefits of collaborative negotiation are sometimes stymied by vengeful clients and ruthless opposing counsel. Many attorneys put up with a contentious settlement process in which litigation is a threat.
Yet some U.S. lawyers have begun … Read
Should you make the first offer? Few questions related to negotiation have yielded more attention and debate. The conventional wisdom among some: Don’t make the first offer, or risk “showing your cards” and perhaps unknowingly giving away some of the bargaining zone.
For decades, Hormel Foods and its employees enjoyed one of the most cooperative and productive labor-management relationships in the processed foods industry. But beginning in the late 1970s, when Hormel pushed for wage concessions, the company’s relationship with its workforce began to deteriorate, especially at the plant in Austin, Minn., the quiet “company town” where … Read
Adapted from “Should You Make the First Offer?” by Adam D. Galinsky (Professor, Northwestern University). First published in Negotiation Newsletter.
Whether negotiators are bidding on a firm, seeking agreement on a compensation package, or bargaining over a used car, someone has to make the first offer. Should it be you, or should you wait to … Read
Adapted from “Have You Negotiated How You’ll Negotiate?” by Robert C. Bordone, Professor, and Gillien S. Todd, Lecturer, Harvard Law School.
Breakdowns in negotiation are common. In the face of impasse at the bargaining table, managers are quick to blame either the challenges of the issues being negotiated or the hard-line tactics of the opposing parties. … Read