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.


negotiators

What are Negotiators?

Many people dread negotiation, not recognizing that they act as negotiators on a regular, even daily basis.

Most of us don’t think of ourselves as negotiators, yet we face formal negotiations throughout our personal and professional lives: discussing the terms of a job offer with a recruiter, haggling over the price of a new car, hammering out a contract with a supplier.

Then there are the more informal, less obvious negotiations we take part in daily: persuading a toddler to eat his peas, working out a conflict with a coworker, or convincing a client to accept a late delivery.

Whenever we are trying to reach a goal and need the help of another party who has different preferences, we negotiate. Skilled negotiators can make deals, solve problems, manage conflicts, and build relationships as well as preserve relationships.

As negotiators, success sometimes hinges on our ability to convince someone that our proposed solution would be more beneficial than their option. In his book, Negotiating the Impossible: How to Break Deadlocks and Resolve Ugly Conflicts (without Money or Muscle) (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2016), Harvard Business School professor Deepak Malhotra examines this type of challenge, among many others, as he unveils strategies that negotiators can use in situations where deadlock or conflict seems insurmountable.

Malhotra identifies three important but often-overlooked levers that lead to breakthroughs in even the most difficult negotiations: (1) the power of framing, (2) the power of process, and (3) the power of empathy. By changing how we structure and articulate proposals, looking at process decisions more carefully, and examining other parties’ interests and perspective more methodically, we can overcome stalemate, antagonism, mistrust, and complexity, and clear a path to agreement.

To learn 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.

The following items are tagged negotiators:

How to Negotiate in Cross-Cultural Situations

Posted by & filed under Leadership Skills.

Figuring out how to negotiate in cross-cultural situations can seem like a daunting endeavor, and for good reason. Negotiating across the cultural divide adds an entire dimension to any negotiation, introducing language barriers, differences in body language and dress, and alternative ways of expressing pleasure or displeasure with the elements of a deal. As a … Read  

Harvard Negotiation Master Class: Advanced Strategies for Experienced Negotiators – May 8-10, 2023

Posted by & filed under Harvard Negotiation Master Class.

Strictly limited to 60 participants who have completed a prior course in negotiation, this first-of-its-kind program offers unprecedented access to experts from Harvard Law School, Harvard Business School, and the Harvard Kennedy School—all of whom are committed to delivering a transformational learning experience. … Read  

Negotiation Master Class May 2023 Program Guide

Posted by & filed under Free Report.

Over the years thousands of professionals have participated in negotiation programs at the Program on Negotiation (PON) at Harvard Law School. And after a few months or years of putting their negotiation skills and techniques to work, participants inevitably ask us, what’s next? … Read  

Negotiation and Leadership: Dealing with Difficult People and Problems

Posted by & filed under Negotiation and Leadership.

IN-PERSON

THREE-DAY COURSE | June 20-22, 2023 Negotiation and Leadership: Dealing with Difficult People and Problems BONUS DAY | June 23, 2023 Unlocking Value in Complex Business Deals

Three-Day Program Agenda Negotiation and Leadership: Dealing with Difficult People and Problems DAY 1: Tuesday, June 20, 2023UNDERSTANDING KEY NEGOTIATION CONCEPTS MORNING: Registration, Continental Breakfast and Overview 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. ET Negotiation Fundamentals—Key Concepts and … Read  

Negotiation and Leadership: Dealing with Difficult People and Problems

Posted by & filed under Negotiation and Leadership.

IN-PERSON

THREE-DAY COURSE | May 15-17, 2023 Negotiation and Leadership: Dealing with Difficult People and Problems BONUS DAY | May 18, 2023 Negotiating the Impossible

Three-Day Program Agenda Negotiation and Leadership: Dealing with Difficult People and Problems DAY 1: Monday, May 15, 2023UNDERSTANDING KEY NEGOTIATION CONCEPTS MORNING: Registration, Continental Breakfast and Overview 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. ET Negotiation Fundamentals—Key Concepts and Core Vocabulary 9:00 a.m. … Read  

Make the Most of Online Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Free Report.

We said goodbye to breakfast meetings, client lunches, and after-work happy hours. Goodbye to handshakes, fist bumps, and pats on the back. Goodbye to the boots-on-the-ground sales game as we knew it, and hello to Zoom calls and text messaging. To make matters even more difficult, the economy started to trend downwards—and so did the … Read  

BATNA and Other Sources of Power at the Negotiation Table

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

BATNA negotiations involve a negotiators knowledge of her best alternatives to a negotiated agreement and are one of three sources of negotiating power at the bargaining table, according to negotiation researcher Adam D. Galinsky and New York University’s Joe C. Magee. … Read  

Negotiation and Leadership: Dealing with Difficult People and Problems

Posted by & filed under Negotiation and Leadership.

IN-PERSON

THREE-DAY COURSE | April 3–5, 2023 Negotiation and Leadership: Dealing with Difficult People and Problems BONUS DAY | April 6, 2023 3D Negotiation: Powerful New Tools to Turbocharge Your Effectiveness

Three-Day Program Agenda Negotiation and Leadership: Dealing with Difficult People and Problems DAY 1: Monday, April 3, 2023UNDERSTANDING KEY NEGOTIATION CONCEPTS MORNING: Registration, Continental Breakfast and Overview 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. ET Negotiation … Read  

Managing Multiparty Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Free Report.

If you’re in a negotiation with many parties who have varying positions, it may be tempting to join a coalition with parties who share at least some of your goals. But should you join one? … Read  

Why is Negotiation Important: Mediation in Transactional Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Mediation.

We generally think of mediation as a dispute-resolution device. Federal mediators intervene when collective bargaining breaks down. Diplomats are sometimes called in to mediate conflicts between nations. So-called multi-door courthouses encourage litigants to mediate before incurring the costs – and risks – of going to trial. … Read  

Negotiation Essentials Online – January 24-25, 2023

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Essentials Online.

Designed for maximum impact, this two-day program will feature: interactive Zoom sessions led by a PON instructor; engaging and educational prerecorded videos featuring seven world-class PON faculty members from across Harvard, MIT, and Tufts; case studies based on real-world experience; and opportunities to negotiate and engage in discussion with your fellow participants. … Read  

Getting the Deal Done

Posted by & filed under Free Report.

Negotiation is one of the most complex yet important skills to learn. Even individuals who are “born negotiators” need to practice and acquire new strategies to get some deals done. In Getting the Deal Done, you’ll discover bargaining strategies that have been used by many of the world’s most successful leaders. … Read  

Negotiation and Leadership: Dealing with Difficult People and Problems

Posted by & filed under Negotiation and Leadership.

IN-PERSON

THREE-DAY COURSE | December 5–7, 2022 Negotiation and Leadership: Dealing with Difficult People and Problems BONUS DAY | December 8, 2022 Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most

Three-Day Program Agenda Negotiation and Leadership: Dealing with Difficult People and Problems DAY 1: Monday, December 5, 2022 UNDERSTANDING KEY NEGOTIATION CONCEPTS MORNING: Negotiation Fundamentals—Key Concepts and Core Vocabulary 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ET Negotiation … Read  

Negotiation Advice: When to Make the First Offer in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

When or when not to make the first offer in negotiations is a question many expert negotiators ask themselves when approaching business negotiations, real estate transactions, or even interpersonal negotiations with friends and family. In this article drawn from negotiation research, we offer negotiating skills and negotiation tips for when, and when not, to make … Read  

Negotiation Workshop: Improving Your Negotiating Effectiveness

Posted by & filed under Harvard Negotiation Institute, Harvard Negotiation Institute (Five-Day Programs).

Course Dates: This course is closed 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  

Practical Lessons from the Great Negotiators

Posted by & filed under 1 Day Courses, executive training.

Since 2001, the Program on Negotiation has bestowed the “Great Negotiator Award” on individuals who have successfully negotiated against great odds to accomplish worthy goals. In this fascinating one-day session, you’ll have the rare opportunity to explore how these remarkable negotiators overcame their most formidable challenges—and how to apply these lessons in your own negotiations. … Read  

Business Crisis Management: Crisis Communication Examples and How to Use Police Negotiation Techniques

Posted by & filed under Free Report.

In this free special report negotiation experts offers advice on how to turn crisis situations into collaborative negotiations. Throughout the report, you will discover how to apply the lessons of professional hostage negotiators, avoid disasters through careful planning, diffuse tensions with angry members of the public, and break through impasse with open communication. … Read  

Teaching with Multi-Round Simulations: Balancing Internal and External Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Whether in business, law, or international diplomacy, many negotiations are actually comprised of a multi-round process with negotiations internal to the organization preceding external ones. Using multi-round negotiation simulations can help students understand the connection between internal and external negotiations, handle more complex scenarios, and better get into their roles. Engaging in a multi-round negotiation … Read  

Negotiation and Dispute Resolution Online

Posted by & filed under PON Semester Programs, PON Seminars.

This virtual and highly interactive semester-length seminar explores the ways that people negotiate to create value and resolve disputes. Designed to improve understanding of negotiation theory and build negotiation skills, the curriculum integrates negotiation research from several academic fields with experiential learning exercises. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, all sessions will be delivered live. … Read  

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  

Ethics in Negotiation: Avoid Complicity in Wrongdoing

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

When we think about our own ethics in negotiation, we tend to focus on the ethical and legal lines we may be at risk of crossing through our actions. We often fail to consider how we could end up enabling the unethical and even illegal behavior of our negotiation counterparts and partners. More broadly, we have … Read  

Dealing with Difficult People

Posted by & filed under Free Report.

Top help you handle difficult people, our free, special report Dealing with Difficult People is packed full of concrete tips and strategies. Discover how to collaborate, negotiate, and bargain with even the most combative opponents. … Read  

Mediation and the Conflict Resolution Process

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

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

Negotiation Examples: How Crisis Negotiators Use Text Messaging

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

In their negotiation training, police and professional hostage negotiators are taught skills that will help them defuse tense situations over the course of long phone calls, such as engaging in active listening, determining the person’s emotions from his or her inflection, and trust building. … Read  

How Your Communication Style Impacts Value Creation

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

In negotiation, we bring our unique personalities and styles to the table. A reserved, cautious person is likely to bargain differently than someone who is outgoing and proactive, for example. There is much we can do to improve our negotiation performance—such as preparing thoroughly and using proven persuasion strategies. But can we also improve our … Read  

Salary Negotiation: How to Ask for a Higher Salary

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

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  

Negotiation Preparation Strategies

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

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

Stonewalling in Negotiations: Risks and Pitfalls

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Contract negotiations between Jason Pierre-Paul and the New York Giants demonstrate the hazards of intentionally stonewalling your counterpart in negotiations. A successful defensive end with the Giants since 2010, Pierre-Paul was renegotiating his contract after a couple of mildly disappointing seasons. The Giants’ offer of a “franchise tag” designation did not sit well with Pierre-Paul, … Read  

Dear Negotiation Coach: Managing Expectations of Our Own

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

When we negotiate for others, managing expectations is often part of our job, especially if they aren’t familiar with the sometimes complex nature of negotiations. Similarly, we may find it necessary to deal with the expectations of our counterparts. However, it’s easy to overlook the fact that we have expectations of our own that we … Read  

Contingency Contracts in Business Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Question: Lately I have been hearing a lot—both in the news and on the job—about companies using contingencies in contracts. Given that I sometimes negotiate deals that entail a lot of risk regarding how future events will play out, I am interested to know how contingencies work and how I might use them. … Read  

Cross Cultural Communication: Translation and Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

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  

Planning Your Syllabus for Next Semester? Check Out the Brief Course Outlines from the TNRC

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Planning a new course for next semester or looking to reinvent a current one? Check out our brief course outlines to get started planning your syllabus. The Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) now offers brief outlines for eleven different course types which include recommended simulations and books and highlight key teaching points. While all teaching materials … Read  

How to Overcome Barriers and Save Your Negotiated Agreement at the Bargaining Table

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Back in November 2012, Hostess Brands announced that it had failed to reach a negotiated agreement with its second-biggest union and, as a result, was permanently shutting down its operations. The news was met with dismay by baby boomers and others who had grown up with the 80-year-old company’s shelf-stable confections. But consumers had been passing … Read  

Take your BATNA to the Next Level

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

If your current negotiation reaches an impasse, what’s your best outside option? Most seasoned negotiators understand the value of evaluating their BATNA, or best alternative to a negotiated agreement, a concept that Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton introduced in their seminal book, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In (Penguin, 1991, second … Read  

Negotiation Logistics: Best Practices for Better Deals

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Negotiators are often so intent on preparing for the substance of a negotiation—researching the other party, analyzing their alternatives, and so on—that they neglect to devote adequate time to critical negotiation logistics, such as where to negotiate, how formal or informal talks should be, and even the shape of the negotiating table. Before the official start … Read  

Mediation: Sitting Down at the Table

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

One of the central skills of a mediator is the ability to solve problems. And while problem solving skills may lead to successfully negotiated agreements between disputing parties, an effective mediator also has to get each side to agree to sit down at the bargaining table in the first place. … Read  

What is a Win-Win Negotiation?

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

In an episode of the American television show The Office, bumbling manager Michael Scott consults with a manual on conflict resolution while attempting to mediate a dispute between two of his subordinates, Angela and Oscar. After Scott explains that there are five approaches to resolving conflict, beginning with “win-lose,” an annoyed Angela interrupts: “Can we … Read  

Negotiation Ethics: Dealing with Deception at the Bargaining Table

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

In his book Bargaining for Advantage: Negotiation Strategies for Reasonable People (Penguin, 2006), G. Richard Shell analyzes this story from Nancy Griffin and Kim Masters’s book Hit & Run: How Jon Peters and Peter Guber Took Sony for a Ride in Hollywood (Simon & Schuster, 1996) as an example of the deceptive tactics negotiators sometimes … Read  

Closing the Deal in Negotiations: 3 Tips for Sequential Dealmaking

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

After closing the deal in negotiations, we often feel a sense of pride. Imagine, for example, that you are a purchasing agent who just scored a significant price concession from a supplier. Now it’s time to hang up the phone and move on to another negotiation with a different supplier. You’re feeling proud of how … Read  

International Negotiations and Cognitive Biases in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

In discussing international negotiations and cognitive biases in negotiation, professor Cheryl Rivers of Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, highlights in a negotiation research literature review, seasoned negotiators often hear stories about the unethical behaviors of people of other nationalities. Perhaps the toughest problems arise surrounding what Rivers calls “ethically ambiguous” negotiation tactics and … Read  

Managing Expectations in Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Successful negotiators work hard to ensure that when they and their counterpart leave a negotiation, both sides feel satisfied with the agreement. Why should you care whether the other side is pleased with negotiations or not? … Read  

Are Salary Negotiation Skills Different for Men and Women?

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Most negotiators don’t engage in the kinds of high-stakes bargaining we read about in publications such as The Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times, but almost every negotiator will need advanced salary negotiation skills during the course of her career to deal with a scenario that is, in many ways, the definition of a … Read  

Repairing Relationships Using Negotiation Skills

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Negotiation is not only something we do at work; often the toughest negotiations we encounter are in our personal lives. Some of the most successful negotiation examples of the power of negotiation skills in dispute resolution is when they repair relationships between friends. … Read  

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

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

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  

New Simulation: International Business Acquisition Negotiated Online

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

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  

Value Claiming in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

In most negotiations, we face two goals: claiming value and creating value. Value can be defined as anything you would like to get out a negotiation, whether it be more dollars, a consulting contract, a new rug, an end to conflict, and so on. … Read  

Dealing with Cultural Barriers in Business Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

If you negotiate regularly on the job, you probably have engaged in multiple business negotiations with counterparts from other cultures. Negotiating across cultural barriers can significantly expand your organization’s reach and bring great rewards. Yet negotiating cross-culturally also can pose challenges, such as these. … Read  

What is Distributive Negotiation and Five Proven Strategies

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Most negotiations call for very different, even opposing, skills: collaboration and competition. To get a great deal, we typically must work with others to find new sources of value while also competing with them to claim as much of that value for ourselves. Before mastering the intricacies of value creation in negotiation, it helps to … Read  

Diplomatic Negotiations: The Surprising Benefits of Conflict and Teamwork at the Negotiation Table

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

As the US presidential primary season heats up for both parties, it helps to take a look back at the 2008 US presidential election and the win-win coalition forged between Barack Obama and his then-rival, Hillary Clinton. As this example demonstrates, if carefully managed, disagreements can lead to better results than you might expect. … Read  

Negotiation in Business: Ethics, Bias, and Bargaining in Good Faith

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

As we’ve discussed in previous articles about negotiation examples in business, a negotiator’s beliefs concerning negotiation ethics are affected by cognitive biases. You probably can recall times when a negotiating opponent made what appeared to be a blatant misstatement. If you’re like most people, you assumed the person was lying to gain an advantage. … Read  

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

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

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

Negotiators: Resist Vividness Bias in Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Vividness bias is the tendency to overweight the vivid and prestigious attributes of a decision, such as salary or an employer’s status, and underweight less impressive issues, such as location or rapport with colleagues. Let’s talk about a clear vividness bias example from 2015 in Major League Baseball. For the New York Mets, it was hard … Read  

How to Balance Your Own Values in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

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  

Conflict Management Skills When Dealing with an Angry Public

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

When negotiators get along well, creative problem solving is easy. When they become upset, however, they seem to forget everything they know about finding joint gain, to the point of giving up tangible wins simply to inflict losses on the other party. This is especially true in high-profile negotiations that turn nasty. … Read  

Why Great Negotiators Earn More Money

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

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

Online Negotiations: Which Formats Should You Use When?

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

As a result of the constraints imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, more people than ever before began to engage in online negotiations—at the office, at the home office, and on the go. When considering how to negotiate online, people often wonder whether the format (text versus video, for example) or the device (smartphone versus a … Read  

How to Find the ZOPA in Business Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

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

Cognitive Biases in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution – Common Negotiation Mistakes

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

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  

The Best New Simulations

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

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  

Negotiation Research: Using Hypothetical Questions in Aggressive Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Even when we’re engaged in aggressive negotiations, we can still frame things to keep the proceedings amicable. In a paper published in the Negotiation Journal, University of Amsterdam researchers Diyan Nikolov Grigorov and A. Francisca Snoeck Henkemans suggest that a particular kind of question may be especially useful when delivering offers and proposals in negotiation: hypothetical … Read  

Distributive Bargaining Strategies

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Wise negotiators recognize the value of both collaborating and competing at the bargaining table. They look for ways to increase the pie of value for all parties, often by identifying differences across issues and making tradeoffs. And they also rely on distributive bargaining strategies to try to claim as much of that larger pie for … Read  

Bargaining for a New Car: Real World Negotiations Examples

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

According to a recent report from NPR Morning Edition’s Sonari Glinton, women not only negotiate harder bargains than men when it comes to vehicle purchases, but also they do more extensive preparatory work. Conventional wisdom has always placed the automobile in the realm of the masculine, but the emergence of the prepared and educated female … Read  

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

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

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  

Negotiation Skills Training: Define Your Negotiation Style

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

How would you characterize your negotiation style: Are you collaborative, competitive, or compromising? During any professional negotiation skills training, you’re likely to find out your negotiating style when setting goals and revealing your negotiating personality. … Read  

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

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

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  

Value Conflict: What It Is and How to Resolve It

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Some of our most heated negotiations and disputes involve value conflict over our core values, such as our personal moral standards, our religious and political beliefs, and our family’s welfare. Consider these value conflict examples:

Business partners clash over the ethical standards they expect each other to uphold. A negotiator refuses to do business with a potential counterpart … Read  

Win Win Negotiation: Managing Your Counterpart’s Satisfaction

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

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. … Read  

Negotiation Skills and Bargaining Techniques from Female Executives

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Dozens of female CEOs and other high-level women negotiators have told us about their experiences negotiating in traditionally masculine contexts where standards and expectations were ambiguous. Their experiences varied according to the gender triggers that were present in the negotiations and they adapted their negotiation skills to accommodate these shifts. … Read  

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

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

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

3 Keys to Effective Leadership in Difficult Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

A medical facility might not be the first place you think of for effective leadership in a negotiation. But that’s precisely what took place between a doctor and his patients. At Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York City, a leading cancer research and treatment institution, doctors often will advise men who are … Read  

What is Negotiation?

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Many people dread negotiation, not recognizing that they negotiate on a regular, even daily basis. Most of us face formal negotiations throughout our personal and professional lives: discussing the terms of a job offer with a recruiter, haggling over the price of a new car, hammering out a contract with a supplier. … Read  

Power in Negotiations: How to Maximize a Weak BATNA

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

In business negotiations, we tend to assume that it’s the more financially successful party that has an edge. But if that party has a weak BATNA, or best alternative to a negotiated agreement, it could be the seemingly weaker party that comes out on top. … Read  

Business Negotiation Skills to Curb Your Overconfidence

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

To avoid the pitfalls of overconfidence, you need a clear understanding of how overconfidence is likely to affect your judgments and decisions (and those of your counterparts) at the bargaining table. Fortunately, new research suggests exactly when to expect overconfidence and offers insight into how you can prevent it from getting you into trouble in … Read  

Dear Negotiation Coach: How Can You Simplify Complex Negotiations with Stakeholder Alignment?

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

In complex, multiparty negotiations, the task of value creation can quickly become overwhelming because of the large number of parties and interests at stake. An emerging process called “stakeholder alignment” can help construct order from chaos in complex negotiations, according to Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld, a professor at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at … Read  

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

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

Top Ten Posts About Conflict Resolution

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Conflict resolution is the process of resolving a dispute or a conflict by meeting at least some of each side’s needs and addressing their interests. Conflict resolution sometimes requires both a power-based and an interest-based approach, such as the simultaneous pursuit of litigation (the use of legal power) and negotiation (attempts to reconcile each party’s … Read  

How to Negotiate Salary: 3 Winning Strategies

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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. … Read  

5 Conflict Resolution Strategies

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Whether a conflict erupts at work or at home, we frequently fall back on the tendency to try to correct the other person or group’s perceptions, lecturing them about why we’re right—and they’re wrong. Deep down, we know that this conflict management approach usually fails to resolve the conflict and often only makes it worse. … Read  

The Role of Leadership in Negotiation: The Case of the U.S. Rail Negotiations

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When a negotiator or team is attempting to reach a deal or engage in dispute resolution on behalf of their organization, the question of whether and when to involve top leaders in the discussion often looms large. Should leaders be involved in the early stages? Take a hands-off approach and swoop in to close the … Read  

Top 10 Negotiation Skills You Must Learn to Succeed

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Increasingly, business negotiators recognize that the most effective bargainers are skilled at both creating value and claiming value—that is, they both collaborate and compete. The following 10 negotiation skills will help you succeed at integrative negotiation. … Read  

3 Negotiation Strategies for Conflict Resolution

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When a dispute flares up and conflict resolution is required, the outcome can be sadly predictable: the conflict escalates, with each side blaming the other in increasingly strident terms. The dispute may end up in litigation, and the relationship may be forever damaged. … Read  

Job Negotiation Advice from Leading Ladies

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Thanks to a series of cultural events and news stories, job negotiation advice has become a hot topic among women professionals and businesspeople more generally. First came Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead (Knopf, 2013) and corresponding movement, which encouraged women to take on leadership roles and … Read  

Famous Negotiations Cases – NBA and the Power of Deadlines at the Bargaining Table

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It’s a classic famous negotiations case. In the summer of 1988, National Basketball Association (NBA) team owners and players were at loggerheads over their new contract. At midnight on June 30, the owners declared a lockout, halting preparations for the start of the 1998–99 NBA season. The players and owners negotiated for six long months, … Read  

Should Women “Lean In” to Create More Value in Negotiations?

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Back in early 2008, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg began thinking about hiring Sheryl Sandberg, a vice president at Google and a former chief of staff for the U.S. Department of the Treasury, as the social-media company’s new chief operating officer. The two met several nights a week for almost two months to discuss … Read  

Negotiating the Good Friday Agreement

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

4 Sales Negotiation Traps—and How to Overcome Them

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Whether you’re planning to put your home up for sale, trying to unload excess merchandise, or searching for new clients, there’s a good chance you’ll make your next sales negotiation more challenging than it needs to be by falling into common cognitive traps. You can improve your sales negotiation skills by learning about four traps … Read  

Great Women Leaders Negotiate

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Great women leaders are no different than great male leaders—except that they may have faced more discrimination, lower expectations, and stronger resistance along the way. When women in leadership succeed, they often do so by cultivating successful negotiating skills. Here, we examine strategies that three top women in negotiation employed to become great women leaders. … Read  

Win-Win Negotiation Strategies for Rebuilding a Relationship

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When negotiators come together after a period of mutual mistrust, it can be difficult for each side to reconcile their grievances with the other. Here are some strategies that others have used to bring bargaining counterparts together even after a long, contentious period of silence. … Read  

Dispute Resolution: Building Momentum through Small Wins

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Sometimes disputes are left to fester for years, even decades, until parties decide there is something to be gained from reaching agreement. In 2015, the nations of Bangladesh and India seized on an opportunity to push the “restart” button on a contentious border disagreement through dispute resolution. Such international conflict resolution examples can illustrate how … Read  

Managing Difficult Negotiators

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In negotiation, we are often confronted with the task of dealing with difficult people—those who seem to prefer to set up roadblocks rather than break down walls, or who choose to take hardline stances rather than seeking common ground. If you’re skilled in BATNA negotiations, you’ll have an easier time dealing with such people. … Read  

Limiting Strategic Miscalculation in Business Negotiations

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Over-precision doesn’t necessarily lead us to think we’re better negotiators than we actually are. Rather, it causes us to trust our initial instincts too much. Sometimes we’re actually overconfident that we’ll perform worse than others. This tendency applies to competitive situations, including negotiation. Those who underestimate their ability to be competitive usually will choose to stay out … Read  

Unlocking Cross-Cultural Differences in Negotiation

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Cross-cultural differences in negotiation can be particularly challenging. When people from different cultures negotiate, they often feel uncertain about how to act and confused by one another’s statements and behavior. The potential for misunderstandings and conflict is often high as a result. In her book, Rule Makers, Rule Breakers: How Tight and Loose Cultures Wire … Read  

The Opposite of Autocratic Leadership Styles

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While the advantages and disadvantages of leadership styles are not always readily apparent, one thing is certain – being decisive while avoiding autocratic leadership tactics is necessary for successful leaders and negotiators alike. Navigating these treacherous waters can be extraordinarily challenging, but it can also give rise to creative decisions that help resolve disagreements in … Read  

Dear Negotiation Coach: What Are Business Negotiation Skills for Entrepreneurs?

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To get an idea or innovation off the ground takes strong business negotiation skills as an entrepreneur. Yet, in their book Entrepreneurial Negotiation: Understanding and Managing the Relationships that Determine Your Entrepreneurial Success (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2018), Program on Negotiation instructor Samuel Dinnar and MIT professor Lawrence Susskind write that many entrepreneurs are falling short. Here, Susskind explains … Read  

Self-Analysis and Negotiation

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“Separate the people from the problem,” advises the best-selling negotiation text Getting to Yes. That’s certainly good counsel when tempers flare and bargaining descends into ego battles, but it’s a mistake to ignore the psychological crosscurrents in negotiation. Unless they are addressed, a deal may never be reached. … Read  

Principled Negotiation: Focus on Interests to Create Value

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There’s a better, third way of negotiating—one that doesn’t rely on toughness or accommodation, but that will improve your likelihood of meeting your negotiation goals. In their pivotal negotiation text, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In (Penguin, 2nd edition, 1991), Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton of the Harvard Negotiation Project promote … Read  

How to Create Win-Win Situations

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In business negotiation, a win-win agreement may be the ultimate goal, but it can sometimes prove elusive. Here, we offer four strategies from experts at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School on how to create win-win situations in even the trickiest negotiations. … Read  

Are You Ready to Negotiate?

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“Winging it” is a fine approach to life’s minor decisions, but when you negotiate, it can be disastrous. Follow these three preparation steps and improve your agreements. … Read  

Dispute Resolution for India and Bangladesh

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Sometimes in international negotiation, disputes are left to fester for years, even decades, until parties decide there is something to be gained from reaching agreement. In an example of a cross cultural negotiation case study, the nations of Bangladesh and India seized on an opportunity to push the “restart” button on their bumpy relationship by … Read  

How to Portray Confidence in Negotiation So You Don’t Look Desperate

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In our negotiations, we all regularly cope with counterparts who try too hard—such as salespeople who pester us with phone calls or show up at our office or home unannounced. Their desperation to reach a deal comes through loud and clear, making them seem not only annoying but also potentially ripe for exploitation. At the … Read  

The Art of Negotiation: Anger Management at the Bargaining Table

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Displays of anger can pay off for negotiators, at least when it comes to claiming value in negotiation, research shows. Viewing angry negotiators as formidable opponents, we respond to their demands by making concessions, professor Gerben A. van Kleef of the University of Amsterdam and his colleagues found in research from 2004. … Read  

Debunking Negotiation Myths

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In her book The Mind and Heart of the Negotiator, Leigh Thompson cites four widely held negotiation myths that bar negotiators from improving their skills. This analysis is worth the attention of anyone who wants to move beyond platitudes to a deeper understanding of negotiation. … Read  

Negotiation Skills: Building Trust in Negotiations

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

The Star Wars Negotiations and Trust at the Negotiation Table

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What is negotiation in business? Negotiation research has identified it as a process of building trust and negotiation tactics for building trust at the bargaining table have proven effective in helping negotiators create, and claim, more value out of dealmaking scenarios. … Read  

Building Coalitions: Apple and the Art of Persuasion

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Whether you have one of its ubiquitous products or even its rivals offerings, you most certainly have heard of Apple, the United States electronics giant whose phoenix-like rise to the top of the business world has inspired legions of fans and detractors alike. … Read  

Value Creation in Negotiation: Capitalize on Multiple Issues

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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  

Negotiation Research Examines Ethics in Negotiating

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Lack of transparency regarding negotiations between hospitals and the insurers known as preferred provider organizations, or PPOs, is a key contributor to spiraling health-care costs in the United States, back in a 2013 article in the New York Times. This topic has many questioning ethics in negotiating within the healthcare industry. The problem starts with the … Read  

Dealmaking: Relationship Rules for Dealmakers

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Here are some concrete guidelines for fostering a strong relationship between deal making partners, drawn from The Global Negotiator: Making, Managing, and Mending Deals Around the World in the 21st Century, by Tufts University professor Jeswald W. Salacuse: … Read  

5 Common Negotiation Mistakes and How You Can Avoid Them

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Sometimes our negotiation mistakes are glaring: We accidentally reveal our bottom line, criticize the other party when patience was warranted, or get our numbers mixed up. More often, though, our negotiation mistakes are invisible: We get a perfectly good deal, but are unaware that we could have gotten a better one if we hadn’t succumbed … Read  

6 Bargaining Tips and BATNA Essentials

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The best bargaining tips taught by the experts should offer ways to enhance your bargaining power in negotiation. To do this, you must cultivate a strong BATNA, or best alternative to a negotiated agreement. The more appealing your best alternative is, the more comfortable you will feel asking for more in your current negotiation—secure in … Read  

Why Negotiations Fail

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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  

Dispute Resolution, NHL style

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The deal suggests a valuable way for business negotiators in all realms to break through thorny disputes: expand your focus by looking for tradeoffs that cut across time periods. … Read  

Emotion and the Art of Business Negotiations

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The sale of Picasso’s works by his heirs is fraught with negative emotion. How do negative emotions impact negotiation and behavior at the bargaining table? This article offers negotiation skills insights into how to counter or prevent negative emotions in negotiation. … Read  

Collective Bargaining Negotiations and the Risk of Strikes

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Collective bargaining negotiations help level the playing field between individual employees and management by enabling employees to organize and find strength in numbers. But when collective bargaining negotiations fall apart, the result can be a devastating strike. … Read  

Developing Negotiation Skills for Integrative Negotiations – Does Personality Matter?

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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  

How to Mitigate Stress at the Bargaining Table

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Conventional wisdom, not to mention the popularity of no-haggle car buying, suggests that many people anticipate important negotiations with the same dread they reserve for root canals. … Read  

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

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

Will You Avoid a Negotiation Impasse?

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In the summer of 2016, Illinois became the only U.S. state in the past 80 years to go an entire year without a full operating budget, according to Reuters. It reached that dubious milestone thanks to an epic negotiation impasse between Republican governor Bruce Rauner and the Democratic-controlled state legislature. The story of the negotiation … Read  

Pick the Right Negotiation Pace

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People operate at different speeds at the bargaining table. This is called their negotiation pace. Suppose that one bargainer is impatient, gritting her teeth and thinking, “Cut to the chase, for Pete’s sake!” Feeling pressured, the other person wants to say, “Easy on the coffee, pal! Let’s give this the time it deserves.”  … Read  

What Makes a Good Mediator?

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What makes a good mediator? And how is it that mediators—who themselves lack any power to impose a solution—nevertheless often lead bitter disputants to agreement? … Read  

Fairness in Negotiation

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Imagine that you and your business partner agree to sell your company. You end up getting an offer that pleases you both, so now you face the enviable task of splitting up the rewards. How do you ensure that there is fairness in negotiation? … Read  

Self-Fulfilling Prophecies and Power in Negotiation

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When you expect people to be competitive, it’s not only your own behavior that changes. You also set up a self-fulfilling prophecy, such that your expectations about the other side’s behavior lead him to behave in ways that confirm your expectations. … Read  

Why First Impressions Matter in Negotiation

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Even when not based in reality, the expectation that someone is “tough” or “cooperative” becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy at the bargaining table. When you approach an allegedly tough competitor with suspicion and guardedness, he is likely to absord these expectations and become more competitive. … Read  

Teaching Contract Negotiation: Using the Mutual Gains Approach

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How do you use the mutual gains approach in contract negotiations? In contract negotiations, parties can often resort to positional bargaining instead of using the mutual gains approach. Teaching students to generate creative options in contract negotiations can help them avoid positional bargaining and achieve more beneficial and sustainable agreements. The Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) … Read  

Emotional Intelligence in Negotiation

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You feel a little nervous during your first meeting with a new colleague, Steve, to negotiate a long-term project to be co-managed by your respective divisions, but he immediately puts you at ease. Warm and friendly, he makes it clear he’s highly motivated to reach an arrangement that will help both divisions. When talks grow … Read  

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

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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  

Best Negotiation Books: A Negotiation Reading List

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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. … Read  

Negotiation Skills: Threat Response at the Bargaining Table

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When someone issues a threat or an ultimatum, take a step back and diagnose the problem. Consider how you would respond to threats and ultimatums such as these during negotiation. In the face of such tough talk, should you strike back with a counterthreat? Probably not. Because counterthreats raise the emotional temperature of a negotiation, … Read  

Dealing with Difficult People? Negotiation Lessons from Ronald Reagan

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In recent months, U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders have struggled to find a winning strategy to convince Russian President Vladimir Putin to back away from his aggressions toward Ukraine. In a Wall Street Journal editorial, Ken Adelman, U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s ambassador to the United Nations and arms-control director, writes that recently … Read  

Dressing for Success: How Wealth and Status Cues Affect Business Negotiation

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In business negotiations, we know we’re supposed to focus on substance: which issues matter to both sides, what each party can afford, what each side’s outside alternatives are, how to build a strong relationship, and so forth. Yet we’re often swayed by more superficial, often irrelevant aspects of negotiation, such as the shape of the table, whether … Read  

Essential Negotiation Skills: Limiting Cognitive Bias in Negotiation

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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  

Framing in Negotiation

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So, you’ve offered what you think is a great deal, but your counterpart doesn’t seem to agree. What’s the problem? The offer may be excellent—it’s how you’ve approached framing in negotiation that’s holding you back. … Read  

The Process of Business Negotiation

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Negotiators are more satisfied with the outcome of a negotiation when they think the process has been fair, research shows. To maximize satisfaction and build a strong working relationship, don’t leave the process of business negotiation up to chance. Given the importance of negotiation in business communication, you’d be wise to consider the following seven … Read  

Dear Negotiation Coach: Building Trust with Reluctant Counterparts

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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  

Writing the Negotiated Agreement

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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  

Servant Leadership and Warren Buffett’s Giving Pledge

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Billionaire Warren Buffett is not particularly interested in making more money for himself. At 85 years old, he has amassed a staggering fortune, worth over $65 billion. Instead, what has consumed him for the last six years is how to give it all away, and how to convince other billionaires to do the same. … Read  

Negotiating Skills: How to Bargain “Behind the Table”

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After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, U.S. president George H. W. Bush and his secretary of state, James Baker, were eager to win international support for German reunification and German membership in NATO. But Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev faced strong opposition to these measures from members of his own Communist Party. Both … Read  

An International Negotiation Process Leads to a Fragile Agreement in Ukraine

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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  

Famous Negotiators: Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin

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At a January press conference last year, German chancellor Angela Merkel dangled a carrot in front of Russian president Vladimir Putin: the possibility of a summit in Kazakhstan aimed at easing the Ukraine crisis, to be attended by her and the leaders of France and Ukraine. That carrot, however, was dangling from a significant string. … Read  

For Dispute Resolution, Consider a Lawyer Trained as a Mediator

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If you needed a lawyer to help you settle a business dispute, would you prefer (a) one who was completely partisan toward your point of view or (b) one who acted as a mediator and saw both sides of the conflict? You might assume that the partisan lawyer would work harder for you than someone who … Read  

5 Ways to Be a More Strategic Business Partner

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If you’re looking to be a strategic business partner, you need to have your eyes and ears open at all times. In the world of mergers and acquisitions, some acquirers try to improve the companies they purchase by expanding them and emphasizing innovation, while others choose to focus on cutting costs. Due in part to millennials’ … Read  

Finding Mutual Gains In “Non-Negotiation”

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The National Football League’s Pittsburgh Steelers faced a dilemma. Mid-contract, the team’s star wide receiver, Antonio Brown, asked the team to improve upon the six-year, $42.5 million deal they negotiated back in 2012. Brown had risen to become the best receiver in football and believed he was underpaid. … Read  

Labor Negotiation Strategies

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No one likes strikes. They can be financially devastating to employers and employees alike. And because strikes inconvenience the public, whatever popular support striking workers gain may fade when a strike drags on over time. … Read  

Negotiation Team Strategy

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Some negotiations are simple enough to handle on our own, but those deals are increasingly rare in the business world. These days, to thrive in negotiation, you often need to be able to work effectively as part of a negotiation team. … Read  

3 Types of Power in Negotiation

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Social psychologists have described different types of power that exist in society, and negotiators can leverage these types of power in negotiation as well. … Read  

What Is Distributive Negotiation?

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What is distributive negotiation? Distributive negotiation involves haggling over a fixed amount of value—that is, slicing up the pie. In a distributive negotiation, there is likely only one issue at stake, typically price. When you are negotiating with a merchant in a foreign bazaar, or over a used car closer to home, you are generally … Read  

The Importance of a Relationship in Negotiation

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

Dealing with Difficult People – Even When You Don’t Want To

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In your negotiations, have you ever faced a truly difficult negotiator—someone whose behavior seems designed to provoke, thwart, and annoy you beyond all measure? We often have strong incentives to negotiate with those we find obstinate, unpredictable, abrasive, or untrustworthy. When we avoid dealing with difficult people, we risk missing out on important opportunities. But … Read  

What is Anchoring in Negotiation?

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Consider this anchoring bias example from Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School faculty member Guhan Subramanian. While running a negotiation simulation in one of his classes, Subramanian noticed that one student spent a considerable amount of time explaining why $10.69 per hour would be an impossible wage rate to offer the student’s counterpart. The … Read  

7 Tips for Closing the Deal in Negotiations

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“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  

Are Introverts at a Disadvantage in Negotiation?

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Are extroverts by nature better negotiators than introverts? Or are they at a disadvantage in negotiation? As we’ll see, the answer is far from decided. However, we all have clear opportunities to build on our own strengths and learn from those of others. Introversion is a personality trait marked by a desire to think through ideas … Read  

Lessons for Business Negotiators: Negotiation Techniques from International Diplomacy

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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  

How to Negotiate with Friends and Family

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“Never do business with friends,” the adage goes. But should you always stay away from an opportunity to negotiate with friends and family? A strict policy of keeping friends and family members out of our business lives would be impractical, and it could cause us to pass up potentially valuable negotiating opportunities. … Read  

Best Negotiators in History: Nelson Mandela and His Negotiation Style

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The late Nelson Mandela will certainly be remembered as one of the best negotiators in history. He was clearly “the greatest negotiator of the twentieth century,” wrote Harvard Law School professor and Program on Negotiation Chairman Robert H. Mnookin in his seminal book, Bargaining with the Devil, When to Negotiate, When to Fight. … Read  

What Is an Umbrella Agreement?

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Business negotiators tend to want the best of both worlds. When reaching an agreement, they want to pin down parties’ respective rights and responsibilities, but they also want to retain the flexibility they need to deal with ever-changing business conditions. One solution to this apparent dilemma is to craft an umbrella agreement. … Read  

10 Negotiation Training Skills Every Organization Needs

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How can managers and their organizations increase the odds that negotiation training will lead to beneficial long-term results? Here are several pieces of advice, drawn from experts at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. … Read  

The Negotiation Process in China

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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  

How To Share a Negotiation Education with Kids

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There are numerous opportunities for adults to learn and practice their negotiation skills. Whether it’s working through an issue with a coworker, buying a home, or taking actual negotiation education classes, if you want to improve your negotiation outcomes, you can find ways to learn. But what about kids? Are they too young to learn … Read  

Negotiation Tactics for Bargaining with Difficult People: The Comcast Merger

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If a competitive bargaining session shifts in a counterpart’s direction, your anger could send the wrong signals to your negotiation counterpart. In this instance, strong emotions portray desperation rather than strength. Here are some bargaining and negotiation tactics for dealing with difficult situations in relationships. … Read  

Union Strikes and Dispute Resolution Strategies

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When a conflict looms, it can be tempting for each side to try to make unilateral decisions on key issues because of the belief that negotiations with the other side will be a dead end. This dispute resolution strategy may pay off in the short term, but it’s important to factor in the long-term costs … Read  

Understanding Different Negotiation Styles

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In the business world, some negotiators always seem to get what they want, while others more often tend to come up short. What might make some people better negotiators than others? The answer may be in part that people bring different negotiation styles and strategies to the bargaining table, based on their different personalities, experiences, … Read  

Managing Difficult Negotiations: Lessons from the 2015-2017 Illinois Budget Impasse

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On July 6, 2017, the state of Illinois finally resolved a 793-day budget impasse, the longest such impasse in U.S. history. The economically devastating stalemate between Republican then-governor Bruce Rauner and the Democratic-controlled state legislature, triggered by hardball negotiation tactics, offers lessons to negotiators managing difficult negotiations. An Agenda and a Condition As Illinois politicians approached negotiations … Read  

How to Negotiate Under Pressure

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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  

Ask Better Negotiation Questions

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

Teach by Example with These Negotiation Case Studies

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Negotiation case studies use the power of example to teach negotiation strategies. Looking to past negotiations where students can analyze what approaches the parties took and how effective they were in reaching an agreement, can help students gain new insights into negotiation dynamics. The Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) has a variety of negotiation case … Read  

How to Overcome Cultural Barriers in Negotiation

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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  

The Importance of Negotiation in Business and Your Career

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What are the essential ingredients to getting ahead in the workplace? Hard work, communication skills, and a generous dose of luck all play a role, of course. Another key ingredient—one that is often overlooked—is the ability to recognize and capitalize on opportunities to negotiate for your career success. Why is negotiation in business important? Because … Read  

Negotiations in the News: Lessons for Business Negotiators

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What can business negotiators learn from current negotiations in the news? Quite a bit, according to the dozens of negotiation experts who contributed to the January 2019 special issue of the Negotiation Journal, entitled “Negotiation and Conflict Resolution in the Age of Trump.” … Read  

Team Building Using Negotiation Skills

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

How Much Should You Share at the Negotiation Table?

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Suppose that two entrepreneurs, a marketing expert and an IT specialist, are thinking about merging their consulting firms to create a greater synergy of services. As their talks unfold, each wonders how much information to disclose. Should they bring up discussions with other potential partners? … Read  

Managing Cultural Differences in Negotiation

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It’s important to educate yourself about your counterpart’s culture so that you don’t risk offending her or seeming unprepared. At the same time, it would be a mistake to focus too narrowly when preparing for cross-cultural communication in business. Research on international negotiation can help us think more broadly when it comes to managing cultural … Read  

Using Principled Negotiation to Resolve Disagreements

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Parties can often reach a better agreement through integrative negotiation—that is, by identifying interests where they have different preferences and making tradeoffs among them. If you care more about what movie you see tonight, but your friend cares more about where you have dinner, for example, you can each get your preference on the issue … Read  

The Pitfalls of Negotiations Over Email

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Negotiation research suggests that email often poses more problems than solutions when it comes to relationships, information exchange, and outcomes in conflict resolution negotiation scenarios. First, establishing social rapport via email can be challenging. The lack of nonverbal cues and the dearth of social norms regarding its use can cause negotiators to be impolite and … Read  

Win Win Negotiations: Can’t Beat Them? Join a Coalition.

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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. … Read  

Harborco All-In-One Curriculum Package Now Available!

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Introducing a new way to go in-depth when teaching the most important negotiation concepts and to measure learning outcomes. If you are new to teaching negotiation or are looking to go in-depth in teaching key concepts about multiparty negotiation, the Harborco All-In-One Curriculum Package will provide you with everything you need. Harborco, one of the Teaching Negotiation … Read  

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

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

Dear Negotiation Coach: When Silence in Negotiation is Golden

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Question: I have the sense that silence can sometimes be useful, but it usually just makes me feel uncomfortable. Does silence in negotiation have benefits? A: In Western cultures, many people are uncomfortable with silence. We tend to talk on top of one another, with little pause between point and counterpoint. Any silence that occurs often … Read  

Negotiating with Your Boss: Secure Your Mandate and Authority for External Talks

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When thinking about how to negotiate with your boss, you likely focus on negotiations over your salary, responsibilities, and workload. But negotiating with your boss can also set you up for success in negotiations outside your organization. Many of us have been frustrated by a superior’s involvement in a negotiation, whether because they micromanaged talks, contradicted … Read  

Negotiation Research: To Curb Deceptive Tactics in Negotiation, Confront “Paranoid Pessimism”

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Business negotiators often worry about deceptive tactics in negotiation, and understandably so. The potential for being lied to or swindled can be high in negotiation, given that our counterparts typically have access to information about preferences, alternatives, product quality, and so on, that we lack. Yet research shows that negotiators often behave honestly even when … Read  

Dear Negotiation Coach: Should You Say Thank You for Concessions in Negotiations?

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We had the chance to speak with Alison Wood Brooks, O’Brien Associate Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, regarding a question about expressing thank for concessions in negotiations. Here’s the original question: Q: This may sound like a trivial question, but it’s been bothering me. When my negotiation counterparts make a favorable concession or … Read  

The Importance of Communication in Multiparty Negotiations

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When a team is preparing for a critical negotiation, members need to appoint a leader, allocate roles and responsibilities, and discuss their at-the-table strategy. Another key objective that teams sometimes fail to discuss is the importance of staying “on message” – that is, making sure that statements by individual members don’t contradict the group’s agreed-upon … Read  

Government Negotiations: The Brittney Griner Case

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In February 2022, Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) star Brittney Griner was arrested in Russia, where she plays for a professional basketball team during the WNBA offseason, after being accused of bringing vape cartridges with cannabis oil into the country. She faces 10 years imprisonment in a Russian penal colony. Given the extreme tensions between … Read  

When Business Negotiation Tactics Fail

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When business negotiation tactics fail to consider outside interests, especially in the case of international mergers, deals can fall apart quickly. Automakers Renault and Fiat Chrysler discovered this when they ignored other stakeholders in an ill-fated attempt at a deal. The idea of a merger was sparked because of tightening global competition and demand for new … Read  

In Business Negotiations, Eat Before You Negotiate

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When preparing for your next business negotiation, you may want to strategize not only about what you’ll put on the bargaining table, but also how much food you’ll put in your belly beforehand. That’s the message of new research that Cornell University professor Emily Zitek and Dartmouth College professor Alexander Jordan presented at the annual … Read  

Team Negotiation: Tackle Common Pitfalls

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

Ask A Negotiation Expert: Learning From Humanitarian Negotiations Amid International Conflict

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International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) president Peter Maurer views negotiation as integral to the ICRC’s mission of providing humanitarian aid to people in international conflict zones. A former Swiss minister of foreign affairs and ambassador to the United Nations, Maurer is the ICRC’s chief negotiator and promotes the development of negotiation skills within … Read  

Dear Negotiation Coach: Deal Structuring and Negotiating with “Bad Acts”

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Deal structuring and negotiating can feel challenging in the best of situations. But when you’re dealing with “bad acts,” there are additional factors to consider when you structure your negotiation strategy. This is what one reader asked about when facing a deal to buy out a company. Here’s their question: Q: I work for an international … Read  

Negotiation Research: When Many BATNAs Are Worse Than One

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Negotiators are often taught that the more alternatives they have, the more fortunate they are. If it’s good to have one strong best alternative to a negotiated agreement, or BATNA, then it’s better to have many BATNAs, right? Not necessarily, results from a study by Michael Schaerer of INSEAD and his colleagues show. In a series … Read  

Using Body Language in Negotiation

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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  

Dear Negotiation Coach: How Can I Improve My Cross-Cultural Negotiation Skills?

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Q: Because of the nature of my business, I regularly engage in negotiations across cultures—and the results can be disappointing. After recently losing an important deal in India, I learned that my counterpart felt I was rushing through our talks. I thought I was just being efficient with our time. How can I improve my … Read  

What is Conflict Resolution, and How Does It Work?

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If you work with others, sooner or later you will almost inevitably face the need for conflict resolution. You may need to mediate a dispute between two members of your department. Or you may find yourself angered by something a colleague reportedly said about you in a meeting. Or you may need to engage in … Read  

What is Crisis Management in Negotiation?

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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. … Read  

The Right Negotiation Environment: Your Place or Mine?

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Everyone knows the three rules of real estate: “Location! Location! Location!” When it comes to making deals, choosing the right negotiation environment can be just as important. The location you select can dramatically affect the ensuing process and, ultimately, the end result. In deal making, the answer to the question “Your place or mine?” is … Read  

Negotiation Skills and Strategies: Winning Over Reluctant Counterparts

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In the aftermath of the December 2012 killing of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, then-president Barack Obama moved gun control to the top of his legislative agenda. By April 2013, the Senate was considering requiring universal criminal background checks for all gun purchases and banning assault weapons … Read  

Negotiations and Logrolling: Discover Opportunities to Generate Mutual Gains

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Logrolling is the act of trading across issues in a negotiation. Logrolling requires that a negotiator knows his or her own priorities, but also the priorities of the other side. If one side values something more than the other, they should be given it in exchange for reciprocity on issues that are a higher priority … Read  

Try a Contingent Contract if You Can’t Agree on What Will Happen

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In negotiation, all the goodwill, trust, and cooperation you create can seem useless if you and your negotiating counterpart disagree about how future events may play out. In such cases, a contingent contract can be a highly useful, though widely overlooked, tool for creating value in negotiation. … Read  

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

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In multi-issue business negotiations, research suggests that the advantage goes to negotiators with a reputation for collaboration rather than competition. In a series of studies by Catherine H. Tinsley and Kathleen O’Connor, participants were told they would be negotiating with someone who had either a tough reputation, a cooperative reputation, or an unknown reputation. Although … Read  

Appealing to Sympathy When Dealing with Difficult Situations

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Imagine that you are about to enter into a negotiation. Unbeknown to your counterpart, the stakes are particularly high because you are dealing with difficult situations behind the scenes. Maybe your organization is struggling financially and needs a break to stay in the black. Or you are planning to ask for a raise to help … Read  

Learning from BATNA Examples in Negotiation

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How should you decide whether to accept or reject your counterpart’s final offer in negotiation? In their influential book, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton advise comparing the deal to your BATNA, or best alternative to a negotiated agreement. If the offer is better than the best … Read  

Job Negotiation Advice to Help You Succeed

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One of the more interesting segues to job negotiation advice emerged from the December 2014 leaks of hacked Sony Pictures data and an e-mail revealing a young actress’s efforts to be paid on the same level as her male peers. In a December 2013 e-mail to Sony Pictures cochair Amy Pascal, Columbia Pictures executive Andrew Gumpert … Read  

Dear Negotiation Coach: Is There a Negotiating Strategy That Will Make Ideas Resonate?

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Q: I’ve pitched many great ideas for change to my organization, but management never takes action on any of them. Even when my organization specifically requests ideas for new products or processes, it’s always a colleague’s idea that gets chosen over mine. Negotiators are good at persuasion. Do you have any tips to increase my … Read  

When First Offers Fail In a Negotiation

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In negotiation, the party who makes the first offer often gets the lion’s share of the value. That can be due to the anchoring effect, or the tendency for first offers to “anchor” the bargaining that follows in its direction, even if the offer recipient thinks the offer is out of line. Yet plenty of times, … Read  

Teaching Critical Leadership Skills

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Running a multinational corporation, starting a small business, or leading a diplomatic mission all require critical leadership skills. Being an effective leader necessitates negotiating both within your organization and with external partners. In Real Leaders Negotiate, author Jeswald Salacuse explains that leaders can increase their effectiveness by using negotiation in each of the three phases … Read  

Negotiating with the Enemy

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Should negotiating with the enemy always be off the table? The 2014 Bergdahl exchange offers insights for negotiators who are deciding whether to do business with a known enemy. On May 31, 2014 the White House made the surprise announcement that the Taliban had released Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, the sole American prisoner of war in the … Read  

Dear Negotiation Coach: Can Negotiation Theory Help Us Understand Our Religious Identity?

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Negotiation theory suggests you focus on interests, not positions; separate inventing from committing; invest heavily in “What if?” questions; insist on objective criteria; and try to build nearly self-enforcing agreements. But what if the negotiation is with yourself, or about your own religious identity? For example, what does it mean to be Jewish in America? What challenges … Read  

Relationship-Building in Negotiation

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Forging close bonds typically helps negotiators reach better deals, work together effectively over time, and manage conflict—yet negotiators often rush through the process of relationship-building in negotiation. Here’s advice on how to approach this important aspect of negotiation more methodically. Overcome Partisan Perceptions An unconscious bias often gets in the way of relationship-building in negotiation: partisan perceptions, or … Read  

Dear Negotiation Coach: Can External Advisers Hinder a Problem Solving Approach?

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There are numerous advantages to hearing from external advisers and experts in a high-stakes negotiation. However, when talks are at an impasse, limiting the negotiation to a small number of participants may be a more beneficial problem solving approach than including outside opinions. This was at the heart of a recent question answered by Guhan Subramanian, … Read  

BATNA Strategy: Should You Reveal Your BATNA?

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In their best-selling book Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton (Penguin, 1991) introduced the concept of having a BATNA strategy (best alternative to a negotiated agreement) as “the standard against which any proposed agreement should be measured.” When you know what you’ll do if you don’t reach … Read  

In Crisis Negotiations, Stay Rational Under Pressure

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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  

Dear Negotiation Coach: Negotiation Interpreters Leave Space for Interpretation

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Negotiators tend to view language interpreters as neutral in international negotiation, but reality is more complicated, according to Sanda Kaufman, a professor of Planning, Public Policy, and Administration at Cleveland State University who studies negotiation and intervention in urban, environmental, and organizational contexts. Fluent in four languages, Kaufman is also an experienced negotiation interpreter who … Read  

When a Little Power is a Dangerous Thing

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In 1975, Leigh Steinberg launched his career as a sports agent by proving that even a little power can be a dangerous thing. He faced what appeared to be a tough negotiation with the Atlanta Falcons. The team had chosen Steinberg’s client, rookie quarterback Steve Bartkowski, as their first pick in the first round of … Read  

BATNA Analysis Can Help You Avoid the Agreement Trap

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In both our personal and our business negotiations, “getting to yes” is typically the ultimate goal. Negotiation research and advice tend to focus on identifying the conditions that can help people overcome their differences, relax firm positions, and reach harmonious terms that could lead to a mutually fulfilling long-term relationship. This mindset risks downplaying the fact … Read  

Learn from the Best with the Great Negotiator Case Studies

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No one can provide perspective on conflict resolution like experts who have been involved in some of the world’s most complex negotiations. Since 2001, the Program on Negotiation (PON) has bestowed the Great Negotiator Award upon distinguished leaders whose lifelong accomplishments in the fields of negotiation and dispute resolution have had compelling and lasting results. The Great … Read  

Moving Toward Group Conflict Resolution

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

Dear Negotiation Coach: Plan Ahead for Negotiation Mistakes

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We recently had a question about some common negotiation mistakes people make while they’re still preparing for a negotiation. Kessely Hong, Senior Lecturer in Public Policy and the Faculty Chair of the MPA Programs and the Mid-Career MPA Summer Program at the Harvard Kennedy School, took time to discuss these mistakes and steps we can … Read  

Howard Raiffa Taught Us About Decision-Making and Negotiation

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If you’ve ever made a decision tree, engaged in risk analysis, or created a scoring system when preparing for a negotiation, you benefited from the work of economist Howard Raiffa, whether you realized it or not. And the decisions you’ve made in your negotiations likely have been far smarter as a result. After all, decision-making … Read  

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

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

For Hollywood Writers, a Heavily Negotiated Business Contract

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In its negotiations for a new business contract with entertainment companies back in 2017, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) delivered at the bargaining table what many film and TV viewers crave onscreen: plenty of suspense and a hard-won, if imperfect, victory. The WGA, which represents more than 12,000 film and TV writers, negotiated for seven … Read  

Dear Negotiation Coach: Assessing Good Negotiation Skills

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One way to improve your negotiation outcomes is to review your past negotiations. Even if you already have good negotiation skills, there are always areas where you might improve. That could be said of even the best negotiators. But how can you objectively assess your own performance? Hal Movius, coauthor (with Lawrence E. Susskind) of … Read  

Government Negotiations and Beyond: Using Carrots and Sticks Effectively

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In 1987 government negotiations, U.S. president Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev took early steps to end the Cold War by signing the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) arms control treaty in Washington, D.C. Banning all ground-launched nuclear and conventional missile systems within a certain range, the INF treaty put in place a strict … Read  

Facing an Email Negotiation? Take a Proactive Approach

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As a format for complex deals, email negotiation has a bad reputation. Negotiators are more likely to deceive one another when using email, and they have trouble building trust and rapport in email messages. Furthermore, some research has found that negotiators achieve less joint gain and are less satisfied with their outcomes when negotiating over … Read  

Dispute Resolution Example: The Chicago Symphony’s Contract Dispute

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A 2019 contract dispute between the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) and its musicians led to a disruptive seven-week strike, the longest in the venerable orchestra’s 128-year history. The unlikely intervention of Chicago’s mayor just before he left office managed to draw this thorny dispute resolution example to a mutually satisfactory finale while also highlighting the … Read  

Entrepreneurs: Prepare for Challenging Conversations in Key Negotiation

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Start-ups and individual entrepreneurs often encounter challenging conversations when negotiating with potential partners and investors. When you are trying to sell others on your big idea or venture, you face the daunting challenge of convincing them that it’s worth their time, money, and effort. And even as you’re drawing on all your powers of persuasion … Read  

Dear Negotiation Coach: Making a Deal When You Have Anxiety

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One of the issues many negotiators have is anxiety about making a deal. Will it be a fair process? Will you get what you want? Or will you damage a relationship in the process if you’re too aggressive or incompetent? In these situations, you may find that your palms are sweaty, your heart is racing, … Read  

Is Humor in Business Negotiation Ever Appropriate?

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Have you ever wondered if humor in business negotiation is appropriate, and when? We spoke with Alison Wood Brooks, O’Brien Associate Professor of Business Administration and Hellman Faculty Fellow in the Negotiation, Organizations & Markets Unit at Harvard Business School to find out. Imagine this scenario. You’re sitting among some of your company’s partners. Just when … Read  

Does Using Technology in Negotiation Change Our Behavior?

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It’s not hard to picture the use of technology in negotiation. Imagine that two people are introduced to each other via email by a mutual friend. They begin discussions on the phone regarding a potential business partnership, which lead to several in-person meetings during which their laptops are open and their smartphones are on the … Read  

Salary Negotiations in the NBA and Beyond

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In negotiation, one great deal can beget another. For the National Basketball Association (NBA), its stellar 2016 national television contract begat dozens of stellar salary negotiations for top players and even mediocre ones. But after the boom year passed, players’ expectations bounced up against reality. The story, which could repeat itself after the next TV … Read  

Adapting the BATNA for International Cultural Differences

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The BATNA (best alternative to a negotiated agreement) concept, popularized by Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton in their book Getting to Yes (Penguin Books, third edition, 2011), has been disseminated all over the world and doubtless helped thousands avoid settling for less than what they want in negotiations. When you have identified your … Read  

10 Notable Negotiations of 2021

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Challenged by pandemic-era uncertainty, mounting political divides, and other obstacles, negotiators had difficulty coming together in 2021. But our list of 10 Notable Negotiations of 2021 includes a few bargaining highs amid the many lows.  … Read  

Dear Negotiation Coach: Does Communication Style Matter in Negotiation?

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We recently spoke with Harvard Business School Professor Francesca Gino about communication style in negotiations. The question arises frequently of whether you can achieve better results with a tough, no nonsense approach or through a coming across as more approachable and warm. The reality is more nuanced, however, as Professor Gino describes.

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NB: In your research, … Read  

Managing Negotiators? Avoid 3 Common Negotiation Mistakes

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In 2019, face-to-face meetings between then U.S. president Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, held in Hanoi, Vietnam, came to an abrupt end after Kim insisted that the United States lift all economic sanctions against his country in return for denuclearization. Trump refused and ended the talks, telling reporters, “Sometimes you have to … Read  

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

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

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

How To Counteract Deceptive Tactics in Negotiation

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In the fall of 2017, Amazon created a stir when it announced it was taking bids from North American cities and regions interested in hosting its second headquarters, known as HQ2. Driven by the promise of 50,000 jobs and a $5 billion campus that Amazon promised would be the “full equal” of its main campus … Read  

Negotiating Salary: Confronting the Gender Pay Gap

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In December 2014, leaks of data hacked from Sony Pictures revealed that when negotiating salary for their roles in the film American Hustle, actresses Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams came away with significantly less than their male costars in the ensemble cast. Lawrence and Adams were paid 7% of the film’s profits; Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, … Read  

New Negotiation Tactics for Your Multiparty Negotiation Toolkit

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“Confessionals.” “Informal informals.” “Indabas.” Delegates from the 196 nations participating in the U.N. Climate Change Conference, held in Paris at the end of 2015, cycled through an eclectic variety of negotiating formats in their race to make binding commitments to lower greenhouse-gas emissions. According to media reports, the participants’ willingness to shake up the complex … Read  

Ask A Negotiation Expert: Making Our Good Negotiation Skills Even Better

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We recently spoke to Harvard Business School professor Michael Wheeler about the challenges and opportunities of learning good negotiation skills from our real life bargaining situations. Wheeler is the author of The Art of Negotiation: How to Improvise Agreement in a Chaotic World (Simon & Schuster, 2013) and the “Negotiation 360” preparation app, which is … Read  

When Hard Bargaining Wastes Valuable Time

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The tragic accidental shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins by actor Alec Baldwin on the New Mexico set of the indie movie Rust in October 2021 shone a spotlight on the potentially hazardous working conditions, long hours, and tight budgets that movie crews have long faced. Complaints about these and other issues were at the center … Read  

How to Make a Good Deal When You Lack Power

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Imagine yourself in the following negotiation scenarios and attempting to make a good deal:

You’re a chef who is having trouble finding cooks in an oversaturated restaurant market. You’re so desperate to get fully staffed that you find yourself making significant concessions on salary, scheduling, and other issues during interviews with potential hires. You are trying to … Read  

The Value of Using Scorable Simulations in Negotiation Training

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At a Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) faculty pedagogy seminar, members of the PON faculty and negotiation community gathered to hear Gordon Kaufman (MIT Morris A. Adelman Professor of Management, Emeritus) speak about how he uses quantifiable data to plot student-learning trajectories. The conversation focused on the ongoing debate within the negotiation pedagogy community regarding the way … Read  

How to Deal with a Hardball Strategy When You Have a Weak BATNA

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In negotiation, visions of collaborating to create new sources of value can quickly evaporate when the other party engages in a hardball strategy—such as penalizing us financially, attacking our reputation, walking away, or threatening to do all of the above. Suddenly we find ourselves on the defensive, scrambling to do more than just break even. That’s … Read  

Emotional Leadership Can Have a Silver Lining in Negotiation

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The negotiations that surrounded the 1962 Cuban missile crisis were some of the most tense and frightening in world history, and provide a high-profile example of emotional leadership. Having learned that the Soviet Union had deployed ballistic missiles to Cuba, the United States orchestrated a military naval blockade to prevent the Soviets from delivering more … Read  

Closing the Deal in Negotiations: Should “Deal” Be a Dirty Word?

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When negotiators take a long-term approach to deal-making, the result is typically a win-win. Rather than simply trying to sign a contract on favorable terms, negotiators who discuss how those terms might play out over the life of the contract are more likely to set the partnership up for success. After all, when negotiators merely … Read  

Beyond Walking Away: Facing a Hardball Strategy Head-on

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In 2014, prosecutors for the United States alleged that Jesse Litvak, a former bond trader for Jefferies & Co., of using a hardball strategy that included lies and deception to defraud investors of more than $2 million. At the trial in U.S. District Court in New Haven, Conn., prosecutors argued that Litvak defrauded investors by … Read  

Consensus Building on the Court?

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When making decisions, groups often hold a simple vote and allow the majority to get its way. But groups that instead work to reach decisions through consensus building tend to reach agreements that are more stable, more efficient, and wiser than groups that make decisions through majority rule, write Lawrence E. Susskind and Jeffrey L. … Read  

Ask A Negotiation Expert: Using Law Teaching Materials to Build Bridges

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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  

Conflict-Management Styles: Pitfalls and Best Practices

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People approach conflict differently, depending on their innate tendencies, their life experiences, and the demands of the moment. Negotiation and conflict-management research reveals how our differing conflict-management styles mesh with best practices in conflict resolution. A Model of Conflict-Management Styles In 1974, Kenneth W. Thomas and Ralph H. Kilmann introduced a questionnaire, the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument, … Read  

Digitally Enhanced Simulation Packages – With Live Data Analytics

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

Union Negotiations Show How to Bring Reluctant Parties to the Table

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On April 24, 2013, an eight-story building in Bangladesh known as Rana Plaza collapsed, killing 1,134 people, many of them low-wage garment workers who made goods for foreign companies. In the aftermath, Western retailers were widely criticized for failing to engage in international labor union negotiations and address hazardous conditions in the factories where their … Read  

Dear Negotiation Coach: Negotiation Mistakes in Choosing the Room

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In her book, The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters (Riverhead Books, 2018),Thrive Labs founder Priya Parker, a professional facilitator with a background in conflict resolution, argues that most of us just go through the motions when planning events, whether a dinner party, a conference, or a negotiation. The result is often … Read  

M&A Negotiation Strategy: Dealing with an Unpredictable Counterpart

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

For Greater Value Creation, Look Beyond Your BATNA

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

3 Ways to Ensure Women in Leadership Are Heard In Group Negotiations

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When President Barack Obama first took office, in 2008, one-third of the women in leadership positions in his office were women. Two-thirds of these positions were filled by men, some of whom were known for their brash, dominant personalities, including then chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and economic adviser Lawrence Summers. Consequently, “the West Wing … Read  

Elements of Negotiation Style: Angela Merkel

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What is your negotiation style? Some negotiators make a strong impression through bold opening statements and mesmerizing presentations. Others closely observe and gather information before making any decisive moves. Angela Merkel, who chose not to run for reelection in 2021 after nearly 16 years as Germany’s chancellor, has demonstrated the latter type of negotiation style: … Read  

Dear Negotiation Coach: What is the Secret to Negotiating with Kids Successfully?

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Some of our toughest negotiations happen away from the bargaining table. In fact, they may happen closer to our dinner table. We recently received a question from a reader about negotiation with kids, and asked Program on Negotiation’s Katie Shonk for some insight. Q: I avoid using hardball tactics in my professional negotiations since they often … Read  

Business Skills: Make Concessions Strategically in Negotiation

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Business negotiators generally understand that to get what they want from another party or parties, they will have to give something away. But what concessions should you offer in the deal-making process, and what form should they take? New research on concession making in negotiation offers tips to add to your repertoire of business skills. Finding … Read  

Coping with Conflicts of Interest in an Offer Negotiation

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This famous offer negotiation illustrates how negotiators and other decision makers sometimes have the difficult task of remaining impartial when facing a conflict of interest. The actions of the special committee of Dell’s board as the company’s CEO and founder, Michael Dell, moved forward with a leveraged buyout suggest precautions you can take when navigating … Read  

The Deal-Making Process: Playing the Long Game

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Do you have regrets about the deals that got away? If so, you might be newly motivated by the deal-making process of famed Hollywood movie and television producer Albert S. Ruddy. For 50 years he pursued two pet film projects—each of which finally led to a negotiated agreement and is coming to fruition. A Deal-Making Process … Read  

Taking the Plunge: How a Controversial Business Partnership Agreement was Born

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“A huge mistake.” “A shot in the dark.” “An audacious move.” Those are just a few of the media’s characterizations of the business partnership agreement between wireless carrier AT&T and media and entertainment firm Time Warner (now known as WarnerMedia). It was the biggest merger of 2016, with $85.4 billion in cash and stock transferring … Read  

New Simulation on Negotiating the Future of Dams

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Pearl River is a seven party, facilitated, multi-issue negotiation over the management of dams in a coastal basin.  Pearl River is a facilitated, multi-issue negotiation simulation for eight or nine participants about the management of five dams in the hypothetical Pearl River basin. This science-based negotiation simulation provides an opportunity for learning about and discussing larger-scale … Read  

Dear Negotiation Coach: Are There Benefits To the Absence of Truth in Negotiations?

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We hear a lot about the benefits of telling the truth in negotiations. But some negotiators find themselves struggling with the question of how trusting to be. Is there a benefit to mistrust in negotiation? Should you always assume your counterpart is telling the truth? In negotiation, our outcomes depend in large part on our ability … Read  

Using Business Negotiation Skills To Move a Deal in your Favor

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Performers have increasingly learned business negotiation skills and played an outsized role in shaping plays and musicals vying for a Broadway stage. In 2016, the original off-Broadway cast of Hamilton negotiated with the show’s producers to acknowledge their contributions to the hit musical by guaranteeing them a small share of the show’s profits. With other actors … Read  

How an Authoritarian Leadership Style Blocks Effective Negotiation

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

How to Counter Offer Successfully With a Strong Rationale

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In negotiation, some justifications are more persuasive than others, research suggests. And learning how to counter offer in the right way can make significant differences in outcomes. For example, imagine that you are a café owner who is soliciting quotes for a redesign of your space. One of the interior designers you’ve been talking to … Read  

Dear Negotiation Coach: International Cultural Differences Around Trust

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When choosing new business partners, we size them up to decide whether they are trustworthy. Interestingly, international cultural differences can influence the way in which we make such determinations, Jeanne Brett, Professor Emeritus of Management & Organizations at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, and Louisiana State University professor Tyree Mitchell found in a new … Read  

Dear Negotiation Coach: Am I Using Deceptive Tactics in Negotiation?

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Ethical negotiators try not to use deceptive tactics in negotiation situations. However, there’s one negotiation technique that may not feel deceptive, but it can slip under the radar and cause problems later. We spoke with Francesca Gino, Tandon Family Professor of Business Administration, Negotiation, Organizations and Markets Unit at Harvard Business School. We asked her … Read  

Effective Leadership: Learning from David Cameron’s Failed Brexit Negotiations

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Leaders sometimes need to devote significant time to convincing a counterpart of the logic and appeal of their proposals. What happens when they need to persuade negotiators on opposite sides of an issue to see your point of view? Such situations highlight why negotiation is important in leadership, as effective leadership can require special skills … Read  

Negotiating Controversial Issues in Difficult Negotiations

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When you’re trying to negotiate a hot-button issue in difficult negotiations, what’s the best approach to take? That was the question facing U.S. president Donald Trump as he and his administration attempted to convince the government of Mexico to fund a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, in addition to negotiating other matters of concern to … Read  

In the Negotiation Planning Process, to Capture the Force, be Patient

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Sometimes the negotiation planning process will take longer than expected to get the best results. On October 30, 2012, Robert A. Iger, CEO of the Walt Disney Company, announced that Disney was acquiring Lucasfilm, the film-production company known primarily for the spectacularly successful Star Wars film franchise. Following lengthy negotiations, George Lucas, Lucasfilm’s founder and sole … Read  

Hardball Negotiation Tactics: Time Pressure in Major League Baseball

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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  

Madeleine Albright’s Ways to Avoid Conflict In Negotiation: First, Put Yourself In Their Shoes

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When parties can trade on their preferences across different issues, they reduce the need to haggle over price and percentages. But are there ways to avoid conflict in other types of negotiation? To find ways to avoid conflict, especially deep-seated conflicts, and reach agreement with adversaries, former U.S. secretary of state Madeleine Albright advises close observation … Read  

Skills of Negotiation: Launching a Quick Campaign

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Advice on how to negotiate a job offer often focuses on the candidate’s perspective, offering compensation negotiation tips and guidance on adding other issues to the discussion. But how can hiring organizations gain an edge when competing for star candidates? The negotiation example of how Howard University lured Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones away from the … Read  

Compensation Negotiation Tips: Lessons from Broadway

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Compensation negotiation tips often revolve around encouraging job candidates to ask for a higher salary and teaching them how to frame their salary requests. But negotiators who take a broader approach to evaluating a job offer may be able to set themselves up for much greater long-term earnings. A negotiation initiated by the original cast … Read  

In Negotiation, it’s All in the Timing

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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  

Dear Negotiation Coach: Coordinating Teams to Get Everyone in the Same Frames

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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  

Dear Negotiation Coach: To Get Unstuck, Hire a Mediator

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Most business people understand the value of using mediation to resolve conflicts, but did you know that professional mediators can help you reach an agreement during the dealmaking phase? Stephen Goldberg, professor emeritus at Northwestern School of Law, describes how you can hire a mediator to aid both parties in creating value at the negotiating … Read  

Renegotiation Lessons from the NAFTA Talks

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

Q&A with William Ury, author of Getting To Yes With Yourself

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Are You Your Own Worst Enemy? We interviewed William Ury, co-founder of the Program on Negotiation, one of the world’s leading experts on negotiation, and bestselling author of Getting to Yes and Getting Past No, about his book, Getting To Yes With Yourself. Great negotiators know that the path to resolution is not always linear but rather … Read  

On Social Media, Business Negotiators Should Post with Caution

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When it comes to getting what they want, some business negotiators take it to the social media streets. Back in May of 2015, actor Harry Shearer, the voice of iconic characters on the hit animated TV series The Simpsons since its inception in 1989, announced via Twitter that he was leaving the show because of an … Read  

Dear Negotiation Coach: When Time is Not Money at the Negotiation Table

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Q: I have been doing a lot of business deals in the Middle East and elsewhere in Asia. With all due respect, negotiations seem to drag on and on in that part of the world. How can I negotiate effectively in this situation at the negotiation table? A: You’ve picked up on a critical cultural difference that, … Read  

Deal-Making Don’ts: Lessons from Yahoo’s Tumblr Acquisition

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On May 19, 2013, internet company Yahoo announced it was purchasing the blogging service Tumblr for about $1.1 billion in cash. The acquisition was intended to put a fresh face on the aging Internet company and provide it with a profitable revenue source. But those plans didn’t play out: In August 2019, Tumblr was bought … Read  

The Anchoring Heuristic: Anchoring for Maximum Effect

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It’s said that you never get a second chance to make a great first impression, and that certainly can be the case in negotiation. A weak handshake or a gruff demeanor can color how we see someone for a very long time. Similarly, make an unambitious or poorly worded first offer, and you’re much less … Read  

M&A Negotiation Tactics: In Discovery-WarnerMedia Deal, AT&T Tries, Tries Again

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It was a dramatic about-face. In mid-2018, AT&T finalized its $85 billion purchase of Time Warner after successfully fighting off U.S. government antitrust lawsuits. Just less than three years later, in May 2021, AT&T announced it was spinning off Time Warner, now known as WarnerMedia, after merger-and-acquisition (M&A) negotiations with media company Discovery. If approved … Read  

In Email Negotiations, When They’re Happy, Do You Know it?

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Negotiators’ expressions of emotion offer critical feedback about their preferences, offers, fears, and other information, yet emotions can be notoriously difficult to interpret accurately. One study by Hillary Anger Elfenbein (Washington University, St. Louis) found that negotiators detected emotions accurately only 58% of the time. That accuracy rate may be even lower in email negotiations, … Read  

Teach Your Students to Negotiate the Technology Industry

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Technology is a pervasive feature of modern life, providing countless benefits ranging from new cancer treatments to smart phones. Technology can also be a source of disruption and is at the root of many disputes. Parties frequently disagree on the likely costs and benefits associated with the adoption of new technologies. They feud over such … Read  

India’s Direct Approach to Conflict Resolution

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In our global economy, organizations have unprecedented opportunities to grow by forming partnerships worldwide. Yet when we are negotiating abroad, cultural, language, and other differences can lead to misunderstandings that may eventually spiral into conflicts ranging from labor strikes to lawsuits to broken partnerships that require conflict resolution. At the same time, we want to … Read  

Bipartisan Agreement Proved Elusive in 2017 Immigration Negotiations

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On September 5, 2017, President Donald Trump announced that in six months he would phase out Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the Obama-era policy that has shielded from deportation about 800,000 people brought to the United States illegally as children. Members of Congress seeking permanent protections for the so-called Dreamers covered under DACA then … Read  

Dear Negotiation Coach: How to Negotiate Price and Start Off on the Right Foot

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Do you know how to negotiate price? Is there a better way to approach this type of negotiation that differs from other negotiation strategies? In this week’s Dear Negotiation Coach column, we answer the question. QUESTION I’m trying to decide whether to make the first offer in a price negotiation. I’ve heard arguments in favor of both … Read  

Negotiation Team Dynamics: The Divide-and-Conquer Strategy

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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  

Dear Negotiation Coach: What Hostage Negotiations Can Teach Any Negotiator

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Business negotiations often fail; meanwhile, hostage negotiations have an incredibly high success rate—up to 94%. We spoke with former police psychologist and hostage negotiator George A. Kohlrieser, the Distinguished Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior at IMD Business School in Switzerland and the author of Hostage at the Table: How Leaders Can Overcome Conflict, Influence Others, … Read  

How to Respond to Questions in Negotiation

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What’s the toughest question you’ve ever been asked during a negotiation? Do you know how to respond to questions when they’re out of your comfort zone? If you negotiate frequently, it might be hard to narrow it down to just one. Focusing on job interviews, here are a few negotiation questions that candidates often dread:

“How … Read  

Dealmaking Secrets from Henry Kissinger

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More than 1,600 international relations experts from across the political spectrum overwhelmingly rate Henry Kissinger, who served under former presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, the most effective secretary of state of the last half-century. In their book, Kissinger the Negotiator: Lessons from Dealmaking at the Highest Level (Harper, 2018), James K. Sebenius, R. Nicholas … Read  

Negotiating with Liars: Bluffing versus Puffing

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How many time have you sat at the bargaining table, and wondered, “am I negotiating with liars?” And to your own self be true—how many times have you been untruthful in a negotiation? The example below shines a light on how lies can get negotiators into hot water. Back in July 2014, Jesse Litvak, the former … Read  

How Much Does Personality in Negotiation Matter?

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We tend to have strong intuitions about which personality traits help or hurt us in negotiation, but does research on the topic confirm our hunches? Does personality in negotiation matter? Before we explore this topic, please answer “True” or “False” in response to the following questions: 1. Extroverted negotiators tend to perform better than introverted negotiators. 2. Agreeable … Read  

Contract Negotiation Skills: Setting Yourself Up for Success

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Business negotiators tend to focus on getting to the finish line, which is typically defined as a signed contract. The contract negotiation skills we need to get there—such as building trust, brainstorming issues, and negotiating a great price—are pivotal, yet we often overlook the importance of setting up our agreement for success during the implementation … Read  

Four Negotiation Examples in the Workplace That Sought Greater Equity and Diversity

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There are a number of infamous negotiation examples in the workplace, but one most notable instance occurred in March 2018, when more than 700 Canadian doctors, residents, and medical students signed an online petition protesting their pay. The public health-care system in Quebec had been the victim of budget cuts, and the medical professionals weren’t … Read  

Methods of Dispute Resolution: Building Trust in Online Mediation

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Before the Covid-19 pandemic, mediators and other negotiation practitioners often insisted on meeting in person, convinced that online methods of dispute resolution lack “the human touch”—the warmth, energy, body language, and other subtle factors that build essential ingredients in conflict resolution, including trust, empathy, and rapport. But when lockdowns and social-distancing restrictions took hold in the … Read  

Ask A Negotiation Expert: The Accidental Negotiation Expert

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For 17 years, Katherine Shonk has been the editor of Negotiation Briefings. The author of two works of fiction (The Red Passport and Happy Now?), she is leaving her post after this issue to devote more time to her next novel and other editing work. Katherine will continue to share negotiation lessons in blog posts … Read  

Negotiation research you can use: The irrational impact of disappearing BATNAs

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In negotiation, a strong best alternative to a negotiated agreement, or BATNA, is generally regarded as our best source of power. When we know we can walk away and get a great deal elsewhere, we’ll insist on an even better agreement at our current bargaining table. Our BATNA powerfully anchors our targets, first offers, and … Read  

How to Get a Great Deal When Trust is Low

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Negotiators from Western cultures, such as the United States, tend to be trusting. They’re often open to sharing information with counterparts, and expect ideas to flow freely. But in many other cultures, negotiators tend to be less trusting and more cautious about sharing information about their interests. Of course, there are many ways to build trust … Read  

Learning from crisis negotiations

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In crisis negotiations, we typically face a number of difficult decisions. Should we try to negotiate on our own or team up with others with shared goals? Should we take time to drive a hard bargain or try to wrap up talks as quickly as possible? How can we account for uncertainty and risk in … Read  

Negotiating Strategies for Navigating Sensitive Topics

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When devising negotiating strategies, some topics seem off-limits: difficult to bring up and perhaps impossible to resolve. Consider the following anecdotes: – In the process of negotiating an acquisition that would include key personnel, members of the buyer’s team are concerned about rumors that a top executive from the target firm has a serious drinking problem … Read  

In Negotiation, Is Benevolent Deception Acceptable?

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Do you behave as honestly as possible in your negotiations? Do you view honesty as a critical attribute in your negotiation counterparts? You probably answered these questions in the affirmative: Like many of us, you view deliberate deception to be both unethical and risky. … Read  

Negotiation in International Relations: Finding Common Ground

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When thinking of negotiation in international relations, it’s difficult to think of any negotiation with higher stakes than those surrounding nuclear nonproliferation. Often conducted amid international conflict and public scrutiny, complicated by language and cultural barriers, and carried out under tight deadlines, talks aimed at ensuring that nuclear technology is used peacefully and that disarmament … Read  

The Hidden Pitfalls of Video Negotiation

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It used to be that when negotiating counterparts were located far apart, one side or the other would need to get in a car, train, or plane if the parties wanted to do business face-to-face. These days, you only need to set up a videoconference on an app such as Zoom or Google Hangouts to … Read  

Real Life Negotiation Lessons Learned from Fiction

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When the COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020—coinciding with his upcoming sabbatical—Harvard Business School professor Deepak Malhotra, a member of the Program on Negotiation Executive Committee, saw the perfect opportunity to try something new. The author of three previous books, he turned his hand to fiction, penning “The Peacemaker’s Code,” a thrilling novel grounded in … Read  

Collaborative Negotiation Examples: Tenants and Landlords

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In the best of times, negotiators brim with resources, energy, and optimism, which inspire collaboration and creativity. In the worst of times—such as now—negotiators are so stressed and fearful that they can be distrustful and rigid. During the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve often seen the latter negotiation style. But several collaborative negotiation examples have emerged in … Read  

Amazon–Whole Foods Negotiation: Did the Exclusive Courtship Move Too Fast?

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When competing with multiple parties to secure a coveted resource, such as your dream house, a cool invention, or a talented new hire, it can be hard to stand out from the pack. Amazon faced that challenge in its $13.4 billion acquisition of upscale grocer Whole Foods in 2017, as reported by Alex Morrell for … Read  

Tired of Liars? Promote More Ethical Negotiation Behavior

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

Entrepreneurship and Negotiation: Call for Papers and Proposals

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The Negotiation Journal is Hosting a Virtual Conference for its Special Issue on Entrepreneurship and Negotiation While negotiation and entrepreneurship scholars have traditionally worked in different circles, their work increasingly intersects as the two fields co-evolve. Both entrepreneurship and negotiation involve dynamic, strategic, interpersonal activities that seek to create and claim some form of value.  Both … Read  

Advanced Negotiation Techniques: Negotiating Partnerships Online

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As the Covid-19 pandemic took hold in the spring of 2020, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) ground nearly to a halt. Many believed it would be impossible to build the trust and rapport needed to form successful partnerships from a distance. But as social distancing restrictions dragged on, deal making took off. Global companies struck deals … Read  

Nelson Mandela: Negotiation Lessons from a Master

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Some people learn to negotiate on the job, in a classroom, or in a therapist’s office. In Nelson Mandela’s case, “prison taught him to be a master negotiator,” writes Bill Keller in his New York Times obituary of the legendary activist turned president, who died on December 5, 2013. Soon after his arrival at South Africa’s … Read  

Ask A Negotiation Expert: Negotiation Means Sometimes Having To Say You’re Sorry

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An apology can be an essential means of repairing trust and rebuilding damaged relationships. Yet we don’t always apologize effectively, according to Jeswald Salacuse, a distinguished professor at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, and a faculty member of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. We spoke to Salacuse about … Read  

Making the best of pandemic-era deal disruptions

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This past fall, three grown children set about helping their mother, Mina, find a memory care facility for John, their 85-year-old father. John’s previously mild dementia had progressed rapidly during the Covid-19 pandemic, to the point that he could no longer live safely at home. John’s children gathered a short list of affordable long-term care facilities … Read  

How to Negotiate via Text Message

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Do you negotiate via text message? If you’re a young person early in your career, there’s a good chance you could easily pull up message strings full of discussions about issues and offers. If you’re a little older, you might have answered no. Even so, if you took a closer look at the saved text … Read  

Government Negotiations: Pfizer’s Rocky Road to U.S. Covid-19 Vaccine Deals

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In late December, 2020, the Trump administration reached a $1.95 billion deal with pharmaceutical company Pfizer to purchase 100 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine it had developed in partnership with German drugmaker BioNTech, enough to immunize 50 million people. It was the second such deal the parties had reached since the pandemic began to … Read  

Implicit and Explicit Bias: When Negotiators Discriminate Based on Race

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Implicit and explicit bias are common, whether the guilty parties are aware of it, or not.  On July 14, 2015, American Honda Finance Corporation (AHFC), the U.S. financing division of Japanese car manufacturer Honda, agreed to refund $24 million to minority borrowers to settle federal investigations. AHFC was alleged to have racially discriminated against the … Read  

Dear Negotiation Coach: Responding (Or Not) to an Ultimatum in Negotiation

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Many times in our lives, we will encounter an ultimatum in negotiation. Sometimes the ultimatum is real, and often times it is not. However, there are ways to approach an ultimatum in negotiation to get past this sometimes burdensome hurdle. Professor Deepak Malhotra answers this week’s Dear Negotiation Coach column: QUESTION A counterpart recently made a “take … Read  

10 Notable Negotiations of 2020

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If there’s one thing that negotiators have practiced this year, it’s thinking on their feet. As our 10 notable negotiations of 2020 illustrate, the coronavirus pandemic left individuals, businesses, nonprofits, and governments trying to replace outmoded plans with more workable alternatives.  10 Notable Negotiations of 2020 10. Struggling to play ball. This year, sports leagues scrambled to … Read  

Diplomacy Examples in the Covid-19 Era

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In 2020, grounded by the Covid-19 pandemic, international diplomats accustomed to traveling from capital to capital found themselves stuck in a never-ending stream of videoconferences. To take a number of diplomacy examples, the G7, the G20, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank all met online, reduced to tiny faces on a screen. The … Read  

Ask A Negotiation Expert: Spreading Negotiation Knowledge for a Better World

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For 19 years, the Program on Negotiation (PON) at Harvard Law School has grown and thrived under the leadership of Managing Director Susan Hackley. As PON’s chief administrative and financial officer, Hackley has overseen all activities, including academic events, executive education, interdisciplinary programs, and publications, including Negotiation Briefings. Hackley, who has taught negotiation seminars around … Read  

Lessons learned from a great negotiation leader

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Leadership in negotiation In academia, there are often subtle conflicts between the executive staff who run programs and centers, and the academics connected to them. Only a talented leader can consistently weave together such groups and integrate very different views. Susan has been such a leader for many years. She provides a vision of doing all we … Read  

Negotiating fruitful partnerships at warp speed

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In the global pharmaceutical industry, companies often work in utter secrecy to be the first to bring moneymaking, lifesaving drugs to market. But when the novel coronavirus emerged in China in early 2020, many leading drugmakers quickly recognized that they would not be able to swiftly develop and mass- produce effective Covid-19 vaccines and treatments on … Read  

Negotiation in the News: The NBA tries to make the best of another (projected) bad season

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In negotiations across the world, financial troubles brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic have left parties squabbling over smaller and smaller pies. The silver lining? Negotiators may have little choice but to get a deal done, and awareness of this reality can motivate creative thinking and cooperation. Negotiating the terms of their upcoming season, the National … Read  

Bargaining in Bad Faith: Dealing with “False Negotiators”

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We tend to forget—at our peril—that not everyone at the bargaining table wants to close a deal and may be bargaining in bad faith. Consider the following negotiations:

A competitor approaches you about a potential partnership. After a series of meetings that seemed promising, however, your counterpart stops returning your calls. You are left with the nagging … Read  

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

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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  

For Business Negotiators, Patience Can be a Virtue

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Business negotiators know that persistence and tenacity can make all the difference between impasse and a game-changing breakthrough. Take the saga behind Microsoft’s 2013 announcement of its pending $7.2 billion acquisition of Finnish mobile phone company Nokia’s handset and services business. The two parties engaged in many months of fruitless talks before either side believed … Read  

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

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

When Our “Principles” Crash up Against our Negotiation Goals

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It’s not uncommon for us to get caught up in the “principle” of a negotiation, and forget all about our negotiation goals. Below is a cautionary tale of a years-long battle to keep the public away from a beach the owner had never even visited, and it stands as an extreme case study of how … Read  

Four Ways to Manage Conflict in the Workplace

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Samantha was livid. While making a presentation during a meeting that both attended, Brad, a newcomer in her department, had shared some slides during a presentation that were clearly based on ideas for a project she’d shared with him privately—without giving her credit. Samantha angrily confronted Brad in his office after the meeting; he became … Read  

Win-Lose Negotiation Examples

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When we think of win-lose negotiation examples, we think of competitions in which it seemed that one party had to succeed and the other had to fail. In fact, in the majority of win-lose negotiation examples, a win-win negotiation was possible, but parties overlooked opportunities to create value. As a consequence, they reached subpar results. … Read  

A Negotiation Preparation Checklist

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Without a doubt, the biggest mistake that negotiators make—and one that many make routinely—is failing to thoroughly prepare. When you haven’t done the necessary analysis and research, you are highly likely to leave value on the table and even to be taken advantage of by your counterpart. A negotiation preparation checklist can help you avoid … Read  

Value Creation in Negotiation

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Many people say they dread negotiating and avoid it whenever they can. Why? Typically, because they view negotiation as a competition in which one party’s gains come at the expense of the other party. … Read  

Negotiating with Difficult Personalities and “Dark” Personality Traits

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Have you ever found yourself negotiating with difficult personalities, or negotiating with someone who seemed entirely ruthless and lacking in empathy? From time to time, we may end up in the deeply unsettling position of negotiating with someone who appears to have no concern for us or our outcomes. People who are antisocial, lack empathy, and … Read  

For a Mutually Beneficial Agreement, Collaboration is Key

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

Putting Your Negotiated Agreement Into Action

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Normally negotiators focus on the deal-at-hand as well as those present at the negotiation table, neglecting other aspects of the negotiated agreement that would not only impact others outside of the room but also require their cooperation for the agreement’s success and viability. … Read  

When Not to Show Your Hand in Negotiations

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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  

Conflict Management and Negotiation: Personality and Individual Differences That Matter

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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  

In Contract Negotiation, Wise Business Negotiators Sweat the Small Stuff

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What are business negotiators responsible for in contract negotiation? Many would say they’re in charge of building relationships and new business, crafting creative solutions, and fighting for the best deal possible. Few, however, would say they’re responsible for ensuring that the deal holds up well over time. … Read  

Major Negotiations in History: In Paris Climate Talks, Planning Was Key

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On November 4, 2020, the day after the U.S. presidential election, President Donald Trump officially pulled the United States out of the global climate agreement known as the Paris Accord. The United States is the only country to have exited the pact, which President-elect Joe Biden vowed to reenter upon taking office in January. The 195 … Read  

Crisis Negotiation: The European Financial Crisis

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Planning for crisis negotiation scenarios, particularly in international negotiations, can help negotiators develop strategies before a crisis emerges. Here are some of the negotiation strategies European central bank leaders uses during the financial crisis to help prevent a market collapse. … Read  

Diagnose Your Negotiation Techniques and Negotiation Style

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How would you describe your negotiation techniques or negotiating style? Are you a cooperative negotiator who focuses on crafting negotiated agreements that benefit everyone, or do you actively compete to get a better deal than your counterpart? … Read  

Setting Standards in Negotiations

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As the starting point from which all commercial transactions occur, from purchasing equipment to setting salaries, negotiatiosn in business is an essential skill no matter what field a negotiator finds herself. Using an objective standard can strengthen your proposal and eliminate emotional bias. … Read  

How to Renegotiate a Bad Deal

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Think you have some stories from trying to renegotiate? Try this one on for size. Many viewed the deal to be a terrible one from the start.  Back in December 2008, Richard M. Daley, then Chicago’s mayor, announced that his administration had agreed to lease the city’s parking meters for 75 years to a private company … Read  

Overcoming Cross-Cultural Barriers to a Negotiated Agreement: Negotiation Ethics and International Negotiations

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Cross cultural negotiation examples provide insights into how negotiation techniques change depending on the context in which negotiators find themselves. As Professor Cheryl Rivers of Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, points out in a recent negotiation research literature review, seasoned negotiators often hear stories about the unethical behaviors of people of other nationalities. … Read  

Negotiation research you can use: When Criticism Helps— and Hurts—Brainstorming

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There’s usually only one hard-and-fast rule for brainstorming sessions: Don’t be critical. So entrenched is the belief that negative feedback stifles creativity that at product- design firm IDEO, team facilitators have been known to ring a bell when a team member throws cold water on another person’s idea. In negotiation and dispute resolution, the idea-generation stage … Read  

Will your business negotiation make it to the finish line?

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This past summer, the White House and the pharmaceutical industry buckled down to negotiate a long-awaited deal aimed at lowering the price of prescription drugs for Americans. Both parties had strong motivations to reach an agreement: With the 2020 presidential election looming, President Donald Trump was eager to fulfill a campaign promise he’d made during … Read  

Learning from Crisis Negotiations

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When businesses and industries are hit by an unforeseen disaster, they often need to quickly launch crisis negotiations and wrap them up as soon as possible. But time pressure can stifle essential elements of sound dealmaking, including rational thinking, perspective taking, and collaboration, while also promoting dysfunctional competition. Recent negotiations within industries facing crisis offer … Read  

The Pros and Cons of Back-Channel Negotiations

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Back-channel negotiations provide temporary protection from deal spoilers and public scrutiny. Back-channel negotiations have been used in numerous conflicts across the globe, including the Israeli-Palestinian peace process from 1994 to 1996 and the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979–1980. In 1985, the imprisoned Nelson Mandela conducted back-channel negotiations with South Africa’s minister of justice, Hendrik Jacobus Coetsee, … Read  

Star Wars Stories: George Lucas and a Strong BATNA, Passed Over

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In negotiation, your best source of power is typically your best alternative to a negotiated agreement, or BATNA. When you are aware that you have an appealing alternative deal to the one you’re working on, you will be less tempted to accept an agreement that doesn’t meet your minimum requirements. A strong BATNA gives you … Read  

The Winner’s Curse in Negotiations: How to Avoid It

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These business negotiations – an auction and a negotiated acquisition – highlight both the promise and risks of high-priced purchases and the dangers of the winner’s curse in negotiation. Negotiators fall victim to the winner’s curse in negotiations when they over-compete (and overbid) for items in the pursuit of a “victory” at the bargaining table. … Read  

The Ladder of Inference: A Resource List

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The ladder of inference is a model of decision making behavior originally developed by Chris Argyris and Donald Schoen and elaborated upon in the context of negotiation by Program on Negotiation co-founder Bruce Patton in his book Difficult Conversations, co-authored with fellow Program on Negotiation faculty members Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen. The model describes … Read  

Strategies to Resolve Conflict over Deeply Held Values

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Some of our most heated negotiations and disputes concern our core values, including personal moral standards, religious and political beliefs, and our family’s welfare. Business partners sometimes clash over the ethical standards they expect each other to uphold. Parents might forbid their teenager from attending a party during the pandemic. Friends may feel bitterly divided … Read  

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Techniques: Negotiating Conditions

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A married couple was debating whether their four-year-old daughter should attend public or private elementary school. It was a difficult issue, and Mike had a tendency to walk out when the conversation got heated. Frustrated, Lisa turned to negotiating terms and conditions just as a negotiator would in a business deal. … Read  

How to Negotiate with Difficult People: International Negotiation, and a Refusal to Communicate

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Business negotiators sometimes face the difficult question of whether to negotiate with someone they believe to be immoral, untrustworthy, or otherwise undesirable as a negotiating partner. In his book Bargaining with the Devil: When to Negotiate, When to Fight (Simon & Schuster, 2011), Program on Negotiation chair Robert Mnookin offers negotiation advice on the complex … Read  

Managing a Multiparty Negotiation

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Multiparty negotiations can be incredibly challenging. Just ask the negotiators from over 170 countries who managed to reach agreement on October 15 on a legally binding accord to combat climate change. … Read  

Conflict Management: The Challenges of Negotiating Online

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Negotiation research suggests that e-mail often poses more problems than solutions when it comes to relationships, information exchange, and outcomes. Here is a case study of conflict management and negotiation about the challenges of building rapport with your counterpart when negotiating online. … Read  

Navigating Business Relationships Using Negotiation

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A three-year dispute between Starbucks and Kraft Foods over distribution of Starbucks packaged coffee in grocery stores was resolved in 2013 when an arbitrator determined that Starbucks had breached its agreement with Kraft and ordered the coffeemaker to pay the food giant $2.75 billion. … Read  

Negotiating with Millennials – How to Overcome Cultural Differences in Communication

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Negotiation training often focuses on bridging gaps between negotiators with different styles, backgrounds, or objectives, but what about overcoming generational barriers in negotiation? Generational differences need not stymie efforts at the bargaining table. In this segment from “Dear Negotiation Coach,” we explore how to overcome cultural differences in communication with members of the Millennial generation. … Read  

MESO Negotiation Strategies and Negotiation Techniques

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MESO negotiation techniques for negotiators include creating value at the bargaining table by identifying multiple proposals of equal value and presenting them to your counterpart simultaneously. By making tradeoffs across issues, parties can obtain greater value on the issues that are most important to them. But how can you be sure you’re making the right … Read  

5 Tips for Improving Your Negotiation Skills

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The prospect of boosting our negotiation skills can be so overwhelming that we often delay taking the necessary steps we can follow to improve, such as taking time to prepare thoroughly. The following five guidelines will help you break this daunting task into a series of manageable—and often essential—strategies. … Read  

In Employment Contract Negotiation, “No Haggling” Isn’t the Answer

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Back in spring 2015, Ellen Pao, the former CEO of social networking and news website Reddit, revealed in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that her company had taken a bold move in its efforts to create an “equal opportunity environment for everyone” at the company. Specifically, Reddit no longer negotiates salary with job … Read  

The Importance of Power in Negotiations: Taylor Swift Shakes it Off

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In negotiation, our success often hinges on our bargaining power—which in turn can depend on forces beyond our control. That truism was highlighted in two recent disputes arising from business negotiations over the pricing of copyrighted material in the digital era, one from the music world, the other from publishing. … Read  

Counteracting Negotiation Biases Like Race and Gender in the Workplace

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To learn more about negotiation biases, let’s look back to July of 2018 when the principal flutist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO), Elizabeth Rowe, became the first Massachusetts resident to sue her employer under a new state law designed to address the persistent pay gap between men and women. Despite being the most frequent … Read  

Integrative Negotiation: Don’t Forget the Future When Negotiating

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A town government and a private fuel-oil company have a standing contract that they have renewed for several years in a row. The contract is again up for renewal, and the town manager is under pressure from his constituents to reduce the city’s heating costs and avoid tax increases. The city’s fuel-oil consumption has remained … Read  

5 Types of Negotiation Skills

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Businesspeople who are looking for effective negotiation strategies often confront a dizzying array of advice. It can be useful to take a step back and categorize these strategies into various types of negotiation tactics. Highlighting the benefits of negotiation in business, the following five types of negotiation tactics can help you think more broadly about … Read  

Why Is Sincerity Important? How to Avoid Deception in Negotiation

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Why is sincerity important at the bargaining table and how do negotiators avoid deception in negotiations? Your counterpart may not realize that her behavior is unethical, and even when she does, she may justify her behavior as being ethical in this particular case. … Read  

Closing the Deal in Negotiations When Win-Win Seems Likely

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Excerpted from the article “Will Your Negotiation Make It to the Finish Line?” in the December 2020 issue of Negotiation Briefings, the Program on Negotiation’s monthly newsletter of advice for professional negotiators.  When it comes to closing the deal in negotiations, agreements sometimes fall apart for good reason. If one or more parties realize they could … Read  

Emotional Intelligence as a Negotiating Skill

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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. … Read  

For Price Negotiators, Preparation is the Key to Success

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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  

Conflict Negotiation Skills for Broken Contracts

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Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, many agreements—renting a concert venue, hiring workers for a new café chain, acquiring a company—became untenable or illogical overnight. But it’s not easy to exit a signed contract without risking a costly legal dispute. By sharpening our conflict negotiation skills, we can negotiate satisfactory solutions without ending up in court. One … Read  

Police Negotiation Techniques from the NYPD Crisis Negotiations Team

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Few negotiators can imagine negotiation scenarios more stressful than the kinds of crisis negotiations the New York City Police Department’s Hostage Negotiation Team undertake. But police negotiation techniques employed by the New York City Police Department’s Hostage Negotiations Team (HNT) in high-stakes, high-pressure crisis negotiation situations, outlined in an article from Jeff Thompson and Hugh … Read  

Understanding Your Counterpart’s BATNA

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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  

Google’s Negotiations with Groupon: How Business Negotiators Can Maximize Value Claiming When Engaging in Integrative Negotiations

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It seemed to be a match made in Internet heaven. In late 2010, Google made a $6 billion bid for Groupon, the Chicago­based company that e­mails daily coupon deals for local goods and services to consumers around the world. (If enough people sign up, the daily deal “tips,” meaning the coupons are issued; otherwise, the … Read  

Types of Power in Negotiation: Chaos Theory and Bargaining Scenarios

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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? … Read  

International Negotiations: North and South Korea Talks Collapse

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On June 12, North Korea and South Korea were supposed to have met in Seoul to explore whether they could get beyond their decades-old divisions and forge a rapprochement. It would have been the highest government dialogue between the divided nations in years. … Read  

5 Dealmaking Tips for Closing the Deal

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When you’ve made progress on certain issues but remain stymied on others in a negotiation, it’s time to take a hard look at what’s standing between you and a mutually acceptable deal. Professor Robert Mnookin of Harvard Law School and his colleagues at Stanford University have created a catalog of common dealmaking barriers to agreement, … Read  

How to Solve Intercultural Conflict

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The question of how to solve intercultural conflict is one of the most difficult ones facing negotiators. Misunderstandings and disputes caused by cultural differences can further complicate already challenging negotiations, whether you are doing business at home, abroad, or online. The following guidelines can help us achieve better results in cross-cultural communication and negotiation. 1. Jump-Start … Read  

How to Negotiate a Business Deal

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In late 2016 and early 2017, news stories abounded of companies that were having second thoughts about planned mega-mergers. Abbott Laboratories began looking for ways to exit its acquisition of Alere, citing investigations of the medical test maker, for example. And Verizon started rethinking its acquisition of Yahoo! following a data breach at the tech … Read  

Leadership Styles in Crisis Negotiations

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Since the start of the global economic recession in 2008, few issues have proven as explosive as the Greek debt crisis. The Greek government’s commitment to repay billions of dollars in loans has been a source of contention with creditors ever since a sizable bailout was issued in 2010. … Read  

5 Good Negotiation Techniques

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You’ve mastered the basics of good negotiation techniques: you prepare thoroughly, take time to build rapport, make the first offer when you have a strong sense of the bargaining range, and search for wise tradeoffs across issues to create value. Now, it’s time to absorb five lesser-known but similarly effective negotiation topics and techniques that … Read  

How to Negotiate Online

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

Trust and Honesty in Negotiations: Dealing with Dishonest Negotiators

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Negotiating opportunities sometimes come from challenging sources: a family member who has been unreliable in the past but promises to make a change; a business competitor that approaches you about a joint venture; a difficult boss with whom you would like to work out a better relationship. … Read  

Business Negotiation Skills: Fairness at the Negotiation Table

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Negotiation research sheds light on negotiator expectations of fairness and equality in negotiations. The negotiation skills advice contained here can help business negotiators more effectively craft agreements with their counterparts in business negotiations. … Read  

Communicate Your Interests Behind the Deal

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As integrative negotiations students know well, focusing on interests in negotiation has proven to be the most reliable way to create value and resolve conflicts. Experience indicates that communicating with your lawyers the motivations behind a deal or negotiated agreement is well worth the time. … Read  

Negotiation Skills: Which Negotiating Style Is Best?

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Is one negotiating style “better” than another? Most research suggests that negotiators with a primarily cooperative style are more successful than hard bargainers at reaching novel solutions that improve everyone’s outcomes. Negotiators who lean toward cooperation also tend to be more satisfied with the process and their results, according to Weingart. At the same time, … Read  

Ask A Negotiation Expert: Creating More Value—For All

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In these difficult times, many of us are thinking about how to help make the world better, including in our negotiations. The good news is that we can do so without huge sacrifices, writes Max H. Bazerman, the Jesse Isidor Straus Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, in his new book, Better, Not … Read  

Negotiation research you can use: When offers are more appealing than requests

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In 2015, the government of Greece approached the European Union regarding a new bailout package by requesting a six-month loan extension. The request was rejected within five hours. Four months later, Greece offered new budget proposals in return for an extended bailout package. This time, the proposal led to agreement. The anecdote begs the question, Do … Read  

In Online Negotiations, Can You Get A Word In Edgewise?

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This past May, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the U.S. Supreme Court began hearing oral arguments on conference calls rather than in person. To keep chaos in check, Chief Justice John Roberts imposed order on the typically freewheeling process of justices questioning attorneys representing both sides of a case: He began calling on … Read  

“Vaccine nationalism”: A lose-lose negotiation strategy

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National governments across the globe face the challenge of securing enough doses of a safe, effective coronavirus vaccine when one or more become available. Many wealthier nations are taking a competitive approach to this challenge, jostling with each other to tie up deals with pharmaceutical companies for the most promising vaccine candidates. A coordinated global plan … Read  

Negotiation and Bargaining with Your BATNA in Mind

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Experienced negotiators understand they should reject any deal that is inferior to their best alternative to a negotiated agreement, or BATNA. What is a BATNA in negotiation? Your BATNA is the best possible outcome you could get if you walked away from your current negotiation and bargaining situation. When negotiating at an auto dealership, for … Read  

Negotiation Techniques from the M&A World

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Negotiators often have to deal with more than one party to reach their goals and often tailor their negotiation techniques towards this end. These negotiation scenarios pose unique challenges, yet most negotiation advice focuses on talks between two parties. … Read  

The Benefits of Coalitions at the Bargaining Table

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

Teaching Kids How to Negotiate World Peace

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A few years ago, the Program on Negotiation Film Series screened “World Peace and Other 4th-Grade Achievements,” a documentary film that follows John Hunter, a public school teacher in Virginia, and his class of fourth graders as they play a highly interactive game called the “World Peace Game.“ Hunter invented this game to teach … Read  

Irrationality in Negotiations: How to Negotiate the Impossible

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Negotiators often struggle with the task of bargaining with those who behave rashly, reason poorly, and act in ways that contradict their own self-interest. But as it turns out, behavior that negotiators often view as evidence of irrationality may in fact indicate something entirely different. … Read  

3 Team-Building Techniques for Successful Negotiations

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Newly formed teams are often encouraged or even required to engage in team-building techniques and exercises, which might range from volunteering at a nonprofit together to sharing little-known secrets about each other to building a tower out of marshmallows and spaghetti. Although such activities can be effective at building bonds and trust, they don’t do … Read  

In Business Negotiations, Dress the Part

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Negotiators involved in high-stakes mergers and acquisitions typically come to the table armored in meticulously tailored apparel and designer shoes. But as Dana Mattioli reports in a recent Wall Street Journal negotiation topics in business article, those who are trying to woo business from an apparel company often end up dressing down at the bargaining … Read  

Implement Negotiation Training in Your Organization

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Organizations across the globe spend many millions of dollars each year on negotiation training for their employees. This training can be in-house, led by consultants and other experts, or employees can travel to training programs at universities and elsewhere. After engaging in a couple of days of training, employees return to the office and attempt … Read  

Coming Up with Win-Win Solutions at the Bargaining Table

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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  

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

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

The Hidden Hazards of BATNA Development

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The following question was posed to Program on Negotiation faculty member and associate professor of business administration at Harvard Business School in the Negotiations, Organizations & Markets Unit, Francesca Gino and involves a negotiation example from real life from the world of business negotiations. … Read  

Teaching with Video-Based Negotiation Scenarios

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Access to multimedia content has rapidly increased throughout the world, with videos and short clips permeating our daily life. We are consuming, producing, and interacting with videos more now than ever before. In light of increasing video fluency and interest in using videos in education, the Program on Negotiation’s Teaching Negotiation Resource Center is creating … Read  

The Right Way to Regulate Emotion in Negotiation

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

What is BATNA?

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What is BATNA? Negotiations in which each counterpart has a best alternative to a negotiated agreement are scenarios in which the incentive to work together must exceed the value of alternatives away from the negotiation table. … Read  

Negotiation Techniques: How to Predict a Negotiator’s Decisions

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Improving your negotiation skills can only take you so far – eventually you need to assess you behavior preferences as a negotiator. Being able to predict how you will behave in a given bargaining scenario will help you augment the negotiation training you have received as well as help you achieve better outcomes at the … Read  

Metaphorical Negotiation and Defining Negotiation Skills

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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. … Read  

Everyday Negotiation Situations: Should You Negotiate Service Fees?

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Imagine that you’re about to hire someone to provide a service—say, to repair your leaky roof, design a new website for your business, or host an online event. In such everyday negotiation situations, when you receive a price quote, should you try to negotiate a better deal?  Conventional wisdom would answer with a resounding yes. Opening … Read  

In Group Negotiation, Avoid a Turf Battle

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

How to Use MESOs in Business Negotiations

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It’s not uncommon in business negotiations to find yourself on the brink of impasse. You and your counterpart have exchanged a series of offers and counteroffers, and you’ve met somewhere close to the middle—but not close enough. With each side firmly rooted in its position, there may seem to be no way forward. … Read  

What is the Right of First Refusal?

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When transferring property, sellers sometimes insist on real estate rights of first refusal – the chance to be first in line to repurchase the property if their buyer later decides to sell. … Read  

Six Guidelines for “Getting to Yes”

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In their revolutionary book Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In (Penguin, 3rd edition, 2011), Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton introduced the world to the possibilities of mutual-gains negotiation, or integrative negotiation. The authors of Getting to Yes explained that negotiators don’t have to choose between either waging a strictly competitive, win-lose … Read  

How Mood Affects Negotiators

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

Negotiation Strategies: Seek Advice from Others When Negotiating

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Negotiation skills in business communication and seeking advice from others, what are the potential benefits? Advice seeking inherently employs multiple self-presentation tactics (including ingratiation, self-promotion, and supplication), it allows us to improve both our competence and our likability. … Read  

Definition of the Winner’s Curse in Negotiations

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The winner’s curse negotiations, when a negotiator overbids for an item due to competitive pressure or other non-value related factors, is a major pitfall that integrative bargainers should seek to avoid. … Read  

5 Win-Win Negotiation Strategies

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Business negotiators understand the importance of reaching a win-win negotiation: when both sides are satisfied with their agreement, the odds of a long-lasting and successful business partnership are much higher. But concrete strategies for generating a win-win contract often seem elusive. The following five, from experts at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, … Read  

The Angry Negotiator

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

Creative Use of Power in Negotiations: Avoid “Last Call”

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In negotiation, power often comes from the ability to walk away from the bargaining table. But what should you do when walking away would mean giving up? Faced with this dilemma, the owner of a venerable New York bar came up with a solution just in the nick of time. The story highlights both the … Read  

Make the Most of Negotiation Skills Training

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Across the globe, negotiation skills training has become a common activity in managerial life. Organizations often take steps to improve their managers’ negotiation skills and their ability to manage other negotiators by enrolling them in negotiation skills training programs. … Read  

Negotiation Skills for Win-Win Negotiations

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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  

Negotiation Case Study: Sincerity’s Power in Negotiation

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Most of us have had the experience of delivering an apology that fell on deaf ears. When apologies fail to achieve their aims, poor delivery is usually to blame. The importance of sincerity in such a situation cannot be overstated, because if the recipient thinks your apology is less than sincere, she is unlikely to … Read  

Negotiation Games

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

Conflict Negotiation Skills for Ending Partnerships Peacefully

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The process of dissolving a partnership can be wrenching, whether the split is undertaken by a couple, business partners, or an organization. But as many real-life examples of conflict resolution show, there are proven ways to calm the turmoil that often accompanies partnership dissolutions and set parties up for a hopeful future. Among conflict resolution … Read  

Mutually Beneficial Agreements: Tips for Creating Deals that Last

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David Schwimmer, the actor who played Ross on the hit television comedy Friends, famously convinced the show’s five other leads in the early years of its run to negotiate their contracts with NBC as a team. The “mini union” formed by the actors ultimately helped them negotiate an unprecedented $1 million each per episode during … Read  

How Does Mediation Work in a Lawsuit?

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No one likes to go to court. Not only is it expensive and time-consuming, but it often leads to frustrating results and damaged relationships. So, how does mediation work in a lawsuit and is legal mediation a better route? … Read  

Deceptive Tactics in Negotiation: How to Ward Them Off

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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  

Win Win Negotiation: Different Cultures, Shared Meals

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From movie moguls hammering out film deals in Los Angeles to publishers and agents assessing each other’s tastes in New York, the “power lunch” has become a familiar institution. Across the globe, negotiators often do business over shared meals, whether out of convenience or as part of a concerted effort to get to know one … Read