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.
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
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.
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?
A reservation point negotiation is a bargaining scenario in which each side is trying to reconcile the other’s highest offer and the other’s lowest price. This negotiation example can apply to many other bargaining situations and demonstrates the value of open communication with your counterpart at the negotiation table.
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
Registration, Continental Breakfast and Overview
8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. ET
Negotiation Fundamentals—Key Concepts and … Read
Regardless of your industry, organization, or title, if you are a goal-focused and ambitious individual who is moving up the career ladder and taking on new responsibilities, Negotiation Essentials (NEO) is just the program to get you started.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
Registration, Continental Breakfast and Overview
8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. ET
Negotiation … Read
With the south-western United States experiencing a years-long drought which has dramatically depleted the Colorado River, there are many signs that water conflicts will become more frequent. Negotiating cross-border water conflicts requires balancing political interests, power dynamics, scientific research, and legal parameters. Success in water negotiations hinges on prediction and monitoring arrangements as well as … Read
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.
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.
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. We spoke with Professor Deepak Malhotra to answer a question about ultimatums.
Q: A counterpart recently … Read
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
Negotiation Fundamentals—Key Concepts and Core Vocabulary
9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ET
Negotiation … Read
You say you would never lie during a negotiation. Your ethical standards are solid—right? But imagine that after spending months looking for a new job, you’ve received an attractive offer to serve as the director of innovation for a growing start-up company.
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
Written by some of the nation’s foremost experts in negotiation, Business Negotiation Strategies: How to Negotiate a Better Business Deal gives you the tools you need to navigate even the stickiest business deals.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
The experts and editors from Harvard’s Program on Negotiation offer a sampling of advice to help you learn to foster relationships by building rapport, manage conflict in long-term relationships and negotiate business decisions with family members.
Creating value is the name of the game in integrative negotiations but these principles can also apply to the highly competitive realm of business negotiations. In the business world, why is competition so often the norm, while cooperation seems like an impossible goal?
In this Special Report, we offer expert advice to help you in international negotiations. You will learn to cope with culture clashes, weigh culture against other important factors, prepare for possible cultural barriers and much more.
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.
Students who master business negotiation become better leaders. But it starts with building the right skills. And that’s where our latest free report comes in. In Negotiation Skills: Negotiation Strategies and Negotiation Techniques to Help You Become a Better Negotiator, you’ll learn:
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
Whether you’re a woman or a man, you’ve probably seen gender gaps in the workplace and wondered how to overcome them. In Negotiation Strategies for Women: Secrets to Success, you’ll find critical ways to help women negotiators advance.
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
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
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
Discover how to build a winning team, find an effective negotiation “coach,” budget for negotiations training and boost your business negotiation results in this free special report from Harvard Law School.
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.”
In this Special Report, we offer advice from the world of sports to help you navigate your most important negotiations. You will learn to get your head in the game, manage team dynamics, and get a competitive edge.
Your BATNA, or the ability to identify a negotiator’s best alternative to a negotiated agreement, is among one of the many pieces of information negotiators seek when formulating dealmaking and negotiation strategies. If your current negotiation reaches an impasse, what’s your best outside option?
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.
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?
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 advice is often “one size fits all,” yet we approach negotiations with vastly different experiences and traits. How do individual differences in negotiation play out? In one study, Washington University professor Hillary Anger Elfenbein and her colleagues found evidence that individual differences, including personality, accounted for an impressive 49% of the variance in negotiators’ … Read
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
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
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
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.
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
In the heat of conflict, it can be difficult to think rationally about how you got where you are and how you might make things better. But by taking a break to consider the elements of conflict, you can move toward a more rational assessment of the dispute and come up with ways to address … Read
BATNA negotiations involve a negotiators knowledge of her best alternatives to a negotiated agreement and are one of three sources of negotiating power at the bargaining table, according to negotiation researcher Adam D. Galinsky and New York University’s Joe C. Magee.
We generally think of mediation as a dispute-resolution device. Federal mediators intervene when collective bargaining breaks down. Diplomats are sometimes called in to mediate conflicts between nations. So-called multi-door courthouses encourage litigants to mediate before incurring the costs – and risks – of going to trial.
A common topic in our business negotiations articles are negotiation topics in business about enhancing your deal after signing the negotiated agreement. After all, not all contracts are created equal.
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
The problem: Your negotiation seems to be over before it has begun. Your targeted counterpart is refusing to sit down with you or simply ignoring your requests. How can you get her to see that she would benefit from negotiating with you?
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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?
Back in November 2012, Hostess Brands announced that it had failed to reach a negotiated agreement with its second-biggest union and, as a result, was permanently shutting down its operations.
The news was met with dismay by baby boomers and others who had grown up with the 80-year-old company’s shelf-stable confections. But consumers had been passing … Read
Learning great BATNA examples, or estimations of your best alternative to a negotiated agreement as well as that of your negotiating counterpart, are essential to effective negotiation strategies. When preparing to negotiate, always take time to consider these important questions.
If your current negotiation reaches an impasse, what’s your best outside option? Most seasoned negotiators understand the value of evaluating their BATNA, or best alternative to a negotiated agreement, a concept that Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton introduced in their seminal book, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In (Penguin, 1991, second … Read
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
How did the NFL Players association and team owners come to an eventual win-win negotiated agreement? In this article we explore the strategies each side used to get to an integrative solution even if that was not the ultimate goal.
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.
To hear President Donald Trump tell it, the United States under President Barack Obama had bungled one negotiation after another on the global stage due to an inability to stand firm and take tough stances on key issues when engaging in difficult conversations.
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
Most negotiation advice centers on the mistakes all of us make. But individual differences in personality, intelligence, and outlook could also affect your talks. Imagine how you would approach negotiations with the following people:
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
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
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
Have you ever wondered if your negotiation style is too tough or too accommodating? Too cooperative or too selfish? You might strive for an ideal balance, but, chances are, your innate and learned tendencies will have a strong impact on how you negotiate.
Successful negotiators work hard to ensure that when they and their counterpart leave a negotiation, both sides feel satisfied with the agreement. Why should you care whether the other side is pleased with negotiations or not?
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
Negotiation is not only something we do at work; often the toughest negotiations we encounter are in our personal lives. Some of the most successful negotiation examples of the power of negotiation skills in dispute resolution is when they repair relationships between friends.
Arbitration vs mediation: Traditionally, the arbitrator is not limited to selecting one of the parties’ contract proposals but may determine the contract terms on his own. If negotiators know that impasse will lead to traditional arbitration, they typically assume that the arbitrator will reach a decision that’s an approximate midpoint between their final offers.
How can negotiators overcome impasse and achieve win-win negotiated agreements at the bargaining table? This example illustrates the power of expanding the focus of the negotiations by looking for tradeoffs.
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
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.
In this case study of conflict management, the Program on Negotiation offers advice drawn from negotiation research about forming negotiating teams and avoiding conflicts within teams and working groups.
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.
Most negotiations call for very different, even opposing, skills: collaboration and competition. To get a great deal, we typically must work with others to find new sources of value while also competing with them to claim as much of that value for ourselves. Before mastering the intricacies of value creation in negotiation, it helps to … Read
As 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.
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.
On April 9, 2012 the hearts of internet entrepreneurs everywhere must have skipped a beat at the news that Facebook was paying $1 billion in cash and stock to buy Instagram, a San Francisco-based start-up.
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
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
In MESO, negotiation in which multiple offers are presented simultaneously at the negotiation table, effective negotiators seek opportunities to create value. By making tradeoffs across issues, parties can obtain greater value on the issues that are most important to them.
What are the best negotiation examples from real life? Imagine that you’ve been negotiating the sale of a property that is owned by your company. The buyer has made an attractive offer that you’ve tentatively accepted. Your boss is pleased with the terms as they stand, but suggests that you go back to the buyer … Read
Upset by a delay in the delivery of one of your products, a longtime buyer threatens to turn to the media unless you meet his extreme demands. Not only is the relationship in jeopardy, but your company’s reputation seems to be as well. What should you do? Turn to some tried and true hostage negotiation … Read
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.
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
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
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.
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
Imagine that you’re the CEO of a sports clothing manufacturer based in Chicago. You recently traveled to Amsterdam, the Netherlands, to meet with a distributor who has a rich and diverse network in the European sports market.
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
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
“A huge mistake.” “A shot in the dark.” “An audacious move.” Those are a few of the media’s characterizations of wireless carrier AT&T’s acquisition of media and entertainment firm Time Warner, announced on October 22, 2016, for $85.4 billion.
How do negotiators reach consensus while engaged in intense negotiated agreements, often contentious, bargaining sessions with their counterparts? Here are some ways negotiators have reached consensus with colleagues and counterparts in the workplace.
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
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
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.
Negotiators often fail to recognize when it’s time to walk away from a negotiation dispute – a trap that can squander time, money, and reputations. Receive tens of millions of dollars in a mediated settlement, and you might rightly think you scored a victory.
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
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
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.
Who achieves the best negotiated agreements: strangers, friends, or romantic partners? In a 1993 negotiation role-play simulation, Margaret Neale of Stanford University and Kathleen McGinn found that pairs of friends achieved higher joint gains than married couples and pairs of strangers.
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.
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
Many people dread negotiation, not recognizing that they negotiate on a regular, even daily basis. Most of us face formal negotiations throughout our personal and professional lives: discussing the terms of a job offer with a recruiter, haggling over the price of a new car, hammering out a contract with a supplier.
In business negotiations, we tend to assume that it’s the more financially successful party that has an edge. But if that party has a weak BATNA, or best alternative to a negotiated agreement, it could be the seemingly weaker party that comes out on top.
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
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
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?
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
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.
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.
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
Increasingly, business negotiators recognize that the most effective bargainers are skilled at both creating value and claiming value—that is, they both collaborate and compete. The following 10 negotiation skills will help you succeed at integrative negotiation.
When a dispute flares up and conflict resolution is required, the outcome can be sadly predictable: the conflict escalates, with each side blaming the other in increasingly strident terms. The dispute may end up in litigation, and the relationship may be forever damaged.
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
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
Even with a common language and the best of intentions, business negotiators from different cultures face special challenges. Try these solutions for avoiding intercultural barriers when preparing for negotiation between two companies from different cultures:
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
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.
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 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
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.
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
Here are a few examples of difficult situations at work and some negotiation skills for dealing with difficult people we encounter in every area of life. First, negotiators should ask themselves: Why do some people get under our skin?
In negotiation, we are often confronted with the task of dealing with difficult people—those who seem to prefer to set up roadblocks rather than break down walls, or who choose to take hardline stances rather than seeking common ground. If you’re skilled in BATNA negotiations, you’ll have an easier time dealing with such people.
The Program on Negotiation has identified three basic sets of circumstances in business negotiations where you’ll be better off tapping an agent (see also principal-agent theory) to take your place at the bargaining table (at least for part of the negotiating process):
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
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
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
The prospect of sharing information with a negotiating counterpart can be scary – it can fix your counterpart into a position at the negotiation table you didn’t intend (an example of the anchoring effect).
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
“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.
An excerpt from PON faculty member Francesca Gino’s book Sidetracked: Why Our Decisions Get Derailed, and How We Can Stick to the Plan discusses the importance of staying on target in negotiations whether personal or business in nature.
There’s a better, third way of negotiating—one that doesn’t rely on toughness or accommodation, but that will improve your likelihood of meeting your negotiation goals. In their pivotal negotiation text, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In (Penguin, 2nd edition, 1991), Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton of the Harvard Negotiation Project promote … Read
In 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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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.
For several years, Facebook has been working with social scientists to bring traditional methods of dispute resolution to cyberspace. The site has begun to offer users tools to resolve disputes with one another over offensive or upsetting posts, including insults and photos.
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.
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
Lack of transparency regarding negotiations between hospitals and the insurers known as preferred provider organizations, or PPOs, is a key contributor to spiraling health-care costs in the United States, back in a 2013 article in the New York Times. This topic has many questioning ethics in negotiating within the healthcare industry.
The problem starts with the … Read
Here are some concrete guidelines for fostering a strong relationship between deal making partners, drawn from The Global Negotiator: Making, Managing, and Mending Deals Around the World in the 21st Century, by Tufts University professor Jeswald W. Salacuse:
The clearest method for achieving exclusivity in negotiation is an exclusive negotiation period during which both sides agree not to talk to third parties, even if approached unexpectedly by others. In some arenas, these terms are called no-talk periods.
The first offer dilemma in negotiations – should you make the first offer? Few questions related to negotiation techniques and negotiation strategies have yielded more academic attention and debate among practitioners in negotiation research.
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
What special insights do outsiders need to prepare for international negotiations in China? Much of what you know already about negotiation holds true, but four characteristics complicate business negotiation in China.
In his memoir, the former world leader highlights lessons from the peace process in Northern Ireland. One of the world’s most famous negotiators, Tony Blair, offers 10 principles to guide diplomats in international conflict resolution.
The best bargaining tips taught by the experts should offer ways to enhance your bargaining power in negotiation. To do this, you must cultivate a strong BATNA, or best alternative to a negotiated agreement. The more appealing your best alternative is, the more comfortable you will feel asking for more in your current negotiation—secure in … Read
When we think of failed business negotiations, most of us picture negotiators walking away from the table in disappointment. But that’s only one type of disappointing negotiation. Failed business negotiations also include those that parties come to regret over time and those that fall apart during implementation. The following three types of negotiation failures are … Read
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.
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.
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
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
Sometimes even the best agreements arising out of negotiation in business and are liable to failure and such is the case with the dispute between food giants Starbucks and Kraft (now Kraft-Heinz).
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
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.”
Melvin Shakun is a management consultant, professor emeritus at New York University, and founding editor of the international journal Group Decision and Negotiation. He spoke with Negotiation Briefings about dealing with conflict, and how negotiators can break through impasse by appealing to common values.
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?
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.
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.
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
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
According to Dacher Keltner of the University of California at Berkeley and his colleagues, power in negotiation affects two primary neurological regulators of behavior: the behavioral approach system and the behavioral inhibition system. Powerful negotiators demonstrate “approach related” behaviors such as expressing positive moods and searching for rewards in their environment.
Whether you are facing negotiations with Congress, colleagues, customers, or family members, the following negotiation books, published in recent years by experts from the Program on Negotiation, offer new perspectives on common negotiating dilemmas.
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
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
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
When determining the best alternative to a negotiated agreement or BATNA (the point at which the negotiators ought to walk away from the table), executives should check in with key organizational leaders.
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
Imagine that you’re buying a used car from its original owner. Of course, you want to get the best deal you can for your money, while your counterpart wants to maximize the value of his asset. After haggling with one another, each side finally arrives at a price point acceptable to both parties. But how … Read
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.
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
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
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.
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.
How can you negotiate the best possible price for a new car? This is a common negotiation question, and naturally so. A car is one of the most significant purchases you’ll ever make—and the price is almost always negotiable. Here are a few tips to improve your performance:
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.
Communication in negotiation is the means by which negotiators can achieve objectives, build relationships, and resolve disputes. Most negotiators know that it is the most important tool you can have for successful negotiations.
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
Men tend to achieve better economic results in negotiation than women, negotiation research studies have found overall. Such gender differences are generally small, but evidence from the business world suggests that they can add up over time.
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
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
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
“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
How can you uncover additional value, make useful trades, and put together a package that exceeds your party’s expectations? Here are four integrative negotiation strategies for value creation that all negotiators should add to their toolkit.
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
When preparing for cross-cultural communication in business negotiations, we often think long and hard about how our counterpart’s culture might affect what he says and does at the bargaining table.
Knowing the norms of ethics and negotiation can be useful whether you’re negotiating for yourself or on behalf of someone else. Each ethical case you come up against will have its own twists and nuances, but there a few principles that negotiators should keep in mind while at the bargaining table.
In an article, “Beyond Blame: Choosing a Mediator,” Stephen B. Goldberg advised business negotiators involved in a dispute to seek out an interests-based mediator to assist both sides in reaching a mutually satisfactory dispute resolution.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
Negotiations have reached an impasse, but both sides agree on one thing: you need help resolving the dispute. You engage a neutral mediator to do just that. Rather than acting as a judge who decides who “wins” or “loses,” a third-party mediator assists parties in reaching an agreement.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Individual negotiators are sometimes overwhelmed by the idea of leading organization-wide changes to negotiation practices. In fact, it doesn’t take much time or effort to set the wheels of reform in motion, write Hallam Movius and Lawrence Susskind in Built to Win. Here are four simple steps to implement in your workplace.
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
How can you get through to people who seem uninterested in finding common ground? How can you deal with seemingly irrational negotiators who use insults, threats, and other hardball tactics to try to get their way?
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
Suppose you want to hire a mediator to help you resolve a conflict that you’re having with an individual or a company, but for various reasons, meeting face-to-face would be difficult. That’s where online mediation comes in.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
In the United States, the gender wage gap for full-time workers amounts to women earning about 80 cents on the dollar as compared to men; similar or greater disparities can be found across the globe. Hannah Riley Bowles, the Roy E. Larsen Senior Lecturer in Public Policy and Management at Harvard Kennedy School, and a … Read
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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
“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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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
Imagine yourself in a dilemma that only a privileged few get to experience: You’ve fallen in love with a dazzling, one-of-a-kind home that’s on the market, but it doesn’t have a listing price. Instead, of using the anchoring effects of a high price tag to elicit a strong bid, the seller’s broker is encouraging you … Read
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 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
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
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
“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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
Back on July 11, 2000, U.S. president Bill Clinton welcomed Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat to a summit at Camp David aimed at resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict once and for all. The summit covered various contentious issues, including territory, settlements, security, and the status of refugees.
After about two weeks, … Read
Q: I lead a team of approximately 50 lawyers in the in-house legal department of a Fortune 500 company. As our team gets larger, reflecting the company’s growth, I’d like to install quality-control measures to ensure that all our attorneys are effectively negotiating settlements when appropriate and taking cases to trial when not. What are … Read
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
I’m trying to decide whether to make the first offer in a price negotiation. I’ve heard arguments in favor of both … Read
In an interesting example of negotiation team dynamics, during a 2018 New Year’s Day address, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un proposed opening talks with South Korea to discuss the North’s possible participation in the Winter Olympics, to be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea, the following month. Hoping to avoid disruption by the North, South Korean … Read
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
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:
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
When it comes to great business negotiation strategies, there’s no better example than the cast of Friends in their heyday.
David Schwimmer, the actor who played Ross on the hit NBC sitcom 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. … Read
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Business negotiators know that persistence and tenacity can make all the difference between impasse and a game-changing breakthrough. Take the saga behind Microsoft’s 2013 announcement of its pending $7.2 billion acquisition of Finnish mobile phone company Nokia’s handset and services business. The two parties engaged in many months of fruitless talks before either side believed … Read
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, or so they say. As we look ahead to winter vacation and seemingly endless days of family celebrations, many feel a sense of dread, anticipating tensions and conflict as drearily predictable as overcooked turkey and practical gifts. Even those who look forward to family get-togethers often end … Read
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
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
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
Typically, when parties are negotiating over a resource they both desire – whether fees, budgets, salaries, schedules, or staff – the process results in an uninspired compromise somewhere between their positions. Is it possible to avoid a compromise when negotiating tough distributive issues.
Coming together with negotiating counterparts at the bargaining table is a situation fraught with potential mishaps, all of which are compounded by the pressure to get the best deal a negotiator can for herself or her organization.
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
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.