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 More
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 More
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 More
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 More
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 new study by Michael Schaerer of INSEAD and his colleagues show. In a … Read More
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 More
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 More
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 More
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 More
Do you behave as honestly as possible in your negotiations? Do you view honesty as a critical attribute in your negotiation counterparts? You probably answered these questions in the affirmative: Like many of us, you view deliberate deception to be both unethical and risky.
… Read More
In the United States and elsewhere, people with very different worldviews on politics seem hopelessly and dangerously divided. A skill called “conversational receptiveness,” which involves using certain language to show you’re willing to thoughtfully engage with opposing views, can help lessen tensions, write researchers Michael Yeomans of Imperial College London, Julia Minson of Harvard Kennedy … Read More
Imagine that you’re about to hire someone to provide a service—say, to repair your leaky roof, design a new website for your business, or host an online event. In such everyday negotiation situations, when you receive a price quote, should you try to negotiate a better deal?
Conventional wisdom would answer with a resounding yes. Opening … Read More
A key component of moral leadership is motivating others to live up to their personal ethical standards and those of your organization, even in the face of temptations to behave unethically.
… Read More
Ask almost any real estate agent, and you’ll hear that homeowners often turn down decent offers in the hope of getting a better one that never materializes. Such miscalculations reflect the difficulty of assessing an uncertain BATNA, or best alternative to a negotiated agreement.
According to negotiation experts, the ability to accurately compare the deal on … Read More
Our emotions—including anger, sadness, happiness, and disgust—influence our negotiation behavior in systematic ways, research shows. In a new study, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev researcher Uriel Haran is the first to examine whether feeling guilty affects our competitive drive.
Guilt is often triggered by behavior we’re ashamed of, and it doesn’t feel very good. On the plus … Read More
“This is the best I can do. Take it or leave it.”
It’s a statement negotiators often dread, as it seems to leave us with a choice between two unappealing options: accept an offer we don’t like or walk away from the bargaining table. No matter which choice you make, an ultimatum appears to bring a … Read More
On March 12, federal prosecutors revealed they had charged 50 people in a conspiracy to influence college admissions decisions at several top U.S. universities. Thirty-three parents were accused of conspiring with college consultant William Singer to fraudulently boost their children’s entrance-exam scores or bribe college coaches to designate the children as recruited athletes.
In pre-indictment negotiations, … Read More
The ability to take another person’s perspective is a valuable negotiation skill. Perspective taking enhances the discovery of joint gains in negotiation, makes groups more effective, reduces stereotypical thinking, and aids in conflict resolution, to name just a few benefits.
Some people are naturally better perspective takers than others, but all of us have the capacity to pay closer attention … Read More
Imagine 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.
… Read More
When a team negotiates on behalf of an organization, it can often achieve more than an individual would thanks to the team’s cumulative knowledge and experience. Yet team negotiations can create new problems. Groupthink—the tendency to go along with the dominant point of view rather than challenging it—can promote simplistic decision making in teams. And … Read More
“Rocket Man.” “Little Marco.” “Crooked Hillary.” “Sloppy Steve.”
These are just a few of the mocking nicknames that President Donald Trump has given to his perceived rivals. Trump seems to have a penchant for trash talk—which psychologists define as boastful comments about oneself or insulting comments about an opponent delivered before or during a competition—but he’s … Read More
Imagine that you have just negotiated a great deal on a house – and rightly so, given how deftly you managed the process from start to finish. You diligently studied the local real estate market and uncovered the seller’s motives for listing her property. You even created mutual gain by allowing the seller to stay … Read More
Men and women approach negotiation differently, on average, research suggests. Women initiate negotiations on their own behalf less frequently than men, for example, though they are just as likely as men to advocate for others. In addition, women—and not men—tend to face a backlash for bargaining on their own behalf, an outcome that may explain … Read More
The Program on Negotiation Graduate Research Fellowships are designed to encourage young scholars from the social sciences and professional disciplines to pursue theoretical, empirical, and/or applied research in negotiation and dispute resolution. Consistent with PON’s goal of fostering the development of the next generation of scholars, this program provides support for one year of dissertation … Read More
We know that anger leads negotiators to make riskier choices and blame others when things go wrong. In a new study, researchers Jeremy A. Yip and Maurice E. Schweitzer find that anger also leads us to engage in greater deception in negotiation—even when it’s not our counterpart who angered us.
In one of the study’s experiments, … Read More
Imagine that you are about to enter into a negotiation. Unbeknown to your counterpart, the stakes are particularly high because of difficulties you are suffering 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 cover … Read More
Program on Negotiation associate and researcher Paola Cecchi Dimeglio, a postdoctoral research fellow at the Harvard Negotiation Research Project, was the editor for a comprehensive, interdisciplinary guide to dispute resolution that combines negotiation research written in both French and English.
Cecchi Dimeglio’s “Interdisciplinary Handbook of Dispute Resolution,” published by Larcier, is currently available in the Program … Read More
Feeling ambivalent in negotiation? No worries
Business negotiators often find themselves feeling positive and negative emotions simultaneously, such as concern that an offer won’t be received well and excitement over the offer’s potential.
We often try to squelch our emotions for fear of appearing unstable or vulnerable. Indeed, past research has suggested that expressions of emotional ambivalence—the signs … Read More
Psychologists have long known that an emotion triggered in one realm—anger over an argument at home, for example—can affect how we behave in a subsequent situation, including a negotiation. Such incidental, or unrelated, emotions might influence how fully we trust someone or how much we’re willing to pay for a product. Incidental emotions can even … Read More
Satisfied employees, satisfied customers?
In a new study, Shu-Cheng Steve Chi of the National Taiwan University and his colleagues find that the degree to which salespeople enjoy their work has a significant impact on customer satisfaction with the outcome of sales negotiations.
The study examined negotiations over the price of eyewear between salespeople and customers at the … Read More
When outsiders become overachievers
When faced with the task of assigning a subordinate to represent their organization in a negotiation, managers might look for strong negotiating experience, intelligence, a good attitude, and a winning personality. In a new study, professor Gerben A. Van Kleef of the University of Amsterdam and his colleagues identify another beneficial quality … Read More
Sreedhari Desai, a PON Graduate Research Fellow for the 2009-2010 academic year, was recently featured in an Op-Ed in the Boston Globe. Desai’s research examines the ways in which childhood cues can make businesses more charitable and individuals more honest. The full text of the article can be found here.
About Sreedhari Desai:
Sreedhari Desai is an … Read More
To better understand the teaching needs of the mediation community, Negotiation Pedagogy at the Program on Negotiation (NP@PON) organized a Mediation Pedagogy Conference in May of 2009. In advance of the conference, an 18-question online survey was sent to the 175 conference presenters and registered participants. The 75% response rate allowed us to illuminate important … Read More
Understanding how to arrange the meeting space is a key aspect of preparing for negotiation. In this video, Professor Guhan Subramanian discusses a real world example of how seating arrangements can influence a negotiator’s success. This discussion was held at the 3 day executive education workshop for senior executives at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.
Guhan Subramanian is the Professor of Law and Business at the Harvard Law School and Professor of Business Law at the Harvard Business School.