Learn how to create value while still staking your position with, Win-Win or Hardball: Learn Top Strategies from Sports Contract Negotiations, a FREE special report from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.


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Negotiation and Leadership Fall 2017 Brochure

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It’s often said that great leaders are great negotiators. But how does one become an effective negotiator? On-the-job experience certainly plays a role, but for most executives, taking their negotiation skills to the next level requires outside training. … Read More 

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Courses and Training

New! Advanced Mediation Workshop: Mediating Complex Disputes

Posted by & filed under Harvard Negotiation Institute, Harvard Negotiation Institute (5 Day Courses).

Course Dates: June 12-16, 2017 You’ve handled numerous mediation sessions with ease. You are confident in your mediation skills, especially between two parties who want a fair resolution. But how do the dynamics change when their lawyers join the session? What happens when the mediation expands to multiple parties who are bringing many issues to the … Read More 

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Spring 2017 Brochure

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It’s often said that great leaders are great negotiators. But how does one become an effective negotiator? On-the-job experience certainly plays a role, but for most executives, taking their negotiation skills to the next level requires outside training. … Read More 

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Fall 2016 Brochure

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It’s often said that great leaders are great negotiators. But how does one become an effective negotiator? On-the-job experience certainly plays a role, but for most executives, taking their negotiation skills to the next level requires outside training. … Read More 

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Free Report

Spring 2016 Seminar Program Guide

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It’s often said that great leaders are great negotiators. But how does one become an effective negotiator? On-the-job experience certainly plays a role, but for most executives, taking their negotiation skills to the next level requires outside training. … Read More 

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How Does Mediation Work in a Lawsuit?

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mediation process and business negotiations how does mediation work in a lawsuit

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

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Characteristics of Negotiation Styles: Negotiation Skills for Win-Win Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

characteristics of negotiation styles negotiation skills for win-win negotiations

A few characteristics of negotiation styles include hard bargaining tactics focused on claiming as much value as possible and integrative negotiation strategies such as value creation or win-win negotiation scenarios. What negotiation styles leads to optimal negotiated agreements and are suitable to win-win negotiations? One skill to cultivate that will have a positive impact on … Read More 

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

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integrative negotiation and a win-win solution a place in business negotiations

Even those who effectively engage in an integrative negotiations or mutual-gains approach to negotiation, a bargaining scenario in which parties work together to meet interests and maximize value creation during the negotiation process, can be stymied by the task of dividing up a seemingly fixed pie of resources, such as budgets, revenue, and time. … Read More 

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5 Win-Win Negotiation Strategies

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5 Win-Win Negotiation Strategies

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

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Negotiation Exercises to Help Your Students Avoid Cross-Cultural Pitfalls

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It’s no secret that communication and negotiation etiquette varies widely across cultures. In France, for example, it is rude to talk money over dinner, while in Brazil the American ‘A-OK’ gesture (thumb and forefinger forming a circle) can be a major insult. The increasingly diverse and global nature of business sets the stage for disputes that … Read More 

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4 Negotiation Tactics Robert Kraft Used to End the NFL Lockout

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negotiation tactics

Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, was by all accounts a major factor in getting the NFL collective bargaining agreement signed earlier in October 2011. To do so, Kraft employed four key negotiation tactics to help the players and owners come to a “win-win” solution. … Read More 

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MESO Negotiation: Learn from a Seller’s Market

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MESO Negotiation: Learn from a Seller's Market

What negotiating skills can negotiators take away from hyper competitive bargaining situations? With home sales heating up (again) in some parts of the United States, homebuyers are facing competition they haven’t seen since before the real-estate bubble burst back in 2008, and it’s showing up in the form of packed open houses, multiple bids above … Read More 

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Win Win Negotiation: Managing Your Counterpart’s Satisfaction

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How to arrive at optimal agreements and make everyone happy with win win negotiation

As the following points of win-win negotiation will demonstrate, ensuring that your counterpart is satisfied with a particular deal requires you to manage several aspects of the negotiation process, including his outcome expectations, his perceptions of your outcome, the comparisons he makes with others, and his overall negotiation experience itself. … Read More 

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Case Study of Business Negotiations and Deal Making: Giving Voice to Negotiators Away from the Bargaining Table

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Case Study of Business Negotiations and Deal Making: Giving Voice to Negotiators Away from the Bargaining Table

Sometimes negotiators focus too much on the bargaining session at hand, to the detriment of bargainers away from the negotiation table, a group whose concerns and input is just as valid as those of the negotiators themselves. Here are some negotiation tips to help make sure your bargaining strategies include the voices and concerns of … Read More 

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The Power of a Simple Thank You in Negotiation

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The Power of a Simple Thank You in Negotiation

Expressions of gratitude have a number of positive effects, such as helping us savor pleasurable experiences, manage stress, and strengthen relationships, researchers have found. In negotiation and other contexts, showing gratitude also motivates those we thank to keep on giving. In a series of experiments, researchers Adam M. Grant and Francesca Gino examined why expressions of … Read More 

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Mediation Training: What Can You Expect?

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mediation training

Organizations have long recognized the value of hiring professional mediators to help resolve disputes. More and more, managers have begun to also see value in securing mediation training for themselves and their employees. Although there are times when the services of an unbiased, professional mediator are needed, there may also be instances in which employees … Read More 

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Conflict and Negotiation Case Study: Long-Term Business Partnerships and Negotiated Agreements

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Conflict and Negotiation Case Study: Long-Term Business Partnerships and Negotiated Agreements

To protect the future interests of their organization, negotiators sometimes must accept fewer benefits or absorb greater burdens in the short run to maximize the value to all relevant parties – including future employees and shareholders – over time. Suppose that the operations VPs of two subsidiaries of an energy company are preparing to negotiate the … Read More 

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MESO Negotiation Strategies and Negotiation Techniques

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negotiation strategies and negotiation techniques meso negotiation

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

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What is a Win-Win Negotiation?

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What is a Win-Win Negotiation?

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 More 

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Why is Negotiation Important: Mediation in Transactional Negotiations

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Why is Negotiation Important: Mediation in Transactional Negotiations

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

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Win Win Negotiation Example: Different Cultures, Shared Meals

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

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Negotiation Examples: The Benefits of Coalitions at the Bargaining Table

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integrative negotiation examples the benefits of coalitions in bargaining

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

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When a Win-Win Negotiation Creates Controversy

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When a Win-Win Negotiation Creates Controversy

In negotiation, the concessions we are willing to make in public sometimes are very different from the concessions we are willing to make in private. Take the statement that U.S. secretary of state Rex Tillerson made during his visit to China in March. … Read More 

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

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diplomatic negotiations

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This negotiation case study demonstrates the power of coalitions to achieve objectives at the bargaining table. How can negotiators cooperate with bargaining counterparts to create value for both sides? Here is the strategy used by Wyoming ranchers to achieve just that. … Read More 

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Deal-Making Negotiation Strategies: Short on Cash? Try Bartering

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In an economic downturn, negotiation opportunities sometimes dry up because parties think they have nothing left to give. During times like these, bartering flourishes. This article will help you decide how and when to include bartering as a component of your negotiations. Here are four guidelines to help you bargain successfully at the negotiation table. … Read More 

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Top Negotiation Case Studies in Business: Apple and Dispute Resolution in the Courts

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In August 2012, a California jury ruled that Samsung would have to pay Apple more than $1 billion in damages for patent violations of Apple products, particularly its iPhone. The judge eventually reduced the payout to $600 million. In November 2013, another jury ruled that Samsung would have to pay Apple $290 million of the … Read More 

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Negotiation Techniques: Diagnose Your Negotiating Style

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Negotiation Techniques: Diagnose Your Negotiating Style

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

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The Importance of Relationships in Negotiation

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The Importance of Relationship in Negotiation

A relationship is a perceived connection that can be psychological, economic, political, or personal; whatever its basis, wise leaders, like skilled negotiators, work to foster a strong connection because effective leadership depends on it. … Read More 

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

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contingent contract

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

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

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star wars BATNA

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

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Are Salary Negotiation Skills Different for Men and Women?

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Salary Negotiation Skills

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 More 

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Ten Popular Business Negotiation Articles

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top 10 business negotiation articles

Here are ten popular business negotiation articles on the Program on Negotiation website. Drawn from a variety of negotiation case studies as well as negotiation research, the following articles present negotiation examples in real life and offer strategies for engaging in integrative negotiations strategies aimed at creating win-win scenarios for each party at the negotiation … Read More 

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Win-Win Business Negotiations: The Wachovia Buyout

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win win business negotiations the wachovia buyout

Changing financial and legal conditions can create and destroy wealth in the blink of an eye. How does a negotiator take advantage of such periods of change? During the financial crisis of 2008, Wachovia Corporation found itself looking for a buyer to avoid collapse while the financial industry as a whole was the grips of … Read More 

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Power in Negotiation and Self-Fulfilling Prophecies

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

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Negotiation Books: A Negotiation Reading List for 2017

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As a new year approaches, many of us are making the usual resolutions aimed at improving our health and well-being. Why not also add the goal of being a more effective negotiator to the list? Whether you are facing negotiations with Congress, colleagues, customers, or family members, the following negotiation books, published in recent years … Read More 

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In Platform Negotiations with Clinton, Sanders Was Victorious

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With the 2016 Democratic National Convention now over, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders used the Hillary Clinton campaign’s fear of a divisive spectacle in Philadelphia to extract concessions on the party’s official platform and committee assignments. The senator’s tough dealmaking suggests an important negotiation lesson: Always know your BATNA and ZOPA in any negotiation. … Read More 

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

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Are You Your Own Worst Enemy? We recently interviewed William Ury, co-founder of Harvard’s 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 new book, Getting To Yes With Yourself. Great negotiators know that the path to resolution is not always linear … Read More 

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How Mediation Works

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When negotiators can’t come to agreement but want to avoid an expensive, time-consuming, and potentially rancorous lawsuit, mediation is often their most logical choice. Mediation can help to resolve a wide range of disputes. … Read More 

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Teach “Head and Heart” Negotiation with New Negotiation Game Technology

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Do you teach students how to structure a negotiation process while helping them to develop the emotional acuity necessary for building relationships with counterparts? Professor Linda Kaboolian refers to this as “teaching head and heart negotiation”; an approach that was central to the 10 years she spent teaching simulation-based negotiation at the Harvard Kennedy School. Kaboolian … Read More 

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How Your Organization Can Benefit from Mediation Techniques

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If you manage people, disputes will show up at your door. The marketing VP protests that the budget cap you and your new finance VP proposed is hindering a research initiative you supported. Two young sales representatives are embroiled in a turf war. Your administrative assistant is upset because the HR director won’t approve the … Read More 

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How to Use MESOs in Business Negotiations

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

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Top 10 Best Negotiations of 2014: Negotiation Case Studies Drawn from Negotiation Examples in Real Life

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Rather than unparalleled triumphs and victories, many of the 10 Best Negotiations of 2014 share a common theme of “making the best of a bad situation.” From climate change to Congress to Cuba, negotiators often found themselves trying to claw their way out of the darkness and into the light. Here are 10 negotiations that … Read More 

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Learning from the Debates About the Debates

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There is “nothing worse than a debate about debates,” John Podesta, the chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, recently said in the midst of his candidate’s heated negotiations with Democratic rival Bernie Sanders about the terms of their debates. Many who participated in these negotiations would likely agree. But the debates about debates—both on the … Read More 

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Win-Win Negotiation with Bethenny Frankel

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Win Win negotiations for Bethenny Frankel

In this negotiation scenario straight from reality television, Lu Ann de Lesseps, Ramona Singer, and Sonja Morgan test their negotiating prowess against reality tv network Bravo in their contract renewal renegotiations. Skinnygirl mogul and financial whiz kid, Bethenny Frankel, offers a template for bargaining for success on reality tv and beyond. … Read More 

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In Business Negotiations, Capitalize on a Right of First Refusal

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in business negotiations capitalize on a right of first refusal

As dealmakers look for more sophisticated ways to reduce risks and increase returns, a right of first refusal—a contractual guarantee that one side can match any offer that the other side later receives—has become a common and useful tool to add to your business negotiation skills.

in business negotiations capitalize on a right of first refusal

As dealmakers look for more sophisticated ways to reduce risks and increase returns, a right of first refusal—a contractual guarantee that one side can match any offer that the other side later receives—has become a common and useful tool to add to your business negotiation skills.

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When the mergers-and-acquisitions (M&A) boom began in 1993, many deals simply required the seller to let the buyer know if a “superior proposal” came along. By the late 1990s, buyers were demanding—and receiving—more than this: an exclusive negotiating period of several days, during which they could decide whether to match or improve upon another bidder’s offer. In current business negotiations, rights of first refusal, also known as matching rights or rights of first offer, are being rapidly incorporated into business negotiations at all levels and in many industries.

In the typical right of first refusal, the grantor gives the right holder the right to buy an asset on the same terms that the grantor would receive from any other bona fide, prospective bidder, otherwise known as the third party.

Suppose, for example, that a private company is negotiating an equity infusion from an investor in exchange for a 20% ownership stake and a set on the board. To preserve its stability, the company conditions the deal on a right of first refusal: before the investor can sell his stake to someone else, the company can buy it back at the negotiated price. The investor accepts the deal, and the company gets its equity.

Now suppose that two years have passed since the company (the right holder) and the investor (the grantor) signed their deal. The investor now wants to liquidate his investment. One potential buyer offers to purchase the 20% interest for $3.4 million. The investor now is required to ask the company, which holds the matching right, if it wants to match the offer. This contractual obligation has important consequences that depend in large part upon the role you play in a negotiation.

Advice for the grantor In negotiation, including a right of first refusal in an agreement can be a classic win-win move. To take a real estate right of first refusal, suppose you’re a landlord negotiating with a prospective tenant. You want to maintain the ability to sell the apartment to someone else in the future, while your prospective tenant wants a commitment to rent the apartment for as long as she wants. The solution might be to offer the tenant a right of first refusal—the power to match any legitimate third-party offer. In this manner, the tenant gains the opportunity to avoid the disruption of a move, and you preserve your own flexibility.

A right of first refusal can also create value through tradeoffs on negotiators’ different expectations. Let’s return to the case of the investor who buys a 20% ownership stake in a private company, and assume that the investor plans to hold the stake for a long time. If the company is not as sure about his commitment, a right of first refusal is cheap for the investor to give and valuable for the company to receive.

Advice for the right holder As the prospective right holder, you should know precisely what a proposed right of first refusal will give you. Many deals that seem to guarantee a right of first refusal are, in fact, murky about the consequences that could arise.

For potential right holders, the most common mistake is to fail to specify what will happen if you choose to match a bid. Will your matching bid call off the contest with the third party or launch a bidding war?

Other details are equally important. How long do you have to decide whether to match an offer? If the duration of the right of first refusal is ambiguous, a third party could short-circuit your right by making an exploding offer with a short fuse. You might fail to match the offer due to time pressure rather than to your unwillingness to pay. The end result is a right of first refusal worth significantly less than you thought.

Advice for third parties What if you’re thinking about making an offer that would trigger a right of first refusal? Returning to the case of the investor with a 20% stake in a company, imagine that you approach the investor about buying him out. When you learn about the company’s right of first refusal, you face a difficult situation. If the company exercises its right of first refusal, you’ve wasted time conducting due diligence and negotiating. If the company doesn’t exercise its right of first refusal, you likely have overpaid. Why? Because the company probably has better information about the true value of the 20% stake than you do. As a result of this information asymmetry, many sophisticated investors avoid deals that trigger a right of first refusal.

Yet the winner’s curse may not apply to you. First, the right holder simply might not be able to match your offer due to a liquidity crunch. Second, you may have just as much or better information about the value of the asset as the right holder. If the right holder doesn’t match your bid, she may not recognize these sources of value. Third, you might bring some special value to the table that the right holder lacks. Try to assess whether any of these three justifications apply before making a bid. If one of them does, you’re ready for business.

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Adapted from “Matching Rights: A Boon to Both Sides,” by Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School professor Guhan Subramanian, first published in the Negotiation newsletter.

When the mergers-and-acquisitions (M&A) boom began in 1993, many deals … Read More 

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“Negotiating at Work: Turn Small Wins into Big Gains”: A Book Talk with Deborah Kolb

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The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School is pleased to present: Negotiating at Work: Turn Small Wins into Big Gains

with Deborah Kolb Professor Emerita, Simmons College School of Management Tuesday, November 17 4:00-5:15 PM Pound Hall 102 Harvard Law School Campus Free and open to the public; refreshments will be served.   About the book: Negotiation is undoubtedly essential to navigating the working world. Dr. … Read More 

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Negotiation Training: Turning the Lows of Colorado’s Marijuana Laws into Highs

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negotiation training-turning the lows of colorado’s marijuana laws into highs

In negotiation courses, trainees learn effective management strategies for their negotiations and how to find new negotiation opportunities at the bargaining table. Using an example from the city of Denver, Ben Markus reports for NPR’s Weekend Edition that Colorado’s recent legalization of marijuana has posed challenges to local jurisdictions in enforcing current federal law which … Read More 

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Seeking a Win-Win Negotiation? Pass the Chips and Salsa

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

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

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Negotiating Skills and Negotiation Tactics: Damage Control in Conflict Resolution

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

negotiating skills and negotiation tactics damage control in conflict resolution

Framing in negotiation, and the negotiating skills and negotiation tactics that go behind effective bargaining, can help not only achieve a negotiator’s goals at the bargaining table, but also can anticipate the fallout or kickback received from parties away from the negotiation table. President Obama’s tax-cut negotiations with Senate Republicans in late 2010 offer cautionary … Read More 

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Announcing the 2015-2016 PON Graduate Research Fellows

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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 the PON goal of fostering the development of the next generation of scholars, this program provides support for one year of … Read More 

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How Does Mediation Work?

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How does mediation work in practice? As compared with other forms of dispute resolution, mediation can have an informal, improvisational feel. Mediation can include some or all of the following six steps, writes Kimberlee K. Kovach in The Handbook of Dispute Resolution (Jossey-Bass, 2005): 1. Planning. Before mediation begins, the mediator helps the parties decide where … Read More 

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Fostering Cultural Intelligence in International Negotiations

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In a Harvard Business Review article, P. Christopher Earley and Elaine Mosakowski describe the value of improving your cultural intelligence, or the ability to make sense of unfamiliar contexts and adapt to them. Some people are naturally skilled at determining whether a person’s behavior is unique to him or determined by his culture. For others, … Read More 

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Negotiation Skills: Could I Really Make a Difference?

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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. … Read More 

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Negotiation Skills and Dealmaking: Committing to an Arbitrary Deadline

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During the NBA’s 2011 lockout, NBA commissioner David Stern’s arbitrary deadlines may have done more harm than good. But he had more luck with an arbitrary deadline during the league’s previous lockout, which whittled the 1998–1999 NBA season down to 50 games per team, as Don A. Moore explained in a 2004 article for Negotiation. … Read More 

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Conflict Management Techniques: Should You Take Your Dispute Public?

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

To turn up the heat on opponents, negotiators sometimes advertise their grievances. Here’s negotiation skills advice on when it’s a good idea to be vocal—and when to keep talks private. The decision seemed nonsensical. Early on the morning of March 7, 2010, with the Academy Awards telecast just hours away, the Walt Disney Company pulled the signal on … Read More 

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How to Deal When the Going Gets Tough

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Most business negotiators understand that by working collaboratively with their counterparts while also advocating strongly on their own behalf, they can build agreements and longterm relationships that benefit both sides. During times of economic hardship, however, many negotiators abandon their commitment to cooperation and mutual gains. Instead, they fall back on competitive tactics, threatening the other … Read More 

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Cooperation in Congress? Liberals and Libertarians Polish Their Negotiation Skills

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On June 19, Republican Representative Thomas Massie of Kentucky, a libertarian, teamed up with two liberal Democrats, Zoe Lofgren of California and Rush D. Holt of New Jersey, to push through an amendment that places new prohibitions on the National Security Agency and the CIA’s surveillance operations, including barring the agencies from engaging in warrantless … Read More 

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At the Met, Conflict Management in a Minor Key

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This spring, the Metropolitan Opera opened labor talks with the 16 unions representing its workers, whose contracts all expire at the end of July, the New York Times reports. Labor and management agree on one fundamental point—that the opera is struggling financially amid falling ticket sales, a depleted endowment, and growing expenses. Perhaps not surprisingly, … Read More 

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Matching Rights in Business Negotiations: Advice for the Grantor – Use Matching Rights to Bridge the Gap

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In negotiation, including a matching right in an agreement can be a classic win-win move. Suppose you’re a landlord negotiating with a prospective tenant. You want to maintain the ability to sell the apartment to someone else in the future, while your prospective tenant wants a commitment to rent the apartment for as long as … Read More 

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Business Negotiations: Matching Rights – The Fundamentals

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When the mergers-and-acquisitions boom began in 1993, many deals simply required the seller to let the buyer know if a “superior proposal” came along. By the late 1990s, buyers were demanding – and receiving – more than this: an exclusive negotiating period of several days, during which they could decide to match or improve upon … Read More 

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The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School: Three Decades of Scholarship and Practice

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Founded in 1983, the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School is a pioneer in the fields of negotiation, mediation, and alternative dispute resolution. In commemoration of the program’s 30th anniversary this year, the Program on Negotiation is proud to present a video describing many of PON’s various educational and research activities. According to Chair Robert Mnookin, … Read More 

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Do Attitudes Influence Results?

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Many people consider negotiations to be stressful and threatening. Others view them as challenges to be overcome. Do these different attitudes influence the outcomes that people reach? New research by professors Kathleen M. O’Connor of Cornell University and Josh A. Arnold of California State University sheds light on this important question. … Read More 

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Too Many Parties at the Table? Try a Side Deal

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When a large number of parties is involved in jointly hammering out a deal or dispute, agreement can be elusive, as illustrated by the failure of recent global climate change negotiations. The difficulty of coordinating a wide range of perspectives and interests often results in delays, disagreement, and impasse. In the article, “Too Big to Succeed? … Read More 

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To Improve Your Negotiation Skills, Choose the Right Partner

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Tensions between the Humane Society of the United States and United Egg Producers have existed for more than a decade. When the two sides are asked why they don’t come together to negotiate their differences, each answers that the other is someone with whom negotiation is difficult if not impossible. Often it is those parties … Read More 

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Why “thank you” matters

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One should always go into every negotiation fully prepared, but a few very easy steps may help clear negotiation obstacles before the formal process even begins.  Recent research by Francesca Gino, Associate Professor at Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation-affiliated faculty member, argues that simple expressions of gratitude can yield beneficial … Read More 

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Winning at “Win-Win”

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Lawrence Susskind (Ford Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology) “Win-win” has become a popular term in the field of negotiation, but many people have mis-perceptions about what it actually means. In this blog post, Professor Lawrence Susskind, a member of PON’s Executive Committee, clarifies that a “win-win” negotiated outcome is … Read More 

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Negotiation: Challenge or threat?

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Adapted from “Do Attitudes Influence Results?” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, January 2007. Many people consider negotiations to be stressful and threatening. Others view them as challenges that can be overcome. Do these different attitudes influence the outcomes that people reach? Research by professors Kathleen O’Connor of Cornell University and Josh Arnold of California State … Read More 

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Successful negotiation strategies lead to bright future for 2011 Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations, Daily.

As Zdeno Chara, the captain of the Boston Bruins, hoisted the Stanley Cup at the conclusion of the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs, fans could celebrate with abandon, secure in the knowledge that their star defenseman will be wearing black and gold through the 2017-2018 season. Without the last minute contract extension signed days before … Read More 

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Irrationality in Negotiations: How to Negotiate the Impossible

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

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Learn More From Your Deals

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Adapted from “Learning to Learn,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Learning about a concept or technique is one thing. Actually putting new knowledge to work is quite another. The gap between “knowing” and “doing” is a challenge for managers who want to hone their effectiveness, whether through formal training or private reflection on their experience. Recent … Read More 

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The negotiating QB

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Adapted from “The Brett Favre Trade: A Win-win Deal in a Win-lose Game,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. In the middle of the National Football League’s off-season, as legendary quarterback Brett Favre weighs for the third year in a row whether to return to football or accept retirement, it’s worth revisiting the negotiations behind his … Read More 

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Get the sequence right

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Adapted from “Set off a Chain Reaction,” by Michael Wheeler (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Artful sequencing in negotiation means lining up deals so that each agreement increases the odds of nailing down the next one. A hedge fund manager might find that certain investors will decline to put their … Read More 

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Powerful Thoughts

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For many people, thinking about the role of power in negotiation can be paralyzing. In fact, the same people who are anxious about negotiating in general tend to be anxious about exerting their power during negotiation. Why? Perhaps because most of us realize that power, even when not explicitly discussed, is often the precipitating and … Read More 

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