Getting to No

"Principled negotiation is a strategy that seeks to move both parties away from polarizing and usually entrenched positions, and into the realm of interests. It asks how both parties can get their interests satisfied while keeping their relationship strong. Negotiating well means neither party need feel cheated, manipulated, or taken advantage of...

"[Autonomy is] one of five "core concerns" Shapiro's research identifies as critical in creating disputes and finding resolution. He defines autonomy as a person's freedom to make decisions for himself.

"The other core concerns are appreciation, or having actions acknowledged; affiliation, being treated as a colleague; status, feeling that others respect one's standing; and having roles and activities that are fulfilling. Cross one of the needs and conflict arises. Respect them, and compromise is around the corner.

"The most important element of effective negotiation is preparation, preparation, preparation... Advises Shapiro: 'Take those core concerns and write them on a piece of paper. Figure out which of them are being violated for you and for the other person.'

Listen First

"'There's a saying among negotiators that whoever talks the most during a negotiation loses,' says Bobby Covic, author of Everything's Negotiable! Being the first one to listen is crucial to building trust. Just getting the listening part of a negotiation right can satisfy many of the core concerns Shapiro cites.

"However, listening—really paying attention to what the other person has to say—is hard. Gregorio Billikopf, a negotiator for the University of California system, offers several good listening practices:

Sit Down...
Find Common Ground
Transition to the problem...
Move In...
Keep Your Cool...
Be Brief...
Avoid Empty Threats...
Get to 'No'
If you never hear "no," when you negotiate, you haven't asked for enough."

Read more in an article from Psychology Today from which the foregoing was excerpted, by following this link: http://psychologytoday.com/articles/index.php?term=pto-4253.html

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Harvard Course in Coping with International Conflict

The subject matter of this course from the Harvard Negotiation Project is international conflict. Its premise "is that international conflicts are not being handled as well as they might. Nations tend to react to the actions of others, rather than acting purposively to achieve their own ends. They focus on their own choices, instead of the choices of those they are trying to influence.

"The demands of special interests often outweigh the need for coherent policy. More concern is usually given to having the correct attitude toward any given problem and making an elegant statement about it than to bringing about beneficial change.

One reason for this state of affairs is that there is a shortage of systematic theory on how conflicts ought to be handled, and a shortage of skill in bringing theory to bear on practice.

"Because the problem is how we think about and deal with conflict generally -- rather than what we know about specific conflicts -- this course is not primarily concerned with transmitting large amounts of factual information. Instead it seeks to develop in students analytical skills for systematically bringing knowledge to bear on the practical question of "Who should do what tomorrow morning?" Equally important, it seeks to develop the capacity and desire to continue using and improving these skills in the light of future experience."

Course Materials
General MemorandumConcept Exercises
Problem Sets
Case Materials