Tag Archives: harvard negotiation project

Small Business Leadership Academy

Small Business Leadership Academy: The Harvard Negotiation Project

The Harvard Negotiation Project has developed an effective and widely-used negotiating method that changes the game and often yields better results than old-style hard ball. Instead of focusing on winning the day for your position, the Harvard method enables you to operate on a deeper level where your true interests — and the interests of your customer/supplier — reside.

Alan Goldman, a management professor of practice at the W. P. Carey School of Business, is teaching the Harvard method in the negotiations class at the 2012 Small Business Leadership Academy (SBLA). SBLA is presented by W. P. Carey School’s Center for Executive and Professional Development. Goldman is a disciple of the Harvard Negotiation Project and has taught university classes and coached corporate leaders on the method for years. This week, the small business owners in the SBLA class practiced some of what they have learned by role playing actual negotiating scenarios.

The exercise gave students an opportunity to try out one of the key components of the Harvard method: discovering options. This is the opposite of driving toward a position — the hallmark of old-school negotiating.

“Look at the bits and pieces; ask ‘what if this’ and ‘what if that,’ ” Goldman said. “This can be scary because it feels like you could lose control.” But at the end, exploring options can uncover a solution or deal that addresses the real, underlying interests of both sides.

The main principles of the Harvard Negotiation Project* include the following:

  • Separate the people from the problem (go easy on the people, hard on the facts)
  • Focus on interests, not positions
  • Invent multiple options looking for mutual gains before deciding what to do
  • Insist that the result be based on some objective standard

The next class in the Small Business Leadership Academy is “Building High Performance Teams,” taught by Ruth Barratt, clinical assistant professor of management at the W. P. Carey School.

*From “Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In,” Penguin Books

The Small Business Leadership Academy (SBLA) is an intensive executive education program designed to strengthen the business acumen of small business leaders in Arizona. The program was jointly developed by the W. P. Carey School of Business and the Salt River Project (SRP), the program’s founding sponsor. Other seat sponsors this year include: Arizona Lottery, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Hahnco and U.S. Bank. Each week we will bring you a few salient points from each class as well as comments from the professors themselves and the impact the information has had on the students.

For more information about the Small Business Leadership Academy, please visit SBLA’s website.

Small Business Leadership Academy

Small Business Leadership Academy: Match Your Negotiating Style To Your Objective

“Playing hardball” is a phrase often used to describe negotiations. The point is the deal — there’s a winner and a loser — and the toughest side prevails.

Hardball is a good game plan under some circumstances — if it’s a one-time opportunity, for example. But what if the client or customer with whom you are negotiating has potential to bring you business long-term? In that situation, driving hard might not be your best approach.

Alan Goldman, a management professor of practice at the W. P. Carey School of Business, is teaching the negotiations classes in the 2012 Small Business Leadership Academy (SBLA) presented by W. P. Carey’s Center for Executive and Professional Development. Drawing lessons from the Harvard Negotiation Project, Goldman is helping students realize a more sophisticated approach to negotiating that goes beyond winner-take-all.

Key to the Harvard system is the theory that there are two broad approaches to negotiating: Theory X and Theory Y.

Theory X negotiators are the hardball players. The process is adversarial and focused on the deal and the bottom line. A Theory X negotiator dominates by wielding power, exploiting weakness and elevating the rational over emotions.

Theory Y negotiators seek to build fruitful relationships. For them, the objective is agreement, so they work on establishing trust. They open with small talk. They’re empathetic, flexible and willing to yield for mutual benefit.

Each style has its place, says Goldman. If the objective is a one-time transaction, then driving Theory X-style for the best deal obtainable, no matter how hard-nosed you have to be, may be the best approach.

But sometimes the greater advantage — and profit — accrues across numbers of transactions. In that case you’d be doing yourself a favor to employ the tactics of a Theory Y negotiator.

Assigned reading in Goldman’s class is one of the classics of negotiating training, the bestselling “Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In.” Its lessons are valuable in your personal life as well as business.


Listen to the Podcast:
Match Your Negotiating Style To Your Objective


The Small Business Leadership Academy (SBLA) is an intensive executive education program designed to strengthen the business acumen of small business leaders in Arizona. The program was jointly developed by the W. P. Carey School of Business and the Salt River Project (SRP), the program’s founding sponsor. Other seat sponsors this year include: Arizona Lottery, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Hahnco and U.S. Bank. Each week we will bring you a few salient points from each class as well as comments from the professors themselves and the impact the information has had on the students.

For more information about the Small Business Leadership Academy, please visit SBLA’s website.

Small Business Leadership Academy

Small Business Leadership Academy: Negotiating Skills Build Relationships (Part II)

This week’s Small Business Leadership Academy (SBLA) negotiating module continued where last week’s left off, with participants using the tenets of the Harvard Negotiation Project (HNP).

HNP combines both theory and practice to develop ideas that are useful and successful in everyday application. These standards of practice involve focusing on interests rather than positions. Using independent standards of fairness, all parties involved can come to mutually beneficial agreements (win-win) rather than cannibalizing the relationship for the sake of more favorable terms for one party (win-lose).

W. P. Carey professor Dr. Alan Goldman guided the Small Business Leadership Academy participants through the use of HNP tenets to establish a framework for a current negotiation within their organizations. One of the small business leaders determined that, despite reservations about a deal she had been offered, she was truly getting a fair deal and should consider accepting it because she had undervalued one particular aspect of the offered deal. For another, the tactic to move forward was to try to rebuild a broken relationship. The main difference between the two negotiations was that for the former person, once she accepts her deal, the relationship would be over; there was no need to protect an on-going relationship. The latter, on the other hand, has a long-term contract with the other entity and needed to protect his interests.

Another exercise the class participated in was a brainstorming session. No suggestions were too far outside the box. More than one participant saw an immediate application for that exercise.

“The brainstorming that we did in today’s session was great,” said Alex Zuran, president and CEO of Phoenix National Laboratories. “The whole process of learning how to brainstorm I can see taking straight into my business.”

A term that came up often in the evening’s discussion was “BATNA” or “best alternative to a negotiated agreement.” When determining whether the deal that is on the table is worth accepting, knowing your fall-back plan enables you to make a more educated decision. Is your BATNA better than the deal that is being negotiated? Then it’s time to walk away.

As one of the HNP videos elaborated: “Preparation, know your walk-away alternative.” Another important step is estimating what the other parties BATNA is. Is it a strong option for them or a weak one? Thinking about these aspects ahead of time prepares you for many of the twists and turns that the negotiation can take.

The Small Business Leadership Academy (SBLA) is an intensive executive education program designed to strengthen the business acumen of small business leaders in Arizona. The program was jointly developed by the W. P. Carey School of Business and the Salt River Project (SRP), the program’s founding sponsor. Other seat sponsors this year include: Arizona Lottery, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Hahnco and U. S. Bank. Each week we will bring you a few salient points from each class as well as comments from the professors themselves and the impact the information has had on the students.

For more information about the Small Business Leadership Academy, please visit the Small Business Leadership Academy’s website.

 

Small Business Leadership Academy

Small Business Leadership Academy: Negotiating Skills Build Relationships (Part I)

Small Business Leadership Academy: Negotiating Skills Build Long-Lasting Relationships (Part I)

With everything that goes on in the day-to-day life of a small business, learning how to better negotiate everything from employee salaries to vendor contracts might not be top-of-mind for the leaders of the organization. “It is tremendously important for small business leaders to learn negotiating skills,” says W. P. Carey Professor, Dr. Alan Goldman.

In this week’s Small Business Leadership Academy (SBLA) session, participants were exposed to the tenets of the Harvard Negotiation Project (HNP). HNP was created in 1979 and combines both theory and practice to develop ideas that are useful and successful in everyday application. These standards of practice involve focusing on interests rather than positions. Using independent standards of fairness, all parties involved can come to mutually beneficial agreements (win-win) rather than cannibalizing the relationship for the sake of more favorable terms for one party (win-lose).

There are both hard (adversarial) and soft (people-oriented) negotiating skills. Which skill is most effective “depends on the type of business that you’re in and what type of clients you have,” commented Dr. Goldman. “Your negotiating approach has to be customized.”

Participants watched videos of both successful negotiations and those in which one or both parties left the table dissatisfied. Through these examples, it was stressed that determining the interests of each party is of utmost importance. They also should determine whether they are in a position with their clients where they are supposed to know best or where their clients are more involved in the decision-making. That is the difference between a specialist model and more of a partnership. For their application exercise, participants will put themselves in the middle of a negotiation and determine the best course of action.

“This is a way that I can perfect my negotiations skills,” shared Jeff Campbell of Western Truck Equipment Company.  “I never went to college so everything I’ve learned has been from my father and other managers I’ve worked with.  This session is showing me a more astute, a more polished way of negotiating.”

The Small Business Leadership Academy (SBLA) is an intensive executive education program designed to strengthen the business acumen of small business leaders in Arizona. The program was jointly developed by the W. P. Carey School of Business and the Salt River Project (SRP), the program’s founding sponsor. Other seat sponsors this year include: Arizona Lottery, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, Hahnco and U. S. Bank. Each week we will bring you a few salient points from each class as well as comments from the professors themselves and the impact the information has had on the students.

For more information about the Small Business Leadership Academy, please visit SBLA’s website.