Assess, Don’t Assume, Part I: Etiquette and National Culture in Negotiation

When facing a cross-border negotiation, the standard preparatory assessments—of the parties, their interests, their no-deal options, opportunities for and barriers to creating and claiming value, the most promising sequence and process design, etc.— should be informed and modified by two classes of potentially relevant cross-border factors, the general and the negotiation-specific. Drawing on considerable literature in cross-border and cross-cultural negotiation, this paper develops the … [ Read more ]

Assess, Don’t Assume, Part II: Negotiating Implications of Cross-Border Differences in Decision Making, Governance, and Political Economy

When facing a negotiation that crosses national borders and/or cultures, the standard preparatory assessments—of the parties, their interests, their no-deal options, opportunities for and barriers to creating and claiming value, the most promising sequence and process design, etc.—should be informed and modified by potentially relevant factors. Drawing on considerable literature in cross-border and cross-cultural negotiation, a two-paper series develops a four-level prescriptive framework for effectively … [ Read more ]

3-D Negotiation: Powerful Tools to Change the Game in Your Most Important Deals

Stuck in a “win-win versus win-lose” debate, most negotiation books focus on face-to-face tactics. Yet table tactics are only the “first dimension” of Lax and Sebenius’s path breakingtion™ approach, developed from their decades of doing deals and analyzing great dealmakers. Their “second dimension”-deal design-systematically unlocks economic and non-economic value by creatively structuring agreements.

But what sets the 3-D approach apart is its “third dimension”: setup. Before … [ Read more ]

How no-deal options can drive great deals: When actions away from the table eclipse face-to-face negotiation

Yes you can look at your counterpart across the negotiating table and infer “when to hold them and when to fold them.” But negotiating successfully very much involves what you also do away from the table. These co-authors, widely experienced in international business negotiation, describe the importance of a Best Alternative To Negotiated Agreement, (BATNA), and a critical tactic that every successful negotiator must understand … [ Read more ]

The Negotiator’s Secret: More Than Merely Effective

What turns merely effective negotiators into all-out expert negotiators? The ability to overcome six common mistakes, according to HBS professor James K. Sebenius. In this excerpt from the Harvard Business Review, he describes one of the most glaring.