Strategic Negotiation Curriculum

  • Strategic Negotiation Curriculum

    Posted by Patrick Griffin on January 4, 2024 at 8:37 am

    Hi all, is anyone else going through the Strategic Negotiation coursework, or that has completed it recently? I’d love to connect, discuss and share notes on the content.

    Mark Brigman replied 4 months, 3 weeks ago 4 Members · 8 Replies
  • 8 Replies
  • Patrick Griffin

    January 15, 2024 at 8:46 am

    Now that Mark and I put out the announcement about the relaunch of the Strategic Negotiations curriculum, I’d love to hear from other Partnernomics members about their perspective on negotiations.

    What would you like to understand better about negotiations?

    What do you like/hate about negotiating?

    Do you have any negotiation outcomes you want to brag about?

    • Mary Hand

      January 17, 2024 at 2:03 pm

      I think there’s benefit in sharing some strategies for negotiating with individuals who are used to “winning” zero-sum negotiations. What are some ways to recalibrate the direction of the discussions?

      How have you handled “serial interrupters”? I’m always interested in different approaches and when to employ them.


      • Patrick Griffin

        January 17, 2024 at 3:17 pm

        Thanks Mary, these are great questions. I’ve seen a lot of bullying tactics and they can take a few different shapes; interrupting, personal comments meant to elicit an emotional reaction, just general aggression, etc.

        First off, you should try to determine if it’s a tactic, a cultural difference or something else. No matter what the driver is, it is disruptive and not conducive to a productive negotiation.

        I’ve found that the most important way to handle that is to keep your own emotions in check, and don’t let them get a rise out of you. If they are interrupting, the first instance or two you can hear them out and ask questions about the points they make to get them to explain further. However, if it persists and gets in the way of you being able to communicate, then I’d suggest taking a break and calmly remarking on it, e.g. “I know you have a lot to share, and I do too. I think we may be talking past each other, so let’s take a break.”

        If someone is raising their voice as they interrupt, which is common, you want to avoid tone-matching. Social-mirroring is useful when communication is benign, but not if one party if trying to escalate. In those cases, keeping a level tone is a very powerful statement.

      • Patrick Griffin

        January 17, 2024 at 3:23 pm

        Oh, and as it relates to people accustomed to zero sum outcomes, there are a host of fundamentals to keep in your back pocket.

        1) Know when to walk away – a bad deal is worse than no deal

        2) Use the opportunity to show them how a mutually-beneficial outcome is more accretive

        It’s my experience that people are more prone to steamrolling if they have someone they are trying to impress, typically management. So in those cases it is useful to remember that in negotiations there are both individual and institutional objectives.

  • Mary Hand

    January 17, 2024 at 4:30 pm

    Thanks Patrick! These are great tips to keep in mind. It all comes back to us only being in control of how we handle our own emotions and comments when discussions become challenging. It’s not always easy to do when in the situation, but being honest, respectful, and maintaining the other person’s self esteem while also maintaining your own self respect, is key to success…or walking away with your self respect in tact. That, and taking a few deep breaths to calm your inner voice. 🙂

  • Martin Pitkow

    February 1, 2024 at 8:01 am

    I really like the blog at the Harvard Program on Negotiation: There is a section on dealing with difficult people. They used to publish a monthly newsletter with their research which I leveraged extensively as a salesperson and sales manager. This discussion reminds me to get back into regular reading on these topics.

    • Patrick Griffin

      February 1, 2024 at 9:01 am

      Great call, @Marty

      The Harvard PON is terrific, and I received some training from them earlier in my career. They have a ton of valuable resources on their site that can be accessed with a free registration. I think they sometimes get a little too deep into an academic bubble, but I consider it essential to understand their guidance.

    • Mark Brigman

      February 1, 2024 at 10:01 am

      For sure. The best leaders are life-long learners. The Harvard contributions are helpful.
      As Mike Milich describes in his course, approaches that many programs teach (like Harvard), focus on problem solving. This approach is ideal if both parties see the same problem in the same way. But what happens when they don’t? I really like how the “4-Phases Model” handles alternative approaches when “problem-solving” does not work.

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