Tag Archive | "Negotiation"

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Dealing with the Devil

Notes on Negotiation
By Marty Latz, Latz Negotiation Institute

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1940 refused to negotiate with Hitler.  President George W. Bush in 2001 refused to negotiate with the Taliban.

Nelson Mandela, by contrast, reached out in 1985 to negotiate with South Africa’s white government, one that enforced a racist regime and had imprisoned him for over two decades. And President Barack Obama negotiated with Iran, which supports terrorist groups.

“Should you bargain with the devil?” is the question in the provocative book Bargaining with the Devil: When to Negotiate and When to Fight, by Harvard Program on Negotiation Chair Robert Mnookin.

Mnookin’s book transcends war and peace, offering lessons that can be applied to everyday situations. After all, who hasn’t felt betrayed by a business partner, friend, or family member, and felt like hitting back in lieu of talking?

Mnookin advises the following in determining whether to engage, with my own analysis here too.

1.     Systematically evaluate the costs and benefits
Our knee-jerk instinctive reaction toward negotiating with a devil may be “Absolutely not. He’s a devil.” This may overlook, however, your interests that may be satisfied with a less reactive, more strategic evaluation.

Mnookin suggests an initial framework to help make this decision, largely derived from the classic Getting To Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by my law school professor Roger Fisher and William Ury.

He suggests the following, which I relate to my Five Golden Rules of Negotiation for the benefit of longtime readers.

  • Identify the parties involved and their fundamental interests (a crucial element of Golden Rule One: Information is Power-So Get It!);
  • Consider each side’s alternatives to negotiation (the major component of Golden Rule Two: Maximize Your Leverage. I call alternatives Plan Bs – Plan A being a negotiated agreement and Plan Bs the result if you don’t negotiate);
  • Evaluate the costs involved if you negotiate (costs constitute an independent standard underlying “fair” agreements – Golden Rule Three: Employ “Fair” Objective Criteria);
  • Brainstorm whether any options/agreements exist that would better satisfy the parties’ interests than their Plan Bs (evaluating options relative to your Plan B involve Golden Rule One (interests and options) relative to Golden Rule Two (Plan Bs)); and
  • Assess whether and how any deal can be implemented (can you trust the devil to fulfill its commitments and/or enforce them independently through courts or other mechanisms (whether a deal will stick and trust factors fit within Golden Rule One).

I would add one piece of advice to Mnookin’s. This strategic evaluation and preparation make sense for all potentially significant negotiations – not just those with “devils.”

2.    Get advice from third parties about your Plan Bs and these factors
I’m a big fan of strategic brainstorming and asking trusted advisors, friends and experts for advice before negotiating. Mnookin recommends this in determining whether to even engage. I agree.

Doing this helps us make more reasoned evaluations and avoid emotional traps that can cloud our judgment in stressful situations. Differing perspectives and ways of thinking can also lead to better analyses and conclusions.

There’s no downside to requesting advice here and a potentially big upside.

3.    When in doubt – presume to negotiate
If you’ve done your strategic analysis – your advisors disagree – and you’re still unsure what to do – Mnookin suggests you negotiate.

“Wait,” you respond. “Shouldn’t there be a presumption against negotiating?” “After all,” Mnookin writes, “this is the Devil we’re talking about!”

No. Why? Because “negative traps,” according to Mnookin, can distort your thinking and analysis. Traps include tribalism, demonization, dehumanization, moralism, zero-sum thinking, the psychological impulse to fight or flee, and the call to battle.

A guideline that makes you articulate the reasons NOT to negotiate has great value.

4.    Be especially pragmatic if you’re representing others
Finally, personal moral intuitions and morality should play a role. It may simply be morally repugnant for you to engage with a “devil.” And going against your morals has real costs. Despite the pragmatic factors urging you to engage, Mnookin notes, deciding not to negotiate “based on moral intuitions may be virtuous, courageous, and even wise.”

However, he recommends this only if you “alone bear the risk of carrying on the fight.”

Your personal morality should not override the above factors when your decision directly impacts others who may have different moral judgments and who rely on you to decide.

Business executives representing shareholders, union representatives on behalf of workers, and political leaders representing constituents should not decide based on their personal morals, writes Mnookin.

Latz’s Lesson:  Whether to negotiate with the devil presents a devilish dilemma. Solve this by strategic preparation, relying on outside advice, presuming to negotiate, and incorporating morality and agency issues into the equation

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Marty Latz is the founder of Latz Negotiation Institute, a national negotiation training and consulting company, and ExpertNegotiator, a Web-based software company that helps managers and negotiators more effectively negotiate and implement best practices based on the experts’ proven research.  He is also the author of Gain the Edge! Negotiating to Get What You Want (St. Martin’s Press 2004). He can be reached at 480-951-3222 or Latz@ExpertNegotiator.com

ICLEF • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianapolis, IN

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A Matter of Style

Marty Latz will be presenting twice this year at the ICLEF Conference Facility!
June 7 – How to Say “NO” & Preserve the Relationship, 6 CLE / 6 CME / 1 E
December 1 – Gain the Edge! Negotiating to Get What you Want, 6 CLE / 6 CME / 1 E

_____________________________

Notes on Negotiation
By Marty Latz, Latz Negotiation Institute

‘Stan’ was a jerk. Totally self-absorbed with a massive ego, he was super aggressive and always breaking the rules. Reputation-wise, most people couldn’t stand him. Brilliant at software, though, he had developed a superb product.

The deal – based on an objective analysis of your financial and other interests – appeared to be excellent. But Stan would have a significant role going forward. So how you interacted and negotiated would be extremely significant.

Should you buy control of Stan’s company?

The biggest red flag, of course, is Stan’s personality style.  What does that mean?

Here are five qualities to evaluate in assessing your counterpart’s negotiation style. Developed by Marquette Law School Prof. Andrea Kupfer Schneider in “Teaching a New Negotiation Skills Paradigm” (Washington Univ. Journal of Law and Policy, 2012), I have also added my own thoughts here.

Keep in mind the following, too:

  • Each quality exists on a spectrum. And we all exhibit elements of each, some more than others.
  • These reflect tendencies, not immutable characteristics. Each can be improved upon with self-awareness, training and practice.
  • These are styles – not strategies. They relate less to what you do and more with how you do it. Of course, these overlap.
  • Individuals modify how they implement these styles between negotiations and even within negotiations.

1.    Assertiveness
Assertiveness relates to an individual’s aggressiveness in their negotiation interactions. How forcefully and competitively do they engage? Conversely, how much do they shy away from the conflict that inevitably exists sometimes?

Effective negotiators exhibit strong assertiveness traits – but know when, where and how to modify and modulate them.  Too much assertiveness can result in an overly adversarial environment that can be counterproductive. Too little assertiveness can leave unrealized value on the table.
I once worked with a super assertive lawyer. An excellent litigator, his negotiation style and skills were underdeveloped – everything was a fight. Finding any common ground was extremely difficult.

2.    Empathy
Schneider writes “being empathetic in a negotiation [requires] a complex mix of skills – a willingness to hear the other side, open-mindedness or curiosity, good questioning and excellent listening, among others.” Emotionally intelligent individuals score high on empathy.
Developing this skill means becoming a more active and deep listener and questioner. Highly empathetic negotiators also fundamentally believe their counterparts can help them get what they want. Empathy is especially crucial in negotiations involving future relationships between the parties.

3.    Flexibility
Flexibility sounds good. But too much flexibility can be a liability, reflecting a willingness to change too often without justification.  Too little flexibility – stubbornness – can also be problematic.
Schneider notes that “[talented] negotiators work to find a variety of ways to get the job done both in their strategic choices as well as more flexible outcomes. Being flexible in negotiation allows a stylistic move from simple compromising to more sophisticated integrative solutions. It also helps to prevent stalemate.”

Being open to creative options you may not initially consider is another element of flexibility. Brainstorming, sometimes with your counterpart, often brings out this quality in negotiators.

4.    Social Intuition
Schneider’s research finds that these social skills translate to negotiation effectiveness: personable, rational, perceptive, self-controlled, sociable, helpful, and smooth. Other research cited by Schneider suggests that how we interact and present to others and the importance of being nice are traits associated with successful individuals.

Appropriate tone and positive moods also translate to making negotiators more creative and effective. The opposite, too. Don’t underestimate the power of sociability and rapport and relationship-building in negotiations.

5.    Ethicality
Your reputation for trustworthiness and a willingness to follow ethical principles correlate to your negotiation effectiveness, according to Schneider and others.

Of course, trustworthiness in negotiations does not mean you simply lay all your cards on the table. Some misdirection is expected and warranted in many negotiations.

If my client is desperate to sell his business, I would not share this with a buyer.

Remember, though, your reputation derives not from your belief in your trustworthiness and ethics – but how your counterpart describes you after the negotiation.

So what about Stan? Here’s my style rating of him: high assertiveness, super low empathy, medium flexibility, low social intuition, problematic ethicality. Too many red flags. Walk away.

Latz’s Lesson:  Research and evaluate your counterparts’ personality style. A good or bad style fit can make or break your deal.

______________________________________________________________________

Marty Latz will be presenting twice this year at the ICLEF Conference Facility!
June 7 – How to Say “NO” & Preserve the Relationship, 6 CLE / 6 CME / 1 E
December 1 – Gain the Edge! Negotiating to Get What you Want, 6 CLE / 6 CME / 1 E

______________________________________________________________________

Marty Latz is the founder of Latz Negotiation Institute, a national negotiation training and consulting company, and ExpertNegotiator, a Web-based software company that helps managers and negotiators more effectively negotiate and implement best practices based on the experts’ proven research.  He is also the author of Gain the Edge! Negotiating to Get What You Want (St. Martin’s Press 2004). He can be reached at 480-951-3222 or Latz@ExpertNegotiator.com

ICLEF • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianapolis, IN

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How to Say “No” & Preserve the Relationship – June 7

How to Say “No” & Preserve the Relationship – June 7

In this program led by negotiation expert Martin Latz, participants will shift their mindsets and behavior from instinctive to strategic based on experts’ proven research. Next time you face a situation, you will systematically think about which strategies to use and have a framework within which to approach it. How you say “no” will then be based not only on your own experience, but collective experiences of the best negotiators in the world and on the most up-to-date research.

TOPICS:
• Introduction – The “Family Negotiation Story”

• Participants’ Challenges in Saying “No”

• Discuss Latz’s Five Golden Rules in How to Say “No” & Preserve the Relationship,
including:

   – Information and Interests are Key – Don’t jump to “No”
   – How to Explore Mutual Interests
   – Ways to Open Up and Share More to Strengthen Relationships

• Prepare a Strategic Plan to Say “No”
   – Individually select an example
   – Prepare a Strategic Plan based on taught elements to say “No”

* Discuss Latz’s Five Golden Rules in How to Say “No” & Preserve the Relationship,
   including:
   – Understanding the Meaning of “No”
   – When to Say “No” and When to Say “Yes”

• Continue to Prepare a Strategic Plan to Say “No”
   – Prepare a Strategic Plan based on taught elements to say “No”

• Negotiation Ethics – Part I, including discussion of Stalking Horse Scenario and its:
   – Morality – is it right or wrong?
   – Ethics or Legality – does it cross the legal or ethical line?
   – Effectiveness – does it work?

• Discuss Latz’s Five Golden Rules in How to Say “No” & Preserve the Relationship,
   including:

   – Powerful Standards that Lessen the Negative Impact of “No”

• Prepare a Strategic Plan to Say “No”
   – Individually prepare a Strategic Plan based on taught elements to say “No”

• Negotiate One-on-One Exercise

• Debrief Exercise, focusing on:
   – Elements that worked well, not well and how to improve in the future

• Discuss Latz’s Five Golden Rules in How to Say “No” & Preserve the Relationship,
including:

   – Ways to Frame a “No” with a Yesable Offer
   – Language to Psychologically Make Them Feel Good When Hearing “No”
   – When to Involve Others in the “No” Conversation
   – How to Control the Setting to Improve the Relationship
   – Impasse-Breaking Strategies if You Say “No” You Reach Impasse

• Prepare a Strategic Plan to Say “No”
   – Prepare a Strategic Plan based on taught elements to say “No”

• Negotiate One-on-One Exercise

• Debrief Exercise, focusing on:
   – Elements that worked well, not well and how to improve in the future

• Negotiation Ethics – Part II, including discussion of
   The “False Promise” Scenario & its:

   – Morality – is it right or wrong?
   – Ethics or Legality – does it cross the legal or ethical line?
   – Effectiveness – does it work?
__________________________________________________

NATIONAL SPEAKER:
Martin E. Latz, Esq.
Latz Negotiation Institute, AZ
__________________________________________________

HOW TO SAY “NO” & PRESERVE THE RELATIONSHIP
A NATIONAL SPEAKER SEMINAR
6 CLE / 6 CME / 1 E – Wednesday, June 7; 9:00 A.M. – 4:30 P.M.

LIVE IN-PERSON ONLY SEMINAR
– ICLEF Conference Facility, Indianapolis

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Analyzing Trump’s Health Care Negotiations

Notes on Negotiation
By Marty Latz, Latz Negotiation Institute

President Donald Trump has called himself a “really great negotiator.” Let’s evaluate his first significant presidential negotiation effort – health care reform with the U.S. House of Representatives.

Three quick caveats to start:
• It’s essential to use an objective research-based method to truly evaluate what occurred, rather than the hyper-partisan approach that seems to dominate current political analyses. The Five Golden Rules of Negotiation will serve as our framework.
• While these negotiations were extensively reported, some of what occurred was private and beyond the scope of our knowledge at this time; and
• These negotiations were simply the first step of a multi-step legislative/negotiation process required to change the law. U.S. Senate approval would have been the next step. And had the Senate made changes, the different versions would have required reconciliation and further Congressional approval before a presidential signature.

While the Five Golden Rules provide a comprehensive framework, many of the issues here can be attributed to how Pres. Trump implemented Golden Rule One: Information is Power – So Get It!

As regular readers here know, the first step to effective negotiating is getting sufficient information to set realistic and achievable goals. Then you must design a comprehensive strategy to accomplish them.

Pres. Trump repeatedly stated his healthcare goals on the campaign and after becoming president – repeal and replace Obamacare with better coverage, lower premiums, and no one loses their insurance.

What does this tell us about Pres. Trump’s implementation of Golden Rule One in the first step of this legislative process?

1. Trump Publicly Set Unrealistic and Unachievable Goals
No proposal evaluated by the House even came close to achieving his goals. The Congressional Budget Office, a non-partisan expert body with a Republican-appointed head, estimated the first House proposal would cause 24 million Americans to lose coverage. Subsequent proposals eliminated more and more health care benefits without adding coverage.

Bottom line – Pres. Trump’s repeatedly stated goals were unrealistic and unachievable with the proposals on the table in the House. His overall strategy, which would have required Senate approval, was also unclear and unspecified. How, if at all, did he propose to achieve his goals? No one really knew, including the House members whose votes he needed.

2. Trump Failed to Understand the Interconnected Complexity of Healthcare
Based on Trump’s comment that “[n]obody knew healthcare could be so complicated” and the reporting of his actual negotiations with House Republicans, Pres. Trump does not really have great knowledge and understanding of healthcare policy. Nor does he truly appreciate the complexities of how these elements work together.

Of course, presidents don’t need to be detailed policy experts to negotiate great deals, and regularly delegate policy details to others. But it’s crucial to be able to substantively engage in a back-and-forth discussion about significant issues. An inability to do so even at a high level will be detrimental to achieving negotiation success.

For example, Pres. Trump near the end of the negotiations offered to eliminate “essential health benefits” like requiring insurance to cover pregnancy and doctor’s visits. He did this in an effort to pick up votes from members of the House Republicans’ “Freedom Caucus,” who favored eliminating these benefits.

But offering this without also eliminating the requirement to cover pre-existing conditions could have led to a collapse of the insurance markets. Expert House members knew this. So giving in on the benefits issue actually made it less appealing to some of these members, not more. And by doing this, he also lost the votes of some moderate House Republicans, who liked those provisions.

3. Trump Overlooked Key Players’ Interests and Motivations
Pres. Trump overestimated the loyalty interests of House Freedom Caucus Republicans. He apparently believed that Republican team loyalty and getting anything passed would trump their interests in getting a bill that lowers premiums and taxes, lessens regulation, minimizes governmental involvement in healthcare, etc.

But a cursory review of these Freedom Caucus members’ history of Republican loyalty would have raised serious questions of the efficacy of this strategy. After all, these were the same members who shut down the government several years ago over the objections of most mainstream Republicans.

Former Republican Speaker John Boehner was even forced out by these same members. Loyalty and taking one for the team is not really in their playbook.

4. Trump Failed to Build Coalitions
Pres. Trump might have been able to get sufficient House Republican votes if he had built up public support for the bill’s major provisions and built coalitions among the involved Republican interest groups.

This could have led those Freedom Caucus members to believe that their constituents in safe Republican districts would have been better off with the final bill and/or would have used this issue to vote against them in two years. This would have directly addressed what many believe to be the most crucial interest of any politician – survival interest in re-election.

But the bill and its provisions, according to polling, only had a 17% approval rating from the public. And almost every major interest group, from the conservative Koch brothers to doctors to every liberal group, opposed it with many spending millions on ads trashing it.

Latz’s Lesson: Information is power. Pres. Trump did not have it or get it.

______________________________________________________________________

Marty Latz is the founder of Latz Negotiation Institute, a national negotiation training and consulting company, and ExpertNegotiator, a Web-based software company that helps managers and negotiators more effectively negotiate and implement best practices based on the experts’ proven research.  He is also the author of Gain the Edge! Negotiating to Get What You Want (St. Martin’s Press 2004). He can be reached at 480-951-3222 or Latz@ExpertNegotiator.com

ICLEF • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianapolis, IN

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