Tag Archive | "Negotiation"

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

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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.

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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

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

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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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Corporate Panel Lessons

Notes on Negotiation
By Marty Latz, Latz Negotiation Institute

I recently served on a panel of expert negotiators from the business and legal communities. Together the panel had over 100 years of experience negotiating deals, and settlements worth billions.

Here are some of the lessons, along with my own thoughts.

•    Set aggressive goals – then get the information to achieve them. One panelist described the negotiation for her dream job, which started while she was in law school. What did she do? Figured out exactly what she wanted and then spent several years learning about that industry and how she could add value to the organization that would eventually hire her as its top lawyer.

•    Re-evaluate your goals in long-term negotiations. Some negotiations last years. They require specialized strategies. In all negotiations, set aggressive, specific goals to start. For long-lasting negotiations, re-evaluate those goals in light of information gathered, fluctuating leverage, etc. Of course, there’s not likely a need to revise your goals weekly. But do it regularly, especially when significant changes occur.

•    Focus on your counterpart’s personal self-interest. Several panel members emphasized the need to find out counterparts’ personal drivers, pain points or self-interests. It’s especially crucial in negotiating with large entities. Why should that mid-level professional do the deal? Are they getting pressure from their boss to show progress or clear their desks of long-running disputes? How can you make them look good internally?

•    Gather information in unconventional ways. One panel member described several powerful information-gathering techniques.

  • Public companies are required to report critical information – get it. This panel member once analyzed a company’s public statements and financial reports and deduced its actual authority for the deal on which he was working. He got the entire amount, despite that company’s early false statements about its authority. Top mergers and acquisitions lawyers know this well, as many analyze the terms and conditions of their counterpart public companies’ previous deals and use this precedent in negotiating their deals’ terms.
  • Always be on the lookout for information. One panel member described a complex negotiation involving multiple impasses. After the last impasse, as he was walking out of the mediation, he inadvertently glanced into the room where his counterparts had been strategizing. Though the whiteboard had been erased, he could still notice the outlines of some critically important numbers. Wow.
  • Read everything and talk with everybody. Few negotiators really spend the time doing their strategic due diligence on their counterparts. Talk with folks who have negotiated with your counterparts previously. Read everything they have written. Find out their reputations. Talk to industry experts. Mine your social networks and online resources.

•    A strong case may involve weak leverage. One example involved millions of dollars in a litigation matter where the very survival of the company was at stake. And the company was likely to lose. Yet it had decent leverage. How? The company on the “winning” side had no interest in spending a ton of money to win only to likely get little in bankruptcy court. This panel member settled his losing case for pennies on the dollar.

•    Limited vs. full authority is usually advantageous. Parties with authority have power, right? Wrong. They have the power to concede. One panel member described a negotiation in which he flew to London to negotiate a big deal. He knew after walking in to the meeting he would get a great deal. How? His counterpart at the table was its top guy, the one with its ultimate authority. From that point on, every time his counterpart requested a concession, this panel member called home to try to get more authority. He got an excellent deal and got his counterpart to even pay for his flight home.

•    Fair and reasonable standards can drive the result when you have weak leverage. Sometimes there’s nothing you can do to strengthen your weak leverage. Now what? Focus on fair and reasonable standards. One panel member described negotiations worth hundreds of millions of dollars with the federal government where the government – if it couldn’t negotiate a deal – could legally just stop payment on the services provided. That’s weak leverage. What did this panel member do?  Focused on independent objective fair and reasonable standards, like: precedent and market value (what the government had done in similar circumstances in the past with them and other similarly situated companies); costs and inflation (how their increased costs and inflation led to higher amounts to be paid); and experts’ opinions (what independent objective experts suggested was fair.)

•    Don’t ask for their bottom line – ask what they want and why. An experienced mediator on the panel shared one of his “secrets” –  simply ask what the other side wants and why. And don’t ask for their authority or bottom line, issues where many will bluff or lie or prematurely commit – often reducing their ability to reach a solution later without losing credibility.

Latz’s Lesson: These strategies sound simple. They are. The challenge is systematically putting them into practice.

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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

Posted in Blog, Negotiation/Mediation Blog0 Comments