The Ten Best Pieces of Negotiation Advice for 2015

The Ten Best Pieces of Negotiation Advice for 2015

This article from the Program on Negotiation at the Harvard Law School presents what the program sees as the ten best pieces of negotiation advice for 2015.  You may or may not agree, but I do think you will find some golden nuggets that could help you with your negotiation skills.  Here are their top ten pieces of advice in the article’s reverse order:

10. Searching the Haystack” It’s what I call prepare, prepare, prepare.  In this instance it was finding a key piece of evidence in a factual situation that caused the other parties to antie up $36.65 billion (that’s with a “B”).

“9. High Hopes for Negotiation in Denver” relates to how the Denver City Council worked with marijuana activists to negotiate the outcome through collaboration.

“8. Bernie Sanders Keeps His Pragmatic Side Hidden” comments that Bernie Sanders has a no-nonsense get the job done mentality.

“7. Finding Power in “I’m Sorry” I could not agree more.  Many of us do not really know how to apologize, but in The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch the authors offers a three step process that includes:

Say you’re sorry;

Indicate that you will never do it again; and

Ask what you can do to make it right.

My experience in both negotiations and mediations tells me that this goes a long way towards resolving issues and so do the authors of this article.

“6. The Value of Range Offers” Instead of offering a specific dollar amount it is suggested that a reasonable range depending on the facts in the case can go a long way towards issue resolution.

“5. Bradley Cooper’s Team Approach” This is an interesting look at how Bradley Cooper took his higher salary and seeing sexism in the way his co-star was not being paid to meet gender equity, countered with a joint negotiation with his female co-star to improve compensation for both.  What a neat idea!

“4. The Yankees Linked Up with A-Rod” Here the Yankees tied A-Rod’s bonus with a home run ball.  Good initiative.

“3. Pope Francis Guides His Flock” Here the initiative by Pope Francis on global warming was a pre-emptive approach to his critics.

“2. Paul Ryan Imposes Conditions on His Speakership” He did not want the job of Speaker of the House, but agreed to do it if certain conditions were met. They were and he did.

“1. In Iran Talks, A Clean Slate” Think of the cross culture differences, the hawks on both sides and how improvision spurred breakthroughs.

Today listening to National Public Radio (NPR) regarding the release of detainees I learned that while the nuclear talks were not tied into the humanitarian or release of prisoners, both parties agreed that those talks would take place at the same time.  Not at the same place necessarily and not tied to one another, but at the same time.  Think of this as an alternative approach to sticky topics that may relate to one another, but are not tied directly to the topic being negotiated by the parties.  An innovative idea!  Maybe our politicians in this country could learn from this too.

Check out the article to read more.  You can also check out the link at the end of the article for The Ten Worst Negotiation Tactics for 2015

About the author

Mike Gregory is a professional speaker, an author, and a mediator. You may contact Mike directly at and at (651) 633-5311. Mike has written 12 books (and co-authored two others) including his latest book, The Collaboration Effect: Overcoming Your Conflicts, and The Servant Manager, Business Valuations and the IRS, and Peaceful Resolutions that you may find helpful. [Michael Gregory, ASA, CVA, MBA, Qualified Mediator with the Minnesota Supreme Court]