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Brian Tracy! Art of Negotiation! Harvard Negotiation Project

Art of Negotiation

Chapter 11. Harvard Negotiation Project

A wise man will make more opportunities than he finds. — Francis Bacon

Harvard University faculty

and staff have studied thousands of major and

minor negotiations in business

as well as national and international politics.

They identified four key ingredients to a successful negotiation.

(The full Harvard Negotiation Project is presented in Getting to Yes:

Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In(2) by Roger Fisher,

William Ury, and Bruce Patton.)


1. Humans.

The key to successful negotiation is

to separate the other person’s personality

from the problem at hand.

Stay calm.

Focus your mind and eyes on the subject of the negotiation,

and don’t let yourself get distracted

by the person’s personality,

whether it’s positive or negative.


2. Benefits.

Begin the negotiation by clearly defining the interests

or needs of the parties in the negotiation.

Before you draw up a list of what you want,

write a list of what you are trying to achieve.

Then, decide what you will have to achieve in the negotiation

to accomplish your goal.


3. When sitting down with the other party and even before that,

take the time to clearly define what the other side wants

and needs to achieve in the negotiation.

Ask them:

“If this discussion goes well, what do you think we will achieve?”


4. Options.

Before arguing about different issues,

choose options for aspects you may disagree with.

Let’s give some possibilities.

Brainstorming to develop alternatives.

You can use a mind map,

a whiteboard or a slide board to do this.


5. Criteria.

This element is often referred to as the “limiting conditions”.

Before negotiating, agree to base the outcome

or conclusion on some objective criteria.

How can you determine if you’ve landed a deal that benefits both parties?

What are you trying to avoid,

what do you want to achieve or protect?

Once you’ve clearly defined what needs to be achieved in the negotiation

to the satisfaction of both parties,

compare these options and conclusions

with the outcome you want to achieve.

Say: “A good deal will fulfill this condition.

It will give us the other result.

It will accomplish that goal.”

In other words,

you have to make it clear what is an agreement

that benefits both you and the other party.

Finally, review and discuss ways

that can help you fulfill your needs

and interests to meet the objective criteria

or limiting conditions you have established.

This is an effective negotiation process

that helps you stay focused on your goals

and avoid being sidetracked

by the other person’s personality and other tangible issues.

Make today worth remembering. — Zig Ziglar

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