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Burgaining Power in Business Thesis

Home>Business & Finance homework help>soft vs. hard bargaining: which game should you play?- definitions D1

The Most Important Negotiation in Your Life

Harvard Business Review, September 2013

Life is a series of negotiations.

You negotiate all day, every day, from the time you wake up to the time you go to sleep.

Contract terms and conditions. Hiring, managing performance, and firing. Defining deadlines, scope, and

deliverables. Collecting fees. Seeking alignment about business strategy. Enlisting stakeholders. Creating

partnerships and joint ventures. Dissolving them. You make offers, counteroffers, and agreements to settle. You

say yes. You say no. You stall for time.

Finally, lunch.

When you go home, the negotiations continue. Overbuying a new car, switching carpool days, or how much

screen time the kids are allowed. The stakes of negotiating at home can feel sky-high: which medical advice to

follow; how much to spend or save; how long your aging parents can live at home; whether to stay together.

From the major to the mundane, negotiating is the way we get things done. One of my clients told me, “my

toughest negotiations are with my dog.”

If you’re like most people, when you think about negotiation, you picture people talking to “the other side.”

Whether they’re pitching to a customer in an office, brokering a peace deal at Camp David, or arguing over

curfew at the kitchen table, negotiators are people trying to persuade other people of their point of view.

That’s only half the story.

After nearly 20 years of teaching negotiation at Harvard Law School, and the same years spent advising and

training thousands of executives, public sector leaders, consultants, and lawyers from all over the world, I see

things differently.