Extreme negotiations.


CEOs and other senior executives must make countless complex, high-stakes deals across functional areas and divisions, with alliance partners and critical suppliers, and with customers and regulators. The pressure of such negotiations may make them feel a lot like U.S. military officers in an Afghan village, fending off enemy fire while trying to win trust and get intelligence from the local populace. Both civilian and military leaders face what the authors call "dangerous negotiations," in which the traps are many and good advice is scarce. Although the sources of danger are quite different for executives and officers, they resort to the same kinds of behaviors. Both feel pressure to make quick progress, project strength and control (particularly when they have neither), rely on force rather than collaboration, trade resources for cooperation rather than build trust, and make unwanted compromises to minimize potential damage. The authors outline five core strategies that "in extremis" military negotiators use to resolve conflicts and influence others: maintaining a big-picture perspective; uncovering hidden agendas to improve collaboration; using facts and fairness to get buy-in; building trust; and focusing on process as well as outcomes. These strategies provide an effective framework that business executives can use to prepare for a negotiation and guide their moves at the bargaining table.

Cite this paper

@article{Weiss2010ExtremeN, title={Extreme negotiations.}, author={Jeff Weiss and Aram M. Donigian and Jonathan E . Hughes}, journal={Harvard business review}, year={2010}, volume={88 11}, pages={66-75, 149} }