Wednesday, March 5


Today we had a workshop from Melissa Manwaring from Harvard Business School on negotiation and how to prepare for a negotiation situation. It was interesting to hear a detailed discussion on negotiation as it’s not something that I’d spent much time on previously, and certainly was surprised about how different a negotiation can be depending on how it is approached.

We were given seven key areas in a negotiation that you should have information on, and know where you stand on each area, but importantly also try and understand where your negotiation partner also stands. These areas are Interests, Options, Legitimacy, Alternatives, Communication, Relationship and Commitment. Depending on the negotiation, different areas can have more importance. It is often good to be aware when you are in a negotiation, which of the areas the discussion currently sits in, and that way you can make a better decision on how to steer the negotiation in a better way.

The seven elements are a way to analyze a negotiation situation with more strategy than just looking at it as a bartering, back and forth argument. By opening yourself up to new ideas in a negotiation, you can often forge a better outcome for all involved, or rescue a negotiation that looks lost.

The reading was really interesting, but also rather large and covered exactly the same topics as were discussed in the workshop. This made the workshop a little tedious, as it was clear we had a good understanding of the topic and found the day a little repetitive at times.

The workshop was great experience and has already proved useful in practical terms, and will hopefully serve to improve future negotiations that I will inevitably have.

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