Negotiating

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Responding to an ultimatum

October 31, 2017
Q: Last week I sat in on a negotiation among some of our company’s partners. Just when it seemed that they had reached a stalemate, my boss cracked a joke that instantly lightened the mood. Almost magically, she was able to rejuvenate the conversation—and reemphasize her position. But I can also recall times when jokes have flopped in meetings. This experience left me wondering: When and how should I use humor during negotiations (if at all)?

If they offer it, take it!

October 10, 2017
James Patterson, the world’s highest-paid and possibly most prolific author, describes the best advice he ever received.

Breaking bad news

September 18, 2017
Q. I am a real-estate agent working in a relatively active market. I have noticed that delivering bad news to my clients can sour our relationship; they seem to like me less. What can I do to prevent clients from “shooting the messenger”?

Before saying thank you, think of the context

June 26, 2017
Q: When my negotiation counterparts make a favorable concession or give me something I want, I find myself holding back from thanking them. I worry that saying thank you may put me in a position of weakness. On the other hand, I don’t want to be perceived as unappreciative of their willingness to cooperate. What do you recommend?

Starting off on the right foot

February 27, 2017
Q. I’m trying to decide whether to make the first offer in a price negotiation. I’ve heard arguments in favor of both points of view—that is, going first versus sitting back and waiting for the other side to go first. Which tends to be the more effective strategy?

Negotiate ways to increase your impact

February 17, 2017
Q. My boss refuses to let me run an internal training program. He insists on wasting money on an outside consultant because he thinks this “expert” knows more than I do. I’m furious. Any advice on what I should do next?

Responding to an ultimatum

January 4, 2017
Q: A counterpart recently made a “take it or leave it” offer during our negotiation. I wasn’t ready to accept the offer, but I didn’t want to walk away, either. Any advice on how to respond?

Before getting to yes, get to ‘that’s right’

December 2, 2016
Letting your negotiating partner feel heard and acknowledged opens the door to solutions.

Set, and hit, your question mark

October 6, 2016
Q. I’ve been told that learning information about my counterparts—their preferences, fears, goals, strengths and weaknesses—is critical for success in negotiation. But I tend to feel unsure about the best way to learn about others, especially information that seems insensitive or private.

Find the right way to talk pay

August 12, 2016
Follow these tips to discuss employee pay.
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