Negotiation Class Notes

I’ve carried a bag, in some fashion, for twenty-plus years on the road. Cities large, small, and somewhere in-between. A few short years into my career, I dragged myself through an MBA program over the weekends and developed a mantra that stuck with me: Better done than good, put your ideas on paper. So, I did. And in that spirit, these were notes from a negotiation class I jotted down and tossed aside only to be found years later. What you put done comes back to you. Unfinished. Nothing like Getting to Yes or more refined books. Still, I thought these simple nuggets were worth keeping:

  • All Negotiations Have Structure: It’s important to build coalitions and identify structure in any negotiation.
  • Structure Shapes Strategy: Be flexible, carefully assess potential outcomes. Never say no.
  • Structure Can Be Shaped: Constantly give action times, give, and take exercise. With more items on the table, it’s easier to come to an agreement.
  • Process and Control: Frame arguments and approach people in the right order.
  • Channeling: Use action-forcing events: meetings, calendar year. Important to find shared interests.
  • Lead: Constantly be learning.

Other Notes:

  • The cover image for this post used to be from the Negotiator,  a great film with Sam Jackson and Kevin Spacey. However, due to recent events, the image needed to be replaced with the GodFather. The real life actor can bleed into the character, making a great movie unwatchable.
  • And then, I replaced The Godfather with one of my leather bag. Twenty years on, still has a certain shine.