Areas of Practice
I offer advice on all three phases of the negotiation: Preparation, execution, and de-brief.
Preparing for the negotiation starts with setting your goal and developing a strategy to reach it:
Setting your goal requires a rational analysis of what the parties want and need. The interests, alternatives and preferences of all sides are evaluated. Possible outcomes are quantified and the desired risk-return profile is drawn up. The transaction (or the conflict resolution) is thus structured and drafted.
Developing your strategy requires an assessment of the frame conditions, decision making processes and personalities of both sides. Their relative strengths and weaknesses are identified. Thus, you can chart your best course of action and lay the ground for the successful execution.
Successfully executing your strategy at the table is often the biggest challenge. The parties are engaged in a dynamic process of cooperation and competition. You will need the complete toolkit of defensive and offensive tactics to prevail. And you have to hone both your rationality and your professional intuition.
Debriefing the negotiation allows you to draw valuable lessons for the future.
I am happy to coach you and your team behind the scenes- or to join you at the table. Either way, we should start with a training workshop.
Whether the purpose of your transaction is to resolve a conflict, conclude a transaction, or both, you may benefit from the help of a mediator.
In contrast to a negotiation advisor, the mediator is neutral. He works for both parties.
In contrast to an arbitrator, the mediator has no power to decide on the matter at hand.
His responsibility is to offer the parties a structured process for them to reach an agreement. I sat on one side of the table, and then taught both sides for many years. I am happy to mediate your deal-making or dispute-resolving negotiations.
Learning to negotiate is difficult. If you learn a language or a physical skill, you can easily observe the results of your effort. Getting accurate feedback after the negotiation is sometimes impossible. So, they signed the contract. But what does that really tell you? Perhaps you stroke a phenomenal deal. Or perhaps you sold yourself horribly short.
You only get “wicked” feedback in pratice. And the other side often has a strong interest to keep you in the dark. Of course you can ask them, how much they would really have paid (and you should). But the answer may be far from true.
That´s why negotiation trainings are so valuable. In their safe environment you can observe, measure, and compare the outcomes of your actions. I have developed teaching materials for Kellogg, Harvard, and NTR, and I can use them to tailor a workshop to your needs. You and your team will take stock of your current skill level, and learn how to become even better. We can also analyze and rehearse your real-world negotiations. You will thus be optimally prepared.