Negotiating the EMBA Curves

So last weekend we had a little bit less intensive courses.  A one day session on Executive Communication (Saturday) and another on Negotiation.  Neither had any post-class deliverables, which means I entered this week with no homework.

The Negotiations seminar (pass/fail) starred Chuck Stoner and Larry Weinzimmer.  Both fun profs (thought I’m pretty positive on most of the faculty for the program so far) and an enjoyable day.

When parties have to reach a joint decision but have differing need, differing preferences, and differing points of view…then we negotiate.

Chuck and Larry taught from a principled dialogue style preference, which is based in attempting win-win scenarios rather than manipulation techniques (e.g. passive-aggressive).  The class was built around the pillars of:

  • Respect
  • Significance
  • Face Saving (protecting the reputation of the negotiation “partner”)
  • Distributive and Procedural Justice (fairness in perception)
  • Reciprocity

It was helpful to work through issues like dependency and counter-dependency and to even work through a practice negotiation (there was some role playing with a (later admitted to be) false scenario.  We also talked about body language and gestures (including ones to avoid when negotiating with someone from a different culture because of differing meanings).

Oh, and lest we be unprepared they taught about responses to non-principled negotiations, when someone else is using a manipulative tactic.

Big takeaways for me included recognizing bad (sometimes sinful but definitely not principled) negotiation patterns in my past and some thinking about how to avoid that in the future, and the concept of a BATNA (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement).  The fallback position.

There’s a ton more from the class, some of which I’m still noodling on, but it was a helpful addition to the curriculum and it was nice to have a class with no projects as we move from Marketing and Economics into another Accounting class over the next month.  This was Chuck’s last appearance as an instructor, but we’ll get some time with Larry later in the program.

As of tomorrow:  only 200 days until our last class on December 6th.  It’s going to be over before we know it.


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