Negotiating the sweet spot: workplace negotiations

Published on February 25, 2021   23 min

Other Talks in the Category: Management, Leadership & Organisation

0:00
Hi, I'm Leigh Thompson. I'm a professor at the Kellogg School of Management. I'm the author of Negotiating the Sweet Spot: The Art of Leaving Nothing on the Table. Today, we're going to be talking about how do we find the sweet spot, meaning the win-win in the negotiations that we do in the workplace?
0:23
Workplace, personal, and virtual negotiations, what do we know? Well, first, let me say this. Anytime you can't get what you want without the cooperation of someone else, by definition, you're negotiating. If we use this definition, this means we're negotiating all the time. We're negotiating in the workplace, we're negotiating in our personal lives, and now most of us are negotiating a lot more than we ever imagined in the virtual space. It's worth asking the question, what do we know about how well we're doing in these very important realms or domains of negotiation? Are you ready? This might be depressing. Let me tell you about the research. In business or workplace negotiations, we find that managers often fail to reach win-win solutions. What I mean by this is, for example, over 80 percent of corporate executives and CEOs leave money on the table. Forty percent of people fail to realize when they are in complete agreement was someone. Now, let's talk about personal life. In some sense, the stakes are much higher. These are people that we care a lot about: our spouses, our children, our parents, our partners, our community members. Did you know that married couples reach worse outcomes and actually quit sooner when they're negotiating than with complete strangers, meaning what we call ad hoc couples? One study of newlyweds revealed that they had lower aspirations and reached lower joint gains than did complete strangers. When it comes to friends, we don't like to negotiate at all with our friends. That means we often settle for less than we do with complete strangers. When it comes to virtual negotiation or what I call virtual collaborations, the stakes are perhaps even higher. There's a greater likelihood of impasse, fewer win-win outcomes. There's less trust to begin with, and as the negotiations proceed, we tend to lose trust. There tends to be more negative and confrontational behavior and, in some cases, less moral behavior, meaning that people might use deception. Given that we don't seem to be doing as good a job at the negotiation table as possible, the question becomes, how can we improve our negotiation skills? That's why we need what I call hacks for finding the sweet spot.
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Negotiating the sweet spot: workplace negotiations

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