Negotiating the sweet spot: virtual negotiations

Published on April 28, 2021   19 min

Other Talks in the Category: Technology & Operations

0:00
Hi, I'm Leigh Thompson. I'm a professor at the Kellogg School of Management. I'm here to talk about insights from my book, Negotiating the Sweet Spot: The Art of Leaving Nothing on the Table.
0:16
I got interested in research on non face-to-face interaction when more and more of my business students, clients, and colleagues told me that they are increasingly negotiating really important things like jobs, houses, business acquisitions, all in the absence of actual physical interaction. I know that COVID-19 pandemic forced everyone to learn how to improve their own ability to communicate virtually. So let's get started.
0:48
Workplace, personal, and virtual negotiations. What do we know? Anytime you can't get what you want without the cooperation of other people, you are by technical definition, negotiating. This means that on any given day, we are negotiating in business, personal life, and increasingly by virtual means. What does the research tell us about how well people navigate negotiations in these three key domains? Unfortunately, most people are not making the most of their negotiations in business and in personal life and in virtual communication.
1:32
What is the sweet spot? Now look, I'm not saying that people are crashing and burning at the negotiation table in their homes, businesses, and internet space, but rather they are missing the sweet spot. What is the sweet spot? Consider a corny story that has relevance for negotiation in relationships, the workplace, and in virtual life. Let's imagine there are two siblings who are in business together. Perhaps they are the Property Brothers as seen on American TV. Now, in this situation, they are quarreling over a single orange. Both of the brothers want the orange and this is threatening their relationship and their business. Let's also imagine they're trying to have this argument via email, meaning they are not face-to-face. Sounds like a perfect storm. Well, they quickly decide to preserve their relationship and cut the orange in half. One brother squeezes out the juice and throws the peel away, the other brother carefully zest the peel and throws the juice away, and then the garbage truck comes and goes. It is only then that they realize that they completely missed the sweet spot solution. In this case, they should have carefully removed the peel from the juice and both would have been much happier. What's my point? In our virtual interactions, we often cut the orange in half and miss the sweet spot that is right in front of us. Today, I'm going to talk about hacks for finding the sweet spot in virtual negotiations.
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Negotiating the sweet spot: virtual negotiations

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