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  • Part I: Essentials of Negotiation

    C H A P T E R

    1Negotiation: The Mind and The Heart


    1Sorkin, A. R. & Lohr, S. (2008, May 19). Pursuing Yahoo again, Microsoft shows need for a franchise. NewYork Times, p. A1.2Helft, M. (2008, June 20). At Yahoo, the exodus continues. New York Times, p. A1.

    In early 2008, Microsoft Corporation offered $31 a share to buy Yahoo Inc.,beginning what would become a long and bitter battle at the negotiationtable. Microsofts goal: to become a formidable competitor in the world ofInternet search-related advertising against Google, the market leader. Yahooquickly turned down Microsofts first offer, saying the bid was much too low.Disagreements over price continued, and after months of negotiations,Microsoft withdrew its offer from the table, saying it had moved on. Theinability to reach an agreement caused concern and anger among Yahooshareholders and led to an aggressive move by billionaire investor Carl Icahn:he bought a stake in Yahoo, in hopes of naming an entirely new Board ofDirectors that would be willing to accept Microsofts offer. According toIcahn, Yahoos directors acted irrationally and lost the faith of shareholders.Seeking an alternative to the Microsoft buyout, Yahoo began talks withGoogle to discuss the possibility of delivering Google ads next to Yahoo searchresults. Microsoft took the threat seriously and just weeks after withdrawingits bid, was in talks with Yahoo yet again. This time the talks did not revolvearound a full takeover, but rather around the possibility of a collaborationbetween the two companies on Internet advertising. Microsoft hoped a dealwould hinder Yahoos potential deal with Google.1 However, weeks laterYahoo announced that its negotiations with Microsoft were in fact over andthat the company had struck the deal with Google. The new deal failed to sitwell with much of Yahoos top management, and within a week, five topexecutives as well as several senior engineers announced their intention toleave the company. Microsoft, who had publicly admitted that much of thereason they sought to acquire Yahoo was for its group of talented engineers,saw an opportunity. The company took out a full-page ad in the San JoseMercury News, whose distribution area includes the Yahoo headquarters, torecruit Internet search specialists.2

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  • Negotiations like the one between Microsoft and Yahoo often involve a complexmix of strategy, signaling, and personality.Whereas most of us are not negotiatinggiant corporate deals one thing that business scholars and businesspeople are in complete agreement on is that everyone negotiates nearly every day. Getting to Yes be-gins by stating, Like it or not, you are a negotiator. . . . Everyone negotiates somethingevery day (p. xvii).3 Similarly, Lax and Sebenius, in The Manager as Negotiator, state thatNegotiating is a way of life for managers . . . when managers deal with their superiors,boards of directors, even legislators (p. 1).4 G. Richard Shell, who wrote Bargaining forAdvantage, asserts, All of us negotiate many times a day (p. 6).5 Herb Cohen, author ofYou Can Negotiate Anything, dramatically suggests that your world is a giant negotiationtable (p. 15).6 Perhaps these statements indicate why a recent business article on negoti-ation warned,However much you think negotiation is part of your life, youre underesti-mating (p. 76).7 Negotiation is your key communication and influence tool inside andoutside the company. Anytime you cannot achieve your objectives (whether it be a com-pany merger or a dinner date) without the cooperation of others, you are negotiating.Weprovide dramatic (and disturbing) evidence in this chapter that most people do not live upto their negotiating potential.The good news is that you can do something about it.

    The sole purpose of this book is to improve your ability to negotiate in the con-texts that matter most to you. We present this information through an integration ofscientific studies of negotiation and real business cases. And, in case you are wonder-ing, it is not all common sense. Science drives the best practices covered in this book.We focus on business negotiations, and understanding business negotiations helpspeople to be more effective negotiators in their personal lives.8

    In this book, we focus on three major negotiation skills: (a) creating value, (b) claim-ing value, and (c) building trust. By the end of this book, you will have a mind-set that willallow you to know what to do and say in virtually every negotiation situation. Moreover,the fact that you have a mind-set (also called a mental model)9 will mean that you canprepare effectively for negotiations and enjoy the peace of mind that comes from havinga game plan. Things may not always go according to plan, but your mental model willallow you to update effectively and most important, to learn from your experiences.

    2 PART I Essentials of Negotiation

    3Fisher, R., & Ury, W. (1981). Getting to yes. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.4Lax, D. A., & Sebenius, J. K. (1986). The manager as negotiator. New York: Free Press.5Shell, G. R. (1999). Bargaining for advantage: Negotiation strategies for reasonable people. New York: Viking.6Cohen, H. (1980). You can negotiate anything. Secaucus, NJ: Lyle Stuart.7Walker, R. (2003, August). Take it or leave it: The only guide to negotiating you will ever need. Inc., 7582.8Gentner, D., Loewenstein, J., & Thompson, L. (2003). Learning and transfer: A general role for analogicalencoding. Journal of Educational Psychology, 95(2), 393408.9van Boven, L., & Thompson, L. (2003). A look into the mind of the negotiator: Mental models in negotia-tion. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 6(4), 387404.


    Negotiation is an interpersonal decision making process necessary whenever we cannotachieve our objectives single-handedly. Negotiations include not only the one-on-onebusiness meeting but also multiparty, multicompany, and multimillion-dollar deals.Whether simple or complex, negotiations boil down to people, communication, and in-fluence. Even the most complex of business deals can be analyzed as a system of one-on-one relationships.

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  • People negotiate in their personal life (e.g., with their spouses, children, school-teachers, neighbors), as well as in their business life. Thus, the scope of negotiationranges from one on one to highly complex multiparty and multinational deals. In thebusiness world, people negotiate at multiple levels and contexts: within departmental orbusiness units, between departments, between companies, and even across industries.For this reason, managers must understand enough about negotiations to be effectivenegotiating within, between, up, and across all of these organizational environments.

    CHAPTER 1 Negotiation: The Mind and The Heart 3

    10 Trunk, P. (2007, June 30). The world of generation Y. Los Angeles Daily News.11Lacy, S. (2006, February 13). A flashy new Adobe. Business Week, 3971, 52.


    Negotiation skills are increasingly important for managers. Key reasons for the impor-tance of negotiation skills include (a) the dynamic nature of business, (b) interdepen-dence, (c) competition, (d) the information age, and (e) globalization.

    Dynamic Nature of BusinessMobility and flexibility are the dictates of the new world of work. Most people do notstay in the same job that they take upon graduating from college or receiving theirMBA degree. Members of Generation Y will change jobs, on average, every twoyears.10 The dynamic, changing nature of business means that people must negotiateand renegotiate their existence in organizations throughout the duration of their ca-reers. The advent of decentralized business structures and the absence of hierarchicaldecision-making provide opportunities for managers, but they also pose some daunt-ing challenges. People must continually create possibilities, integrate their interestswith others, and recognize the inevitability of competition both within and betweencompanies. Managers must be in a near-constant mode of negotiating opportunities.Negotiation comes into play when people participate in important meetings, get newassignments, head a team, participate in a reorganization process, and set prioritiesfor their work unit. Negotiation should be second nature to the business manager,but often it is not.

    InterdependenceThe increasing interdependence of people within organizations, both laterally and hi-erarchically, implies that people need to know how to integrate their interests andwork across business units and functional areas. For example, after the merger ofAdobe and Macromedia, many Macromedia employees worried that their companysdistinctive culture would disappear. In an attempt to instill some of that culture in thenew company, several ex-Macromedia employees were rewarded with key positions.Then, suddenly the tables turned: Macromedia was taking over, and it was the Adobeemployees who were nervous.11 The increasing degree of specialization and expertisein the business world implies that people are more and more dependent on others.However, others do not always have similar incentive structures, so managers mustknow how to promote their own interests while simultaneously creating joint value fortheir organizations. This task requires negotiation.

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  • CompetitionBusiness is increasingly competitive. In the first three months of 2008, 8,713 businessesfiled for bankruptcy, the highest quarterly bankruptcy level since 2005.12 Such volatil-ity means that companies must be experts in competitive environments. Managers notonly need to fun