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The art of negotiating

Exclusive Interview with Roger Fisher, one of the world's leading authorities on
There is a universal recipe for negotiation, with seven ingredients that can ser
ve both the merger of two companies in Brazil as a peace treaty between Middle E
astern countries: effective communication, good relationship, find out the inter
est of the other, designing the various agreements possible to convince the othe
r of being treated justly, to define what are the options for compromise and rea
ch the final compromise. Who says this is one of the two world's leading authori
ties on the subject, the North American Roger Fisher, a negotiator who has worke
d for the United Nations (UN) and is founder and director of the Harvard Negotia
tion Project, an organization dedicated to the study and teaching of the resolut
ion conflicts. In an exclusive interview to José Neto Salibi, HSM MANAGEMENT, F
isher gives lessons in negotiation that can be extremely useful for entrepreneur
s and executives in Brazil. He defines the ideal profile of a negotiator - firm,
friendly and creative - and the best formation of a negotiating team - a creati
ve professional, a "relaçõespúblicas," a facilitator of communication, a comp
etent professional to handle data and information, a judge and someone who defen
ds the interests of the other party. It also explains how to train negotiators a
nd how to behave in moments of great tension and those of rejection. And the poi
nt that the negotiators are impressive, and surprising Fisher says he prefers a
low-profile negotiator, which focuses on who is on the other side of the table,
the star of a negotiation such as former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger
. What are the universal principles of negotiation? I believe that there is no u
niversal answer because it depends on the culture of each country. But there are
seven key elements in a negotiation. The first one is communication. You can no
t negotiate without effective communication. The second is the relationship betw
een the parties. They see themselves as enemies or are working together to solve
a problem? The negotiation will be better if both parties believe they try to s
olve a common concern and must figure out how to deal with their differences. Th
e third element is the interest. Regardless of culture, age, race, color, religi
on, people have their own interests - success, acceptance, money, land, security
. They vary according
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To work on it? To make an investment? To have protection? Possible options would
be, respectively, a long-term lease, a lease-purchase or a purchase over time.
Ultimately, we seek to find an option that is consistent with our interest. Then
try to find ways to convince the other party of being treated fairly. What is t
he market value? What is the current price? What is the background? What does th
e law say? The other party must be convinced that it is treated fairly. I want t
o know then what are my options if they do not reach an agreement. Could I make
a deal with someone else? Could you file a lawsuit in court? Finally, we come to
compromise with practical and realistic promises of each party. What is the pro
file of the ideal negotiator? The basic idea is to be firm and friendly. We must
be frank and persuasive without using coercion. People should not want to talk
all the time and need to hear concerned. In other words, they must learn to pres
ent their views and also understand the concerns of others. This is incredibly i
mportant. I also believe in being creative, ideas have never before aired. Mr..
can give an example of this creativity? I remember when we were in Cyprus discus
sing how to divide the island between Turks and Greeks and form a federation. Th
e Turkish army occupied some 40% of the island and the Greek population represen
ted approximately 60% of the total population. How to divide? 40-60? 50-50? So I
said, "Why not split 40-80? Why not say that the Turks may use 40% of the islan
d and the Greeks and 80% each will have a safe haven and a piece representing 20
% of the island where
Richard A. Chase
circumstances, and I, as a negotiator, I need to find out what the real interest
s of the other party. To reach an agreement, should provide something to arouse
the interest of others without harming my own interest. Then I shall invent opti
ons, possible agreements. If we want a good deal, we need to know all the possib
ilities. If you tell me you want a building, ask why you want it.
"It is often helpful to have an informal brainstorming period, during which noth
ing represents a compromise"
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"Show that you too are human, do not let the other party to make the role of tyr
ant rage up and decide what will be done"
work together? "The suggestion left them breathless, because they had never thou
ght of the possibility that the sum of the parts would be over 100% to share the
airport and some cities. Mr.. says you must create options for negotiation, but
how? It is often helpful to have an informal brainstorming period, during which
nothing represents a compromise. I would say this sentence: "Do you sell the pr
operty, I can pay $ 1 million, but let's first consider other possibilities." If
I do not offer $ 1 million, you might think I'm trying to keep the house for fr
ee. But I'm just looking to inject some creativity without giving a commitment.
The other possibility is to imagine what would be recommended by a third party.
What did other people in similar circumstances? At this point is very important
to be creative. Some people have difficulty doing anything other than requiring
their own solutions are accepted. It's nice when someone says, "Maybe we can do
this another way, that it examine other possibilities?" It requires creativity a
nd generally means that during a certain time, the ideas of the other party will
not be criticized. With brainstorming, all ideas are presented and the ideas th
at emerge will be se-
tions for analysis later. At the end we arrive at a decision, but much later. Wh
at can you do when the other party keeps saying no? What to do to get her to say
yes? If the other party says no, you should find out why she said that. One way
is to ask him directly: "Is there a problem?" She tends to say what the problem
is: "Must be this year" or "too many people involved," or else "can not be all
cash." The other party might not even reveal his reasons immediately, but we fou
nd them suggest several possibilities. Probably to refuse every proposal, it wil
l explain why. So we knew more exactly what their interests are. You should also
be prepared to say no, even if subtly, "Let's take a break now if you are inter
ested I will examine the idea and we will talk again in a week." And never admit
: "I'm desperate to close the deal." It is so important to know the options. If
the other party to insist, you should really know what to do. If they do not sel
l the house, I intend to do? Renew the lease of the house where I live? Find ano
ther home to buy? Then examine this possibility in order to leave the negotiatin
g table in comfortable position, knowing how you will act. How to separate peopl
e from problems of a negotiation? This is a great question.
Of course there are cases where the problem is people, but say that this is a ne
gotiation in which both parties sit side by side and put your problem on the tab
le. In the Middle East that Arafat and Netanyahu would sit side by side and Araf
at could say: "You have your extremists who assassinated Rabin and killed Arabs
who were praying, and I have mine extremists who kill Israelis. We have a common
problem out there. I'm not pointing the finger at you and saying that the probl
em is you. " I try to put the issue on the wall. In my office I have a white pan
el on the wall, and whenever someone says something important, say: "I write on
the board." Ultimately, the problem is there in the white panel and we are all l
ooking at him. The problem is there and I am not attacking anyone personally. Sh
ow that the situation is difficult and want to hear your ideas about it. And if
the other party is emotionally involved? If the person is emotionally involved,
I need to address the problem. Maybe I should make clear to the other party that
want to know what is happening and who also have emotions. Emotional problems t
o be solved, but the essence of negotiation is never the emotional problem, it r
evolves around the search for a deal that is just being complicated by emotion.
The agreement itself with regard to practical things like land, money, payment d
eadline and so on.
"You should also be prepared to say no. And never admit: 'I'm desperate to close
the deal'. It is so important to know the options "
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"An important skill is to know to make clear its interest without necessarily in
dicate how much you pay for it"
Should work as a team negotiating ideal? Firstly, we must clearly define how dec
isions will be made against another party. Fit to the head or the group will ask
for a break in order to reach a consensus? The idea is to never confuse the oth
er party. It is important to know that when someone says something, makes a comm
itment that involves the whole team. The other party also wants to know exactly
what the role played by each group member. What kind of personality to make up t
he ideal negotiating team? In my opinion, is very helpful to have someone on sta
ff who understands what is happening across the table. This person must understa
nd the position of others, show empathy and be very receptive to their ideas, as
king questions and paying attention. I like it when that person becomes a good l
awyer the concerns and interests of the other party. Participated in negotiation
s with a young assistant of mine in Canada. One hour after the meeting started,
the boy knew exactly the situation they were negotiating with the company. The c
ompany's lawyers asked themselves what was happening, because William knew more
than they do about their situation. He knew what
Image Bank / Gary Kaemmer
numbers meant and what the problems were. A person with this role must be very e
xperienced, have great presence of mind and knowledge of history. It is also adv
isable to have someone on the creative team, which will allow me to say: "Let's
take a break of 30 minutes to see if we produce some new ideas." You must also h
ave a person who relates well with others, one that facilitates communication an
d competent to handle data and information. Finally, there must be someone with
the ability to judge-
ment of a judge, able to see what is happening in a broader context. What to do
in negotiating a major conflict arises between the parties? Maybe it's a good id
ea to take a break, saying explicitly: "It seems to me that the discussion is be
coming too emotional, maybe I'm praising myself, let's give some time to think a
bout the case." Threats from both sides are not a constructive activity and crea
te more problems than
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would like. Sometimes I approach someone and say, "I do not know how you feel."
Or, instead of raising my voice and speaking faster down my voice and speak very
slowly: "Do not know if you're realizing how far I'm furious. I am very dissati
sfied with how our negotiations are being conducted. Let's take a break now and
if you're back within 15 minutes, I'll be willing to resume negotiations. " Show
that you too are human, do not let the other party to make the role of tyrant r
age up and decide what will be done. What kind of training in negotiation Mr. re
commend for the youngest and the oldest organization? A good idea is to learn fr
om each other. The first rule in my team is that an experienced negotiator alway
s take along someone who can watch, learn and teach with their comments. The sec
ond is to review the trading session with all participants. How should it be con
ducted this review meeting? The first question to ask is: What went right? All s
end their opinions then, instead of addressing their mistakes, we say, "Well, th
e next session, what do you suggest be done differently?" And all present propos
als for how to act next time. People should be accurate in the propositions and
analysis. The experienced negotiator needs to know, in this review, if others th
ink he did a good job. If the negotiation meeting lasted an hour or more, I am n
ot the slightest idea of the arguments I used, from what worked and what not. Bu
t I want to hear specific comments: "In my opinion you did particularly well whe
n he said such and such a thing, but might have appeared hesitant when he said t
hat usually produce one else."
Consequently, when the older person is acting in a competent manner with the you
nger, both learn. The most experienced person learns a lot from the comments of
the younger. Therefore, I emphasize that experienced negotiator must always demo
nstrate that wants to learn and seek new ideas. What Mr.. recommends training in
terms of "technical" trading? This training requires a balance between theory a
nd practice.€If a doctor has in mind the general concept of differentiation of
bones, for example, is not able to organize their learning and remembering the t
housands of disjointed things that you were taught. The same goes for negotiatio
n. We first need a theory but a theory for practitioners, with the seven key ele
ments (mentioned earlier) that help organize ideas. Secondly, we should let peop
le make in negotiation simulations that can put theory into practice and exercis
e their skills. In a simulation, people are real, but the problem is taken from
an actual case that has nothing to do with them. This is a game, an imitation of
negotiation that must be taken seriously. This simulation should include a revi
ew. Both sides of the negotiating table have to evaluate each other: "Did I say
something you thought effective? He said something stupid? Now let me help them:
I think the point you raised was very good, but you insisted so much that after
awhile, could no longer hear about it. "
Then this training is still happening in real negotiations. The formula, therefo
re, is simple: have some preconceived ideas for organizing the preparation, prep
are to negotiate, negotiate, review and then do it all again. You're not just do
ing it all again in a different situation, you will be testing out similar ideas
in a different context. Look for a skill that must be exercised in the simulati
ons. An important skill is to know to make clear its interest without necessaril
y indicate how much you pay for it. I always say I want the other party understa
nds what is my interest, but not necessarily the intensity of my interest. I do
not want to know the most I'm willing to pay for the house, but I want you to kn
ow that this is the house that I want to buy. I do not want anyone achieve, but
do not want to tell the other party that all my furniture and my family are comi
ng tomorrow and if not get the house, we have no where to stay. In his opinion,
the best defense is offense? No. I do not take into account the guerrillas, whet
her verbal or real. I would be surprised if someone told me: "That price is absu
rd, you're crazy asking for this." Simply answer this: "The price was based on a
n assessment. It recommended an appraiser who examined the whole house and arriv
ed at that price. If you have a different assessment, I will gladly discuss it,
but will not do anything
"People get defensive and less flexible when their particular enter the negotiat
ion, whether it's a matter of race, intelligence, age, etc.".
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Learn more about Roger Fisher
The U.S. expert Roger Fisher is founder and director of the Harvard Negotiation
Project, a Harvard University organization dedicated to improving the theory and
practice of conflict resolution, and heads the consulting firm Conflict Managem
ent Inc., which advises businesses, organizations and countries in negotiations,
including the UN, the World Bank, AT & T and IBM. It is considered, along with
William Ury, the world's foremost authority on negotiation at the moment. Fisher
wrote with Ury and Bruce Patton the best seller Getting to Yes (ed. Imago), wit
h more than 3 million copies sold worldwide. It is also the author of Trading St
rategies (Ediouro ed.), Getting Together: Building Relationships That Get to Yes
and Beyond Machiavelli: Tools for Coping with Conflict, these two are not publi
shed in Brazil.
people become defensive and less flexible when entering their particular negotia
tion, whether it's a matter of race, intelligence, age etc.. If I came prepared
with good arguments, it will be easier to give someone my proposal than if I hav
e an aggressive or stupid. What people sr. wonder really how good negotiators an
d why? Your question is interesting because the most successful negotiators are
those who do not appear. For many years I worked at the law firm of Dean Acheson
in Washington shortly after he ended his period as secretary of state. One of i
ts partners, with whom I worked enough for about six years, was called John Leyl
and. He never appeared: it was hired by several foreign governments, such as Den
mark, Colombia and Pakistan. I worked with him in a series of talks with Iran at
the time of Shah Reza Pahlevi, and in other cases. He was remarkably persistent
. When I thought that the case was closed, he was thinking of what could be the
next step. He took very seriously the relationships,€listened to what people ac
ross the table had to say and ran much of his work, which always came first. In
addition, he prepared well for each deal and did not arise in the first place. F
or all that, Leyland is, in my opinion, a better negotiator than, for example, H
enry Kissinger, who concentrated too much on your own picture instead of focusin
g on the cases under negotiation. Kissinger did this because he believed that a
reputation for power efficiency would give, but I think that in many respects, i
s better for a trader to maintain a low profile and think more work to be done.
I prefer the discretion of Cyrus Vance, secretary of state for the Carter admini
stration. x
Richard A. Chase
Is holding its first seminar in Brazil this year at the invitation of HSM Cultur
e & Development. The specialist is also the creator and executive editor of the
award winning television series The American Advocates, about lawyers and the ar
t of conflict resolution.
you attack me and say they did not like the amount. I am willing to sell the hou
se for what its worth, but you will have to convince me that the value is anothe
r. " I would advocate using criteria. Mr.. can give an example of guerrilla tact
ics in the negotiation? I once received an offer by telephone to make a speech a
t a luncheon of business in Minnesota for $ 3000 and said the amount seemed reas
onable, but I wonder how much they had paid the last speaker hired. My interlocu
tor replied: "U.S. $ 3500." I then asked: "It was a most famous person? It was H
enry Kissinger, "He replied:" No, you're more popular than him. " I continued: "
How much do you usually pay?" He said: "U.S. $ 3500 is the maximum we pay to any
speaker." So, I went straight to the point: "Why are they offering me less?" He
replied: "We believe that
would you accept that amount. The deal take it or leave it. " And I said: "In th
is case, I'm quitting." And hung up. The person called me back and then asked: "
What happened?" I replied, "Nothing. You quoted a figure that could not explain
and I just said no. " He extended the offer: "How about $ 3500?" I gave in immed
iately: "This is the maximum you can afford?" "Yeah," said my interlocutor. I re
plied, "Okay, but the letter from his boss confirms our understanding, I want a
clause saying that if you pay more for any speaker this year, my fees are increa
sed retroactively." He complained: "You're tough in negotiations." I argued: "It
benefits us both. If someone wants more money, will cost twice as much for you
and you have an argument for not paying. " I can be very firm without attacking
anyone. In my opinion, the
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