The Art of Negotiating the Best Deal
Professor Seth Freeman is an adjunct professor at New York University Stern School of Business and at Columbia University. He has taught negotiation, conflict management, and related subjects there since the 1990s. He holds a B.A. in Economics from Cornell University and a J.D. from The University of Pennsylvania Law School.
A highly rated and popular teacher, Professor Freeman has taught negotiation around the world for many years, including at graduate schools in China and France. He also routinely trains business executives, engineers, law students, and United Nations diplomats.
Professor Freeman is an experienced corporate lawyer who practiced with major New York law firms for several years, and he is a trained mediator. His academic research focuses on ways to cope with trust problems in public and private life.
Professor Freeman's insights on negotiation have been featured on Bloomberg TV and in The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA TODAY, and other major media outlets. He is the author of The Ready and Able Negotiator: How to Get Set for Any Negotiation with I FORESAW IT, the Breakthrough Preparation Tool.
01: The Hopeful Power of Negotiation
Hear how a few simple negotiating ideas can help you achieve remarkable results. Then learn how to use a powerful alternative to traditional win/lose negotiating called interest-based bargaining.
02: The Other Negotiator
Learn how you can often do better for both sides by understanding the other negotiator's goals and concerns. Professor Freeman illustrates this principle with a widely studied exercise called the Ultimatum Game and the story of the Cuban missile crisis.
03: The Art of Skilled Listening
Listening may be the most important, powerful, and persuasive negotiating skill of all. Explore the difference between how people normally listen and the kind of listening that can make a profound difference when you're involved in a negotiation. Learn specific techniques that will turn you into a skilled listener.
04: Knowledge Is Power
There's no substitute for knowing the facts. Discover how you can harness the power of information in different ways-for example, by tracking down independent criteria that bolster your negotiating position. The good news is that you probably already research well; here you'll discover nonobvious ways to do even better.
05: Negotiating Creatively
Many people believe that the answer "no" is the end of the negotiation. In this lecture, learn how skilled negotiators turn "no" into "yes" by drawing on a secret weapon: creative options-a strategy that businesses also use to build markets, create product lines, and enhance customer relations.
06: Credibility and Rapport
People's natural wariness in negotiations makes it crucial to establish credibility and rapport from the start of a negotiation. Learn the three Cs-concern, competence, and candor-and the importance of displaying genuine personal warmth and appealing to common interests.
07: Can You Negotiate When Trust Is Low?
Is a deal hopeless when trust is low between negotiators? Not at all. Investigate the wealth of solutions that are available through trust mechanisms. See how the U.S. Constitution is full of such safeguards, designed to overcome nearly ruinous infighting among the states of the young republic-and see how you can put trust mechanisms to use in your own life.
08: Building Leverage
Leverage is a rich and subtle part of any negotiation. Even when you feel your leverage is minimal, you can develop your best alternative to a negotiated agreement, or BATNA. Discover the advantages of using it to decide ahead of time what you will do if a deal falls through.
09: Basics of Distributive Negotiation
Bargaining over a salary, the price of an asset, or some other fixed resource in which you try to win at the other's expense is known as distributive negotiation. In the first of two lectures on this challenging art, discover ways to handle such negotiations with wisdom and grace, and learn how to set your first offer.
10: Distributive Negotiation-Twists and Turns
Sharpen your strategy for distributive negotiating by focusing on who should make the first offer, what to do if you can't determine your best target, and how to handle special situations such as litigation, auctions, and talks involving agents. Learn how to overcome the psychological phenomena that can hurt your ability to negotiate.
11: Measuring Success and Walking Away
Probe two questions that are fundamental to any negotiation: What are the measures of success? And when do you say "no"? Develop specific, practical ways to answer these questions, and learn to be wary of pitfalls such as "time bombs"-foreseeable flaws that will cause problems later on.
12: Creative, Distributive, or Both?
Now that you have learned tests for assessing any offer, how do you do well both creatively and distributively? Explore ways to combine the two approaches, including a valuable tool that you should bring to any negotiation: the Topics, Targets, and Tradeoffs grid.
13: Hidden Factors That Shape Negotiation
Hear how a nightmarish airline delay sparked a creative solution by one of the passengers, illustrating the hidden features to a negotiation that can profoundly shape the outcome. Explore a wide range of these often-overlooked factors, which you can use to rescue your next negotiation.
14: The Power of Preparation-"I FORESAW IT"
Contrast two actual cases that show the startling difference between mediocre and expert preparation for a negotiation. See how a 10-letter mnemonic-I FORESAW IT-sums up what skilled negotiators do to systematically prepare for important talks.
15: Handling Sharp Tactics and Ethical Issues
How do you handle a negotiator who uses sharp bargaining practices? Learn typical gambits employed by such counterparts-for example, intimidation, rushing, and doubletalk. Examine techniques to counteract these tactics, and look at the ethical dimension of negotiations.
16: Using Persuasion Tools and Winning Buy-In
Discover surprisingly powerful ways to make your case in a negotiation with integrity. Among them: appealing to the other person's interests, showing the disadvantages of saying "no," building an argument through a series of probing but respectful questions, and illustrating important points with a story or anecdote.
17: Managing Emotions and Psychological Traps
Negotiating can be a stressful experience. How do you keep your emotions from overriding your better judgment? Explore effective ways to cope with the psychological dynamics in difficult situations, thereby improving the odds of avoiding a blowup or breakdown-either by you or your counterpart.
18: Negotiating with Godzilla and the Devil
How do you negotiate with someone who seems overwhelmingly powerful or corrupt to the point of villainy? Discover surprising ways to level the playing field when you deal with a "Godzilla," and wise ways to decide whether to negotiate with a "devil," drawing on the experiences of small entrepreneurs, statesmen, and hostage negotiators.
19: Cross-Cultural Negotiation
Cross-cultural negotiations can be rife with misunderstood signals and missed opportunities. Probe three major problems that often arise in cross-cultural bargaining and explore how to understand and overcome them. Then hear Professor Freeman's advice based on his and others' negotiating experience with international companies and organizations.
20: Negotiating with Children
Dealing with children has features in common with cross-cultural negotiating, and offers valuable perspective on negotiating with adults generally. Discover when and how to apply an interest-based negotiation approach to bedtimes, homework, behavioral issues, and other challenges of parenthood. Like grown-ups, the young respond surprisingly well when they feel they have a voice in the outcome.
21: Negotiating Work and the Workplace
In the increasingly volatile world of work, negotiating skills can reveal hidden, career-building opportunities that can help you start a business, find a job, or discover new possibilities in your current position. Probe remarkable negotiation strategies for building your career, including information interviewing, negotiation marketing, and even creating a job for yourself.
22: Healing the Troubled Deal
Not every deal turns out well. How do you make sure serious flaws aren't lurking in an agreement-whether it's a cell phone plan, a summer rental, or a contract with a business partner? Learn how to spot and correct hidden traps by using a powerful mnemonic device called WINLOSE and other powerful ideas.
23: Why the Trust Problem Is Fundamental
A single question haunts every negotiation and, surprisingly, most other academic subjects: How do you know it's safe to deal with your counterparts and that their assurances are reliable? Look deeply into this problem of trust. Then distill the lessons of the course into just five words.
24: Confrontation, Love, and Negotiation
Finish by exploring two final problems: How do you challenge someone without destroying the relationship? And what is the connection between negotiation and love? No less a negotiator than Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had very insightful advice on this latter question.