Business Education Entrepreneur Personal Development

Conducting Effective Negotiations

Effectively negotiating with other people is, without any doubt, one of the highest-level skills we can develop in our personal & business relationships.

In the following timeless video, Joel Peterson delivers some superb (& sometimes very entertaining!) ideas to the Stanford Executive Education Influence and Negotiation Strategies Program. Recorded back in 2007, what he shares is as relevant today as when it was first delivered.

If you don’t want to listen to the entire 68 minutes now, take advantage of my cliff notes below the video.

Let me know what you get out of it!



Joel Peterson talks about how to conduct a successful negotiation. Recorded: January 31, 2007 Stanford Executive Education Influence and Negotiation Strategies Program
“A negotiation is a CONVERSATION.”
  • If you develop high levels of trust with the other party, there is greater durability
  • Thinking win-win
  • REMEMBER: there is ALWAYS a broader accountability outside your own interests (eg my spouse, the community)
  • Watch your language (DON’T even BLUFF just once)
  • Never use high velocity words – LOWER the temperature, not raise it
  • If someone else uses high velocity words, OVERLOOK them
  • Be CALM. Keeping the emotional BASELINE low is KEY (<= you’ll be trusted more)
  • Creative solutions, relationships with others that you like
  • It’s always smart to have someone outside the room to refine, correct, smooth over your errors (“let me check with….”)
  • Negotiate directly rather than through third parties
  • Your authenticity is something that will be determined by the other party
  • Be as pleasant and polite as you possibly can (if you’re likeable you’ll get better results)
Develop Rules of the Road:
Best practice principles that are congruent with your core values
& ones which are fair
  • reasonable
  • win-win
  • principled (so if lines are crossed, you stand firm!)
You’re looking to negotiate deals with people who have:
Power (<= the person with the ability to make the decisions!)
Try to figure out what the WIN-WIN scenario is – AND:
go in to the negotiation being aware of YOUR (& ideally figure our THEIR):
What is the ***OTHER*** person’s BATNA?
Know where the elephants and ants are:
Discern the difference between the battles & the war.
For high level negotiations with high level CCP’s
I tell the other party exactly what it is I’m trying to achieve, and the price I’m willing to pay to achieve it.
The more you can understand REALLY what it is that’s important to THEM, the better the opportunity you have to craft a solution that is going to work in their favour & yours
INSIDE vs OUTSIDE negotiations:
The INSIDE negotiations are the most important ones to lose
(remember: know the difference between the ant & the elephant!)
The worst thing is to be negotiating with people of compromised principles:
***Don’t wrestle with pigs – you’ll get dirty & they’ll enjoy it***
What BRAND do you want to convey & reputation do you want to build?
Talk about the areas of conflict to try to turn the situation into more of a win-win.
What would it take to develop a more long-lasting give & take in this relationship?
Try to have a LOT of options with which to negotiate
Ury & Fisher:
Getting to Yes
Getting past No
  • separate the people from the problem
  • focus on interests rather than position
  • invent options together for mutual gain
  • figure out the objective criteria for a win-win
  • assess the deal in the light of your best assessment of the win-win criteria
  • Figure out your & the other party’s BATNA
  • Find the areas where you agree & then the areas where you really need to negotiate
Dez Futak