Q. Why did you choose to attend this program?
I was looking for a program to explore the science and art of negotiation beyond the tactics at the table. Specifically, I wanted to learn more about the process of value creation through better deal design, to find deal components that add value to one party without taking much away from the other party so that everyone is better off. This course offered exactly that — the 3D negotiations model.
Q. What were some of the highlights of the program for you?
The setting was perfect. The classroom setup, living accommodations, and teaching method maximized my learning potential by eliminating unnecessary distractions. All of this was complemented by the valuable insights and connections gained through the other participants, who were all very accomplished individuals from around the world. This program truly changed my approach to negotiations.
Q. Did you experience any "aha" moments?
There were too many to mention all of them. But I found myself taking notes on several occasions as I discovered situations in my past deals that I could have improved with what I learned in this course. I think the biggest lesson I learned is to focus on the other side’s interests and their BATNA assessment (Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement) to determine if there is actually a deal to be made, and what the barriers to a successful deal might be. I also realized that I need to spend more time looking for value creation opportunities rather than relying on the power of persuasion. And I discovered that I shouldn’t negotiate in the moment — because the "fog of negotiation" can cause the wrong move at the wrong time.
Q. What would you say to someone who is considering the program?
It is a full week of intense focus, but it's truly rewarding. If you decide to attend, commit early so you can review the materials and cases thoroughly ahead of time, bring your laptop, and show up well rested.
For more information on Harvard Business School's business negotiation strategy program, visit Strategic Negotiations: Dealmaking for the Long Term.