Here is an excerpt from 250words.com on a simple negotiation tactic as recommended by Harvard Professor Michael Wheeler followed by a book review on Art of Negotiation: How to Improvise Agreement in a Chaotic World by Michael Wheeler.

This is a test of your negotiation skills. Please read the following scenario carefully:

A neighborhood was alarmed about a landfill operator’s application to increase the size of the dump. The residents had long been angry about windblown litter from the site landing all over their lawns. Expanding the facility would only make matters worse, they claimed. They vowed to continue their opposition unless the operator guaranteed payment to an independent contractor who’d clean up future debris to their full satisfaction. The operator refused, convinced that the neighbors would make a sweet-heart deal with someone’s brother-in-law to fix problems that the landfill hadn’t even caused. His business could end up overpaying substantially.

The parties were at an impasse: the operator couldn’t get his revised permit, and the neighbors still had trash floating into their yards.

You’re task is to figure out if both sides can do better. Go.

This hypothetical puzzle comes from Art of Negotiation: How to Improvise Agreement in a Chaotic Worldby Harvard Business School Professor Michael Wheeler. Wheeler writes that when trained negotiators encounter a dilemma involving two parties, they never assume that there are only two options. Usually, there’s another way. A good negotiator always widens his options.

See full by 250words.com

Art of Negotiation: How to Improvise Agreement in a Chaotic World – Description

Art of Negotiation

Art of Negotiation: How to Improvise Agreement in a Chaotic World by Michael Wheeler

A member of the world-renowned Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School introduces the powerful next-generation approach to negotiation.

For many years, two approaches to negotiation have prevailed: the “win-win” method exemplified in Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton; and the hard-bargaining style of Herb Cohen’s You Can Negotiate Anything. Now award-winning Harvard Business School professor Michael Wheeler provides a dynamic alternative to one-size-fits-all strategies that don’t match real world realities.

The Art of Negotiation: How to Improvise Agreement in a Chaotic World shows how master negotia­tors thrive in the face of chaos and uncertainty. They don’t trap themselves with rigid plans. Instead they understand negotiation as a process of exploration that demands ongoing learning, adapting, and influencing. Their agility enables them to reach agreement when others would be stalemated.

Michael Wheeler illuminates the improvisational nature of negotiation, drawing on his own research and his work with Program on Negotiation colleagues. He explains how the best practices of diplomats such as George J. Mitchell, dealmaker Bruce Wasserstein, and Hollywood producer Jerry Weintraub apply to everyday transactions like selling a house, buying a car, or landing a new contract. Wheeler also draws lessons on agility and creativity from fields like jazz, sports, theater, and even military science.

Art of Negotiation: How to Improvise Agreement in a Chaotic World – Review

From Publishers Weekly

Harvard Business School professor Wheeler, a member of the school&’s Negotiation, Markets & Organizations unit, offers a clear-headed, creative approach to negotiation that is on a par with the canonical texts, Getting to Yes and You Can Negotiate Anything. Those titles suggest abandoning hardball tactics and turning every interaction into a negotiation. Wheeler, on the other hand, posits that the most important aspect of negotiation is improvisation and constant flexibility, acknowledging that each party goes into a negotiation without truly understanding the other person’s position. Often, each party’s real needs don&’t emerge until the negotiations are in progress. Wheeler discusses strategies for managing uncertainty and understanding the true extent to which preferences, needs, and relationships are constantly changing. He steers readers toward making wise decisions about whether or not to pursue a negotiation in the first place, conducting sufficient research, keeping their cool, and closing the deal. Wheeler&’s lucid, engaging voice is a major asset, and sample scripts help drive home his points. Agent: Jim Levine, Levine Greenberg Literary Agency. (Oct.)

From Booklist

Apart from books that instruct on win-win negotiation techniques and strategies to control negotiations, this book focuses on how to deal with and capitalize on the dynamic nature of negotiations. It shows how opportunities are missed when people are inflexible in their approaches and how roadblocks can be overcome with spontaneity and creative ideas. It points out situations in which the commonly known BATNA (Best alternative to a negotiated agreement) model is not always the best strategy. Wheeler advocates that effective negotiation demands rapid cycles of learning, adapting, and influencing to manage the uncertainty of a negotiation. Wheeler likens this to improve and countering surprises with flexibility. Real-life examples, including the development of the Citibank center in New York, illustrate how applying nine key principles can improve success in a negotiation. Other topics discussed include situational awareness, military techniques, and balancing risk and reward in determining when and how to say yes to a deal. The appendix provides a handy summary of the key points for future reference, and Art of Negotiation: How to Improvise Agreement in a Chaotic World is a good basic guide to making the best of a negotiation. –Cindy Kryszak