Reaching across the divide

In our era of political polarization, collaboration and compromise can seem like impossible goals within our governments and our own communities. In his book Negotiating the Nonnegotiable: How to Resolve Your Most Emotionally Charged Conflicts (Viking, 2016), Harvard International Negotiation Program founder and director Daniel L. Shapiro describes how we can start to move beyond our divisions.

The best—and worst—of distance negotiations

Unable to meet in person as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, negotiators are forced to make the best of alternatives to face-to-face talks—with varied results. Here’s a roundup of some of the most notable negotiation successes and failures from the recent news.

In times of crisis, collaboration must come first

The U.S. government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic fostered a chaotic competition for scarce medical supplies. To get through this difficult time, we all need to collaborate more and better.

When deals fall apart

The Covid-19 pandemic has rendered many contracts unappealing or even impossible to fulfill. Before you threaten to walk away or sue, consider an interest-based approach.

Federal mediation comes out of the shadows

U.S. federal mediators often work on the front lines of high-profile labor-management disputes, yet—aiming for neutrality and confidentiality—tend to keep a low profile themselves. We spoke to Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) principal deputy director Gary Hattal about how the FMCS, which was founded in 1947, strives to meet its mission of promoting effective collective-bargaining negotiations and ending work stoppages.

Negotiating from a social distance

During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, handshakes, air travel, and group negotiating sessions are now off-limits. Here’s how to negotiate amid our new virtual reality.

In France, dirty tricks in a highbrow market

A cautionary tale in the staid world of rare books and manuscripts.

Reducing gender bias in hiring negotiations

No matter how strong their credentials or negotiating skills, women are less likely than men to be chosen for jobs historically held by men, such as positions in leadership, science, and engineering, past research shows. In a new study, University of Vienna assistant professor Steffen Keck and National University of Singapore visiting assistant professor Wenjie Tang found the comparisons that hiring personnel make among final candidates for a position may play a role in such discrimination.

Reaching agreement when trust is low

Both the U.S. government and the Taliban wanted American troops out of Afghanistan—but painstaking measures were required to overcome mutual suspicion and get a deal done.

Network building in the Middle East

In 2014, regional stakeholders created the Negotiation Strategies Institute (NSI) to promote communication across disputing governments and other groups affected by the conflict. With the Harvard Negotiation Project (HNP) as its academic sponsor, NSI holds an intensive 10-month executive program each year for government and other leaders from across the Middle East, as well as diplomats from other nations posted to the region, to learn and practice cutting-edge negotiation strategies. Negotiation Briefings spoke to Jane Sherburne, chair of NSI’s board of directors, about how the program works and what it aims to achieve.