Featured Article

In negotiation, make ’em laugh?

Q: Last week I sat in on a negotiation among some of our company’s partners. Just when it seemed that they had reached a stalemate, my boss cracked a joke that instantly lightened the mood. Almost magically, she was able to rejuvenate the conversation—and reemphasize her position—in a way that proved effective. But I can also recall times when jokes have flopped in meetings. This experience left me wondering: When and how should I use humor during negotiations (if at all)?
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In Senate health care defeat, it’s déjà vu all over again

Although the House narrowly passed its American Health Care Act in May, Senate Republicans repeated many of the House’s mistakes when they tried and failed to pass their own version of the bill in July.
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Back up your offer with a strong rationale

In negotiation, some justifications are more persuasive than others, new research suggests.
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Breaking bad news

Q: I am a real-estate agent working in a relatively active market. Unfortunately, market conditions mean I often am delivering bad news to buyers: houses go off the market before I can arrange a walk-through; my clients’ offers often are countered very aggressively or rejected outright; and sellers may not be willing to agree to my clients’ terms. I have noticed that delivering bad news to my clients can sour our relationship; they seem to like me less. It is important that I have a pleasant and trusting working relationship with my clients. What can I do to prevent clients from “shooting the messenger”?
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At last, Illinois lawmakers agree on a budget

Two years of impasse finally ended in a deal, to the governor’s dismay.
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Need some negotiating help? In the future, ask your phone

Automated negotiations are just around the corner, Facebook research suggests.
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At work, negotiate your way to leadership success

To meet your goals as a leader, you will need to negotiate others’ expectations and your role.
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A flexible approach to flextime

Q: I’m the head of human resources at a medium-sized company. We are piloting a program in which we will offer employees increased ability to self-schedule their hours and work from home. We’re trying to figure out whether this is something that employees really value and, if so, whether we should bring this up in our compensation negotiations.
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Using e-mediation to resolve workplace conflict

When their employees get into disagreements with one another, managers have various ways of coping. For example, they can try to mediate the dispute themselves; they can make use of in-house procedures and systems set up for managing disputes, if they exist; or they can refer the case to a professional mediator. Increasingly, employers are adding another dispute-resolution tool to that list: e-mediation.
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In negotiation, a link between wealth and fairness concerns

When negotiating, we aim to get the best deal that we can for ourselves. In the process, we sometimes lose sight of whether the other party will perceive that he or she got the short end of the stick. That’s an oversight in any negotiation but may be especially risky when making deals with those who are financially well off, new research suggests.
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