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Practices of Effective Negotiators

by Jeff Thompson
March 2014

Enjoy Mediation Blog by Jeff Thompson

Jeff Thompson

I highly recommend every conflict resolution practitioner read the paper by Elfenbein et al. titled:

Why are Some Negotiators Better than Others? Opening the Black Box of Bargaining Behaviors

Download the paper for free [HERE].

 

Lead author, Hillary Anger Elfenbein


  • If my word is not convincing enough, here's some great tidbits from the paper about effective negotiators:
  • Better negotiators typical engaged in greater information sharing & seeking. This allowed claiming and creating value
  • Moved the process along by using words that articulating discrepancies (should, could, would)
  • Controlled the flow of offers by making more offers and reacting to offers being made
  • Are accurate in understanding the interests & priorities of their counterparts
  • Using misleading information predicted greater performances as it was connected to value claiming
  • Displayed greater signs of dominance (talking more, saying "no" more, less nonverbal displays of affiliation)


    I found this interesting with respect to anchoring:
  • There was no correlation between performance and consistently making the first offer in a negotiation

    For those who enjoy nonverbal communication, this was very interesting:

In particular, consistently displaying nonverbal synchrony with one’s counterpart, as measured in terms of the appearance of coordinated physical movement, was associated with lower performance through lower value claiming.
I encourage everyone (yes, again!) to read the paper. It provides a great opportunity to reflect on your approaches to negotiation and discern the information the paper provides.

Enjoy!

Biography


Jeff Thompson, Ph.D., is a professor at Lipscomb University, researcher, mediator, and trainer. He is also involved in crisis and hostage negotiation as well as a law enforcement detective. His research includes law enforcement crisis and hostage negotiation in terrorist incidents. He received his doctorate from Griffith University Law School having researched the impact nonverbal communication has in conflict situations with respect to developing rapport, building trust, and displaying professionalism.

Dr. Thompson has presented and trained on the topic of conflict, mediation, (crisis and hostage) negotiation, communication and nonverbal communication internationally for a variety of audiences including police personnel, government officials, judges, attorneys, physicians, sales people, business professionals, and both graduate and undergraduate students. He has also been published in numerous professional and academic publications.

He is the co-chair of ACR's national Crisis Negotiation Section, and he is an ad-hoc reviewer for multiple academic journals. He received his MS in Negotiation and Dispute Resolution from the Werner Institute, Creighton University School of Law.

(All posts by Jeff Thompson represent his personal reflections and opinions and not that of any organization.)



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