Last fall, my 13 graduate negotiation students, few of whom described themselves as good negotiators when class started, mostly shuddered at the prospect of one assignment in particular: Each week, they had to negotiate something. A matter at home. A better price on a purchase at the mall. A contract with a vendor at work. A problem with a colleague.
We kept track of their negotiations outside of class in our online discussion forum, where they could post about the negotiation, celebrate, or ask for insights about what could have been done better. Seven weeks later, when the term ended, these 13 graduate students had successfully completed dozens of home and workplace negotiations, and I estimate they saved well over $10,000 in purchases ranging from new carpet to sporting goods to coffeemakers. Not bad for a group that claimed not to like negotiating!
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