Six Habits of Merely Effective Negotiators

by James K. Sebenius

GLOBAL DEAL MAKERS DID a staggering $3.3 trillion worth of M&A transactions in 1999—and that’s only a fraction of the capital that passed through negotiators’ hands that year. Behind the deal-driven headlines, executives endlessly negotiate with customers and suppliers, with large shareholders and creditors, with prospective joint venture and alliance partners, with people inside their companies and across national borders. Indeed, wherever parties with different interests and perceptions depend on each other for results, negotiation matters. Little wonder that Bob Davis, vice chairman of Terra Lycos, has said that companies “have to make deal making a core competency.”

Luckily, ...

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