An Emotional Strategy for Negotiations
by Alison Wood Brooks
It is, without questions, my favorite day of the semester—the day when I teach my MBA students a negotiation exercise called “Honoring the Contract.”
I assign students to partners, and each reads a different account of a (fictitious) troubled relationship between a supplier (a manufacturer of computer components) and a client (a search engine startup). They learn that the two parties signed a detailed contract eight months earlier, but now they’re at odds over several of the terms (sales volume, pricing, product reliability, and energy efficiency specs). Each student assumes the role of either client or supplier and receives confidential information about company finances ...