Negotiating Without a Net

A Conversation with the NYPD’s Dominick J. Misino. by Diane L. Coutu

NEGOTIATION INFORMS ALL ASPECTS of business life. Every interaction—with customers, with suppliers, and even with partners and investors—involves some kind of negotiation. In fact, in some languages the same term is used for both “business” and “negotiation.” But the costs of failure can be high. The breakdown of negotiations between Hewlett-Packard’s management and its founding families, for example, put the company’s future in doubt and led to an expensive proxy fight.

Perhaps it’s not surprising, then, that the last 20 years have seen an endless stream of handbooks on business negotiation, many of them best-sellers. Or that most of the country’s ...

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