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Negotiating at Work by Jessica L. Porter, Deborah M. Kolb

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7Managing the Negotiation Process: Fostering Problem Solving

Several years ago, I ran a negotiation program for labor judges in Denmark. Already extremely accomplished negotiators, the judges wanted to learn more about negotiating within their highly bureaucratic organizations. One of the mainstays of the negotiation programs I run is an activity in which people role-play a negotia­tion about a likely situation at work. They usually perform these role plays in small groups: one pair negotiates, while the other pair observes. Because I don't speak Danish, I had some of the group act as observers. Afterward, we discovered one overall observation: the parties talked to and at each other—but they never asked any questions! Each person was involved ...

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