Real Negotiation

The final exam question is below. Remember that the grades are comparative. So, do your best, as long as this topic represents 35% of the final grade.

Consider a real negotiation, which result wasn’t good for you – i.e., you perceive that you could have had a better outcome … maybe far better. The negotiation may have been a deal with colleagues, relatives, parents, room mates, the organization of a party at school or any other situation which will allow a deep and broad analysis, as described below. Ideally, you should choose a multiparty situation – the more complex was the case, the better it will be as a basis for the analysis.Ideally, you should choose a multiparty situation – the more complex was the case (several parties, interests not so clear or maybe even not explicit), the better it tends to be as a raw material. Furthermore, the higher the perception that the result was below the desirable, the higher the potential for a good final text.

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IN SHORT: your text must have 3 sections, more or less the same size each:

Report the situation in details. Identify the main players/deciders and their interests. Remember that a negotiation may have: see more details at

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– Material/objective issues: money, goods, services etc.;
– Subjective issues: good/bad feelings, emotions/sensations about what happened; and
– Some collateral questions about the process itself: respect, empathy etc.
Much likely, the bad feeling about the case comes from a combination of these aspects.

Once you identified and depicted the scenario, make an introspection, self-assessment about how did you behave regarding all the mentioned aspects. Focus your analysis on what happened. Try to figure out how did YOU contribute – either by acting or by the lack of action when needed – and the possible reasons that led to the poor result.

Be really sincere with yourself. Look for possible improvements in your attitudes and judgment that may help you to do better in future similar situations. Don’t point your finger to the others: focus on YOU and YOUR attitudes. Even if someone misbehaved, instead of blaming that person, try to understand what was your “contribution” for that. E.g.: bothering that person who became angry, or trusting someone you shouldn’t, or failures in explaining your ideas, or taking for grant something that was not clearly agreed, and so on.
Indeed, the most important is to take something positive from the bad experience.

THERE IS NO MAXIMUM AND MINIMUM NUMBER OF PAGES. Based on previous courses, usually the 10 grade texts range from 4 to 7 pages. But remember: what really matters is HOW DEEP and HOW BROAD is your analysis. So, it is useless to “inflate” the text with non relevant content.

Course references:
1. Fischer, R.; Ury, W. & Patton, B. ‐ Getting to Yes. Penguin, 3rd edition (2011), or newer; 2. Shell, G. R. ‐ Bargaining for Advantage. Penguin, 1st (2000) or 2nd edition (2006), or newer;
3. Bazerman, M. & M. Neale ‐ Negotiating Rationally. Free Press, 1994;
4. Russo, J. E. & P. J. H. Schoemaker ‐ Decision Traps. Doubleday, 1989. Other references will be mentioned across the course, especially on e‐Class, with the comments of the class exercise

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