Essay on Harvard Concept

Words: 1612
Pages: 7

Harvard Concept (Fisher and Urgy)

"Getting to Yes" (also called the Harvard concept) describes a method called principled negotiation to reach an agreement whose success is judged by three criteria: 1. It should produce a wise agreement if agreement is possible. 2. It should be efficient. 3. It should improve or at least not damage the relationship between the parties.
The authors argue that their method can be used in virtually any negotiation. Issues are decided upon by their merits and the goal is a win-win situation for both sides. Below is a summary of some of the key concepts from the book. The four steps of a principled negotiation are: 1. Separate the people from the problem 2. Focus on interests, not
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You may have to develop objective criteria and there are a number of ways that can be done, from “traditional practices”, to “market value” to “what a court would decide”. Objective criteria "need to be independent of each side's will."
Once objective criteria have been developed, they need to be discussed with the other side. The authors provide some guidelines: 1. Frame each issue as a joint search for objective criteria. 2. "[Use] reason and be open to reason" as to which standards are most appropriate and how they should be applied. 3. "Never yield to pressure", only to principle.

Common Challenges

Following these steps should lead you to a successful outcome, but it isn't always that easy. The authors then go on to address three types of common challenges negotiators face.
Sometimes the other party is more powerful than you:
"The most any method of negotiation can do is to meet two objectives: first, to protect you against making an agreement you should reject and second, to help you make the most of the assets you do have so that any agreement you reach will satisfy your interests as well as possible."
To protect yourself, develop and know your BATNA: Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement. "The reason you negotiate is to produce something better than the results you can obtain without negotiating." The result you can obtain without negotiating is