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Negotiation and All That Jazz

Negotiation and All That Jazz

Publicado na HBR em 07/04/2014

There’s a saying in the military: “Plans go out the window at the first contact with the enemy.” Even General Dwight Eisenhower—who oversaw the most ambitious military invasion in modern history—said, “Plans are worthless.” But he added an important caveat: “Planning is everything.”

Both propositions apply in negotiation, as well, according to Michael Wheeler’s new book, The Art of Negotiation: How to Improvise Agreement in a Chaotic World. As the title suggests, he sees negotiation as an art rather than an exact science.

“By emulating what jazz masters do, we all can become better negotiators”

“You can’t script the process,” says Wheeler, the MBA Class of 1952 Professor of Management Practice at Harvard Business School. “Whoever who sits across the table from you is likely to be as determined, as smart, and as unpredictable as you are. You can’t dictate their agendas, attitudes, or actions any more than you’d let them dictate yours.”

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