Negotiating through my last classes

It’s back to school at the Freeman School. Graduate classes started this Monday, but I’ve been on campus since last week. About 30 of us took a special intensive negotiations course that lasted all day for five days.

Most of the class periods began with a short lecture, then we were broken off into partners and told to negotiate cases. The cases ranged from the sale of a gas station to the construction of an offshore mega-port. In all of these exercises, we were given secret notes on each sides’ priorities. After a certain amount of time, we either had a deal – or we didn’t.

It was very interesting to see the range of deals struck. In some cases, both parties walked away with a fair deal. In other cases, the deals were very lopsided. Walking away from that class, I definitely will be looking at employment negotiations differently.