Negotiations clas XXX.pdf - CHOREOGRAPH THE RELATIONSHIPS...

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Unformatted text preview: CHOREOGRAPH THE RELATIONSHIPS DANCE _ w.__...l._ “You never huild a relationship hetween your organization and a company. . . . You build it hetween individuals." —John Browne, CEO, British Petroleum t was July 2000—the Camp David Summit. In the news footage, we saw President Clinton standing at the doorway, grinning broadly, his arms spread out in a welcoming gesture as he graciously invites his two esteemed guests to enter the room. But instead of entering, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian leader Yasir Ara- fat cavort humorously before the cameras. No, you go first, gestures one. No, I insist, you go first, gestures the other. Both are smiling joviaily and obviously enjoying each other’s company. Or so it appeared- In fact, however, that public display was a far cry from what went on in private. Away from the reporters and cameras, discourse between Barak and Arafat at the Camp David Summit was discour— teous, emotionally charged, and stressful. According to Gilead Sher, 55 t. g“. THE UPPER HAND ____________fl____fi_ one of Israel's chief negotiators, Barak steadfastly avoided Arafat and refused to recognize him when their paths crossed. When Barak first entered the dining hall, for example, Arafat approached him and extended his hand. But instead of shaking the hand of the Palestinian leader, Barak stood in place, his hand at his side. The two men sat on either side of Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and did not speak once during the entire evening. Barak’s cold and distant attitude dominated the summit, even though several members of both the Israeli and the American del- egations urged him to warm up to Arafat and deal with him direct— ly and personally. Senior Israeli negotiator Shlomo Ben-Ami told Barak that honor was very important to the Palestinian leader and Barak’s behavior was making Arafat feel Barak disrespected him. Madeleine Albright suggested Barak spend some informal time with Arafat, but Barak told her that eating baklava together would not change things. Barak’s behavior was a direct contrast to the negotiation rules of an earlier Israeli prime minister: “Don’t ridicule your opponent, especially not in public,” says Shimon Peres. “Don’t challenge him in the face of his subordinates. When he is with his subordinates, give him respect.” You should confront issues honestly, Peres says, but “in a meeting before only four eyes.” In Israel, two weeks after the Camp David Summit, Yossi Bei- lin, one of the Israeli architects of the 1993 Oslo Accord, met with two Palestinian negotiators who had also been at the summit. They told him Barak’s behavior demonstrated he placed little value on personal relationships. Barak, a former Israeli military chief of staff and a man known for his sharp intellect and self—reliance, is the most decorated soldier 56 CHOREOGRAPH THE RELATIONSHIPS DANCE _____—_—_____._._.—————-————-—'— in Israel's history and a confident debater. But, as he proved at Camp David, he is an extremely inexperienced diplomatic negotiator. For as any Master Negotiator will tell you, Building a relationship witb those on rbe other side is crucial to the success afar negotiation. THE RELATIONSHIP INVESTMENT Barak is a tragic symbol of just how important relationship-building is in negotiation. Palestinian chief negotiator Sa’eb Erakat (biography 071]). 8) describes him as “a character from a chapter of a Greek trag- edy,” because the Israeli prime minister was more willing to nego— tiate with the Palestinians than any other Israeli head of state and more willing to make concessions for the cause of peace. As far as Barak was concerned it was the substance of the negotiation that was the key, and he had developed a sweeping grand strategy designed to bring an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, only to be stymied by the slow pace of negotiations and what he viewed as Arafat's inflex- ibility on the issues. He could not understand that talking to Arafat and interacting with the man personally was every bit as important to success as the concessions he was willing to make. Personal interaction is especially important when “the other side" is an Arab leader for whom respect, honor, and flattery are essential foreplay. Former US. ambassador to Egypt Herman Eilts says the hours he spent in informal conversation with his counterparts helped him cultivate new contacts and acquire invaluable information. This personal approach to Egyptian leaders was the hallmark of the Kiss- inger period of Middle East diplomacy, and was carried on by Pres- ident Jimmy Carter, Secretary of State George Schultz, President George HW. Bush, and President Bill Clinton. 57 -1 =i‘ \‘5 u- 1 l? '4 l. '57, III THE UPPER HAND —-—-—_—___________ In any negotiation, issues divide, but common human traits tend to unite. The relationships between the parties are the sine qua non, according to Ambassador Dennis Ross, former Middle East coordi- nator: "[ Relationships are] more important than anything else. People will reveal things to you because of the relationship you have with them.” He adds that people on the other side will help you to negotiate by pointing out that certain calculations that you have made for trad- eoffs are, in fact, not the right calculations. FIND COMMON GROUND—NO MATTER How INSIG— NIFICANT During the 1991 Madrid Conference betWeen Israel and the Arab countries, the Arab negotiators didn’t want direct contact with their Israeli counterparts; they refused even to go into the same conference room with the Israeli delegates and negotiate with them face—to—face. During breaks, however, cofl'ee was served in a common area. “One day,” Ambassador Zalman Shoval (biography mp. 15) remem- bers, “the coffee cart came around and I said to one of the Jordanian delegates, ‘Is this not a terrible coifee?’ And he answered, ‘I agree. It is a terrible coffee.” 'lhat seemingly minor breakthrough was a moment that would be hailed later as “the Coffee Diplomacy,” because once the ice was broken, Ambassador Shoval and his Jordanian counterpart began talking about other things as well, as did their colleagues, and even- tually the Arabs and the Israelis did sit down together in the same conference room. The bad coffee commiseration certainly did not remedy decades of deeply rooted distrust on both sides. But the discovery of that 58 CHOREOGRAPH THE RELATIONSHIPS DANCE minuscule mutual similarity—a higher coffee standard—“was an important tiny step on the long march toward peace, marking the beginning of a personal relationship between an Israeli and a Jorda- nian. Three years later, their two countries signed a peace accord. Finding the personal characteristics you share with your negoti- ating counterpart and playing to them might very well help overcome even the most deeply entrenched political, financial, or ideological differences. Former Secretary of State James Baker has seen the development of a relationship between negotiators bring even the most contentious issues to a successful resolution. He thinks that's because friendships enable negotiators to abandon their official positions and reveal the thoughts and assumptions underlying those positions. That, in turn, is likely to lead to a resolution that can benefit both sides. Converse- ly, Baker says, if a relationship sours, even sides that are not that far apart may have trouble reaching an agreement. Relationship building is less prevalent in American culture than it is in other cultures. Experienced American negotiators, however, overcome the cultural bias. Chicago Tribune president and publisher Scott Smith has played a central role in negotiating the company’s key acquisitions. “If I am the lead negotiator,” he says, “I want to be clear on who the real players on the other side are. Then I invest time in getting to know them and understanding their styles for the pur- pose of building relationships with them . . . to make the negotiations more productive." If you become close to the other side, will it hinder your abil— ity to negotiate assertively? Will it make you “softer” and thus more likely to compromise your objectives by conceding on substantive matters? THE UPPER HAND Experienced negotiators answer “no.” Relationships enhance bar— gaining transparency by enabling you to better understand where the other side is coming from, what they really want, what they may be willing to settle for, and where there may be a comfortable middle ground—but they should not interfere with the negotiating objectives. Take the relationship between President Jimmy Carter and Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat, for example. Carter writes in his memoirs that the two men developed a natural friendship the first time they met, sharing information about each other’s families and childhood experiences and ambitions. Later, in the Camp David Summit, the disagreements that sur— faced did not affect the personal relationship that had developed between the two leaders. At the same time, however, the disagree— ments were not cast aside because the two men had become friends. Observers said Carter had less trouble separating business from friend- ship than Sadat did and that he pushed hard to secure an accord. MOTIVATIONS FOR RELATIONSHIP BUILDING Relationships between negotiators are not ends in themselves. They are primarily instruments that help facilitate the negotiation pro- cess and its outcome. Relationships also yield important long-term emotional and social benefits. Many well-known negotiators who interact often find that the personal relationships they have devel— oped over time are a source of mutual enjoyment, provide a means of relaxing from the pressure of intense sessions, and, more often than not, drive them to find mutually beneficial solutions. However, building a relationship is hard work. It requires good will, major investments in time and energy, and a conviction that the 60 CHOREOGRAPH THE RELATIONSHIPS DANCE ___—________________—.__ results will add value to the negotiation process. In deciding whether or not to invest in relationship building, skilled negotiators evaluate the potential benefits a relationship might yield, including the fol- lowing possible benefits. Enbanced Pannbaremy and Flexibility Former Secretary of State George Schultz and Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze built a very close relationship over the years. They visited each other’s homes, met each other’s families, and spent recreational time together. Schultz even took Shevard— nadze and his entourage out yachting on the Potomac River. Shevardnadze cherished the years he spent negotiating with Schultz. He recalled that the friendship did not keep the two from holding firm to their official positions. What the relationship did, he said, was create trust and understanding so that when one of them said he could not go any further, the other took him at his word. Negotiators who have built good relationships with each other tend to be more flexible. United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 of November 1967 compelled Israel to return occupied territories to the Arabs in exchange for peace. When the British ambassador to the United Nations, Lord Caradon, drafted this resolution, the Soviet representative asked him to postpone the vote by two days. Lord Cara— don refused. When the Soviet representative explained that the request was not coming from his government but rather from him personally, Lord Caradon changed his mind and granted the request immediately. Based on the trusting relationship the two had developed, Lord Caradon was completely confident that there was a good reason for the request and that the Soviet representative’s intentions were hon- orable. Indeed, two days later the Soviets voted for resolution 242. 61 THE UPPER HAND M Interdependence Negotiating tends to be an interdependent affair. What brings each side to the bargaining table is the fact that it needs something from the other side. This is especially true in labor-management relations. Manage- ment may like or dislike its union and vice versa, but the mm are interdependent. Once they recognize that fact, they tend to build rela- tionships that enable them to work better together. Morton Bahr (biog- rapby on p. 4), the president of Communications Workers of America, says that when he and Edward Whitacre, the chairman and CEO of SBC Communications, Inc., realized it was in each of their best interests to work together rather than against each other, relationship building became a top priority. A little bit nervous about the possible outcome, Baht nonetheless invited Whitacre to address a union con— vention. Baht was then invited to address the company shareholders. Accepting each other’s legitimacy made the contract negotia- tions in 2001 "actually fun,” Baht says. “The contract was not due to expire until April 2001, but already in November 2000, Mr. Whita- cre called me and said, ‘Why don’t we just negotiate the contract early and get in and out? I already know,’ he told me, 'what is going on in the rest of the telecommunications industry.I So we met and by January 2001 we had it all done.” “Even before that [negotiation] ,” Baht says, “two or three years ago, Whitacre had a management meeting of 3,500 managers of SEC in- San Antonio, Texas. And he called me and said, ‘Come down. I want everybody to hear the same message.’ In his open- ing address he introduced me and told them about the partnership between SBC and the union. It was extraordinary. Many (manag- ers) came to speak with me. If the chairman is committed to the 62 CHOREOGRAPH THE RELATIONSHIPS DANCE partnership—and you can tell if it is phony or real—then others will follow his lead." Long-firm Permeatipe Most internatiOnal trade and diplomatic negotiations are not one-shot deals. Rather, they tend to be part of a series of bilateral or multilateral talks that take place over time, frequently with the same casts of characters negotiating for each side. Those negotiating busi— ness ventures—mergers and acquisitions—aim tend to cross paths frequently. It is likely that members of the two teams seated at the negotiating table will meet again in the future. As a result, Master Negotiators know that developing personal bonds with negotiators on the other side is not only useful in securing a deal today, but could very well prove to be an excellent long-term investment as well. “All business is personal," says Robert Johnson, founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET) and the first Afri— can-American to own an NBA team. “Make your friends before you need them," he advises business negotiators. “I look at negotiation as a step in a continuing relationship, not a single event,” says AFL—CIO Secretary-Treasurer Richard Trumka. “And therefore I look at ways to foster the relationship out into the future as opposed to just looking at this as a single event where I either win or lose,” he explains. When I asked Eric Benhamou (biagmpby on p. 5), former CEO and current chairman of 3Com, if he invests in building relation- ships, he answered, “Yes. When I know that I am negotiating with someone that I need to do business with over a long period of time, obviouslyI will try to build a relationship and avoid a confrontation— al style, avoid burning bridges." 63 THE UPPER HAND Say—Interest In conflict situations, especially protracted ones, the relation- ships between the two sides can be extremely negative. The parties have demonized each other, each portraying the other side as unwor— thy, devious, evil. In such a context it is indeed difficult to establish relationships unless the parties realize that acrimony is a lose-lose proposition. People in such conflict will engage in a dialogue—often with great difficulty—because they realize it is the only way to stop what has become an intolerable situation for their side. Sa’eb Erakat admits that when he started to negotiate with the Israelis at the Madrid Conference in 1992, he was a novice. Now, more than a decade later, he says he realizes that he is “not doing them a favor.” Erakat explains, “Negotiation is my need. It is my interest. I am doing the Palestinian people the greatest favor by negotiating with Israel. It is a favor we are doing for ourselves, for our children." The traditional approach to erupting international conflicts in many parts of the world has been to contain them by separating the warring parties. This can be useful in the short term because it halts the violence and minimizes the horrors of conflict. People engaged in deep—rooted conflicts need time and encouragement to negotiate and to let go of their grievances, fears, and pain. International mediators have come to realize, however, that in order for such protracted conflicts to have a chance of resolution, the parties must meet and develop a relationship. Only then will they see each other as human beings rather than inanimate symbols of evil, and realize continued bloodshed is in no one’s best interest. 64 CHOREOGRAPH THE RELATIONSHIPS DANCE How To DEVELOP RELATIONSHIPS Master Negotiators are so aware of the critical value of relationship building that they employ several techniques to create the kind of atmosphere that fosters friendships. Create Informal Settingr When you think of negotiations, you might envision two sides facing each other across a gleaming conference table—sparring, giv- ing, taking, pushing, conceding. However, in truth, Ambassador Dennis Ross says, “You never cut your breakthroughs in that kind of a setting . . . because neither side ever concedes in front of a group.” As far as Ross is concerned, deals are made and relationships are formed away from the bargaining table in casual, social interactions. And for that reason, he says, expe- rienced negotiators see to it that there are plenty of informal opportu- nities in the course of negotiations to get to know the other side. Labor negotiator Alice Flynn admits that in her early career she was leery about letting the other side know her too well and impa- tient with the time-consuming rituals of building relationships. As a typical task—oriented negotiator, she wanted to be efficient, and just cut to the chase and get on with the deal. But, she says, as she became more experienced in the dynam- ics of negotiating, relationship building took on greater significance. She realized there were things the other side wanted to tell her and that she wanted to tell them that could not be said in the midst of a formal negotiation. Socializing, she realized, could prove valuable. Successful venture capitalist Martha Crowninshield tells a story that underscores—sadly—how deals are cut in informal settings. In 65 THE UPPER HAND her business, she says, one of the rituals is going out for drinks. Once, in a three-way negotiation—between a potential seller, a buyer, and herself—the tense negotiations went on for a long time. Exhausted by the deliberations, she went to bed early, while the other parties— the potential buyer and seller—went to have a drink in the bar. They stayed there until 2 A.M. When Crowninshield returned to the nego- tiation table the next day, well tested and ready to charge ahead, her attorney told her that a deal had been out between the buyer and the seller directly—without her. “Informal settings” are often carefully planned. Terje Reed— Larsen (now UN special envoy to the Middle East), a Norwegian who initiated a contact between Israel and the Palestinian Lib- eration Organization (PLO), was acutely aware that a stress—free environment, relaxed conversation, and casual clothing help people lower their guards and interact more openly. He planned the first meeting at a manor house outside Oslo. His idea was to organize a prenegotiation setting where the two sides would get to know each other personally. He purposely chose a remote location where the Palestinians and Israelis would be together around the clock. M...
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  • Spring '18
  • Interpersonal relationship, Upper hand, Prime Minister Ehud Barak, RELATIONSHIPS DANCE

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