Thursday, September 20, 2007

Seminar From The Author of "Getting to Yes"

I had the distinct pleasure this week to attend a two-day negotiation seminar from one of the co-authors of Getting to Yes, Bruce Patton.

Bruce was one of the co-founders of the Harvard Negotiation Project, which provided the basis of his best selling business book. Today he is a director at Vantage Partners, which provides negotiation training and consulting.

The class largely follows the techniques and overviews of the book, but obviously hammers it into your head better with stories, vignettes and exercises. Bruce is a great lecturer who tells engrossing stories about negotiations covering both his personal experiences in diplomacy (South Africa, Middle East) and business, as well as some historical details on negotiations most people aren't familiar with (we discussed everything from WWII to present day Iraq, and no matter your views they were engrossing conversations).

I am not going to cover the class since a lot of it is covered in the book, but I will say the lecture is much better since it is better able to hit points home, plus he can answer questions and give critiques on your own past experiences or present problems, making the lesson more concrete.

I previously had a chance to do something similar from the author of Start with No, and my conclusion: Patton was (much more) superior for coming up with negotiation strategy. Camp was better on negotiation tactics.

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