Rotman School of Management

Main Content

Negotiating for Success: Highlights from Rotman

Posted on April 27, 2016

By Joanne Goveas

Can you leave a negotiation with both you and your counterpart feeling like you won more than your fair shares? That’s what we set out to discover last week at Rotman’s Strategic Negotiations Program.


Packed with some of Rotman’s leading faculty, the four-day program equipped us with a robust toolkit and the flexibility to succeed in a variety of negotiations. Designed for modern learners who want to learn as much from their peers as any expert, our class learned from each other through a series of increasingly complex negotiation exercises.

Geoff Leonardelli, a published authority on leadership, teams and managerial negotiations, kicked off the session with essential foundations. We learned strategies to determine the true value at play during a negotiation, best practices to anchor a negotiation and the tools of both distributive and integrative bargaining.

We ended our first day with a cocktail reception featuring Buzz Hargrove, a legendary labour negotiator and an Officer of the Order of Canada. Buzz shared insights from his decades at the negotiations table and his views on how Canada’s current political climate is shaping the negotiation landscape for some key sectors.

Most people approach negotiations intending to capture value. However, on day two, Glen Whyte, the Marcel Desautels Chair in Integrative Thinking and frequently sought-after consultant for both private and public negotiations, demonstrated strategies to turn negotiations into value-creating opportunities. Value creating and value claiming are often competing processes. However, a successful negotiator does both simultaneously. A key to this approach is relationships and we learned strategies to build trust even in contentious situations. We also learned the value of interest-based problem solving. Teased apart from positions, correctly identifying parties’ interests can be invaluable in breaking impasses, learning to play the right negotiations game and identifying the correct stakeholders.

– Our ToolKit and Halls of Negotiations

As the course progressed, we took on increased complexity by tackling the issues of ethics, risk and using agents. Chen-Bo Zhong, a published researcher in ethics, moral psychology, decision-making and unconscious processes, helped us navigate the gaps between the law and ethics in challenging situations.

Next, we addressed the dynamics, challenges and advantages of team-based negotiations. We worked through best practices of managing teams during both the preparation and negotiation stages to ensure successful outcomes for all your internal stakeholders.

Before tackling the highly complex multi-party, multi-issue negotiations cases, John Oesch, an expert in organizational behaviour, demonstrated how to use persuasion and influence in bargaining especially during multi-party negotiations when influencing the process can be as pivotal to securing a successful outcome as the negotiation itself.

Our class came from a variety of functions, industries and countries which helped us experience cultural differences that can shape the process and outcome of negotiations. Each participant completed a pre-program survey that assessed their approach to negotiations. Then, through the course of the program, we provided feedback on our counterparts and team members so each participant will receive an in-depth report on their performance through the course and areas for development as they take back their skills to raise their impact in their workplaces.

If you have questions about the program call me anytime at 416.946.0722.

To learn more about our programs connect with me at

Questions?We’re here to help

Speak to our expert Learning Advisor about choosing the right program for you or your organization.

Tel: 416.978.8815

See more articles like this
© Rotman School of ManagementAASCB