July 20, 2009

Basketball Executive Offers Negotiating Nuggets of Wisdom

Denver Nuggets vice president of basketball operations and NBA Executive of the Year, Mark Warkentien, reveals five negotiating lessons he learned from the Harvard Negotiation Institute:
  • Keep trying to improve -- "We're always on the players to take the time to get better," Warkentien said, and so he applied the same dictate to himself.
  • Prepare -- Before a GM sits down at the negotiating table, he needs to understand what the player's agent is going to say. That understanding is crucial to negotiation, especially multi-party negotiations.
  • Get out of the office -- Put away the Blackberry and the cell phone and get on an airplane. "Whenever you can, you need to close the personal distance," Warkentien said.
  • Learn from your own lessons -- "There's only a handful of places that can be like Duke, and everybody else has to scramble," he said. Which comes back around to the need for flexibility in negotiations, based on an understanding of the opponent and his arguments.
  • Turn adversaries into partners -- For starters, don't speak like you're the boss. And whatever you do, don't say 'but.'
(Sports Illustrated, via Harvard PON Blog.) This article may be a useful handout for presentations to athletics departments or sports lovers.

In a related note, Diane Levin points out that the Harvard PON has joined the blogosphere. However, their blog is primarily a running advertisement for their training programs. (The article about Mark Weinstein is a rare exception.) Levin says, "Blogging isn’t about constant self-promotion. It’s not about continually plugging stuff you sell." I agree. (Mediation Channel.)

1 comment:

  1. Tom, thanks for the link and glad you approve of the post. What's interesting to me is that whoever is maintaining their blog has to be aware of my post, but I've gotten no response to my gentle ribbing (which doesn't surprise me). Why bother to blog if you're not going to monitor what other bloggers say and pay attention to trackbacks? Just another part of blogging that they're missing out on (not to mention the other stuff that I mentioned in my post). Oh, well.