A whole negotiation class in three posts (Pt. I)
OR: How to make fat stacks selling your big, beautiful leather couch (MYSTERY POST #7)
I spent the last two years teaching Managerial Negotiations at Columbia Business School. As much as I love to carp and moan about academia, I actually liked teaching this class, because it felt like I was putting a little good into the world. Everybody negotiates all the time—job offers! used cars! landlord disputes!—and if you don’t do it well, you're basically setting money on fire.
So now that I’ve wrapped up my last semester and I’m going whole hog on the blog, I want to share what I know with the folks who make Experimental History possible. Plus, if you get better at negotiation, you can actually make everyone better off, not just yourself. Which means it’s a shame that a Columbia MBA costs an eye-popping $84,575 per year in tuition and fees alone, or ~$120,000/year for executives, and that it mainly teaches you to land consulting jobs and buy vineyards (yes, MBA classes are a parody of themselves). The materials I’m developing here are instead applicable to everybody, and they cost 0.003% as much.1
I’m dividing the class into three posts:
I. Swingin’ Your BATNA (you’re reading this now)
So let's begin with what everyone wants the most: the negotiation Jedi mind tricks.