Shattering Negotiation Myths: Empirical Evidence on the Effectiveness of Negotiation Style

Andrea Kupfer Schneider

Marquette University – Law School

November 26, 2012

Harvard Negotiation Law Review, Vol. 7, p. 143, 2002


This article provides a current look at how lawyers actually negotiate and should serve to shatter the myth that adversarial bargaining is more effective and less risky than problem-solving. The data reported herein is based on a wide-ranging study that asked lawyers to evaluate the negotiation styles and the resulting effectiveness of other lawyers.

First, the study shows that effective negotiators exhibit certain identifiable skills. For example, the research indicates that a negotiator who is assertive and empathetic is perceived as more effective.

The study also reveals distinctive characteristics of ineffective negotiators, who are more likely to be stubborn, arrogant, and egotistical. Furthermore, when this adversarial negotiator is unethical, he is perceived as even less effective.

Third, the study found that problem-solving behavior is perceived as highly effective. This information should help focus negotiation training toward the task of learning these new skills or modifying ineffective habits.

Shattering Negotiation Myths- Empirical Evidence on the Effectiveness of Negotiation Style

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