Do you think it is preferred to negotiate as a team, or as an individual?
Explain your answer.
If I had been asked this question at the beginning of the course, my answer would
probably have been that negotiate as an individual is much better. I know myself, I
trust my abilities, and I have the confidence that I will be able to cope with the
challenges of negotiations. However, as the course progressed, I changed the answer
to this question several times. Now, I understand and appreciate the many benefits of
negotiating as a team, and even prefer to negotiate that way. First, I believe there is
moral importance to negotiate in a team; You always have a backup, there are those
who support you in the event of failure and those who share common interests with
you. During the course, I enjoyed the feeling that I have someone to trust, that there
are those who share with me the fears before a session, or the good feelings after a
successful one. Second, sometimes negotiation needs the collaborative work of people
with a variety of skills and fields of knowledge. While a single negotiator can only be
professional to a certain extent, I felt that each member of our team came with
knowledge and expertise in another field, and thus we managed to be professional in
all the aspects of the deal. Lastly, I came to learn that negotiating as a team gives you
an upper hand, this is because there is diversity in times of ideas, therefore as a team a
good deal can be reached. Also, negotiating as a team has an advantage because you
mix two types of negotiators that are hard bargainer and soft bargainer, this will have
a good impact with regards to the deal that will be reached.
Following the above-stated reasons, I changed my mind on individual negotiation,
despite the advantages that come with it. There are certain situations, especially large
international business transactions, it is better to negotiate as a team.
(b) Give 3 advantages and 3 disadvantages for each option (team v. individual)
and explain them [30 points]
1. Expertise: as I mentioned before, a single negotiator can only provide his expertise
to the negotiations. However, a large team can provide a much broader collection of
experts and this should help the preparations and the discussions move much faster.
Additionally, often special subject matter knowledge is required in order to deal with
specific issues and no person can hold all of that information by himself. Indeed, in
commercial transactions, there is a large amount of material that needs to be learned
before the negotiations. Since there are several team members, the material can be
divided among them. 1 Thus, each team member learns his part in depth and becomes
an expert as possible in it. When the team comes to the negotiation, it comes prepared
and professional about each aspect of the transaction.
2. Efficiency: Working in a team can be more effective than one person's work. First,
when time is a crucial component of a transaction (time is money), teamwork is more
efficient and saves time. 2 As mentioned, using a team allows you to distribute the
1 Behfar, K., and Friedman, R. A., and Brett, J. M., (2008) The Team Negotiation Challenge: Defining
and Managing the Internal Challenges of Negotiating Teams. IACM 21st Annual Conference Paper.
Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1298512 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1298512
2 Tawfik J. G., and Stanley Z.(1993) “An Introduction to group decision and negotiation support” New
York State University
tasks of negotiating among team members. In this way, precious preparations time is
saved and the whole transaction becomes more efficient. Additionally, distribution of
tasks between the team members means that documents that need to be produced or
facts that need to be checked, can be done in parallel to the negotiations and this will
speed the process up and reduce confusion.
3. moral support: Sometimes, all that a person needs is someone to lean on. The
negotiation can continue for a long time, and it’s easy to become disheartened and
exhausted if it appears that an agreement will never be reached. Also, negotiation can
be very stressful, especially for someone inexperienced. Therefore, working with a
team that supports you, allows you to stay strong and not give up.
1. difference of opinion: Disagreements among team members can be expressed in
several ways; For example, there may be a situation in which team members do not
agree on the tactics to be used in negotiations. As is known, there are a few tactics
that can be used during negotiations. Naturally, each person prefers a different tactic.
When one team member wants to use the bluffing tactic, and another team member
prefers to be honest and genuine, a problem arises. 3 Another example is when one
team member is willing to compromise while another team member refuses. In all
these examples, the team may seem unprofessional to the opposing team, thus giving
them an advantage.
2. Over dominance: People who negotiate are usually dominant in nature. When
there is a team of dominant people, especially if they are not used to work together,
there could be a problem while negotiations. It could produce internal intrigues
among team members during their attempts to take over the lead of negotiations. It
also could sabotage the negotiations and look bad toward the opposing team.
Therefore, it is very important to determine in advance who will lead the negotiations.
3. Gaps in knowledge: For a team of negotiators to work together successfully, they
need to all be aware of the same information. This will require that all information
about the negotiation be collected, shared, and reviewed prior to the start of the
negotiations. 4 However, this could be a challenge under the best of circumstances,
and there could be a situation in which there are gaps in information for some team
members. In the end, negotiating is all about power. 5 Having team members become
confused, showing disunity or lack of knowledge will reduce their power and increase
the opposing side's power.
3 Lesley Stolz, Negotiation Strategies, Business Development. Available at
4 Chenbo J. Zh., (2011) Group Heterogeneity and Team Negotiation. Kellogg Journal of Organization
5 Jeanne M. B., Ray F., and Kristin B., (2009) How to manage your negotiating Team. Harvard
1. Sole control on the material: When you are a sole negotiator, once you know
what you want to accomplish and how you are going to make it happen, then you are
set. You have all the knowledge you need, and you do not have to rely on anyone else.
However, when you have a team of negotiators, then you need to make sure that
everyone on your team really understands what the goals are. 6 This can be a
challenge to do, especially if your goals change during the negotiation.
2. The opponent's Empathy: In my opinion, the more team members from your side
in the negotiations, the less likely your opponent will come toward you. This is
because there is something threatening about a large team. On the other hand, when a
single person comes to negotiate against several team members, there is an imbalance
between the parties. The imbalance could be an advantage to the individual negotiator
since the desire of the opposing side to create equality could tip the scales in his favor.
1. inefficiency: The inefficiency of a single negotiator could be reflected in all aspects
of the negotiations; First, in commercial transactions, there is a tremendous amount of
information to learn. Doing all this work by one person could take a long time that
could be saved by working in a team. Second, during the negotiation one set of ears
can only hear so much. In fact, not only can multiple people simply hear better, but
they can also hear things differently which might help the negotiation move along
2. professional gaps: The ability of one person to understand and specialize in each
of the transaction's issues is limited. There will always be aspects of the transaction
that another person can understand better. Therefore, a plan that created by a single
negotiator is as good as that negotiator. 7 But, a plan that created by multiple
negotiators could be much better because it reflects the different inputs of multiple
3. Exhaustion: Negotiations often can take a long time and just the physical strain of
active negotiating can wear a single person down quickly. Using a team allows you to
use a group of people to capture all that is occurring. You can also use the team to
jointly review what has transpired and make better decisions.
(c1) Give at least 3 examples from the course negotiations that show how
negotiating as a team was beneficial, and (c2) another 3 examples of how
negotiating as a team was detrimental (harmful).
1. Division of roles: Our team has divided roles so that each team member knew
what issue he is responsible for and what his role is during the negotiations. For
example, I was responsible for the force majeure issue, Yarden was responsible for
6 Tanya A., and Azeta C., (1993) Negotiations Theory and practice.” FAO Policy Learning Program.
7 Hillary A., (2015 ) Individual Differences in Negotiation: A Nearly Abandoned Pursuit Revived.”
the distribution of shares and Ido was responsible for the financial part. Also, during
the negotiations, the roles were that Roee was responsible for leading the negotiations,
and Sharon and I played the good cop and the bad cop. The division was beneficial
because everyone knew what their role was and so we all could be expressed and
participated in the negotiations.
2. Knowledge in various fields: One of the outstanding advantages of our team was
that everyone has a different field of knowledge. For example, Ido comes from a
financial background and therefore was responsible for calculating costs and losses.
On the other hand, Roee is fluent in English and therefore he led the negotiations.
And I, for example, study psychology so I was responsible for maintaining empathy
between the teams and for reaching to compromises.
3. Support, encouragement and mutual help: One of the most beneficial aspects of
our team was mutual respect and the fruitful work together. There was a lot of
attention among the team members so that everyone would take part in the
negotiations. Thus, when the team noticed that one of the members did not participate,
we made sure to give him the stage to express himself. Also, when a team member
had trouble with a particular issue, the other members of the team enlisted to explain
to him until he fully understood. Finally, I felt there was a lot of support from our
1. Lack of experience in teamwork: This was the first time that this specific group
of people worked together as a team. We have known each other for several years, but
we have never worked so intensely together. We are five different people, with
different opinions and different ideas. Since everyone came from a different
background and with different approaches it was sometimes difficult to work together.
This difficulty was reflected in the negotiation when every team member wanted to
act differently and to express himself.
2. Different approaches: Each member of the team believed that the negotiations
should be conducted with a slightly different approach. For example, during the
negotiations, we encountered difficulties from Daniel, a team member from the
opposing team. Some of our team believed that the right way to deal with him was to
fight with him and show him that we were stronger and not willing to compromise.
On the other hand, some of us believed that the right way was to turn to him in a
dignified manner, to explain to him that we felt his approach was a bit insulting and
that we would be happy to hear what other members of his team are thinking and
conducting negotiations with.
3. Over dominance: Despite the division into roles, each of our team members had
excellent control over the material, and all of us are intelligent and dominant. As a
result, there were several cases in which some members believed that they would
know how to conduct the negotiations in the best possible way. It sometimes made
negotiations difficult, as this created disorder, outbursts, inconsistencies and internal
contradictions between the team. Personally, I have felt a few times that this is
interpreted by the opposing side as a lack of organization as a team, and thus as a
disadvantage. I believe that if we worked in a team throughout the year, for example,
we would improve and overcome these obstacles.
(d) Explain how you would prepare your team before beginning an international
business negotiation (give at least 3 practical examples/techniques and explain
Assuming that this is a team that works together for the first time, first of all, I would
begin by getting acquainted with the team members. In addition to presenting the
various names and positions, I would even do an exaggerated thing, such as going to
Escape room together. That way the team members will know each other beyond
superficial knowledge understand how everyone thinks and acts and can cooperate
better. I believe it is an important and even integral part of our success as a team.
Then, we would define what our goals and aims are in the negotiations, and what will
be considered a success. The overriding aim in any negotiation is to achieve the
objectives you and your constituents have set. also, I would try to understand what our
counterpart is engaging in this negotiation. To determine the other sides interests, we
can interact with the parties who will already be involved with the preliminary
arrangements. By knowing and understanding each sides goals and objectives afford
both parties a better opportunity to explore creative solutions. 8
Next, we would gather information about the other side's offer and use it to refine our
own. It is crucial we gain as much understanding about the business background and
personalities of the other side. We will need to know and understand the country’s
political climate, economy, culture, and laws. The local or regional business climate,
where the primary business is to be conducted is important, as is their international
standing with their neighboring countries. 9 The more information we have on hand,
the more we are able to consider and overcome any obstacles that might suddenly
materialize out of nowhere.
Finally, we would get a BATNA; Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement. It is
unwise to assume that the agreement will automatically succeed, we need to consider
all our options in a case the deal collapses.
I believe that Good business negotiation preparation is the key to any successful
negotiation. Perhaps, even more so when dealing with a business culture that marches
to the beat of its own drum. The more you adequately prepare beforehand, the more
likely are you able to anticipate