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Prof. Nancy L. McCullough, Esq.

FMRK 3712/MRKT 3715 (Spring 2019)

The Art of Negotiation


Instructions:  Please open this document in MS Word and answer each question completely, with at least a two sentence paragraph typed in black color below the blue questions.  As directed in the Syllabus, your answer should not be less than one page or greater than two pages, and it should be printed out and brought to the Feb. 11 class in your Reflection Journal Assignment folder. 

I am making an extra request for excellence in how you present this assignment to me (and all work going forward for this class).  I have underlined the instructions above, and I believe these are simple, clear and understandable – yet several of you consistently fail to follow them, or otherwise are turning in poorly-presented work product.

Please be aware that any work that you do and put your name on, whether for my class or any context, ultimately represents you:   so please ask yourself if “sloppy” or “incomplete” is the impression that you want to make.

Your university training is preparing you for a professional career – therefore, typographical errors, failure to follow instructions completely, misspelled words, poor grammar, and failure to answer questions in a clear, numerical order are simply unacceptable in written work product from young professionals in training

I will begin marking down for poor work product presentation, as well as incorrect answers, going forward.


  1. Fear and angers are emotions that have a significant impact on your negotiating style, as most of you knew already, intuitively, and as all of you saw demonstrated in the exercise that the entire class did last week, using one neutral bargaining situation and one that had a fear or anger component to them.

Please choose three examples from what you observed in our Feb. 4 class (for your three examples, your choices are:  (a) use one example of your negotiating experience during the Feb. 4 class, plus two of your classmates’ experiences; or (b) use three examples of your classmates).  For each of the 3 examples:

                (a) Explain (in a few clear sentences for each example) when and/or how it became clear to you that one of those emotions was impacting the negotiating experience; and

                (b) Discuss at least two ways that might have been effective to control their emotional response, and therefore yield a better negotiation outcome.  (It will not be acceptable, for example, for you to say “everyone in all 3 of my examples was very effective” – you are being asked to consider 3 examples meaningfully, and answer this question thoroughly and thoughtfully.)

  1. On February 4, we were fortunate enough to have my colleague Jason both participate in a negotiation role play to illustrate some of the negotiation techniques we have discussed, and share some of his experiences and techniques, both as a lawyer and film industry professional, that have helped him succeed in difficult negotiation situations. Please give at least one example from what Jason shared that you found helpful or interesting to you, as you are learning how to enhance your own negotiation style.
  1. Please describe the most difficult negotiation situation you have ever been in, and explain what made it difficult and what strategy you followed to improve the outcome. Were you successful?  Why, or why not?
  1. One of my friends who is both a successful negotiator and a skilled executive performance coach confirms what you probably already know instinctively, if you think about it: fear and avoidance are strongly connected.  This means, people try to avoid situations that make them fearful, and much of what drives avoidance behavior is a fear response to whatever is being avoided.

My friend gave me five excuses that people use frequently that indicate fear or avoidance is driving how they are responding to others. He says that empowered and effective negotiators, business people, and people in general, are those who take responsibility or “ownership” for every situation that they are in. 

This means that rather than them offering a fear/avoidance excuse, highly-effective people offer a reason that shows they are taking responsibility for what has happened or not happened.  I believe that you learning to do that effectively will have a dramatic and positive impact on your negotiation style, and probably your comfort level in addressing difficult situations.

Below is a list of the top five excuses that people offer that show fear or avoidance behavior:

                (a) I didn’t have time.

                (b) I can’t afford it.

                (c) I am not good at it/I don’t have a talent for that.

                (d) I forgot.

                (e) They didn’t get back to me.

Please briefly describe 3 times in the last 6-12 months where you used one of the above excuses to explain to someone else why you did not do something.  Then, explain if, thinking back on those situations, you really had fear or a reason to avoid doing whatever it was, and what you might have said to show that you were taking responsibility for the failure.

Example:  when people say “I didn’t finish my homework because I didn’t have time” (excuse #1 above), what the truthful, accurate description is usually:  “I didn’t allow enough time to finish my homework because I started it too late”. 

So, to answer this question, after you explain the context of each of your 3 examples where you used one of the excuses above and provide the excuse that you used, then I want you to re-describe what really happened in words that show your taking responsibility for what happened.  (You are not allowed to use the same description that I just used above for the homework example.)




Tags: Negotiation