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  • InsideTrack
  • March 06, 2019

    Improving Negotiation Effectiveness

    March 6, 2019 – Lawyers have many different tools to negotiate the best possible outcomes for clients. But Marquette University Law School Professor Andrea Kupfer-Schneider says five skills in particular will help lawyers achieve negotiating success.

    At the State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE® 2018 Wisconsin Solo and Small Firm Conference, Kupfer-Schneider, who teaches alternative dispute resolution, discussed the five top negotiation skills in detail: 1) assertiveness; 2) empathy; 3) flexibility; 4) social intuition; and 5) ethicality.

    Kupfer-Schneider said “assertiveness” is a combination of presentation and knowledge, which means preparation is key. “We should be treat negotiations as if we were going to trial. We negotiate the vast majority of cases and want to be just as prepared,” she said.

    But how do lawyers ensure the other side is listening? That’s where social intuition comes into play. “In a negotiation, we are obviously trying to make our point, and to present our clients case as persuasively as possible,” Kupfer-Schneider.

    “The key to having the other side listen to us in negotiation is to keep them open minded, to have them as willing to listen to us as possible,” she said, noting that social intuition can help build the rapport necessary to keep the conversation going.

    Social intuition could be the way lawyers speak, through pace, tone, humor, and metaphors. It could involve body language, including eye contact and proximity.

    Reputation is another big one. “Do they know we mean what they say, and that we are trustworthy? That is going to keep someone more open-minded, more willing to listen.”

    Coming soon!

    Business Litigation in Wisconsin, published by State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE®, is now Business Litigation and Dispute Resolution in Wisconsin.

    Revised and expanded for publication in spring 2019, this title includes two additional chapters covering arbitration and mediation. Check the Marketplace this spring!

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