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Negotiation Success - Entire Series

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Ninety percent or more of cases settle, yet lawyers are predominantly trained to do battle over facts and law. And while legal analysis certainly plays a key role in settling cases, achieving best results in negotiation also involves a variety of personal and process skills that bring greater success and fulfillment to the process and help lawyers best satisfy their ethical and professional obligations.

This five part series will provide lawyers with tools and techniques to improve how they negotiate after they complete the appropriate legal framework. By drawing from several disciplines—strategic planning, mediation, facilitation, leadership psychology and philosophy—the series presents a unique method for building agreement based on increased empathy, information, and structure.

Beginning with Aristotle’s empathic framework (ethos, pathos and logos), and paradoxically matching a highly structured dialog process, lawyers will learn how to systematically:

  • Adapt their own negotiation style to better fit the people and situation;
  • Build broad mutual understanding of each others positions;
  • Generate more information and ideas;
  • Design detailed agendas followed by all participants;
  • Exchange proposals that stimulate creative analysis and commitment.

By applying the full model or finding ways to implement individual themes and tactics, lawyers will learn how to better engage and understand the other side to a negotiation—thereby increasing the professionalism and creativity so essential to the successful agreement in complex legal matters.

Part 1: The Principles of Expansive Negotiation
(120 minutes)

Most lawyers devote the lion’s share of negotiation planning to marshalling facts and building arguments. Encouraged by a culture of oppositional negotiation, it is easy to become entrenched in our positions. As a result, any proposal that appears counter to our positions is regarded as threatening to success. This course introduces an expansive negotiation style which increases our aptitude for persuasion, while reducing defensiveness and aggressive behavior on both sides of the table.

  • Gain maximum leverage in negotiation.
  • Reduce defensiveness.
  • Establish incremental agreements along the path to resolution.

Part 2: Preparation: Developing a Needs Map
(120 minutes)

Preparation is one of the most important aspects of long-term negotiation success. This program examines two aspects of negotiation preparation and a highly effective model for creating a map of needs and interests in order to increase influence and cooperation in negotiation.

  • Learn to identify both party’s real needs and interests.
  • Foster an environment of cooperation.
  • Reduce negotiation risk with reference points for success.

Part 3: Generating Discourse Toward Expansive Solutions
(120 minutes)

Much of our society embraces a “win-lose” negotiation model that encourages lawyers to distance themselves from the other side of the table. This program examines the diminishing returns in the “win-lose” approach, and examines methods for expanding the pie, finding common ground and uncovering creative solutions for getting more needs met.

  • Minimize the polarizing effects of legal arguments.
  • Engage clients and other counsel in creative discourse.
  • Learn an approach to expanding the size of the pie.

Part 4: Developing Proposals and Negotiating to a Resolution
(120 minutes)

In this section, lawyers learn to develop a range of proposals that address the majority of the needs of both sides, and then discuss a range of negotiation strategies to achieve satisfactory resolutions. The goal of this program is to leave lawyers with strategies for structuring negotiation in a way which ensures that challenging conditions do not derail the process.

  • Identify and establish ground rules to withstand the stress of difficult negotiation.
  • Develop and deliver proposals without invoking defensiveness.
  • Close deals that meet more client objectives.

Part 5: Winning Difficult Negotiations
(120 minutes)

There are times when we are forced to engage with individuals who we perceive as difficult. Often they employ strategies, threatening behavior, and an uncooperative working style as a means to achieve their objectives. While these instances are challenging, if we are committed to our objectives, we can still be effective negotiators by winning their willingness to cooperate. Lawyers learn to minimize the damage of tactical negotiation, refrain from emotional responses to hardball tactics, and identify opportunities for understanding.

  • Apply leverage without resorting to the force that damages relationships.
  • Transform aggressive lawyers into productive negotiators.
  • Convert hardball tactics into opportunities for understanding, relationship-building and productive dialog.


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PRICE: $369.00


Part 1: The Principles of Expansive Negotiation

1. The Foundation for Expansive Negotiation
 (60 Minutes)

When lawyers jump too quickly to proposals, they often become frustrated with an inability to generate an attitude of cooperation from the other side.  In this section, attorneys learn the techniques of highly successful negotiators who are able to see situations from the other side’s perspective and communicate proposals which inspire cooperation.

2. Techniques to Reduce Defensiveness
(60 Minutes)

Aggressive tactics invoke defensiveness and often compromise persuasion.  In this section, lawyers learn to hold multiple perspectives in order to build trust and reduce acrimony in negotiation.  

Part 2: Preparation: Developing a Needs Map

1. Leverage Through Empathic Investigation
 (60 Minutes)

Our typical negotiation styles consider our needs, but often overlook the needs of the other side.  This section includes a detailed process for creating a substantial needs and interests map as a means toward developing and proposing solutions which are beneficial to us, and acceptable to them.  

2. Communicating Toward Cooperation
(60 Minutes)

Meeting our objectives becomes exponentially more feasible when we effectively communicate to others that we have considered their perspective.  We can accomplish this by communicating through a framework of genuine curiosity.  The result is reciprocity and a more willing partner.  

Part 3: Generating Discourse Toward Expansive Solutions

1. Finding Common Ground
 (60 Minutes)

Negotiations become stuck when neither side is willing to consider options which address the needs of all.  In this section lawyers learn ways to increase cooperation and build rapport toward meeting mutual objectives.

2. Brainstorming for Mutual Gain
(60 Minutes)

When negotiations reach a standstill, we often abandon attempts to approach the situation with a fresh perspective.  Instead, we tend to become entrenched in the virtues of our side’s positions and principles.  This section models an approach to developing proposals that will minimize defensive responses and increase foundations for achieving more of our clients’ objectives.

Part 4: Developing Proposals and Negotiating to a Resolution

1.Using the Needs Map to Develop Proposals
 (60 Minutes)

In this section, lawyers explore the benefits of in-principle agreements prior to actual negotiation.  Attorneys then explore various proposal development theories toward improving success and reducing acrimony in actual negotiations.

2. Negotiating Toward Successful Resolution
(60 Minutes)

Next, the core process of actual “negotiation” will be detailed—how to systematically listen, learn, and “upgrade” proposals based on mutual interests rather than conflicting positions.  Of course, even good agreements can fail before documents are signed.  Consequently, lawyers will review tactics for closing deals.

Part 5: Winning Difficult Negotiations

1. Minimizing the Damaging Effects of Hardball Tactics
 (60 Minutes)

In this section, lawyers get past hardball and other aggressive negotiation tactics, and learn easy tools for fostering a collective focus upon the legitimate, substantive nature of the negotiation. 

2. Transform Aggression Into Productivity
(60 Minutes)

Lawyers discuss the causes of conflict and the role of emotions in negotiation.  This understanding gives attorneys the ability to diffuse tensions, increase influence, and move negotiations forward toward successful resolutions.

Jeffrey Stec

Jeffrey Stec, J.D. has been a licensed lawyer since 1992, having practiced in the area of complex-family matters, including estate, divorce, and child custody disputes. Jeff developed his collaborative skills by becoming a certified mediator and strategic planning facilitator, specializing in family issues. Jeff has developed an expertise in the collaborative resolution of disputes, and in addition to his work with The Likeable Lawyer, he is currently a sought-after consultant who works with non-profits and municipalities to fashion solutions to complex organizational and community issues. Jeffrey graduated with honors from the University of Michigan Law School, and earned a Bachelor of Arts in English with high honors from the University of Michigan.

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Credit Reporting

Our courses are approved in almost all states that have CLE requirements. Accreditation for a particular course will vary by state. Please use our CLE calculator for CLE credit available in your state. For more information, visit our FAQ.

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"One of the best MCLE classes I've ever taken because it has such broad application. It's not just for interacting with clients but with all human beings, and we could all use a primer or refresher on that! As I sat in class I thought to myself: This should be taught in law school. "
Kristin Matsuda,

"Excellent and extremely eye opening. This really is worthwhile!"
Doug Grinnell,
Epsten Grinnell & Howell

"The course content and concepts were absolutely excellent! I cannot think of a more helpful course for any lawyer to take. I have practiced law for 38 years and have never attended a course that had more practical, concrete and excellent information for lawyers."
Nina Preston,
Attorney, Arizona Supreme Court

"These were two of the best CLE courses I have taken: the advice given was practical and useable."
Pete Giamporcaro,
Reed Smith

"Very interesting CLE. Extremely relevant, broadly applicable, and great concepts that will change my daily interactions with clients and others."
Jane Huang,
Hogan Lovells