Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It's all in the negotiation

This semester, I am taking W505, Power, Persuasion, Influence and Negotiation, and the class has provided some very interesting content and practice in the art of negotiation. In my MBA admission application, I remember speaking about the informal experience I had negotiating while traveling on the road as a consultant and it is fascinating to learn about the strategies and tactics behind being an effective negotiator. Each week, we receive a negotiation partner and a case scenario and we have to act out our part and practice the material we are learning in class.

Being the top ranked MBAs that we are, I thought that my classmates would take on the mentality of being ruthless and wanting to get the best deal, even at the expense of the other party, but what I found was my classmates were really open to exercising their skills and putting our true abilities to the test. This past weekend, it was an exercise involving three parties, three points of conflict and combined both distributive and integrative bargaining. Each week, the exercises become more and more complex, but the most valuable part of the process has been learning by doing. It is significantly more difficult to actually negotiate than talk about how to negotiate, and I have really appreciated the MBA course curriculum at Kelley because it is designed to help you learn by doing.

On the note of academics, the first years kicked off their midterm exam week with their Critical Thinking midterm, and the second years just started week six of our first set of seven week courses. Time is flying by and the second year class is almost officially 5/8 ths of the way done with our MBAs!

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