Home>News and Events>News>Content
ELP | Negotiation Is like a Love Affair


All courses on February 21 were given in the process of practice, proving Harvard University’s pioneering status in case teaching. The exquisite topics and clear logics of cases, and the practical means of experience brought trainees into a fantastic world of “donation psychology” and “artistic negotiations”. The wonderful atmosphere of knowledge learning kept the trainees immersed in learning even after the whole day of hard work, so that they continued to produce creative ideas in discussion they started spontaneously.

Negotiation Is like a Love Affair

Inspired by Professor GINO’s course, I found that the psychological tactics of negotiations was quite similar to that of a love affair, e.g.:

1.Give him what he wants if you love him

The case of 1912 Presidential Election proves the phenomenon interestingly. The Election Manager had printed 3 million copies of election speech with photos. But they hadn’t got authorization from the photographer. In this case, the Election Manager sent a telegraph to the photographer, which said “We plan to distribute 3 million copies of election speech with photos, which is the best opportunity to promote the photographer. How much would you like to pay for us to use the photo taken by you?”

The telegraph reversed the situation and the photographer agreed to pay USD250 for it, which dissolved the possible conflict. If you don’t know the truth, you may think that the Election Manager was cheating but after giving it second thought, you will find that it is quite reasonable because the photographer would have opportunity to earn more after gaining fame as the photographer for the future President.

It is the same as negotiations. You will gain the upper hand in the negotiations if you have capital and platform that your opponent wishes to possess. In this way, you can better get into cooperation instead of brutal oppositions. The key point is whether you are expert in finding your own advantages in resources and have a good sense of cooperation.

Professor GINO told us how the Election Manager of Roosevelt deals with the problem

2.Make him feel heart pain if you love him

Say “I love you” might not touch your lover. Making him feel pain sometimes is the better way. The benefits we offer in the negotiations might not be believed. Then we just make him understand what he/she will lose and get him in panic. The house thermal sales plan just uses this method. “If you don’t install the heat insulation system, you will probably lose X cents per day”. It sounds upsetting. But it does work better than “it helps you save X cents per day”.

Trainees were active to discuss in class

3.Abuse him if you love him

Abuse him with utmost efforts. Then you just need to give him a small smile and he would feel in paradise. You should have your ace in the hole.

Offer an intolerable condition in an extreme way before concluding the negotiation in a gentle way. When your opponent senses the great gap, he will feel lucky to get out of it. The design of psychological discrepancy in negotiation should be adopted to suit the time and local conditions. Besides, you also need to have bold imagination and bravery to predict your opponent.

The trainees continued to discuss even in class breaks.

4.Stick to him if you love him

In many cases, love comes from acquaintances. Who gradually become a part of your life may eventually become your lover. and this is the same with negotiations.

EU Organ Donation Program, by making smart system design, kept increasing the opponents’ cost of denial so that he would have to recognize the existence of the outcome and deem it a routine. It requires exquisite thinking and large quantity of preliminary design to predict the opponents’ default route. In this way, the opponent would have to submit the outcome and get stuck to it.

Professor Lee told us how to negotiate by telling stories of EU Organ Donation

The trainees greatly expanded their thinking of negotiations after learning these cases. It seems their brain ROM had increased by dozens of G. They started to get rid of mindset and be more willing to try novel ideas and solutions, realizing that a negotiation is actually a combat of awareness, ambition and thinking and how you think, to a large extent, determines the orientation and outcome of the negotiation.

The trainees discussed actively and consulted the Professor

Without updating, we would be trapped in the old thinking and lose better solutions. Thanks to the course that provided psychological challenges and expansion of thinking, the trainees lay a solid foundation for the next course “how to negotiate effectively”.

Actually, each trainee understood that it was imperative to use the methods in an exquisite way in practical negotiations. Otherwise, it would be impossible to prove whether the method is correct.

The trainees felt the pleasure of brain storm, though they make a loss.

Now we get into the step of practice, which is the simplest and most sophisticated part in negotiations.

By analyzing two cases, namely MOMS.COM TV series purchase and Kukui Nuts, Professor GINO provided guidance for the trainees, from both micro and macro perspectives, to understand the steps, crucial control points, principles and strategy formulation thinking of the negotiation. In the form of data, he provided effective proposals on the outcome. The course updated my perceptions in the following aspects.

1.Negotiation is a complete closed circuit.

Negotiation, in all its process including strategy production, preliminary preparations, tactical design, on-site response, thinking conflicts, weighing interest, reaching consensus, and signing contract (or negotiation breakdown), requires a specific and rational approach to secure success. All parts in the process need to be carried out till the outcome produced.

How to buy/sell a TV series with the best price is really a difficult problem.

2. Information, demand and capital are factors that need clarification

In the process of negotiation, there are three essentials which we should never neglect :information, demand and capital.

Know the enemy and yourself, you can fight a hundred battles and win them all. Difference in negotiation outcomes is caused, to a large extent, by the information asymmetry. In this era, mastering information means getting the upper hand. The process of negotiation is a process of seeking information. By asking many questions, you can get useful information, which is very important in the process of negotiations.

Second, clarify demands and know about what the opponent wants and has. This is the key point and core of information work. 

Last but not least, you have to make clear what resources and capital you have and your opponent has.

Trainees got praise when they used the mathematical model to support their ideas

3. Red sea of negotiations

In traditional negotiations, people tend to battle against each other in the set fields. Based on the topic, everyone involved discusses about cooperation and distribution. We should not only finish each part of negotiation process, but also prepare for the negotiation breakdown and have in hand the best alternative to reach the ultimate goal. In general, we need more than one alternative plans and should try to extract the major dimensions in them. In the same way, we can get the opponent’s data and useful information and thereby we can judge the price range before the next negotiation,

Professor GINO and Professor Lee analyze different types of cases for trainees

 4. Blue sea of negotiations

The two cases presented by Professor GINO guided us to think: what is the most important in the negotiations? Is mutual loss inevitable in the negotiation? Is there any better solution? The answer is yes. This is to create values.

The successful negotiation on a certain topic would definitely produce values. Though it is undoubtedly a huge challenge to create values and secure win-win situation in the process of negotiations. It is not a mission impossible.

The case of Kukui Nuts told us that, even if the two parties competed for the same resources, they might have different demands for the internal resources. Thanks to the differentiated demands, the two parties finally found new space of cooperation after the secondary division. The case of MOMS told us, if we have the same expect on the possible future and find each other’s balance point amidst risks and benefits, the win-win situation may occur in advance. The VAM can help to find the future with specific data and improve people’s confidence in win-winsituation. Of course, there are always risks. But win-win situation will surely come, sooner or later.

Log Writing: Shaanxi Shilian Charity Foundation

ChengHong, Executive Director




Overview of ELP

Funded by Ray Dalio and Dali Charity Foundation, China Global Philanthropy Institute and Harvard Kennedy School have jointly launched the Executive Leadership Program (ELP), which has been designed to provide senior managers of charity organizations studying in CGPI with educational programs at Harvard University, so as to improve their leadership and innovation skills and then promote the development of philanthropy in China. The participants will take the two-week courses at Harvard Kennedy School followed by a one-week visit to representative foundations and non-profit organizations in social innovation field. Each year, 40 participants will be selected.

At Harvard Kennedy School, the participants will study and discuss the best public-benefit practices as well as global philanthropic trends in the world. In the first year of the program, leaders of emerging public-benefit organizations in China will learn major frameworks and skills to guide and support the development of their organizations. They will also use these concepts to understand the trends and background of globalized philanthropy. The course will include the following contents: perceiving the role of influence investments, corporate social responsibility, American innovations in philanthropy, and the notion of imbedded learning.

The program encourages participants to ponder over the leadership model, behavioral sciences and public value, thereby stimulating discussions about the mission, execution and development of their respective organizations. The program aims to enhance participants’ understanding about interrelations between modern philanthropy and the civic society, besides supporting and guiding social investments to be more effective and efficient. Moreover, it aims to improve the distribution system of social resource while advancing the level of knowledge and skills of public-benefit professionals.

This program has 3-year duration, with one session each year. CGPI and Harvard Kennedy School will jointly undertake recruitment, review and selection of applicants.

Overview of EMP

Developed by CGPI, the Executive Management of Philanthropy (EMP) is a training program for high-end talents in philanthropy management. It aims to provide world-class education on philanthropy management for leaders from various sectors who focus on philanthropy. The target is to cultivate senior management professionals of non-profit organizations who are broadminded and bold enough to carry out innovations for China or even the Greater China region .

This program was originally the EMP program initiated by the University of Indiana and the public-benefit education team headed by Professor Wang Zhenyao in October 2013. The former program upgraded into the EMP program of CGPI after CGPI was established in November 2015.

In the context of transformation and upgrading of global charity and vigorous development of China’s charity, EMP is based on philanthropic economic theory which advocates the wealth spent on charity and develops specialized curriculum system about charitable knowledge. Integrating international classic cases with local philanthropic wisdom, it adopts a new teaching model which is practice-oriented and with the objective of application.

The EMP project of CGPI is based in China and combines the elements of both the East and West. Studying from world-class philanthropists and leading charity organizations, it advocates social innovation and encourages the upgrading of social forces. It aims to build the world’s best philanthropic knowledge exchange network and public-benefit VC platform. It encourages the use of professional charity to solve urgent social problems.


News and Events