In his second class, titled “Negotiating and Diplomacy in Difficult Times,” Mr. Bizer elaborated on the concept of negotiation, which the LLSP class already encountered in other classes during the program. He laid out the seven elements of negotiation:
Interests: what are we after? Are we after a tangible or intangible interest? Is this interest shared/differing/conflicting. But why are we negotiating?
Alternatives: if we don’t make a deal with the other party, what are the alternatives?
Legitimacy: this is also sometimes called fairness. This is a very important element – if the deal looks good but doesn’t feel right, it is often advisable to question it.
Commitments: these consist of offers, demands, and promises.
Relationship: how is the deal going to influence the outcome? If we negotiate a deal that is hostile, is that desirable?
Discussion – do we approach adversaries or colleagues?
Lt. Bizer provided an effective way to illustrate all these concepts concisely: “In a negotiation…I’ll only commit to an option if I believe it meets my interests better than my alternatives would, and that it meets at least minimal standards of fairness (legitimacy). Our communication about these factors will be shaped (and will shape) our relationship.” During the final portion of his lecture, Mr. Bizer talked about the role of emotion in negotiations, and whether they are an obstacle or an asset. He then led the participants in a negotiation exercise, encouraging them to creatively negotiate a solution to a prepared problem set. The LLSP class learned crucial leadership skills from Mr. Bizer’s lectures, and many participants commented on how helpful it was to understand the importance and the skills of building resilience.