Negotiation Skills That Donald Trump Needs To Learn – Strategy With RS

Donald Trump is just one step away from presidency. One skill that he promises to bring to Oval Office is his legendary negotiation skill.

But there is a world of difference between negotiating a business deal and negotiating an armed conflict or a peace deal.

Let me get Professor Deepak Malhotra, a professor at Harvard Business School, to explain the different skills and mindset required in these 2 types of negotiations.

-Negotiation is about reaching the objective: It is not about winning nor about compromising. It is about collaborating with the other side and devising ways of removing barriers that stand in the way of achieving the objective.

-Empathize: It is seen that the more you empathise with the other side the more option you make for yourself. Take the 1962 Cuban Missile crises, which got USA and Soviet Union on the negotiation table. This crises could have triggered a catastrophic war, hence the stakes were very high. There was pressure on President Kennedy to adopt an aggressive military approach, but he astutely took on board the Soviet Union perspective – result – the crisis was resolved amicably!

-Do not let toughness be your only strategy, because undue aggression may crowd out many options.

-Be flexible: Know where you want to reach, but be flexible regarding how you reach there.

-Do not put people in a corner. It will make them rigid which may inadvertently create a barrier in reaching the objective. The endeavour should negotiate a win – win for all concerned.

-Negotiation is always about human interaction: While engaged in negotiation, always remember that you are engaging with other human beings. If you understand them better, then a better agreement can be reached.

Bottom line: Donald Trump will have to unlearn the negotiation skills that he has acquired over the years about which he is so proud and in its place, re-learn the new way of negotiation to ensure peace and tranquillity.

Please click on the link to read the complete article of Prof Deepak Malhotra on which this post is based:




In this series, Rajesh Srivastava, Business Strategist and Visiting Faculty at IIM Indore gives you a regular dose of strategy case studies to help you think and keep you one step ahead as a professional as compared to your peers. Rajesh is an alumnus of IIM Bangalore and IIT Kanpur and has over 2 decades of experience in the FMCG industry. All previous Strategy with RS posts can be found here.