AOPA keynote speaker emphasizes negotiation skills in O&P

BOSTON – Whether dealing with acquisitions, contract negotiations or securing a successful place in the emerging accountable care organization environment, it is important that O&P facilities possess keen and effective negotiating skills, according to Max H. Bazerman, PhD, from the Harvard Business School. Bazerman presented the opening keynote address at the American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association National Assembly, here.   

Bazerman emphasized that the best negotiations will be mutually beneficial, which can be done by creating value. He gave five main tips to create value in negotiation: build trust and share information, ask questions, give away some information, make multiple offers simultaneously and search for post-settlement settlements.

Max H. Bazerman 

Max H. Bazerman

“If you don’t know what exactly the other side values, [then] why not put together three different offers that are equally valuable in different places,” Bazerman said. “When you offer them three offers, you look more flexible, and [when they respond], you will start to get some hints about what is critical to their side.”

According to Bazerman, post-settlement settlements afford the greatest value. Once the negotiation is in place, it is beneficial to look again at the deal and examine if both parties can reach a more creative and beneficial settlement.

“The basic idea here is that by already having a deal, you may be able to put together a much wiser deal for the two parties,” Bazerman said. “I would argue that in an ongoing relationship where the parties are still working together on the transaction, being open to making mutually beneficial trades is the real key to success.”

For more information:

Bazerman M. Strategies for negotiation. Presented at the American Orthotic & Prosthetic Association National Assembly 2012. Sept. 6-9, Boston.

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