HR Management

When You Should NOT Negotiate and Other Expert Tips

Yesterday’s Advisor featured expert Douglas McCabe, PhD’s tips for successful negotiations. Today, more of his tips, plus an introduction to the new, affordable training system, TrainingToday®.

McCabe, who is professor of management at the McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University, offered his negotiating tips at the BLR® HR Strategic Summit, held recently in Scottsdale, Arizona.

When NOT to Negotiate

  • When you have not done your research or are ill-prepared
  • When there is a locus-of-authority issue, that is, when the other party sitting at the table does not have the power to consummate a deal
  • When the other side is obviously bargaining in bad faith or using a multitude of unethical tactics
  • When you have reached your bottom line on one or more issues and more movement downward would place you or your firm in a precarious position

Good-Faith Negotiation

Negotiating in good faith means:

  • Make offers and counteroffers.
  • No stalling,  stonewalling, or being late.
  • Make a proactive, sincere effort to reach an agreement.

Note that good faith does not require an individual negotiator to reach a settlement, agree to a specific proposal, or make a specific concession to the other side.

Bad-Faith Negotiation

Bad faith negotiation involves:

  • Surface, shadow bargaining;
  • Take it or leave it bargaining; and
  • Utilization of delaying tactics.

Ethical Negotiation Issues

Human resource professionals should always maintain a high level of ethical conduct in negotiations, says McCabe. In particular:

Do not use such unethical tactics as:

  • Bribery;
  • Pirating of confidential information;
  • Electronic surveillance or ‘bugging” of caucus rooms;
  • Defaming the other chief negotiator; or
  • Falsification, misrepresentation, and deception.

Consider the line between exaggeration versus outright lying (bluffing, puffing, and exaggerating are acceptable within limits), says McCabe, but beware. No universal code of conduct for negotiating exists.

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Cross-Cultural Negotiations

Cross-cultural negotiations are becoming more frequent. To be a successful negotiator, says McCabe, an appreciation of cultural differences is most essential.

  • Become familiar with the history, culture, and customs of the other negotiator. This is paramount. Especially:
    • The issue of time and
    • The strategic importance of informal socializing.
  • Use intercultural bargaining styles as appropriate.
  • Understand the nature of the contractual agreement.
  • Respect the other side, and make an attempt to adapt.
  • Develop personal, long-term business relationships.
  • Comprehend national sensitivities of the other negotiator.
  • Don’t use American jargon or sports jargon.
  • Understand the concept and importance of saving face.

Negotiating—just one of the many topics your managers and supervisors need training on, but who has time (and budget) to organize a full-blown training program? Good news from BLR—now you can run your training program like a pro with our new TrainingToday system.

TrainingToday is a leading provider of online education programs for employees and supervisors. Each course in our extensive library addresses a specific topic with engaging and interactive presentations, delivering practical advice and clear instructions that trainees will remember long after the training is complete.

Three Delivery Platforms

TrainingToday offers you the option of three delivery platforms to meet your organization’s needs:


  • Unlimited training for your whole organization for one flat fee
  • Easy to start up and track trainee progress
  • Hundreds of courses available, from employment law compliance to sales excellence


The Enterprise includes all the features of the Professional Version plus:

  • Track and report capability with built-in comprehensive Learning Management System
  • Train with courses as they are, or make them truly your own with our customization options
  • Upload your own content (power point, video, SCORM files, etc) to the LMS in addition to using our comprehensive training courses


  • Integrate content into your existing LMS
  • Easy to tailor to your content, logo, presentation style, and corporate policies
  • SCORM compliant to integrate with existing corporate learning systems

Looking to take your training program to the next level? Let TrainingToday help you manage a dynamite training program—enroll in our Instant Trainer Webinar Series and learn what it takes to make the most of every training dollar. Ready to learn more about TrainingToday? Sign up for one of our Product Demonstration Webinars

Here are just some of the many courses available at TrainingToday:

[Click here to download information on all courses and libraries.]


Over 75 HR and employment training courses covering topics such as: Sexual Harassment, Diversity, and ADA.


The Diversity library is an interactive training program with different modules for supervisors and employees. It features real-world scenarios and insightful commentary from a leading workplace expert and employment law attorney.

Preventing Sexual Harassment- National – NEW!

This library will give you everything you need to train your employees, supervisors, and managers on how to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. Several training options available for multiple year training.

Leadership Training for Managers and Supervisors

A variety of helpful courses designed to teach valuable management techniques to supervisors.

Leadership for Employees

Provides tools and information to employees in a leadership position, or aspiring leaders, to improve their business, leadership, and professional skills.

Customer Service

Includes customer service training courses covering topics such as: Phone Skills, Handling Complaints, Identifying Customer Needs and Team Building.


Includes wellness training courses covering topics such as: Creating a Successful Wellness Program, Balancing Work and Home, Healthy Aging, and Hazards of Smoking: How to Quit.

HR Video Training for Supervisors

These HR video supervisory training courses provide expert advice from practicing licensed attorneys on topics such as hiring, firing, privacy, discrimination, sexual harassment and more.

Workplace Safety

Over 90 workplace safety training courses covering topics such as: Slips, Trips, and Falls, HazCom, and Forklift Safety.

Sales – NEW!

The Sales Training library consists of 12 courses, everything you need to build a top-notch sales staff!

Looking to take your training program to the next level or need to convince your organization that training is critical to long term success—enroll in our Instant Trainer Webinar Series and learn what it takes to make the most of every training dollar. Ready to learn more about TrainingToday? Sign up for one of our Product Demonstration Webinars.

Over 90 workplace safety training courses cover topics such as Slips, Trips, and Falls, HazCom, and Forklift Safety.