Examples of Successful Negotiations, 7 Examples

Examples of Successful Negotiations

7 Examples of Successful Negotiations That Can Inspire You

Negotiation is a skill that can benefit you in both your professional and personal life. Whether you are negotiating a salary, a contract, a purchase, or a relationship, you need to know how to communicate your interests, persuade others, and reach a mutually satisfactory outcome. Here are some examples of successful negotiations from different domains that can inspire you to improve your own negotiation skills.

Key Takeaways

Negotiation is a skill that can benefit you in both your professional and personal life.

Negotiation examples from different domains can inspire you to improve your own negotiation skills.

Successful negotiations require skills, strategies, and preparation.

Successful negotiations aim to achieve win-win outcomes that satisfy the interests of all parties.

Successful negotiations can help you create value, build relationships, and resolve conflicts.

1. Disney’s Acquisition of Lucasfilm

In 2012, Disney announced that it was buying Lucasfilm, the company behind the Star Wars franchise, from its founder George Lucas for $4.05 billion. The deal was the result of more than two years of personal negotiations between Disney’s CEO Robert Iger and Lucas, who trusted each other and shared a vision for the future of Star Wars. The acquisition gave Disney access to one of the most popular and profitable media brands in history, and allowed Lucas to ensure the legacy of his creation.

2. The Mortgage Foreclosure Settlement

In 2012, after months of difficult negotiations, the attorneys general of 49 states and the Obama administration reached a settlement agreement with five of the nation’s largest banks over their foreclosure practices during the housing crisis. The banks agreed to pay $25 billion to homeowners who had been wrongfully foreclosed or who owed more than their homes were worth. The settlement also required the banks to implement reforms to prevent future abuses and help stabilize the housing market. The deal was a compromise that balanced multiple goals and interests of different parties.

3. The U.S. Women’s Hockey and Soccer Teams’ Labor Contracts

In 2017, the U.S. women’s national hockey and soccer teams successfully negotiated new labor contracts with their respective governing federations, after years of fighting for equal pay and better working conditions. The hockey team threatened to boycott the world championship tournament unless they received a living wage and benefits comparable to their male counterparts. The soccer team filed a lawsuit against their federation for gender discrimination and wage disparity. Both teams used public pressure, media attention, and solidarity to achieve their goals.

4. Robin Thicke vs. Marvin Gaye’s Family

In 2013, singer Robin Thicke and his co-writers sued the family of Marvin Gaye, claiming that their hit song “Blurred Lines” did not infringe on Gaye’s song “Got to Give It Up”. The family countersued, alleging that Thicke had copied Gaye’s music without permission. The case went to trial, where a jury found Thicke liable for copyright infringement and ordered him to pay $7.4 million to Gaye’s heirs. The verdict was later reduced to $5.3 million on appeal. The case illustrates the importance of intellectual property rights and the risks of litigation.

5. Starbucks and Kraft Foods

In 2010, Starbucks decided to end its 12-year partnership with Kraft Foods, which distributed its packaged coffee in grocery stores. Starbucks claimed that Kraft had breached their contract by mismanaging its brand and failing to meet sales targets. Kraft disputed Starbucks’ allegations and demanded compensation for terminating the deal. The dispute was resolved by arbitration in 2013, where Starbucks was ordered to pay Kraft $2.75 billion for breaking their agreement. The case shows the value of clear contracts and the potential costs of contract disputes.

6. Simon & Schuster vs. Barnes & Noble

In 2013, Barnes & Noble, the largest bookstore chain in the U.S., reduced its orders of books published by Simon & Schuster, one of the largest publishers in the world, as a way of pressuring them to offer better terms and marketing support. Simon & Schuster resisted Barnes & Noble’s demands and accused them of harming their authors and readers. The standoff lasted for several months, until the two sides reached a new deal that restored normal business relations. The conflict demonstrates the power dynamics and interdependence between suppliers and retailers.

7. New York City Teachers’ Union and Mayor Bloomberg

In 2012, New York City faced a deadline to implement a new teacher evaluation system that would link teachers’ ratings to student test scores, as required by state law and federal grants. However, the city’s teachers’ union and Mayor Bloomberg could not agree on the details of the system, such as how much weight to give to test scores, how to measure student growth, and how to appeal low ratings. On the last day of negotiations, the talks collapsed over a disagreement on whether the system would expire after two years or continue indefinitely. As a result, the city lost $250 million in state aid and $200 million in grants. The failure highlights the challenges of multiparty negotiations and the need for effective communication and trust.


  • Know your BATNA (best alternative to a negotiated agreement) and your reservation point (the lowest or highest offer you are willing to accept).
  • Focus on interests (the underlying reasons and motivations) rather than positions (the stated demands and offers).
  • Seek to create value (expanding the pie) before claiming value (dividing the pie).
  • Use objective criteria (such as market value, industry standards, or expert opinions) to justify your proposals and evaluate offers.
  • Avoid common pitfalls (such as anchoring, overconfidence, escalation of commitment, or reactive devaluation) that can undermine your negotiation outcomes.

Examples of Successful Negotiations

Negotiation is a skill that can benefit professionals in various fields and situations. Whether it is negotiating a job offer, a budget increase, a property deal, or a sales contract, negotiation can help you achieve your goals and create value for all parties involved. In this blog post, we will look at some examples of successful negotiations from different domains and analyze what made them effective.

Business Negotiations: Disney and Lucasfilm

One of the most notable business negotiations in recent years was the acquisition of Lucasfilm by the Walt Disney Company in 2012. Disney paid $4.05 billion to buy Lucasfilm, the home of the Star Wars franchise, from its founder George Lucas. The deal gave Disney the opportunity to expand its portfolio of animation and superhero films, as well as to profit from the Star Wars media and merchandising empire.

What made this negotiation successful? According to Walt Disney Chairman Robert Iger, he and Lucas conducted the negotiations personally for more than two years, building trust and rapport along the way. They also shared a common vision for the future of Star Wars and respected each other’s creative input. By focusing on their interests rather than their positions, they were able to reach a mutually beneficial agreement that satisfied both parties.

Diplomatic Negotiations: The Iran Nuclear Deal

Another example of successful negotiations is the Iran nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), signed in 2015 by Iran and six world powers: China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The deal aimed to limit Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for lifting economic sanctions imposed by the international community.

What made this negotiation successful? The parties involved had to overcome many challenges, such as mistrust, cultural differences, domestic pressures, and external influences. They used various negotiation strategies, such as coalition building, framing, sequencing, and trade-offs, to address their concerns and find common ground. They also engaged in multilateral and bilateral talks, as well as back-channel diplomacy, to facilitate communication and coordination. The result was a complex but comprehensive agreement that balanced the interests of all stakeholders.

Personal Negotiations: U.S. Women’s Hockey Team

A third example of successful negotiations is the labor dispute between the U.S. national women’s hockey team and USA Hockey, the sport’s governing body in the country. In 2017, the women’s hockey team threatened to boycott their championship tournament unless they received fair wages and benefits from USA Hockey. They argued that they were paid significantly less than their male counterparts and faced discrimination in terms of training, equipment, travel, and publicity.

What made this negotiation successful? The women’s hockey team used various tactics to gain leverage and public support for their cause. They publicized their treatment on social media, rallied other athletes and celebrities to endorse them, and filed a complaint with the federal government for gender discrimination. They also showed solidarity and unity by refusing to accept any individual deals from USA Hockey. After months of tense negotiations, they reached an agreement that improved their compensation and working conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the benefits of successful negotiations?
A: Successful negotiations can help you achieve your goals, satisfy your needs, build relationships, create value, and resolve conflicts.

Q: What are the skills of successful negotiators?
A: Successful negotiators have skills such as active listening, emotional intelligence, problem-solving, creativity, assertiveness, and flexibility.

Q: What are the strategies of successful negotiations?
A: Successful negotiations involve strategies such as preparation, research, rapport, framing, questioning, bargaining, and closing.





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