Apr 172018

From left to right: Agustín Mestre, Tatiana Gottlib & Sigthor Jonsson International MBA class of 2018

 EADA’s International MBA participants are among the world’s best negotiators. The World Championship in Negotiation –the final round of the latest 2018 edition of The Negotiation Challenge (TNC)–,  took place fron April 5-8 in San Francisco, EADA’s team took second place behind their American competitors at the Washington College of Law (Washington D.C., USA). The stars of this success story are Tatiana Gottlib (Israel), Sigthor Jonsson (Iceland) and Agustín Mestre (Argentina), who scored higher than than teams from institutions including UC Berkeley School of Law (Berkeley, USA), Harvard Kennedy School (Cambridge, USA), University of Connecticut (Storrs, USA) or Kyoto University (Kyoto, Japan).

Among the 50 teams that began the Challenge together, only 18 made it to the finals in San Francisco. In San Francisco, teams competed to participate in the grand finale by participating in four eliminatory qualifications rounds. During the event, EADA’s participants faced several realistic negotiation situations, such as buyer/seller, union/company, Tesla/supplier, Apple and Sony Music (streaming music) and football player/manager. Teams had little time to prepare a comprehensive negotiation strategy –just five minutes in the first round. The Challenge provided a unique opportunity for international networking, with the change to meet students from diverse nationalities, backgrounds and cultures. Moreover, the competition was held in front of an international jury composed of top lawyers, business leaders and professors from around the world.

“We had to constantly prove our skills, not only our ability to analyse numbers and statistics quickly, but also communication skills such as active listening, convincing argumentation and the added value of working in a team,” said team member Agustín Mestre. According to Tatiana Gottlib, “The key was to build a reputation from the beginning by showing respect to the other party and building trust.” For Sigthor Jonsson, the Challenge was an excellent exercise in self-reflection: “You can’t get a deal with another party if you don’t know yourself. The challenge in every negotiation is to be open-minded, credible and collaborative as it’s a win-win relationship.”

All team members highlighted aspects of the EADA International MBA that provided excellent preparation for the Challenge. “The programme gives us an excellent business framework to face complex negotiations from different perspectives,” says Tatiana. Professor Carles Brugarolas, head of the EADA’s Strategy, Leadership and People Department, agrees: “Our approach to negotiation in class is totally flexible. We train our students to analyse and identify different situations,” he says. “We provide the best training for the most critical skills that the students are going to need. The key is their willingness to learning and growing.”

Sigthor highlights the multicultural environment at EADA, which he says “helped understand the other team members from diverse universities, backgrounds, nationalities and cultures”. He describes the Challenge as a “priceless experience” in which he and his team members “learned a lot from the other teams and also improved our negotiation skills; we are now more prepared to face any negotiation situation”.

EADA’s participants appreciate the support given by Professor Koos Vos, their negotiation coach, as well as Programme Director Ella Boniuk. Ella is proud of the feedback received from the directors of The Negotiation Challenge: “After three years participating, EADA’s teams are well-known for being excellent negotiators, but above all, for being outstanding people.”

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