Negotiating in the Land of the Phoenix
A year-long journey of preparation came to its pinnacle at The Warsaw Negotiation Round 2019 (WNR) in Poland, Warsaw. The competition is one of the few worldwide events in Central Europe, which involves students representing leading law and business schools from all over the world. Such competitions are a great platform for the students of HHL and a great chance for us to enhance our professional outlook and exhibit the fine quality of our education. This year WNR, organized by the Negotiation Society at SGH Warsaw School of Economics, was celebrating its tenth edition. The Negotiation Club at HHL successfully trained to equip its team on the topic of negotiation and to bring together global players in the community as both quality business students and astute negotiators.
Our HHL team - represented by Anurag Tewari, Maria Fernanda Hernandez, and Utkarsh Mor - experienced a richness of color and architectural details in Warsaw's palaces, churches, and mansions. Buildings are representative of nearly every European architectural style and historical period. Once described as the 'Paris of the North', it was believed to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world until World War II. Warsaw gained the new title of the Phoenix City because of its extensive history and complete reconstruction after World War II. We were lucky because the competition was organized in a way that all the participants visited and experienced the best sights of Warsaw during the negotiation rounds itself. We got the chance to negotiate at Zachęta – National Art Gallery, Palace of Culture and Science, and the Senate of Poland.
On the evening of 11th April, all the participants got the opportunity to attend negotiation keynotes and negotiation psychology workshops with some of the finest experts in these fields. On 12th April, the competition began in full swing. After a deeply inspiring art performance in the grand hall of The Warsaw School of Economics, we immediately began the first round of negotiations with the University of Twente, Netherlands. In the first case scenario, HHL represented the organizers of an E-Sports tournament to be held in Poland. The teams had to display their skills in the field of marketing, logistics, and organization. The challenge was an integrated team to individual negotiation and required a high level of trust along with smooth execution. The deal was a fight against time. Nonetheless, HHL strove ahead and developed a strong deal by investing in trust and creative solutions.
Negotiation is not only a method of settling differences between two parties but also a process by which compromise or agreement is reached while avoiding argument and dispute. This is why the principles of fairness, seeking mutual benefit and maintaining a relationship are the key to a successful outcome. Thus, establishing trust remained our priority over the course of the competition. We negotiated four rounds of deeply complicated cases, each round more intense and interesting than the previous. However, it was the fourth round that added most to our learnings and experience. We negotiated with University of Amsterdam for this round and the case at hand ‘1989 – sad Polish reality’ in which HHL represented a liberal reformist who wished to stop hyperinflation and build an economy based on well-known practices. We ended up gaining a substantial advantage after achieving most of our negotiating points. Our
learnings were further enhanced by comprehensive feedback obtained by the competing team as well as the judges.
Despite exceptional performances from HHL’s team, this year left with American University and the National Law School of India University in the finals. The final round of the competition was held in the esteemed Senate of Poland. HHL performed to the best of its capabilities in the entire tournament and was able to grab the 5th position out of 12 business and law schools from across the world. Along with our learnings, we are confident that we would be able to improve over the next competitions to come.
The Warsaw Negotiation Round was a tremendous exercise for developing better strategies and gaining practical experience in negotiation. The experience was not only invaluable for our personal enrichment, but also in regard to networking and establishing friendships with many different students from all over the world. Our team is thankful to HHL for supporting the activities of the negotiation club from its inception. We owe immense gratitude to Beta Gamma Sigma HHL Chapter and the HHL Alumni Association for having faith in us and contributing to the Negotiation club. It is such support that helps in keeping the HHL family on the path of success. With such continuous support, we are enthusiastic about incorporating our learnings in future negotiations to improve our standing at Warsaw Negotiation Round 2020.
*text written by the Negotiation Club