top HHL's MBA Students Are Negotiation World Champions
Venture capital, business angel and a start-up – these three components determined the finals of this year's world championship in negotiation. The Negotiation Challenge 2015 (TNC) took place in Munich in late May and Germany won the title.
A total of 66 students from 22 international business and law schools of repute, among them Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (USA), the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Kyoto University (Japan), the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland) as well as Athens University of Business and Economics (Greece), participated in this English-language competition in 2015. HHL students Bar Aloni (Israel), Alexa Drasites (USA) and Edward Yanchevski (United Kingdom) eventually won the finals, which represented a negotiation situation with three parties. They beat out the contestants from the College of Europe (Poland) and Reykjavik University (Iceland).
Training negotiating skills
The negotiation world championship was established in 2007 by HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management and Harvard Law School. It provides an opportunity for students of business and law to train their negotiating skills in a competition with other schools.
In addition to further developing the ability to work in a team, resilience and intercultural exchange, the participants also learn that it is not just the outcome of negotiations that is important for a company. The way in which the negotiations are conducted will regularly have a lasting impact on the future business relations.
Before attending the finals in Munich on May 31, the three HHL students had to pass through four qualification rounds in April. According to Alexa Drasites, the main challenge was conducting the negotiations solely via Skype, e-mail, voice or text messages. The American recounts, "Leading a negotiation solely via e-mail, without video or audio signals, seems to be relatively easy at first. However, I found this way of communication, which is very common in everyday international business, to be one of the most difficult ones." She concludes, "I learned from this competition which style of negotiation is the most suitable in which situation. I also found it very interesting to negotiate with people from other countries and cultures. They style of negotiation sometimes differed greatly from mine."
Dr. Remigiusz Smolinski, VP Business Development and Innovation Management at comdirect Bank AG, founder and chief organizer of TNC, says, "This year, we opened the competition to even more international teams. We also experimented with the format of the individual negotiation rounds. Observations from the competition are used for scientific purposes in cooperation with the faculty of the University of Vienna and TU Wien.
All three teams of finalists displayed exemplary negotiation skills so that the judges found it very difficult to crown a winner. In the end, it was obvious that the HHL team succeeded best at making the most of its weak initial negotiating position. The HHL team consisting of Bar Aloni, Alexa Drasites and Edward Yanchevski deservedly won the title World Champions of Negotiation 2015.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank the sponsors of this year's event, among them Accenture Digital and the HHL Alumni Association as well as our host, Technische Universität München (TUM). We would also like to thank the judges and organizers for their kind commitment to TNC 2015. We are already looking forward to the 2016 championship, which will take place in Vienna."
HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management
HHL is a university-level institution and ranks amongst the leading international business schools. The goal of the oldest business school in German-speaking Europe is to educate effective, responsible and entrepreneurially-minded leaders. HHL stands out for its excellent teaching, its clear research focus, its effective knowledge transfer into practice as well as its outstanding student services. The courses of study include full and part-time Master in Management as well as MBA programs, a Doctoral program and Executive Education. In the 2014 Financial Times Masters in Management Ranking, HHL's full-time M.Sc. program was ranked among the top 10 in Europe. In 2013 and 2014, HHL reached one of three first places for the best entrepreneurial universities in Germany in the Start-Up Radar ranking published by Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft (Founders' Association of German Science) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BWMi). According to the Financial Times, HHL ranks first in Germany and fifth globally for its entrepreneurship focus within the M.Sc. and EMBA programs. HHL is accredited by AACSB International. www.hhl.de