Session 3: The Art of Negotiation

Date: December 01, 2017
Location: City Market at O, Rooftop Lounge – 800 P St NW
Led by: David Kaplan and Adam Crain
Venue Sponsor: City Market at O

Overview
In this year’s third CKLDP session, David Kaplan and Adam Crain organized an event on The Art of Negotiation featuring three compelling presentations. Michael Hraber started the afternoon speaking from his experience working with architects from the perspective of an insurance broker. This presentation focused on managing risk and role of contracts in that process. Following that presentation, Meredith Moldenhauer spoke to the scholars about her experience leading architects and clients through various approval processes. She shared strategies for negotiating with neighbors, councilmembers, ANC’s, and various other stakeholders that may initially oppose a project. After a short break the scholars were led on a building tour of City Market at O by architects Joe Corridore and Andrew Taylor from Shalom Baranes. The final presentation was led by Tiana Russel, an attorney at the Department of Justice, which taught scholars negotiation tactics though a series of bargaining simulations. After each simulation, Tiana broke down the critical steps that lead to a persuasive argument and successful negotiation.


Presentation #1 – Risk Drivers & Contractual Pitfalls in the Practice of Architecture
Michael Hraber, an insurance broker at CBIZ, spoke to the scholars about lessons learned from his experience working directly with architects. He explained the concept of risk; strategies for avoiding, transferring, assuming or controlling that risk. These concepts were further developed by reviewing historical insurance claim data broken out by project type. Following this discussion, Michael went on to present various owner-architect contract types. While the AIA contracts are preferred, owners often strategically modify these contracts or provide contracts of their own that can leave the design team exposed if the risk is not properly managed.


Presentation #2 – Zone, Development & Community Engagement
Meredith Moldenhauer is a lawyer who utilizes strategic negotiations to lead architects and clients through various approval processes. She opened by debunking several common myths of negotiation which led into discussion on the importance of compromise. In DC there are a host of regulatory agencies, neighbors, and other critical stakeholders that often oppose your project and the architect should clearly demonstrate how successive designs compromise by responding to stakeholder feedback. Responding to these concerns can be done creatively by considering a wide range of negotiation issues; materials, height, use, or even construction timeline. Meredith went on to emphasize the role of overdesign in project development. Successful projects build in margin that allow room for negotiating down to the bottom line during public review processes.

Tour of City Market at O
The afternoon’s series of presentations was punctuated by a building tour of City Market at O by the design architects Joe Corridore and Andrew Taylor of Shalom Baranes. Scholars were taken though around the buildings, though the grocery store, and even into an apartment unit. The tour included fascinating stories about the design and construction process that led to the successful completion of the project.


Presentation #3 – Techniques and Process of Negotiation
The last presentation of the day was led by Tiana Russel, an attorney at the Department of Justice, which taught scholars strategies for negotiation through a series of bargaining simulations. Scholars were broken up into groups of two, each member was given a separate set of instructions which initiated a series of negotiations. After each simulation, Tiana spoke about the conversation mechanics that lead to a successful negotiation. Scholars went on to perform additional bargaining simulations, further refining their body language and ability to construct persuasive arguments.

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