Gerard Nierenberg, Negotiation Institute Founder hailed by Forbes as the "Father of Contemporary Negotiating," Dies at 89
NEW YORK, Sept. 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Gerard I. Nierenberg, widely hailed as the "Father of Negotiation," whose innovations in that field fundamentally changed how people conceptualize negotiation, died on September 19th at his home in New York City. He was 89. His death was confirmed by his wife of nearly 69 years, Juliet Nierenberg.
Gerard Nierenberg was born on July 27, 1924 and raised in Astoria, NY. After serving in the military during World War II, he was graduated from New York University and Brooklyn Law School. He founded the law firm Nierenberg, Zeif and Weinstein. As a litigator, Mr. Nierenberg came to two realizations that would change the course of his career and his life: The first was that the legal process was inherently adversarial, even in arenas such as employment or family law, in which such a mode was counterproductive. The second realization was that lawyers were expected to negotiate nearly daily but were never taught how to do so. "Lawyers were just flying by the seats of their pants," he later recalled.
Mr. Nierenberg realized that no one had ever articulated a cogent theory of negotiation, nor had anyone ever codified an effective set of techniques for negotiating. And so with that in mind, he founded The Negotiation Institute in 1966 and, two years later, publishing his seminal The Art of Negotiating. The book became a bestseller, and before long, Mr. Nierenberg and his team at the Institute were providing seminars to entities from Fortune 500 companies to academic institutions to governmental organizations and agencies worldwide. He went on to write twenty-two books, translated into thirty-two languages, on the subjects of negotiation, communication and effective sales techniques.
Attendees of the Institute's seminars cite Mr. Nierenberg as the first to popularize the negotiation strategic process. They recall that Mr. Nierenberg's "Everyone Wins" philosophy took what is often a contentious and stressful process and offered techniques and tools that enabled the parties to collaborate and come away satisfied, often finding paths to conclusions originally considered impossible. Mr. Nierenberg saw that while most people entered into a negotiation, they did so with the intent of getting as much for themselves as possible. He stressed the importance of identifying the needs of the other party as well as one's own needs in order to create more alternatives — he showed how, by doing so and applying his other "Everyone Wins" strategies, the parties could wind up coming together to create more for all.
With his books and seminars, Mr. Nierenberg showed people that negotiation techniques could be learned and applied in all contexts, and that doing so could change a person or entity's dynamics with others in meaningful and enduring ways. Mr. Nierenberg was delighted to see things come full-circle when law schools in particular began teaching his methodologies to new generations of scholars seeking to work in his profession.
As a thought leader in the field of negotiation, he was frequently called upon by the press to provide in-depth analysis of events of the day and in conjunction his best seller on body language How To Read a Person Like a Book, he appeared several times on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.
In addition to his wife and three sons, Mr. Nierenberg is survived by two daughters-in-law and six grandchildren. All three sons have applied Mr. Nierenberg's paradigm and techniques to their work; the youngest, George Nierenberg, is now president of The Negotiation Institute, which continues his father's mission to advance the field of negotiation and communications worldwide.
About The Negotiation Institute: The Negotiation Institute is a privately held company headquartered in New York City and is the global leader in negotiation and executive skills training solutions, consulting and customized corporate skills programs. Founded in 1966, the Institute is the first and longest-running company of its kind, providing training to over 1,250,000 professionals worldwide. Clients are a diverse range of entities including the majority of the Fortune 500, private and publicly traded companies, government agencies, educational institutions, associations et al. For more information visit www.negotiation.com.
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SOURCE The Negotiation Institute