Business, Politics & Society

The Art of Negotiation

Bob Iger

Lesson time 4:43 min

Bob shares his tips for successful negotiation, including how to remove your ego from the process and how to make everyone feel like they’ve come out a winner.

Bob Iger
Teaches Business Strategy and Leadership
Disney CEO Bob Iger teaches you the leadership skills and strategies he used to reimagine the future of one of the world’s most beloved brands.
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- Maui? Shapeshifter? Demigod of the wind and sea? I am Moana of-- MAUI: Hero of men. - W-- what? - It's actually Maui, shapeshifter, demigod of the wind and sea, hero of men. I interrupted. From the top-- hero of men, go. - Uh-- I am-- MAUI: Sorry, sorry, sorry. Sorry-- and women. Men and women. Both. All. Not a guy-girl thing. Ah, you know, Maui is a hero to all. You're doing great. [MUSIC PLAYING] - There's an awful lot written about negotiating. And what I've learned about negotiating is that no two people have the same negotiating style. In my case, my negotiating style is typically to be expedient. I'm not a believer in stretched-out or long-term negotiations. I like to get deals done relatively quickly. In order to achieve that, I typically like to put things on the table in a fairly candid manner, in a direct manner, and quickly. One might argue that that's not necessarily a way to get the best result. But in my case, I happen to believe that if you want to do a deal and you want to do a deal relatively quickly, the best way to do it is to get at basically the particulars or the essence of what you want to achieve right away, even if it means revealing to the other side, the other party, where you might want to be in a way that perhaps gives away a little bit more to them so that it gives them some advantage from a negotiation perspective. I enter most negotiations realizing that a negotiation has to be ultimately two-way in terms of its benefits. Each party, I believe, serve better if they come away from the negotiation having felt like they've accomplished something or they've won something. So I don't have a winner-take-all approach when it comes to negotiations. I think if you go into a negotiation with a winner-take-all approach, the negotiation is less expedient. It typically takes longer because the other side doesn't want to give up everything in the negotiation. So I like to go in knowing that there are things that I need to achieve or that we need to achieve as a company, also realizing that the same might be true for the party that we're negotiating with. [MUSIC PLAYING] I've done four big deals during the 14 years that I've been CEO-- Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, and then 21st Century Fox. And in each case, there was a controlling entity or an individual on the other side where all roads, essentially, in the negotiation, in the deal really led to and ultimately through that person. And so in each case, it was necessary for me to forge a personal relationship with them in order to either convince them to sell the company that they controlled or to convince them that we were the right entity to sell to. One great example of entering a negotiation, one, with an idea of it being expedient and, two, knowing exactly what needed to be achieved, at least on our part in the negotiation, is the negotiation with Steve Jobs over the acquisition of Pixar. I told Stev...

Embrace risk, build resilience

In an era of disruption, Disney CEO Bob Iger led one of the world’s most beloved brands to unprecedented success with the acquisitions of Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm. Now, through case studies and lessons from 45 years in media, Bob teaches you how to evolve your business and career. Learn Bob’s strategies for expanding a brand, leading with integrity, and making big moves—from risk management to the art of negotiation.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Great class. Bob Igers is so inspiring, clear, precise and human. I wish I could work at Disney !

Thanks Bob for imparting your knowledge and experience. Some really useful insight into synergising creativity with business in a dynamic world.

Refocus on strategy - mining value across businesses -

Many many good points. So far it was one of the best Masterclass. Really thought provoking. Thank you!


Ryan D.

While the ones of us with any partially entrepreneur-like mindset could presume these views on negotiation, it's very helpful to hear someone who's been in some of the largest deals made in recent time uses the same fundamental viewpoint toward negotiating (best example, imo, being the both walk away feeling like NONE of it is one-sided on the benefit.) It hadn't clicked for me that of course it was he who was involved in/responsible for the Fox acquisition in 2018, as Disney prepared for their streaming entry. This, as well as the Pixar situation, can pretty much be considered accolades in the [large/monstrously large] business world.


Be expedient, is the Bobs recommendation and also the way he delivered the message. This video is short but definitely worthy

Kevin B.

This lesson was so interesting! These tips are really helpful. I am curious how Bob Iger would go into a negotiation when there are multiple stakeholders that decide. Like Bob Iger said, at Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilms and Fox, there was one controlling individual to make the decision and then forcing a personal connection can be a good strategy. but what would he do if there are multiple individuals that are totally not aligned with each other.

Andrew L.

This was a refreshing and interesting approach to negotiation. Recently, I had a situation where I inherited a partnership that broke apart. The takeaways in Bob's approach that you might need to show your hand a bit was new to me. I know that I will work at rebuilding the relationship but there is a lot of distrust - on both sides. I appreciated how this lesson gives me a way to grow professionally when looking at the big picture. A lot to think about...

Trang Vu (.

Very good lesson. As the other side is also very smart people, let they win first in order to win-win in the end!

Jamal M.

This is applicable to life in general. Whether dealing with business or a spouse, looking for a win-win approach and negotiating based on that philosophy will take you further than you ever thought possible.

Angel F.

I agree. Making it feel like both sides won. No winner takes all approach.

Michael N.

i've made the mistake of hard negotiating in the past, it's definitely better when everyone wins