Yes Man: Daniel Shapiro has made a career of helping people get what they want. Now he has taken his negotiation-workshop franchise to Dubai.
September 19, 2008
By Negar Azimi
Sitting in on a lecture by Daniel Shapiro is not unlike watching a televangelist work. He shuffles quickly about the room, one of his arms swaying erratically up and down, as if it had a life and mind of its own, while the other hangs limp at his side. When emphasizing a point, he hops forward, about two inches off the ground, then lands with precision. For those in the audience, this creates the delightful sensation of listening to someone on a pogo stick.
I first encountered the famously errant arm as it shot up to greet me in the lobby of Dubai’s Emirates Towers hotel earlier this summer. Shapiro, a clinical psychologist by training and a faculty member of both the medical school and the law school at Harvard, where he directs the International Negotiation Program, was in town to run a two-day course titled Capturing the Power of Negotiation at the new Dubai School of Government: the Arab twin of Harvard’s Kennedy School. Shapiro is a tall, smiling man with, at 36, the air of an overgrown teenager. Dressed that day in a polo shirt, with a stuffed backpack hanging off one shoulder, he looked like Waldo on vacation. He was impeccably cordial, insisting that he would be happy to chat anywhere about the next day’s program. (I would be sitting in on it as an observer.) I led him to what may have been the darkest bar in the hotel, where he sat sipping glass after glass of water. I was left to thumb through a very thick cocktail menu.
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