Negotiation Skills

Negotiation is a deliberative process between two or more actors that seek a solution to a common issue or who are bartering over an item of value. Negotiation skills include the range of negotiation techniques negotiators employ to create value and claim value in their dealmaking business negotiations and beyond. Negotiation skills can help you make deals, solve problems, manage conflicts, and build relationships as well as preserve relationships. Negotiation skills can be learned with conscious effort and should be practiced once learned.

Negotiation training includes the range of activities and exercises negotiators undertake to improve their skills and techniques. Role-play simulations developed from real-world research and negotiation case studies, negotiation training provides benefits for teams and individuals seeking to create and claim more value in their negotiations.

The right skills allow you to maximize the value of your negotiated outcomes by effectively navigating the negotiation process from setup to commitment to implementation.

Negotiation training courses include Negotiation and Leadership: Dealing with Difficult People and Problems, the Advanced Negotiation Master Class, Harvard Negotiation Institute programs, and the PON graduate seminars.

This training allows negotiators to:

  • Acquire a systematic framework for analyzing and understanding negotiation
  • Assess and heighten awareness of your strengths and weaknesses as a negotiator
  • Learn how to create and maximize value in negotiations
  • Gain problem-solving techniques for distributing value fairly while strengthening relationships
  • Develop skills to deal with difficult negotiators and hard-bargaining tactics
  • Learn how to match the process to the context
  • Discover how effectively to manage and coordinate across and behind-the-table negotiations

Learn how to negotiate like a diplomat, think on your feet like an improv performer, and master job offer negotiation like a professional athlete when you download a copy of our FREE special report, Negotiation Skills: Negotiation Strategies and Negotiation Techniques to Help You Become a Better Negotiator, from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.

Characteristics of Negotiation Styles: Are You Ready to Negotiate?

PON Staff   •  07/27/2015   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Characteristics of Negotiation Styles

“Winging it” is a fine approach to life’s minor decisions, but in negotiation, it can be disastrous. Follow these three preparation steps and improve your agreements.

You set up the contract renegotiation with a key client months ago. You had every intention of gathering a range of information to establish realistic goals and … Read More 

Integrative Negotiation Examples: Making Wise Bets on the Future in Bargaining Scenarios

PON Staff   •  07/22/2015   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

A town government and a private fuel-oil company have a standing contract that they have renewed for several years in a row. The contract is again up for renewal, and the town manager is under pressure from his constituents to reduce the city’s heating costs and avoid tax increases.

The city’s fuel-oil consumption has remained … Read More 

Metaphorical Negotiation and Defining Negotiation Skills

PON Staff   •  07/22/2015   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Negotiators talk about building agreement, bluffing the opposition, and volleying offers back and forth. According to mediator Thomas Smith, careful attention to such metaphors can reveal deeper meaning beneath the explicit words that people use, notably regarding how they view the negotiation process and their relationship to one another.

Metaphors, after all, help us understand the … Read More 

Negotiating Skills and Negotiation Strategies: Emotional Expression at the Bargaining Table

PON Staff   •  07/22/2015   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Most of the existing negotiation research on affect in negotiation has focused on emotional experience rather than on emotional expression.

Yet negotiation studies have shown that emotional expression can occur independently from feelings, making expression worthy of investigation.

Marwan Sinaceur and Larissa Tiedens of Stanford University found that negotiators made more concessions when facing counterparts who expressed … Read More 

Negotiation Examples in Real Life: Bargaining with Friends and Family

PON Staff   •  07/15/2015   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Who achieves the best negotiated agreements: strangers, friends, or romantic partners? In a 1993 negotiation role-play simulation, Margaret Neale of Stanford University and Kathleen McGinn found that pairs of friends achieved higher joint gains than married couples and pairs of strangers.

Along with their colleague Elizabeth Mannix of Cornell University, the researchers suggest that a “curvilinear … Read More 

Example of the Anchoring Effect and the Drawbacks of Goals in Negotiation Scenarios

PON Staff   •  07/15/2015   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Goal setting affects performance. In a review of goal-setting research, negotiation scholars Deborah Zetik and Alice Stuhlmacher of DePaul University found that when negotiators set specific, challenging goals, they consistently outperform those who set lower or vague goals. Perhaps not surprisingly, performance improves when negotiators are given rewards for reaching a goal, such as a … Read More 

ZOPA Negotiation: Bargaining Between Friends

PON Staff   •  07/06/2015   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

ZOPA Negotiation: How to Find Points of Agreement While Bargaining
Finding the zone of possible agreement in negotiations can be difficult, especially when dealing with friends and family. We all know people who have “alligator arms.” When the restaurant check comes, they can’t manage to reach their wallets, or they quibble that they had the small … Read More 

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