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.

Negotiators: Guard Against Ethical Lapses

PON Staff   •  07/31/2014   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

During the past several years, one scandalous story of unethical behavior after another has made headlines: Countrywide’s and AIG’s risky business practices, trader Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, and former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich’s alleged attempt to sell a U.S. Senate seat. As instances of people behaving badly proliferate, some commentators have wondered if we are … Read More 

Cooperation in Congress? Liberals and Libertarians Polish Their Negotiation Skills

Katie Shonk   •  07/29/2014   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

On June 19, Republican Representative Thomas Massie of Kentucky, a libertarian, teamed up with two liberal Democrats, Zoe Lofgren of California and Rush D. Holt of New Jersey, to push through an amendment that places new prohibitions on the National Security Agency and the CIA’s surveillance operations, including barring the agencies from engaging in warrantless … Read More 

Why We Focus on Culture in Negotiations

PON Staff   •  07/28/2014   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Adapted from “Coping with Culture at the Bargaining Table,” first published in the May 2009 issue of Negotiation.
Why we focus on culture
Why does concentrating on the other side’s culture lead to problems in negotiation? Consider that negotiators often focus too narrowly on the most obvious information about the task at hand. Such focusing failures lead negotiators to … Read More 

Five Fundamentals of Negotiation from Great Negotiator 2014 Tommy Koh

Keith Lutz   •  07/10/2014   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

While the blueprint for achieving your negotiation goals may differ depending on the type of negotiation, the road to negotiation success looks much the same across most negotiation scenarios.

In discussing the art and science of negotiation, Great Negotiator 2014 Tommy Koh described five “fundamentals” that Program on Negotiation faculty member James K. Sebenius says, “have … Read More 

Negotiation Skills: How “Close Calls” Can Hurt You

PON Staff   •  06/20/2014   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

In the early 1990s, NASA managers and engineers were warned by an expert in risk
analysis that the heat-resistant tiles that protected space shuttles during reentry into Earth’s
atmosphere could be damaged by debris from the insulating foam on the shuttle’s’ fuel tanks.

During missions over the next 10 years, debris did, indeed, hit tiles, but the damage … Read More 

The Consensus Building Institute Honors Program on Negotiation Faculty Member Lawrence Susskind with New Fellowship

Keith Lutz   •  06/10/2014   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

The Consensus Building Institute (CBI) based in Boston, Massachusetts and in Washington, DC has honored Program on Negotiation faculty member Lawrence Susskind with its creation of a one-year graduate student fellowship that offers the successful candidate the opportunity to work with CBI in Boston or DC on an area of focus for bot CBI and … Read More 

2014 Winner of the Raiffa Doctoral Student Paper Award

PON Staff   •  05/22/2014   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills, Students

The Program on Negotiation has awarded Eugene B. Kogan the 2014 Howard Raiffa Doctoral Student Paper Award for his paper “Coercing Allies: Why Friends Abandon Nuclear Plans.” This paper was submitted as his thesis for the Ph.D. program at Brandeis. Mr. Kogan is currently a Stanton Nuclear Security Postdoctoral Fellow in the International Security Program at … Read More 

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