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.

Social Comparisons in Negotiation

PON Staff   •  10/22/2013   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Social comparisons – the assessments we make about how we measure up to others – are key to understanding how status operates in negotiation. These comparisons, which signal concern about relative status, have a profound impact at the bargaining table.

To make social comparisons, first we choose a reference group against which we can measure ourselves. … Read More 

How Mental Shortcuts Lead to Misjudging

PON Staff   •  10/07/2013   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Judges don’t make decisions based on a thorough accounting of all the relevant and available information. Instead, like all of us, they rely on heuristics – simple mental shortcuts – to make decisions.

As many past articles have noted, heuristics often lead to good decisions, but they can also create cognitive blinders that produce systematic … Read More 

When Dividing the Pie, Smart Negotiators Get Creative

PON Staff   •  09/04/2013   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Don’t settle for uninspired compromises.

Find ways to modify and expand resources to achieve more value.

Typically, when parties are negotiating over a resource they both desire – whether fees, budgets, salaries, schedules, or staff – the process results in an uninspired compromise somewhere between their positions. Is it possible to avoid a compromise when negotiating tough … Read More 

Find the Right Leadership Voice

Jeswald Salacuse   •  08/02/2013   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

When the poet Walt Whitman wrote, “Surely, whoever speaks to me in the right voice, him or her shall I follow,” he conveyed the notion that persuasive communication is fundamental to effective leadership. Whitman’s words also underscore the importance of shaping leadership communications to meet individual concerns, interests, and styles.

When deciding how to communicate, recognize … Read More 

The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School: Three Decades of Scholarship and Practice

Keith Lutz   •  07/24/2013   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Founded in 1983, the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School is a pioneer in the fields of negotiation, mediation, and alternative dispute resolution.

In commemoration of the program’s 30th anniversary this year, the Program on Negotiation is proud to present a video describing many of PON’s various educational and research activities.

According to Chair Robert Mnookin, … Read More 

Mind Mapping: A New Negotiation Skill?

Katie Shonk   •  07/16/2013   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

To your negotiation toolkit, consider adding a new skill: mind mapping.

In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, Zack Anchors describes how financial advisor Rob O’Dell of Wheaton Wealth Partners of Wheaton, Illinois used the unconventional technique in an attempt to help a client negotiate the sale of his shares of the family business … Read More 

Choosing When to Choose

Susan Hackley   •  07/15/2013   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

When it comes to negotiation, the more choices on the table, the better your outcomes will be – right? Not necessarily. An excess of options can stand in the way off efficient agreements and, moreover, prevent you from being satisfied with the final result. … Read More 

Beyond the Bottom Line

PON Staff   •  06/14/2013   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

What do people value when they negotiate?

Research by Professors Jared R. Curhan and Heng Xu of MIT’s Sloan School of Management and Hillary Anger Elfenbein of Berkeley’s Haas School of Business provides useful insights concerning this basica question.

Using survey data collected from everyday negotiators and filtering it through a sorting procedure conducted by negotiation … Read More 

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