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.
Many of us advise others on the job yet fail to plan adequately for this responsibility. Set up a strong relationship by negotiating your role as advisor. Name-calling, backstabbing, and turf wars erupted among President Barack Obama’s civilian and military advisors in 2009, as he tried to devise a strategy for ending the war in … Read More
Is one negotiating style “better” than another? Most research suggests that negotiators with a primarily cooperative style are more successful than hard bargainers at reaching novel solutions that improve everyone’s outcomes. Negotiators who lean toward cooperation also tend to be more satisfied with the process and their results, according to Weingart. At the same time, … Read More
Question: I’ve just finished reading the recent book No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller (Wiley, 2010) by Harry Markopolos, the whistle-blower in the Bernard Madoff scandal. Why do you think Markopolos was so ineffective at persuading the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that Madoff was a fraud? What does this story tell us … Read More
Due to the frequency of their border disputes, the United States can at times seem not so united. The states of Georgia and Tennessee are currently embroiled in a heated conflict over a mile-long strip of land. A dispute between Georgia and South Carolina over several islands reached the Supreme Court, as did a conflict … Read More
If you’ve ever been annoyed by a negotiation counterpart who can’t seem to remember your interests and priorities, it could be that your communication skills, not his poor memory, are to blame. Negotiators typically aren’t as transparent as they think they are. In some cases, we think we’re revealing more information to the other side … Read More
In his book Bargaining for Advantage: Negotiation Strategies for Reasonable People (Penguin, 2006), G. Richard Shell analyzes this story from Nancy Griffin and Kim Masters’s book Hit & Run: How Jon Peters and Peter Guber Took Sony for a Ride in Hollywood (Simon & Schuster, 1996) as an example of the deceptive tactics negotiators sometimes … Read More
When someone issues a threat or an ultimatum, take a step back and diagnose the problem. Consider how you would respond to threats and ultimatums such as these during negotiation. In the face of such tough talk, should you strike back with a counterthreat? Probably not. Because counterthreats raise the emotional temperature of a negotiation, … Read More
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
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
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
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Understanding how to arrange the meeting space is a key aspect of preparing for negotiation. In this video, Professor Guhan Subramanian discusses a real world example of how seating arrangements can influence a negotiator’s success. This discussion was held at the 3 day executive education workshop for senior executives at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.
Guhan Subramanian is the Professor of Law and Business at the Harvard Law School and Professor of Business Law at the Harvard Business School.