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.


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NEW FREE REPORT! Salary Negotiations

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Discover how to refine your negotiation skills with this free special report, Negotiation Training: How Harvard Negotiation Exercises, Negotiation Cases and Good Negotiation Coaching Can Make You a Better Negotiator, from Harvard Law School. … Read More 

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Dealing with Difficult People

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At the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School (PON), we are dedicated to helping professionals deal with hard bargainers and resolve even the most challenging disputes. To help you understand the principles of negotiation and conflict resolution, we put together a special report: Dealing With Difficult People. Discover how to collaborate, negotiate, and bargain … Read More 

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BATNA: Negotiation Preparation to Help Avoid Giving Up at the Bargaining Table

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batna negotiation preparation to help avoid giving up at the bargaining table

When you expect an opponent to be competitive, your confidence in the outcomes you can achieve in negotiation is likely to plummet. In negotiation research with Adam Galinsky of Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, negotiators were provided with some background about their counterpart including information on how competitive their counterpart has been in previous negotiations. … Read More 

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Negotiation Strategies for Women: Secrets to Success

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As a general manager of a business unit and the father of two daughters in college, I have no tolerance for gender bias in the workplace or anywhere else for that matter. At least that’s what I thought, until a women manager handed me the Negotiation Strategies for Women report that she recently received from … Read More 

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Teaching Negotiation: Understanding The Impact Of Role-Play Simulations

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Negotiation can be challenging. And so can teaching it! At the Program on Negotiation (PON) at Harvard Law School, we help educators, scholars and practitioners like you learn how to more effectively teach negotiation. Notably, role-play simulations are a particularly useful way to facilitate experimentation and introduce participants to new dispute resolution tools, techniques and … Read More 

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What Makes a Good Mediator?

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What makes a good mediator? And how is it that mediators—who themselves lack any power to impose a solution—nevertheless often lead bitter disputants to agreement? … Read More 

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Salary Negotiations and How to Negotiate Performance-Based Pay

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Salary negotiations are never predictable. Imagine that you are a sales rep with a company that is getting hit hard by a financial crisis. No one has been laid off yet, but everyone is nervous about that possibility. In an effort to save jobs, your sales manager has quietly proposed that everyone take lower base … Read More 

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Understanding Different Negotiation Styles

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In the business world, some negotiators always seem to get what they want, while others more often tend to come up short. What might make some people better negotiators than others? The answer may be in part that people bring different negotiation styles and strategies to the bargaining table, based on their different personalities, experiences, … Read More 

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How to Manage Conflict at Work

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How to manage conflict at work

Sooner or later, almost all of us will find ourselves trying to cope with how to manage conflict at work. At the office, we may struggle to work through high-pressure situations with people with whom we have little in common. We need a special set of strategies to calm tempers, restore order, and meet each … Read More 

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4 Negotiation Tactics Robert Kraft Used to End the NFL Lockout

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Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, was by all accounts a major factor in getting the NFL collective bargaining agreement signed earlier in October 2011. To do so, Kraft employed four key negotiation tactics to help the players and owners come to a “win-win” solution. … Read More 

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Advanced Negotiation Strategies and Concepts Using Negotiation Examples from Real Life: Hostage Negotiation Tips for Business Negotiators

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Advanced Negotiation Strategies

Upset by a delay in the delivery of one of your products, a longtime buyer threatens to turn to the media unless you meet his extreme demands. Not only is the relationship in jeopardy, but your company’s reputation seems to be as well. What should you do? Turn to some tried and true hostage negotiation … Read More 

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How Mood Affects Negotiators

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What are social psychologists learning about the connections among emotions, negotiation, and decision making? Negotiation contributor Jennifer S. Lerner of Harvard Kennedy School and her colleagues have identified two critical themes. First, they have studied the carryover of emotion from one episode, such as a car accident, to an unrelated situation, such as a workplace … Read More 

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How to Negotiate with Friends and Family

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“Never do business with friends,” the adage goes. Yet a strict policy of keeping friends and family members out of our business lives would be impractical, and it could cause us to pass up potentially valuable negotiating opportunities. What special issues do friends and family members face when involved in negotiations together? How can they reduce … Read More 

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Power in Negotiation and Self-Fulfilling Prophecies

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When you expect people to be competitive, it’s not only your own behavior that changes. You also set up a self-fulfilling prophecy, such that your expectations about the other side’s behavior lead him to behave in ways that confirm your expectations. … Read More 

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Conflict Management and Negotiation: Personality and Individual Differences That Matter

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Although Elfenbein and her colleagues did find that negotiators performed at a similar level from one negotiation to the next, to their surprise, these scores were only minimally related to specific personality traits. And traits that are basically unchangeable, such as gender, ethnic background, and physical attractiveness, were not closely connected to people’s scores. A small … Read More 

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Will You Avoid a Negotiation Impasse?

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In the summer of 2016, Illinois became the only U.S. state in the past 80 years to go an entire year without a full operating budget, according to Reuters. It reached that dubious milestone thanks to an epic negotiation impasse between Republican governor Bruce Rauner and the Democratic-controlled state legislature. The story of the negotiation … Read More 

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Closing the Deal in Negotiations

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business negotiations

In dealmaking, we typically devote significant time to trying to convince a counterpart of the logic and appeal of our proposals. But sometimes our role becomes a more defensive one, as our negotiation behaviors focus on trying to dissuade others from pursuing a route that we believe could be disastrous. That was the task outgoing United … Read More 

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How Expressing Disappointment Impacts Offers in Negotiations

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Most of us have had the experience of feeling disappointment during a negotiation. If a counterpart picks up on this disappointment, will it affect the offers she makes? Professor Gert-Jan Lelieveld of Leiden University and his colleagues considered this question in a recent study. In four experiments, college students were assigned to play a simple negotiating … Read More 

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M&A Negotiation: Undoing the Deal

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negotiation situation examples team building and negotiating skills and negotiation tactics

After parties have invested considerable time and money in a negotiation, agreement can come to seem like an inevitable end point. You may think you have an ironclad contract, but because negotiations can be difficult to undo, we’d be wise to examine very closely the pros and cons of signing a deal. That’s the lesson … Read More 

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How Professional Negotiators Can Avoid Public Controversy

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successful negotiation examples emotional intelligence as a negotiating skill and negotiation tactic

In negotiation, we sometimes become so focused on what we’re trying to achieve at the bargaining table that we fail to adequately account for how the deal could look to observers. As two recent deals that the U.S. government reached with Iran show, it’s important for professional negotiators to consider the optics. … Read More 

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Mediation Process and Business Negotiations: How Does Mediation Work in a Lawsuit?

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mediation process and business negotiations how does mediation work in a lawsuit

How does mediation work in a lawsuit? What benefits can mediation offer businesses that deal with multiple contractual agreements, some of which may end in disputes? These questions were answered by Harvard Law School Associate Professor and negotiation expert Dan Greiner in an “Ask the Negotiation Coach” segment from our Negotiation Briefings newsletter. … Read More 

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Conflict Management: Intervening in Workplace Conflict

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Question: I’m aware of lots of unresolved personnel issues that seem to be festering in my department, such as complaints about someone who is not doing his share of the work, another person whose griping is causing a drop in morale, and two coworkers who can’t seem to get along. I’m comfortable negotiating with customers, … Read More 

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In Conflict Resolution, Look for Trusted Partners

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How can you engage in conflict management with someone who doesn’t trust you? Consider bringing in someone the other party does trust to mediate the dispute, as the FBI and the occupiers of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon did to promote a peaceful end to their standoff in February 2016. … Read More 

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Capture the Best of Mediation and Arbitration

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The problem: You’re not sure which of the two most common dispute-resolution processes, mediation or arbitration, to use to resolve your conflict. Mediation is appealing because it would allow you to reach a collaborative settlement, but you’re worried it could end in impasse. You know that arbitration would wrap up your dispute conclusively, but it … Read More 

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How to Overcome Cross Cultural Barriers in Negotiation

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overcoming-cultural-barriers-in-negotiation-how-to-launch-more-productive-cross-cultural-negotiations_

On February 28, 2014, Russian troops swarmed into Crimea following violent clashes between protesters and police in Kiev, Ukraine, and Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych’s abrupt departure from the country. Urging Russian president Vladimir Putin to retreat, Western leaders desperately searched for a way to help him “save face.” It was a daunting task. Having made an … Read More 

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Conflict and Negotiation Case Study: Long-Term Business Partnerships and Negotiated Agreements

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To protect the future interests of their organization, negotiators sometimes must accept fewer benefits or absorb greater burdens in the short run to maximize the value to all relevant parties – including future employees and shareholders – over time. Suppose that the operations VPs of two subsidiaries of an energy company are preparing to negotiate the … Read More 

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Negotiating with Millennials – How to Overcome Cultural Differences in Communication

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how to overcome cultural differences in communication - negotiating with the next generation

Negotiation training often focuses on bridging gaps between negotiators with different styles, backgrounds, or objectives, but what about overcoming generational barriers in negotiation? Generational differences need not stymie efforts at the bargaining table. In this segment from “Dear Negotiation Coach,” we explore how to overcome cultural differences in communication with members of the Millennial generation. … Read More 

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Emotional Intelligence as a Negotiating Skill

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successful negotiation examples emotional intelligence as a negotiating skill and negotiation tactic

The concept of emotional intelligence burst into the cultural imagination in 1995 with the publication of psychologist Daniel Goleman’s bestselling book of the same name. Experts have predicted that scoring high on this personality trait would boost one’s bargaining outcomes and have found many successful negotiation examples using emotional intelligence in their research. … Read More 

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Win-Win Negotiations: Should You Consider a Deal Sweetener?

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The following question was asked of Andrew Wasynczuk, MBA Class of 1953 and Senior Lecturer of Business Administration Harvard Business School in the Negotiation Briefings monthly “Ask the Negotiation Coach” column: I run a midsized retail sports-apparel chain located in the southwestern United States. I’ve been searching for a seasoned executive to lead new store expansion … Read More 

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Worst Negotiation Tactics of 2015

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Here are some of the worst negotiation tactics displayed during calendar year 2015 – from hard-bargaining, distributive negotiation strategies aimed at getting the whole pie to stonewalling strategies intended to stymy the development of a negotiated agreement. … Read More 

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Types of Power in Negotiation

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Social psychologists have described different types of power that exist in society, and negotiators can leverage these types of power in negotiation as well. … Read More 

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How to Deal with a Difficult Mediator

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Francesca Gino, Program on Negotiation faculty member and author of the bestselling book, Sidetracked: Why Our Decisions Get Derailed and How We Can Stick to the Plan, tackles this question from a Negotiation Briefings reader concerning how to deal with a mediator that is abrasive, dismissive, or even rude. … Read More 

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Take your BATNA to the Next Level

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If your current negotiation reaches an impasse, what’s your best outside option? Most seasoned negotiators understand the value of evaluating their BATNA, or best alternative to a negotiated agreement, a concept that Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton introduced in their seminal book, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In (Penguin, 1991, second … Read More 

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Drinks at the White House? Clinton Plans on It

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The practice of using alcohol to grease the wheels has a long and storied role in famous negotiations. In recent decades, shared drinks during adversarial bargaining helped lead to breakthroughs in conflicts in Serbia and Northern Ireland, for example. … Read More 

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How Your Organization Can Benefit from Mediation Techniques

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If you manage people, disputes will show up at your door. The marketing VP protests that the budget cap you and your new finance VP proposed is hindering a research initiative you supported. Two young sales representatives are embroiled in a turf war. Your administrative assistant is upset because the HR director won’t approve the … Read More 

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5 Tips for Improving Your Negotiation Skills

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The prospect of boosting our negotiation skills can be so overwhelming that we often delay taking the necessary steps we can follow to improve, such as taking time to prepare thoroughly. The following five guidelines will help you break this daunting task into a series of manageable—and often essential—strategies. … Read More 

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How to Defend Against “Scope Creep” at the Negotiation Table

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The following question was asked of Negotiation Coach and PON faculty member Guhan Subramanian in the February 2014 issue of the Negotiation Briefings newsletter: Question: I run a small consulting firm that has a services contract with a major multinational corporation. The team we work with has a bad habit of continually adding items to the … Read More 

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Negotiation Research Examines Ethics in Negotiating Scenarios

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A lack of transparency regarding negotiations between hospitals and the insurers known as preferred provider organizations, or PPOs, is a key contributor to spiraling health-care costs in the United States, according to an August article in the New York Times. The problem starts with the somewhat arbitrary, sky-high prices that hospitals put on their supplies and … Read More 

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Negotiation Skills for Resolving International Conflicts

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What are the essential skills a negotiator needs to resolve conflicts abroad? How do international conflicts differ from domestic conflicts? What issues specific to bargaining across borders emerges in intercultural negotiations? In this article we explore ways in which negotiators can develop bargaining skills to overcome any barriers to communication they may encounter in negotiations … Read More 

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Dispute Resolution in Job Negotiations: Repairing a Work Relationship

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On October 15, 2012, Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit walked into the office of the bank’s chairman, Michael E. O’Neill, expecting a routine meeting and perhaps some words of praise. The day before, Citigroup had released a favorable earnings report that suggested the bank was beginning to rebound from the financial crisis. Citi had received a … Read More 

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Leadership Skills in Negotiation: How to Negotiate Equity Incentives with Senior Management

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How do you divide the pie of resources with those that helped you grow it in the first place? In this negotiation case study, we examine how executives can expand the pie while helping those who contribute claim equitable value. The negotiation scenario: I’m the 100% owner and CEO of a privately held business. I’m planning … Read More 

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The Two Koreas Practice Conflict Management

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In August 2015, the decades-long conflict between South Korea and North Korea threatened to reach a breaking point. The causes of conflict between North and South go deep, but in this case, the South accused the North of planting land mines that seriously injured two South Korean border guards. South Korea retaliated with an old … Read More 

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Two Examples of the Winner’s Curse in Business Negotiations

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These business negotiations – an auction and a negotiated acquisition – highlight both the promise and risks of high-priced purchases and the dangers of the winner’s curse in negotiations. Negotiators fall victim to the winner’s curse in negotiations when they over-compete (and overbid) for items in the pursuit of a “victory” at the bargaining table. … Read More 

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In The Simpsons Dealmaking, Harry Shearer Goes Public

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How did actor Henry Shearer and the producers of the hit television show The Simpsons arrive at a win-win negotiated agreement? In this article drawn from examples of negotiation in real life, we examine the negotiations between the actor and the producers and offer insights into the bargaining strategies employed by each. … Read More 

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What You Can Learn from Putin’s Negotiation Style

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In January 2015 the Negotiation Briefings newsletter featured an article, “Dealing with difficult people – even when you don’t want to,” discussing the impasse NATO leaders had reached with Russian President Vladimir Putin with regards to his unilateral actions in the Crimea. Aside from exhibiting obstinacy in the face of a unified European front, Putin … Read More 

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How Does Mediation Work?

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How does mediation work in practice? As compared with other forms of dispute resolution, mediation can have an informal, improvisational feel. Mediation can include some or all of the following six steps, writes Kimberlee K. Kovach in The Handbook of Dispute Resolution (Jossey-Bass, 2005): 1. Planning. Before mediation begins, the mediator helps the parties decide where … Read More 

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International Negotiation: Your Own Worst Enemy?

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Knowing how to manage your own internal conflicts before engaging in negotiations is an invaluable negotiation skill negotiators should develop prior to engaging in international negotiations, business or otherwise. … Read More 

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For Conflict Resolution in Asia, A Simple Handshake Could Go Far

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When disputes arise between international negotiators, sometimes a simple gesture of reciprocity can turn a boiling conflict into an amicable resolution. In this article the Program on Negotiation explores how a “simple handshake” between the leaders of Japan and the People’s Republic of China helped ease long-held tensions between the two countries. … Read More 

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How to Deal When the Going Gets Tough

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Most business negotiators understand that by working collaboratively with their counterparts while also advocating strongly on their own behalf, they can build agreements and longterm relationships that benefit both sides. During times of economic hardship, however, many negotiators abandon their commitment to cooperation and mutual gains. Instead, they fall back on competitive tactics, threatening the other … Read More 

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Master the Art and Science of Haggling for More Productive Business Negotiations

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Just like the prices of houses, cars, and other big-ticket items, the prices of furniture, electronics, wine, jewelry, another “medium-ticket” goods are now frequently up for discussion. The ancient art of haggling—the back-and-forth dance of offers and concessions between buyer and seller—is making a comeback, and you would do well to brush up on your … Read More 

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When International Negotiation Stymies the Best Mediators

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On May 13, Lakhdar Brahimi, U.N. special envoy to Syria, announced that he was quitting his position as lead mediator of the Syrian conflict due to frustration with a lack of progress. The same day, a French diplomat said the Syrian government had used chemical weapons more than 12 times after signing a treaty banning … Read More 

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In Mediation, Set Conditions with Care

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On April 9, Israel said it was “deeply disappointed” by remarks by Secretary of State John Kerry that seemed to primarily blame Israel for the current breakdown in U.S.-mediated Middle East peace talks, as reported in the New York Times. Last July, the United States brought Israel and the Palestinians back together for a series of … Read More 

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In Business Negotiations, 12 Strategies for Curbing Deception

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In negotiation, deception can run rampant: parties “stretch” the numbers, conceal key information, and make promises they know they can’t keep. Unfortunately, most of us are very poor lie detectors. Even professions that encounter liars regularly, such as police officers and judges, do not perform better than chance at detecting deception, Professor Paul Ekman of the … Read More