Leadership Skills

People who leverage powerful leadership strategies are adept and skilled negotiators. Experience certainly informs these leadership skills, but negotiation training will take a negotiator’s negotiation skills to the next level. Leadership skills and negotiation involves an analysis of complicated negotiation case studies as well as learning an array of sophisticated competitive and cooperative negotiating strategies.

Relationships are critical to leadership – in fact, they are as important to leadership as they are to negotiation. A relationship is a perceived connection that can be psychological, economic, political, or personal; whatever its basis, wise leaders, like skilled negotiators, work to foster a strong connection because effective leadership depends on it.

Positive relationships are important not because they engender warm, fuzzy feelings, but because they engender trust – a vital means of securing desired actions from others. Any proposed action, whether suggested by a negotiator at the bargaining table or a leader at a strategy meeting, entails risk. People will view a course of action as less risky, and therefore more acceptable, when its suggested by someone they trust.

The Program on Negotiation includes many articles on great leaders in negotiations, such as former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the late Russian Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze and Apple CEO Tim Cook, as well as other topics such as outstanding women leaders, interest-based leadership and ongoing stalemate between President Barack Obama and Congressional leadership.

Experienced executives and aspiring executives would both benefit from negotiation training like that found in the Program on Negotiation’s spring and winter training courses, Negotiation and Leadership: Dealing with Difficult People and Problems, the Advanced Negotiation Master Class, held twice a year, or the summer Harvard Negotiation Institute. Perfecting your negotiation and leadership skills will enable a negotiator to negotiate in a variety of negotiation scenarios, improve relationships, create and claim more value at the bargaining table, and resolve conflicts.

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Dear Negotiation Coach: Do Leading Negotiation Experts Practice What they Preach?

PON Staff   •  08/03/2021   •  Filed in Leadership Skills

Two negotiation experts high-fiving over a laptop.

Do negotiation experts practice what they preach? To find out, we spoke with Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School professor Guhan Subramanian. The former academic editor of Negotiation Briefings, Subramanian was named the chair of the Program on Negotiation (PON) at Harvard Law School in 2018. He leads PON’s executive committee in setting the … Read More 

How to Negotiate in Cross-Cultural Situations

Alex Green   •  07/29/2021   •  Filed in Leadership Skills

cross-cultural situations

Figuring out how to negotiate in cross-cultural situations can seem like a daunting endeavor, and for good reason. Negotiating across the cultural divide adds an entire dimension to any negotiation, introducing language barriers, differences in body language and dress, and alternative ways of expressing pleasure or displeasure with the elements of a deal. As a … Read More 

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

PON Staff   •  07/06/2021   •  Filed in Leadership Skills

leadership skills in negotiation

How can you use your leadership skills in negotiation to divide the pie of resources with those that helped you grow it in the first place? In this negotiation case study, Kevin Mohan, Senior Lecturer at  Harvard Business School examines how executives can expand the pie while helping those who contribute claim equitable value. … Read More 

Dear Negotiation Coach: Eliminating Unconscious Biases at Work By Naming Them

PON Staff   •  05/25/2021   •  Filed in Leadership Skills

unconscious biases

Black men and women continue to be vastly underrepresented in leadership roles in corporate America due to unconscious biases in the workplace, amongst other reasons that may be more conscious. Those who advance in majority-white organizations encounter both covert and overt bias, and often struggle to feel authentic and connected, write contributors to the book … Read More 

Visionary Leadership through Coalition Building

Katie Shonk   •  05/03/2021   •  Filed in Leadership Skills

visionary leadership

Increasingly, executives are displaying visionary leadership on issues related to social justice. The National Basketball Association printed the words “Black Lives Matter” on the court in its Orlando, Florida, “bubble” in 2020, for example, and businesses such as Netflix have committed to making significant financial investments in Black communities.

On March 25, 2021, Georgia’s Republican-led legislature … Read More 

Organizational Leadership: Negotiating Buy-In to Your Cause

Katie Shonk   •  03/22/2021   •  Filed in Leadership Skills

Organizational leadership

During the Covid-19 pandemic, organizations and their leaders have faced unprecedented challenges that often cannot be fully met by going it alone. The story of how the Biden administration pushed pharmaceutical companies Johnson & Johnson (J&J) and Merck to work together to ramp up vaccine production illustrates how organizational leadership can inspire new forms of … Read More 

Why diversity hiring efforts often fail—and how your organization can do better

PON Staff   •  02/28/2021   •  Filed in Leadership Skills

Derek Jeter and Kim Ng

Immediately before the abbreviated Major League Baseball (MLB) draft, televised live on June 10, 2020, league commissioner Rob Manfred made a statement acknowledging the harm of systemic racism and inequality, and said that he and team owners would be “active participants in social change.” As he spoke, each MLB team’s general manager (GM) or head … Read More 

Nelson Mandela: Negotiation Lessons from a Master

PON Staff   •  02/01/2021   •  Filed in Leadership Skills

nelson mandela

Some people learn to negotiate on the job, in a classroom, or in a therapist’s office. In Nelson Mandela’s case, “prison taught him to be a master negotiator,” writes Bill Keller in his New York Times obituary of the legendary activist turned president, who died on December 5, 2013.

Soon after his arrival at South Africa’s … Read More 

Implicit and Explicit Bias: When Negotiators Discriminate Based on Race

PON Staff   •  01/21/2021   •  Filed in Leadership Skills

implicit and explicit bias

Implicit and explicit bias are common, whether the guilty parties are aware of it, or not.  On July 14, 2015, American Honda Finance Corporation (AHFC), the U.S. financing division of Japanese car manufacturer Honda, agreed to refund $24 million to minority borrowers to settle federal investigations. AHFC was alleged to have racially discriminated against the … Read More 

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