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: Will a Flexible Schedule Change Salary Expectations?

PON Staff   •  12/28/2021   •  Filed in Leadership Skills

salary expectations

Even before the coronavirus pandemic, remote work and flexible schedules were gaining popularity. While plenty of surveys tout the popularity of this flexibility, Alexandre Mas, Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University and Amanda Pallais, Professor of Economics at Harvard University put it to the test to find out if employees would lower … Learn More About This Program 

How an Authoritarian Leadership Style Blocks Effective Negotiation

Katie Shonk   •  08/30/2021   •  Filed in Leadership Skills

authoritarian leadership style

Those who favor an authoritarian leadership style, also known as an autocratic leadership style, tend to believe their approach to management is more efficient and decisive than a more collaborative leadership style. But because a top-down approach can heighten the power differential between leaders and those who report to them, it often backfires, generating resentment … Learn More About This Program 

Women in Leadership: Toward More Equitable Negotiations

Katie Shonk   •  08/09/2021   •  Filed in Leadership Skills

women in leadership

Women remain vastly underrepresented in organizational leadership positions in the United States and beyond. Leadership homogeneity can lead to gender-biased decisions that harm not only women employees but also organizations as a whole—including in the context of employment negotiations. In 2018, top track and field athletes revealed how their corporate sponsors penalized them for becoming … Learn More About This Program 

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 … Learn More About This Program 

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 Visionary Leadership through Coalition Building 

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 … Learn More About This Program 

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 … Learn More About This Program 

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 Nelson Mandela: Negotiation Lessons from a Master 

Ask A Negotiation Expert: Spreading Negotiation Knowledge for a Better World

PON Staff   •  12/31/2020   •  Filed in Leadership Skills

For 19 years, the Program on Negotiation (PON) at Harvard Law School has grown and thrived under the leadership of Managing Director Susan Hackley. As PON’s chief administrative and financial officer, Hackley has overseen all activities, including academic events, executive education, interdisciplinary programs, and publications, including Negotiation Briefings. Hackley, who has taught negotiation seminars around … Learn More About This Program 

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