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
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Dear Negotiation Coach: Can Negotiation Theory Help Us Understand Our Religious Identity?

PON Staff   •  05/10/2022   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

negotiation theory

Negotiation theory suggests you focus on interests, not positions; separate inventing from committing; invest heavily in “What if?” questions; insist on objective criteria; and try to build nearly self-enforcing agreements.

But what if the negotiation is with yourself, or about your own religious identity?

For example, what does it mean to be Jewish in America? What challenges … Learn More About This Program 

Dear Negotiation Coach: Plan Ahead for Negotiation Mistakes

PON Staff   •  03/22/2022   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

negotiation mistakes

We recently had a question about some common negotiation mistakes people make while they’re still preparing for a negotiation. Kessely Hong, Senior Lecturer in Public Policy and the Faculty Chair of the MPA Programs and the Mid-Career MPA Summer Program at the Harvard Kennedy School, took time to discuss these mistakes and steps we can … Learn More About This Program 

In Business Disputes, Conflict Resolution Styles Can Make All the Difference

PON Staff   •  03/17/2022   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

conflict resolution styles

Business disputes don’t have to be antagonistic. Nor does litigation need to be the go-to method of solving conflicts. Thoughtful negotiation can often often result in an amicable solution. To see the difference between two different conflict resolution styles, take a look at two real-life copyright cases in the music industry.

Imagine that you’re an up-and-coming … Learn More About This Program 

Facing an Email Negotiation? Take a Proactive Approach

PON Staff   •  02/24/2022   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

email negotiation

As a format for complex deals, email negotiation has a bad reputation. Negotiators are more likely to deceive one another when using email, and they have trouble building trust and rapport in email messages. Furthermore, some research has found that negotiators achieve less joint gain and are less satisfied with their outcomes when negotiating over … Learn More About This Program 

Entrepreneurs: Prepare for Challenging Conversations in Key Negotiation

PON Staff   •  02/17/2022   •  Filed in Negotiation Briefings Articles, Negotiation Skills

challenging conversations

Start-ups and individual entrepreneurs often encounter challenging conversations when negotiating with potential partners and investors. When you are trying to sell others on your big idea or venture, you face the daunting challenge of convincing them that it’s worth their time, money, and effort. And even as you’re drawing on all your powers of persuasion … Learn More About This Program 

Is Humor in Business Negotiation Ever Appropriate?

PON Staff   •  02/10/2022   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

humor in business

Have you ever wondered if humor in business negotiation is appropriate, and when? We spoke with Alison Wood Brooks, O’Brien Associate Professor of Business Administration and Hellman Faculty Fellow in the Negotiation, Organizations & Markets Unit at Harvard Business School to find out.

Imagine this scenario. You’re sitting among some of your company’s partners. Just when … Learn More About This Program 

Ask the Negotiation Coach: Questioning Negotiation Dialogue

PON Staff   •  02/08/2022   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

negotiation dialogue

A common question around negotiation dialogue is how to elicit information from a counterpart. Here’s one such question from a reader:

I’ve been told that learning information about my counterparts—their preferences, fears, goals, strengths, and weaknesses—is critical for success in negotiation. I need to understand what others care about to be able to trade for issues … Learn More About This Program 

Dear Negotiation Coach: Find Out How To Resolve Conflict By Addressing Dignity Concerns

PON Staff   •  02/01/2022   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

how to resolve conflict

Dignity violations can often be found at the core of interpersonal conflicts, according to Dr. Donna Hicks, an associate at Harvard’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. The author of Leading with Dignity: How to Create a Culture That Brings Out the Best in People (Yale University Press, 2018), Hicks shared with us how to resolve conflict … Learn More About This Program 

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