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

Real Life Negotiation Lessons Learned from Fiction

PON Staff   •  02/25/2021   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills


When the COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020—coinciding with his upcoming sabbatical—Harvard Business School professor Deepak Malhotra, a member of the Program on Negotiation Executive Committee, saw the perfect opportunity to try something new. The author of three previous books, he turned his hand to fiction, penning “The Peacemaker’s Code,” a thrilling novel grounded in … Read More 

Dressing for Success: How Wealth and Status Cues Affect Business Negotiation

PON Staff   •  02/18/2021   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

In business negotiations, we know we’re supposed to focus on substance: which issues matter to both sides, what each party can afford, what each side’s outside alternatives are, how to build a strong relationship, and so forth. Yet we’re often swayed by more superficial, often irrelevant aspects of negotiation, such as the shape of the table, whether … Read More 

What to expect from Joe Biden, Negotiator-in-Chief

PON Staff   •  01/31/2021   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

During a Philadelphia town hall a few weeks before the 2020 presidential election, Democratic candidate Joe Biden said that the first thing he’d do if elected president would be to call congressional Republicans and say, “‘Let’s get together. We’ve got to figure out how we’re going to move forward here.’ Because there are so many … Read More 

How to Negotiate via Text Message

PON Staff   •  01/28/2021   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Do you negotiate via text message? If you’re a young person early in your career, there’s a good chance you could easily pull up message strings full of discussions about issues and offers. If you’re a little older, you might have answered no. Even so, if you took a closer look at the saved text … Read More 

Lessons learned from a great negotiation leader

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

Leadership in negotiation
In academia, there are often subtle conflicts between the executive staff who run programs and centers, and the academics connected to them. Only a talented leader can consistently weave together such groups and integrate very different views. Susan has been such a leader for many years. She provides a vision of doing all we … Read More 

Negotiation research you can use: In sales, front-end honesty can boost back-end profits

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

In our information age, buyers have squeezed sellers’ profit margins by collecting readily available data about the value of goods and services. Car buyers can easily identify the dealership cost of their preferred vehicle online and use it to negotiate a great price, for example. And more than 94% of business buyers surveyed by Accenture said … Read More 

Are Introverts at a Disadvantage in Negotiation?

PON Staff   •  12/29/2020   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Are extroverts by nature better negotiators than introverts? Or are they at a disadvantage in negotiation? As we’ll see, the answer is far from decided. However, we all have clear opportunities to build on our own strengths and learn from those of others.
Quiet, loud, and somewhere in between
Introversion is a personality trait marked by a … Read More