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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Effective Negotiation Behavior: Are You Consistent?

Katie Shonk   •  09/09/2019   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

effective negotiation behavior

We might hope that when we adopt effective negotiation strategies—such as spending lots of time preparing and asking questions at the table—we would achieve consistently strong results in our negotiations. Yet as most of us have experienced, our outcomes and personal satisfaction can vary a great deal from one negotiation to the next. Why? Likely … Read More 

How Body Language Affects Negotiation

Katie Shonk   •  09/02/2019   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

body language affects negotiation

Experts typically advise us to study our counterparts’ body language in negotiation and to be aware of our own body language. What, exactly, can we learn from others’ nonverbal behavior? And how can we modify our own nonverbal behavior to increase our negotiation success? We analyze three scenarios to help you understand how body language … Read More 

Negotiation Research You Can Use: Should you tell them a story?

PON Staff   •  08/31/2019   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Salespeople and advertisers have come up with a range of persuasion strategies that help close deals, from alluding to a product’s popularity to prompting concessions by offering potential customers “free gifts.” These strategies and others have proven useful for business negotiators who are trying to shine the best light on their offers.

Another effective strategy can be … Read More 

For Professional Negotiators, Three Is a Magic Number

Katie Shonk   •  08/29/2019   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

professional negotiators

Everything good comes in threes, they say. For storytellers, this means understanding that readers and listeners find a sequence of three things to be memorable, satisfying, and compelling—whether it’s three bears, three little pigs, or three kings. For professional negotiators, sequences of three can be rewarding as well. The following examples of good negotiation skills … Read More 

Professional Negotiators: Give Texts a Chance

Katie Shonk   •  08/19/2019   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills


Do you negotiate via text? If you’re a young person early in your career, your answer may be an emphatic yes. If you’re a little older, maybe you answered no. Even so, if you took a closer look at the saved text messages on your smartphone, you might find you’ve recently negotiated the division of … Read More 

Creating Value in Negotiations through Word Choice

Katie Shonk   •  08/05/2019   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

creating value in negotiation

When the delegates from the Group of 20—the world’s 20 largest economies, or G20—met in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in December 2018 to negotiate reforms to the global trading system, the words they didn’t use turned out to be just as important as the ones they did when it came to creating value in negotiations. … Read More 

The Art of the Threat

PON Staff   •  07/31/2019   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

What do you do when the other party won’t give you what you want in negotiation? There are many possibilities: Offer multiple proposals to find out what the other party values most, make tradeoffs to convey you’re willing to concede, go around the other party by finding a different negotiating partner, and so on. But if … Read More 

Effective Negotiation Techniques: Strive for a Precision Advantage

Katie Shonk   •  07/01/2019   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

negotiation techniques

As you may have noticed, the first offer made in a negotiation often has a significant influence on the final outcome. In their research, psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky documented that the first number introduced in a negotiation serves as an “anchor” that can be impossible to ignore—no matter how irrelevant, outrageous, or insulting … Read More 

Negotiate a Deal that Lasts

PON Staff   •  06/03/2019   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

negotiate a deal

When trying to negotiate a deal with a potential business partner, you need to come up with a plan for ensuring the two sides will mesh rather than clash. Facebook’s leaders and WhatsApp’s founders appeared to skip that vital step when negotiating the social media giant’s purchase of the text-messaging app in 2014—an oversight that … Read More 

Negotiation research you can use: Why displays of anger can backfire

PON Staff   •  05/31/2019   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

When negotiators get angry, their counterparts often snap to attention, research shows. We tend to perceive negotiators who appear angry as hard bargainers, and thus make lower demands of them and offer them higher concessions than when dealing with happy opponents, University of Amsterdam professor Gerben A. Van Kleef has found in his research.

Sensing this, negotiators … Read More 

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