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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Negotiating to turn your dreams into reality

PON Staff   •  09/01/2020   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Robin Rue Simmons

They say it pays to dream big, but when our dreams depend on other people’s funding and approval, they can easily dissolve. Drawing on savvy negotiation skills, determination, and good timing, Robin Rue Simmons, an alderman in Evanston, Ill., found a way to overcome such obstacles and make history, as Bryan Smith reported in the June/July … Read Negotiating to turn your dreams into reality 

Advanced Negotiation Techniques: Online Dispute Resolution

Katie Shonk   •  07/27/2020   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

advanced negotiation techniques

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, negotiators are increasingly making deals and resolving disputes online. But a trend toward online dispute resolution (ODR) was already in the making before we all began to quarantine. On July 15, experts discussed how technology can help us effectively and efficiently resolve disputes in a roundtable discussion, “AI Agents Negotiating Deals … Learn More About This Program 

Negotiation Strategies and Techniques for Activists: Lessons from Mandela

Katie Shonk   •  07/06/2020   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

negotiation strategies and techniques

In the aftermath of George Floyd’s killing in Minneapolis by a White police officer, activists, politicians, and other concerned citizens are grappling with a big question: Where do we go from here? The quest for reforms to policing and other societal institutions can be pursued through many means, including continued demonstrations, political lobbying, and community-wide … Learn More About This Program 

Feeling emotional? Pause before you negotiate

PON Staff   •  06/30/2020   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Restaurant Owners Looking at Bills

It was a dream come true. In January, Miranda and Carlos, longtime coworkers in the hospitality industry, opened a new restaurant in their small town. Locals flocked to the place, praising the ambience, food, and service.

But just two months later, Covid-19 roared into the United States, and state regulations required the restaurant to switch to … Read Feeling emotional? Pause before you negotiate 

Negotiation in the News: The best—and worst—of distance negotiations

PON Staff   •  05/31/2020   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Drone Operator

Unable to meet in person as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, negotiators are forced to make the best of alternatives to face-to-face talks—with varied results. Here’s a roundup of some of the most notable negotiation successes and failures from the recent news.
Droning on and on?
As we reported in last month’s issue, dealmakers who are … Learn More About This Program 

Negotiation Skills: Reducing Political Polarization

Katie Shonk   •  05/11/2020   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

political polarization

Excerpted from the June issue of the Negotiation Briefings newsletter, a publication of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.

In our era of political polarization, collaboration and compromise can seem like impossible goals within our governments and our own communities. In his book Negotiating the Nonnegotiable: How to Resolve Your Most Emotionally Charged … Learn More About This Program 

Negotiating From a Social Distance

PON Staff   •  04/30/2020   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Man Looking at Computer Screens

As the COVID-19 virus began to spread through the United States, Xerox CEO John Visentin announced on March 13 that the company was putting its hostile takeover of HP on hold in order to “prioritize the health and safety of its employees, customers, partners and affiliates over and above all other considerations.”

With health experts worldwide advising citizens … Read Negotiating From a Social Distance 

Online Negotiation in a Time of Social Distance

Katie Shonk   •  03/26/2020   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

online negotiation

Negotiation thrives on physical presence. Handshakes, eye contact, shared meals, and long meetings in stuffy conference rooms are everyday tools of the trade, and with good reason: Negotiators who meet in person reach better deals than those who negotiate online, research shows. Face-to-face meetings offer invaluable nonverbal and verbal cues, such as eye contact, body … Read Online Negotiation in a Time of Social Distance 

The Impact of Anxiety and Emotions on Negotiations

PON Staff   •  03/19/2020   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills


Intense negotiation scenarios, we often choose to consult an expert for advice, preferably someone who has carried out hundreds of similar deals with great success. When we consult with others on our negotiations, we must weigh their advice against our own opinions and research. Past negotiation research finds that we tend to undervalue advice from … Learn More About This Program 

Set Yourself Up to Make Better Choices

PON Staff   •  02/29/2020   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

When weighing our options in negotiation, we try to focus on what matters most to us over the long term. Yet aspects of the decision-making process, many of them irrelevant, can interfere with our best judgment. In particular, the number of options we’re facing, the quest for the “perfect” choice, and status concerns can all get … Read Set Yourself Up to Make Better Choices 

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