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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Positional Bargaining Pitfalls

Katie Shonk   •  11/18/2019   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

positional bargaining

When they think of negotiation, many people imagine a positional bargaining scenario where two people are haggling back-and-forth over the price of an item, both refusing to budge. In positional bargaining, “each side takes a position, argues for it, and makes concessions to reach a compromise,” write Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton in … Read More 

Online Negotiation Strategies: Email and Videoconferencing

Katie Shonk   •  11/04/2019   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

online negotiation strategies

Online negotiation has become ubiquitous, as it allows us to negotiate across the miles cheaply and quickly. Yet online negotiation creates special challenges. With email, instant messaging, and text messages, negotiators typically lack visual, verbal, and other sensory cues to interpret how their counterpart is feeling. And while videoconferencing—via Skype, Google Hangouts, and so on—adds … Read More 

The Effects of Power in Negotiation

PON Staff   •  10/28/2019   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

power in negotiation

You might think that you’re entering a negotiation as the more powerful party, but those with considerable power often fail to take advantage of their privileged bargaining position. Meanwhile, negotiators who lack power routinely miss out on opportunities to gain leverage. To make the most of the power you have, it’s important to understand the … Read More 

In Preparation for Negotiation, Choose the Right Process

PON Staff   •  10/14/2019   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

preparation for negotiation

In preparation for negotiation, sellers face a choice between negotiating one on one with buyers, holding an auction, or combining elements of both processes. Consider the different paths that Amazon and Apple followed in 2017 when each began scouting locations for a new campus: 

Dangling the prospect of a $5 billion campus and about 50,000 … Read More 

Fundamental Aspects of Negotiation: Setting the Table

Katie Shonk   •  09/23/2019   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

fundamental aspects of negotiation

In March 2018, U.S. president Donald Trump shocked even his own White House staff when he revealed that he had accepted an invitation to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. After months of name-calling and threats between Trump and Kim, the news that the two leaders would discuss the possibility of North Korea dismantling … Read More 

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 

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