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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Negotiation Research You Can Use: When anger helps and hurts at the office

PON Staff   •  08/31/2018   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Most of us dread displays of anger at work, whether we’re the aggrieved party, the target of someone’s wrath, or just an innocent bystander. But anger can have benefits in the workplace when expressed constructively, airing differences that need to be addressed, improving relationships, and bringing injustice and mistreatment to light.

Despite the potential benefits of … Read More 

A Criminal Plea Bargain Simulation

PON Staff   •  08/28/2018   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

criminal plea bargain

The Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) at PON offers hundreds of role simulations, from two-party, single-issue negotiations to complex multi-party exercises. State v. Huntley is a two-party criminal plea bargain negotiation between a prosecutor and a public defender for a man charged with aggravated rape.

Criminal Plea Bargain Scenario: Two police officers on routine patrol were … Read More 

When Conflict Becomes a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Katie Shonk   •  08/06/2018   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

self fulfilling prophecy

When one party brings up the possibility of a lawsuit in a business dispute, the threat can become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Yet business negotiators often benefit from settling their disputes before going to court, write Robert H. Mnookin, Scott R. Peppet, and Andrew S. Tulumello in their book Beyond Winning: Negotiating to Create Value in … Read More 

When agreements fall apart

PON Staff   •  07/31/2018   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

In early June, the New York Times reported that since at least 2010, Facebook has negotiated more than 60 data-sharing partnerships with hardware manufacturers such as Apple and Samsung, as well as four Chinese companies. One of the deals gave access to data on Facebook users to Huawei, a Chinese telecommunications company that U.S. intelligence … Read More 

Learn from the Best with the Great Negotiator

PON Staff   •  05/21/2018   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Great Negotiator Stuart Eizenstat

No one can provide perspective on conflict resolution like experts who have been involved in some of the world’s most complex negotiations. Since 2001, the Program on Negotiation (PON) has bestowed the Great Negotiator Award upon distinguished leaders whose lifelong accomplishments in the fields of negotiation and dispute resolution have had compelling and lasting results.

The Great … Read More 

Negotiation research you can use: In negotiations with friends, it may pay to lower your expectations

PON Staff   •  03/31/2018   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

When buying a used car, would you rather negotiate with a friend or a stranger? We might expect that we’d get a better deal from the friend, whether because we’d communicate with ease or because our friend would give us a “friend discount.”

But in fact, negotiations between friends and others in a close relationship are notoriously inefficient, … Read More 

Negotiation research you can use: The pitfalls of put-downs: When “trash talk” backfires

PON Staff   •  02/28/2018   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills


“Rocket Man.” “Little Marco.” “Crooked Hillary.” “Sloppy Steve.”

These are just a few of the mocking nicknames that President Donald Trump has given to his perceived rivals. Trump seems to have a penchant for trash talk—which psychologists define as boastful comments about oneself or insulting comments about an opponent delivered before or during a competition—but he’s … Read More 

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