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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Framing the Issue: Program on Negotiation Chair Robert Mnookin Leads HLS Reading Group in Study of U.S.-Cuba Relations

PON Staff   •  07/30/2012   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Reading groups at Harvard Law School, consisting of 2Ls and 3Ls, present faculty and students with opportunities to study with one another in a less formal setting. Additionally, students are encouraged and are able to gain an in-depth knowledge of the particular reading group’s subject matter. … Read More 

Knowledge of Biases as an Influencing Tool

PON Staff   •  07/17/2012   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Past Negotiation articles have highlighted many of the cognitive biases likely to confront negotiators. Work by researchers Russell B. Korobkin of UCLA and Chris P. Guthrie of Vanderbilt University suggests how to turn knowledge of four specific biases into tools of persuasion. … Read More 

A Worse Deal than You Think?

PON Staff   •  07/10/2012   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Most negotiators leave the bargaining table believing they were better at pushing the other side to its limit than was actually the case, according to recent experimental studies by Richard P. Larrick of Duke University and George Wu of the University of Chicago. … Read More 

The Enduring Power of Anchors

PON Staff   •  07/06/2012   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

In past issues of Negotiation, we’ve reviewed the anchoring effect – the tendency for negotiators to be overly influenced by the other side’s opening bid, however arbitrary. When your opponent makes an inappropriate bid on your house, you’re nonetheless likely to begin searching for data that confirms the anchor’s viability. This testing is likely to … Read More 

Crisis Negotiations – Rolling the Dice in Court

PON Staff   •  07/02/2012   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Going to trial, it’s said, is like rolling the dice. That proved true when an exasperated federal judge, the Honorable Gregory A. Presnell, ordered litigants to play a game of Rock Paper Scissors if they could not privately resolve their differences over a procedural issue. The lawyers were stalemated on where to depose a witness … Read More 

When More is Less

PON Staff   •  06/28/2012   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

It’s an article of faith in negotiation that expanding the pie of value enhances the parties’ welfare. When there’s only one issue on the bargaining table, the size of the pie is fixed. If one party gets more, the other party gets less. But when multiple issues exist, negotiators can expand the size of the … Read More 

Great Negotiator Award 2012

PON Staff   •  06/19/2012   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, in conjunction with the Future of Diplomacy Project at Harvard Kennedy School, honored distinguished statesman and former Secretary of State James A. Baker III as the recipient of their Great Negotiator Award for 2012. Secretary Baker served under President George H.W. Bush from 1989 to 1992.

A … Read More 

Goals Gone Wild

PON Staff   •  06/13/2012   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Max H. Bazerman sat down with Sean Silverthorne of Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge to discuss goal setting and how to effectively set goals on an individual and organizational level.

Researchers from top business schools have collaborated on research demonstrating that, in some cases, goal setting may actually do more harm than good. … Read More 

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