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.

The Program on Negotiation’s Executive Education negotiation training programs include Negotiation and Leadership: Dealing with Difficult People and Problems, the Harvard Negotiation Master Class, and the Harvard Mediation Intensive.

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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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 When More is Less

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 Great Negotiator Award 2012

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 Goals Gone Wild

Specific versus Abstract Negotiation Skills Training

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

Researchers have argued that negotiators learn more from cases and real-world experiences when they can take away an abstract version of the lesson. Such abstractions come from analogies developed across two or more different negotiation contexts, say Leigh Thompson and Dedre Gentner of Northwestern University and Jeffrey Loewenstein of the University of Texas, who propose … Learn More About This Program

Gabriella Blum Named Rita E. Hauser Professor of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at Harvard Law School

PON Staff   •  05/24/2012   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Program on Negotiation faculty member and Harvard Law School faculty member Gabriella Blum was appointed Rita E. Hauser Professor of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law on April 10, 2012. To commemorate the occasion, Blum delivered a lecture entitled “The Fog of Victory” in which she discussed the meaning of victory in modern warfare.

In her opening … Learn More About This Program

Negotiation Myths, Exposed

PON Staff   •  05/23/2012   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

negotiation myths

In her book, The Mind and Heart of the Negotiator, Leigh Thompson cites four widely held myths that bar negotiators from improving their skills. This analysis is worth the attention of anyone who wants to move beyond platitudes to a deeper understanding of negotiation.

Myth 1: Great negotiators are born.
While we’re all born with varying abilities … Read Negotiation Myths, Exposed

Frank Sander Honored at American Bar Association 14th Annual Spring Conference

PON Staff   •  05/01/2012   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

With beautiful weather outside and the cherry blossom season in full bloom, over 1000 attendees filled the American Bar Association Dispute Resolution Section’s conference halls as it held its 14th annual conference in Washington, D.C.

On Saturday, April 21, the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution honored Frank Sander, A.B., LL.B., Bussey Professor of Law Emeritus and … Learn More About This Program

Leading Horses to Water

PON Staff   •  05/01/2012   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

The hardest step in negotiation is often the first. Costly lawsuits can drag on it everyone is afraid to be the first to blink. Prospective buyers and sellers can waste endless hours dancing around a possible deal. And in collective bargaining, labor and management teams sometimes paint themselves into corners by refusing to negotiate “matters … Read Leading Horses to Water

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