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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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 … Read More 

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 … Read More 

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 More 

Speaking the Same Language

PON Staff   •  05/04/2012   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Negotiators can find themselves talking past each other for hours, even days. Then suddenly something happens – a breakthrough. The parties begin conversing on a different plane, one that reveals solutions to problems that had seemed intractable. … Read More 

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 … Read More 

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 More 

Accounting for Outsiders in Your Negotiations

PON Staff   •  04/30/2012   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

If you’re in the middle of talks that seem to be going well, here’s a warning: consider the impact of the agreement on those who aren’t at the table, or suffer the consequences. That’s a lesson that Apple and some of the largest U.S. book publishers are currently learning the hard way.

On April 12, the … Read More 

When Negotiations Take Advantage of Outsiders

PON Staff   •  04/16/2012   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

In March, reported Rob Wildeboer of Chicago’s WBEZ radio station broke the news that inmate in Cook County prisons (including those in the city of Chicago) were being charged inflated phone rates due to a profit-generating contract between the county and Securus Technologies, the company that operates the jail phone service. The contract requires Securus … Read More 

Planting the Seeds of Peace

PON Staff   •  03/09/2012   •  Filed in Middle East Negotiation Initiatives, Negotiation Skills

Tucked away in an idyllic corner of Maine is a summer camp that features many traditional American activities: singing around bonfires, flag raising ceremonies, Color Wars, and chilly dips in the lake. Less ordinary, however, are the daily dialogue sessions, where Israeli and Palestinian campers heatedly discuss their identities, homelands, politics, and pain.

Meet Seeds of … Read More 

Closing the Deal is Only the Beginning of the Endgame

PON Staff   •  03/08/2012   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Often it is the relatively small details of an agreement that can cause the most consternation in negotiation. When viewed in light of the big picture, these details can be of minor importance, but while in the heat of the action they can become points of contention capable of derailing the process altogether, especially if … Read More 

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