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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Moving Toward the Cutting Edge

PON Staff   •  03/02/2012   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

“What a small world” is an oft heard phrase used to describe anything from running into a friend far from home to discovering a group that shares your particular interests. In the first instance, the phrase conveys a sense of proximity that is paradoxical given the world and, in the second it denotes a social … Read More 

Get Time on Your Side

PON Staff   •  02/28/2012   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

When negotiators can’t manage to resolve a final sticking point, time can be one of the best tools at your disposal. How can you use time to move forward?

First, and perhaps most obviously, take a break from talks. That might mean adjourning until the next day, next week, or even longer. In negotiation, a pause … Read More 

Should Your Boss Be at the Negotiation Table?

PON Staff   •  02/28/2012   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Imagine that you are about to begin a negotiation whose subject matter is squarely within your area of responsibility at my company. However, the dollar amounts at stake are so large that you are tempted to kick it upstairs to your boss, or at least involve your boss directly in the negotiation. What are the … Read More 

When Negotiation Conflict is Internal

PON Staff   •  02/21/2012   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

In negotiation, rarely does a deal seem perfect. Rather, we often feel ambivalent about our choices. Should you accept your counterpart’s best and final offer, which is merely adequate from your perspective, or devote the considerable energy required to find a stellar deal elsewhere? Should you end a business relationship that has grown contentious or … Read More 

Are You Avoiding a Key Negotiation?

PON Staff   •  02/21/2012   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Imagine that it’s time to shop for a new car. A friend has told you that she solicited bids from dealers on a no-haggle website and was offered a good, nonnegotiable price. You consider going this route but wonder if you could get an even better deal by negotiating at the dealership. Would you choose … Read More 

Fight or Flight

PON Staff   •  02/17/2012   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Many things factor into whether you choose “fight or flight” when faced with a difficult situation in life. Whether it is a disagreeable coworker or a border struggle between nations, the decisions made at the onset of conflict often determine the tenor of the entire proceeding.

Along with information and a good-faith desire for collaboration, knowing … Read More 

Negotiation Workshop Students Offer U.S. Assistant Attorney General Advice on Guantanamo Bay

PON Staff   •  02/10/2012   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Guantanamo Bay is a location firmly fixed in the public mind as one of the many physical symbols associated with the age of terrorism. Before becoming President of the United States, Barack Obama promised the closure of this controversial site. Yet that promise was fraught with many political considerations, such as how to close a … Read More 

Touchy-feely Negotiators?

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

In a series of studies, Joshua M.Ackerman of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Christopher C. Nocera of Harvard University, and John A. Bargh of Yale University explored how the feel of physical objects could arbitrarily be influencing our choices without our knowledge.

In one study, the researchers asked passersby to evaluate a job candidate by reviewing … Read More 

Negotiate How You’ll Negotiate

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

When a negotiation ends, our satisfaction with the final outcome doesn’t depend solely on how much we objectively gained or lost, according to research by Jared Curhan and Hen Xu of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Hillary Anger Elfenbein of the University of California at Berkeley. In fact, negotiator satisfaction hinges on four factors: our … Read More 

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