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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Are You Talking to the Right Person?

PON Staff   •  01/31/2012   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

When someone is reluctant to engage in negotiation, you might try to wear her down until she finally caves in. Before you risk becoming a pest, however, ask yourself a critical question: Am I talking to the right person?

When negotiators fail to map out the negotiation process in advance, they can encounter detours and dead … Read More 

Why “thank you” matters

PON Staff   •  01/20/2012   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

One should always go into every negotiation fully prepared, but a few very easy steps may help clear negotiation obstacles before the formal process even begins.  Recent research by Francesca Gino, Associate Professor at Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation-affiliated faculty member, argues that simple expressions of gratitude can yield beneficial … Read More 

Does the majority really rule?

PON Staff   •  01/10/2012   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

When a group of people are negotiating, what’s the best way to arrive at a decision? Ever since U.S. general Henry M. Robert published Robert’s Rules of Order in 1876, groups have relied on the principle of majority rule, measured with a simple yea or nay vote at the end of the negotiation process.

Majority rule … Read More 

Video: Moving beyond barriers with Eileen Babbitt

PON Staff   •  12/21/2011   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills, Videos

In this video, Eileen Babbitt, Director of the International Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Program at Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, outlines three types of obstacles that generate barriers in negotiations, and how to move beyond them. This video includes excerpts from a session taught by Dr. Babbitt at the Program on Negotiation for Senior … Read More 

Are you really an ethical negotiator?

PON Staff   •  12/20/2011   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Are you more ethical than your coworkers? If you’re like most people, you answered yes. Lisa L. Shu and Max H. Bazerman of Harvard Business School and Francesca Gino of the University of North Carolina found in their research that most people think they’re more honest and trustworthy than average. What’s more, through a process … Read More 

Resolving conflict, creating value

PON Staff   •  12/06/2011   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Significant business disputes typically involve more than one issue—including disputes that appear to be “just about the money.” Who pays and when? In what form is payment made, with what level of confidentiality, and with what effect on future disputes?

In the heat of the moment, disputants too often focus on one conspicuous issue (such as … Read More 

Negotiation as the Art of Interaction

PON Staff   •  11/28/2011   •  Filed in Events, Negotiation Skills, Student Events

“Negotiation as the Art of Interaction”
A workshop with
Professor Alisher Faizullaev
Visiting Fulbright Scholar, Tufts University

When: Friday, December 9
Time: 12:00 — 1:30 p.m.
Where: Pound Hall, Room 334, Harvard Law School Campus
Please bring your lunch. Drinks and desserts provided.

No negotiation happens without interaction between negotiators, but there are many concepts, ways and forms of organizing and executing interaction. … Read More 

Dr. William Ury and Dr. Gary Slutkin speak at the PON screening of The Interrupters

PON Staff   •  11/22/2011   •  Filed in Events, Negotiation Skills

The Program on Negotiation Film Series recently screened The Interrupters, a documentary film that follows three “violence interrupters” as they work to prevent violence in Chicago’s neighborhoods. The interrupters are outreach workers who were once notorious for their past gang-related experience, but who now work for an organization called CeaseFire, an initiative of the Chicago … Read More 

How comparisons affect satisfaction

PON Staff   •  11/22/2011   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Social comparisons are a critical factor in guiding negotiator satisfaction, Maurice E. Schweitzer of the University of Pennsylvania and Yale psychologist Nathan Novemsky have found in their research. Not only do negotiators compare their profit from a deal with the profit they imagine their counterpart earned, but they also compare their profit with the profits … Read More 

Making threats strategically

PON Staff   •  11/21/2011   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

In negotiation, the time, energy, and resources that you devote to reaching agreement can suggest that you’re desperate for a deal—any deal. The greater your investment in the negotiation, the less credible the threat of walking away becomes.

In such instances, one way to make this threat more credible is to find someone else to take … Read More 

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