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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Professor Shapiro in the Harvard Gazette

PON Staff   •  10/28/2011   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Daniel L. Shapiro, an assistant professor of psychology, invited a special guest lecturer, actor Richard Olivier (Sir Laurence Olivier’s son), to give a talk to his Harvard negotiation and conflict management class about William Shakespeare’s play, “Henry V.” Olivier and Shapiro showed how the play offers powerful examples on why being an inspired leader helps … Read Professor Shapiro in the Harvard Gazette

Dealing with emotions during tough economic times

PON Staff   •  10/27/2011   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

A major measure of the economy is the prevailing mood. A bleak job market and less-than-rosy economic outlook influence how we feel in an organization. Tighter budgets and increased layoffs are causes for concern, and many of us respond with “fight or flight” behavior.  We defend our turf or avoid tense conversations in the hopes … Read Dealing with emotions during tough economic times

When women negotiators thrive

PON Staff   •  10/18/2011   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Adapted from “What Happens When Women Don’t Ask,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, June 2008.

Some negotiation research has found that men generally initiate negotiations to advance their own interests much more often than women do. Yet researchers also have identified certain contexts in which women routinely negotiate and achieve outcomes that match or exceed … Read When women negotiators thrive

Negotiating the Distance Between You

PON Staff   •  10/18/2011   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Adapted from “How to Negotiate When You’re (Literally) Far Apart,” by Roderick I. Swaab (professor, INSEAD) and Adam D. Galinsky (professor, Northwestern University), first published in the Negotiation newsletter, February 2007.

Growing economic globalization offers a multitude of new opportunities yet often necessitates alternatives to face-to-face meetings, such as phone calls, e-mails, videoconferences, or instant messages. … Read Negotiating the Distance Between You

Winning at “Win-Win”

PON Staff   •  10/14/2011   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

Lawrence Susskind (Ford Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

“Win-win” has become a popular term in the field of negotiation, but many people have mis-perceptions about what it actually means. In this blog post, Professor Lawrence Susskind, a member of PON’s Executive Committee, clarifies that a “win-win” negotiated outcome is … Read Winning at “Win-Win”

Making room for intuition in negotiation

PON Staff   •  10/04/2011   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

Adapted from “The Heat of the Moment,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, January 2007.

Imagine that after ample preparation and weeks of negotiations with three potential vendors, you have to choose among their proposals, each of which has numerous strengths and weaknesses. What’s more, you have only five minutes left to make this tough decision.

How … Read Making room for intuition in negotiation

Negotiating: Five things you need to know

PON Staff   •  09/23/2011   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

Jeswald W. Salacuse, the Henry J. Braker Professor of Law at the Fletcher School

Negotiation skills are an essential part of life – and can be applied in situations as diverse as finalizing international business deals to making plans for a vacation with family. In a recent article for Tufts Journal, Professor Jes Salacuse offers … Read Negotiating: Five things you need to know

The link between happiness and negotiation success

PON Staff   •  09/20/2011   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

Adapted from “How Mood Affects Negotiator Trust,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, September 2006.

Social psychologists are learning a great deal about the connections among emotions, negotiation strategies, and decision making. Negotiation contributor Jennifer S. Lerner of Carnegie Mellon University and her colleagues have identified two critical themes. First, they have studied the carryover of … Learn More About This Program

Have you negotiated the authority you need?

PON Staff   •  09/20/2011   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

Adapted from “Great Deal—But How Will It Play at the Office?” by Jeswald W. Salacuse (professor, Tufts University), first published in the Negotiation newsletter, October 2006.

To close any deal, you not only have to reach agreement with the other side but also convince your own organization of the deal’s value. In fact, you may … Read Have you negotiated the authority you need?

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