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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When we judge others too harshly

PON Staff   •  08/23/2011   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Adapted from “Overconfident, Underprepared: Why You May Not Be Ready to Negotiate,” by Kristina A. Diekmann (professor, University of Utah) and Adam D. Galinsky (professor, Northwestern University), first published in the Negotiation newsletter, October 2006.

In 1991, during Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas’s confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Anita Hill, then a law … Read When we judge others too harshly 

Should you deal with the devil?

PON Staff   •  08/16/2011   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

Adapted from “Should You Do Business with the Enemy?” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, March 2010.

At one time or another, most of us have faced the prospect of negotiating with a sworn enemy—whether a “greedy” sibling, an “evil” ex-spouse, or an “immoral” company. There is no right or wrong answer to the question … Read Should you deal with the devil? 

When emotions linger

PON Staff   •  08/16/2011   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills


Adapted from “The Lasting Influence of Emotions,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, April 2010.

Psychologists have long known that an emotion triggered in one realm—anger over an argument at home, for example—can affect how we behave in a subsequent situation, including a negotiation. Such incidental, or unrelated, emotions might influence how fully we trust someone … Read When emotions linger 

Expressing emotions strategically

PON Staff   •  08/09/2011   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

Adapted from “Damage Control for Disappointing Results,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, March 2011.

Following what he described as the “shellacking” he and congressional Democrats received during the 2010 midterm elections, President Barack Obama invited GOP leaders of the lame-duck Congress to meet with him at the White House. The leaders postponed the president’s invitation … Read Expressing emotions strategically 

Why it pays to haggle

PON Staff   •  08/02/2011   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

Adapted from “Master the Art and Science of Haggling,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, August 2009.

Businesses that never would have considered negotiating with customers before the global economic crisis are now willing, even eager, to make a deal. Just like the prices of houses, cars, and other big-ticket items, the prices of furniture, electronics, … Read Why it pays to haggle 

Negotiation tactics in the spotlight as debt ceiling debate continues

PON Staff   •  07/29/2011   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

The lack of progress on the debt ceiling negotiations has raised serious concerns that an agreement will not be reached before the August 2nd deadline.  How have the negotiations gotten so derailed?

In a recent interview on Radio Boston, Professor Robert Bordone, director of the Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program, suggested that one of the … Learn More About This Program 

When we expect selfish behavior

PON Staff   •  07/26/2011   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

Adapted from “The Darker Side of Perspective Taking,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, April 2007.

Many negotiation experts recommend that you try to take the other party’s perspective, particularly when attempting to resolve disputes. Research by Nicholas Epley of the University of Chicago and Eugene Caruso and Max Bazerman of Harvard University suggests a dark … Read When we expect selfish behavior 

Avoiding “Close Calls” in Negotiation

PON Staff   •  07/05/2011   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

Adapted from “How ‘Close Calls’ Can Hurt You,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, October 2009.

In the early 1990s, NASA managers and engineers were warned by an expert in risk analysis that the heat-resistant tiles that protected space shuttles during reentry into Earth’s atmosphere could be damaged by debris from the insulating foam on the … Read Avoiding “Close Calls” in Negotiation 

Adapting to Your Counterpart’s Style

PON Staff   •  06/27/2011   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

Adapted from “Negotiating with Chameleons,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, April 2007.

Like the title character in Woody Allen’s movie Zelig, some people smoothly adopt the manner and attitudes of those around them. Due to the lengths such chameleons go to alter their behavior, contemporary psychologists have dubbed them high “self-monitors.”

Whether you think of self-monitors … Read Adapting to Your Counterpart’s Style 

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