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 Negotiators Act Like Parasites

PON Staff   •  04/11/2011   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Adapted from “Creating Values, Weighing Values,” by Max H. Bazerman (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter.

In April 2001, the FTC filed a complaint accusing pharmaceutical companies Schering-Plough and Upsher-Smith of restricting trade. Upsher-Smith had been preparing to introduce a generic pharmaceutical product that would threaten a near monopoly held by Schering-Plough. … Read More 

Helping Decentralized Organizations Negotiate More Effectively

PON Staff   •  04/08/2011   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

Lawrence Susskind (Ford professor of Urban and Environmental Planning, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology; author of Built to Win; co-author of Breaking Robert’s Rules and Breaking the Impasse)

How can organizations with offices spread over a large geographical region negotiate competently? In this posting, the author gives suggestions for putting a realistic system in place.

Read More … Read More 

Consider the Source

PON Staff   •  03/29/2011   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Adapted from “When Your Thoughts Work Against You,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter.

Remember the firestorm that the cover of The New Yorker magazine’s July 21, 2008, issue created? The cartoon depicted presidential nominee Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, in the Oval Office, he dressed as a flag-burning Muslim, she as a terrorist.

It wasn’t … Read More 

Why it Pays to Save Face

PON Staff   •  03/21/2011   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Adapted from “In Negotiation, How Much Do Personality and Other Individual Differences Matter?” First published in the Negotiation newsletter.

When you criticize a negotiator’s arguments or question her motives, you risk threatening her “face,” or social image. Such direct threats to self-esteem can trigger embarrassment, anger, and competitive behavior in your counterpart, according to research … Read More 

Collaborative Rationality

PON Staff   •  03/18/2011   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

Lawrence Susskind (Ford professor of Urban and Environmental Planning, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology; author of Built to Win; co-author of Breaking Robert’s Rules and Breaking the Impasse)

A new theory for generating and justifying decisions builds on a solid foundation of negotiation principles. In this posting, the author describes the reasoning behind collaborative rationality and … Read More 

When Two Cultures are Better Than One

PON Staff   •  03/15/2011   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

Adapted from “Coping with Culture at the Bargaining Table,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter.

Do you have firsthand experience navigating two cultures? Have you lived abroad for a significant period of time? Are you an immigrant, or were you raised by immigrants?

If you are “bicultural,” you may be an especially adept negotiator, research suggests. Researchers … Read More 

Make Your Best Offer Look Better

PON Staff   •  03/07/2011   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

Adapted from “Picking the Right Frame: Make Your Best Offer Seem Better,” by Max H. Bazerman (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter.

Imagine that you bought a house in 2000 for $400,000. You have just put it on the market for $499,000, with a real target of $470,000—your estimation of the house’s … Read More 

Picking Teams

PON Staff   •  03/01/2011   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

Adapted from “Pick the Right Negotiating Team,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter.

We’ve all seen teams and work groups implode under the stress of personality clashes. These experiences might lead you to conclude that your negotiating team should be a tight-knit and harmonious group of colleagues. Yet Northwestern University professor Leigh Thompson and her coauthors … Read More 

Negotiators: Don’t Go on a Power Trip

PON Staff   •  02/28/2011   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Adapted from “When You Hold All the Cards,” by Guhan Subramanian (professor, Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter.

One of your customers has just landed a lucrative new contract, and you’re the only supplier who can add a critical component to that customer’s production process. Concerns about violating your … Read More 

Dealing With a Stubborn Counterpart

PON Staff   •  02/21/2011   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

Adapted from “Stubborn or Irrational? How to Cope with a Difficult Negotiating Partner,” by Lawrence Susskind (professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology), first published in the Negotiation newsletter.

Suppose you’re an experienced salesperson entering into negotiations for a contract renewal with a company you’ve successfully done business with for years. Recently, your counterpart at the other company … Read More 

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