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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Putting Negotiation Training to Work

PON Staff   •  02/14/2011   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

Adapted from “Transferring Negotiation Knowledge,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter.

After attending intensive executive education courses, managers typically return to the office with a sense of excitement about applying their new knowledge—only to find 200 e-mails and 25 voicemail messages waiting for them. Amid the chaos, the lessons of the past few days are forgotten. … Read Putting Negotiation Training to Work 

How to Turn a Maybe Into a Yes

PON Staff   •  01/31/2011   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

Adapted from “Closing the Deal,” by Michael Wheeler (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter.

You’ve followed the negotiation guidebooks to a T, uncovered the parties’ key interests, brainstormed creative solutions, and even developed good rapport with your counterpart. You’ve done everything right…but you still don’t have agreement.

How do you turn the other … Read How to Turn a Maybe Into a Yes 

Let Them Compare and Contrast

PON Staff   •  01/25/2011   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

Adapted from “Will Your Proposals Hit the Mark?” First published in the Negotiation newsletter.

In negotiation, it’s always better when someone accepts your offer rather than rejecting it, right? Actually, rejection can sometimes be the most effective way to get to “yes.”

Let’s look at another story about consumer behavior, as described by Itamar Simonson of Stanford’s … Read Let Them Compare and Contrast 

When Focus Comes at a Price

PON Staff   •  01/24/2011   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Adapted from “The High Cost of Low Focus,” by Max H. Bazerman (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter.

Has someone (perhaps a significant other) ever told you that you’ve previously seen or heard something that you don’t recall? When someone says, “I already told you that!” in exasperation, do you assume that … Read When Focus Comes at a Price 

Conflicts of Interest

PON Staff   •  01/21/2011   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

Max H. Bazerman (Jesse Isidor Straus Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School) and Deepak Malhotra (Associate Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School)

(An excerpt from the book Negotiation Genius by Deepak Malhotra and Max H. Bazerman)

When conflicting interests are involved, none of us is immune from the effects of personal or professional bias. In … Read Conflicts of Interest 

The Right Time to Negotiate

PON Staff   •  01/18/2011   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

Adapted from “Telling Time in Different Cultures,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter.

Despite the bloody conflicts in the Middle East, people of goodwill from both Arab and Western nations earnestly seek to collaborate in diplomatic and business transactions. An article by Ilai Alon of Tel Aviv University and Jeanne Brett of Northwestern, however, cautions that … Read The Right Time to Negotiate 

Prof Mandell Featured on Kennedy School Website

PON Staff   •  01/14/2011   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

PON affiliated professor Brian Mandell was interviewed for an article on the Harvard Kennedy School homepage today discussing his intersession course, Advanced Workshop in Multiparty Negotiation and Conflict Resolution. Click here to read the full article.

“The class — of which the objective is to develop the next generation of master negotiators — is structured so … Read Prof Mandell Featured on Kennedy School Website 

Video of Professor Sebenius

PON Staff   •  01/14/2011   •  Filed in Business Negotiations, Daily, Negotiation Skills, Resources, Videos

PON Professor James Sebenius answers these critical questions during an interview before last month’s Executive Education classes:

Why is it so important for managers and business people to become skilled negotiators?

Why is preparation and set up so important in negotiations?

Why do you enjoy teaching students in Executive Education courses?

To watch more PON Videos, click here.

To watch … Read Video of Professor Sebenius  

Negotiating Next Year’s Football Season

PON Staff   •  01/14/2011   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

Associated Press

The NFL is negotiating with the players’ union to accept a new labor agreement that would include an 18-game season in 2011. The NFL’s lead negotiator said talks are focused on the extended season, economics, the rookie salary system and free-agency rules. With the current agreement expiring in March, both sides acknowledge their responsibility … Read Negotiating Next Year’s Football Season 

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