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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Harvard Law School Hosts 2010 American Bar Association Regional Negotiation Competition

PON Staff   •  12/07/2010   •  Filed in Awards, Grants, and Fellowships, Daily, Harvard Negotiators, Negotiation Skills, Student Events

Sixteen teams from nine different law schools from throughout the Northeast took part in the ABA Regional Negotiation Competition at HLS on November 13–14, 2010. Approximately 35 judges, all practicing lawyers in the Boston area, evaluated the teams and chose the winners. A team comprised of two first-year law students from Boston College Law School … Learn More About This Program

Letting Them Down Easy

PON Staff   •  12/06/2010   •  Filed in Business Negotiations, Daily, Negotiation Skills, Webcasts

First published in the Negotiation newsletter.

In recent years, a number of new Web-based systems have changed the very structure of negotiation as we know it. One of most famous of these is, which allows consumers to make bids for rental cars, hotel rooms, and air travel-bids that the car-rental firms, hotels, and airlines can … Read Letting Them Down Easy

Robert Bordone and HNMCP featured in the HLS Bulletin

PON Staff   •  11/30/2010   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills, News

“Uncommon Loss: Common Bond,” published in the Harvard Law School Bulletin discusses Project Common Bond, which was started by two former Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program students working with Professor Robert Bordone and clinic associate, Toby Berkman.

“For teens… from around the globe with family members killed or seriously injured in acts of violence, … Learn More About This Program

The Power of Schadenfreude

PON Staff   •  11/30/2010   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

Adapted from “Negotiating with the Green-eyed Monster,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter.

Envy can cause us to engage in deception at the bargaining table. That’s the cautionary finding of recent research by Simone Moran of Ben-Gurion University in Israel and Maurice E. Schweitzer of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

In one experiment, Israeli … Read The Power of Schadenfreude

How Stereotypes Impair Performance

PON Staff   •  11/22/2010   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

Adapted from “Why It Pays for Negotiators to Feel Powerful,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter.

Simply knowing that others may be judging us according to negative stereotypes can impair our performance, according to Stanford University professor Claude Steele. All of us—from white males to African American women to those low on the workplace totem pole—experience … Read How Stereotypes Impair Performance

When You’re on Stage

PON Staff   •  11/16/2010   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

Adapted from “How to Deal When the Going Gets Tough,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter.

Negotiators tend to feel pressured when they’re performing in front of an audience, according to Harvard Business School professor Deepak Malhotra. If your boss is watching your every move, if you are bargaining as part of a team, or if … Read When You’re on Stage

Everyday Ingenuity

PON Staff   •  11/15/2010   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

Adapted from the Negotiation newsletter.

Negotiation expert Roger Fisher sagely counsels, “Solutions are not the answer.” Instead of tossing demands back and forth on their way to an outcome, negotiators should focus on the process of exploring their underlying needs and interests. Get the process right, and practical solutions often follow.

But process still depends on the … Read Everyday Ingenuity

Checking Your Ego

PON Staff   •  11/15/2010   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

Adapted from “When Self-Interest is Sabotage,” by Max H. Bazerman (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter.

Researchers Frederick G. Banting and John Macleod were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in 1923 for their partnership in the discovery of insulin. After receiving the prize, Banting publicly contended that Macleod, the head of their … Read Checking Your Ego

Devilish Contractual Details

PON Staff   •  11/02/2010   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

Adapted from “Is the Devil in the Details?,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter.

You’re close to a deal, but concerns linger. Some of the contract terms seem less than precise. What in the world does “reasonable best efforts” mean, for example, or “good faith”? Negotiators in this commonplace situation face a choice: push for more … Read Devilish Contractual Details

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