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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Too Tough Talk?

PON Staff   •  11/01/2010   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

Adapted from “Break Through the Tough Talk,” by Kristina A. Diekmann (University of Utah) and Ann E. Tenbrunsel (Notre Dame University), first published in the Negotiation newsletter.

You might think that cultivating a reputation as a tough bargainer might be the best way to cope with a competitive opponent. But this isn’t necessarily the best strategy. … Read More 

Change the Trust Default

PON Staff   •  11/01/2010   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

Adapted from “How to Build Trust at the Bargaining Table,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter.

Carol’s longtime doctor diagnoses her with a serious illness and recommends immediate, aggressive treatment. Carol would like to seek a second opinion, but she doesn’t want to offend her doctor—who, after all, has always provided her with excellent care. Carol … Read More 

Negotiating the Gulf Disaster with Larry Susskind

PON Staff   •  10/26/2010   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Soap Box: Negotiating the Gulf Disaster
Tuesday, September 26, 2010

Speaker: Larry Susskind

Time: 6:00p–7:30p

Location: N52, MIT Museum

Soap Box: The Gulf Oil Spill & Its Consequences

The MIT Museum sponsors a series of salon-style, early-evening  conversations with cutting-edge scientists and engineers who are making the news that really matters.

Larry Susskind, MIT’s Ford Professor of Urban Studies and Planning, and … Read More 

When Compromise Fails

PON Staff   •  10/25/2010   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

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

In July 2000, Arthur Levitt, then chairman of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), held hearings on the question of auditor independence. Believing that auditors’ close ties to their clients posed a conflict of interest … Read More 

To Get Ahead, Grab Their Coattails

PON Staff   •  10/18/2010   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

Adapted from “Want to Pull Ahead of the Competition?” by Michael Wheeler (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter.

Lots of people have great ideas for new products and services, but most lack the imagination and doggedness to actually get them launched. Darren Rovell is a notable exception. As a college student, he … Read More 

Consult Your “Inner Outsider”

PON Staff   •  10/12/2010   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

Adapted from “Taking an Outside View,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter.

Cognitive biases such as overconfidence affect even smart and highly educated negotiators. Unfortunately, awareness of our biases is not enough to prevent their having a negative impact on our next negotiation.

Why is it so hard to keep our biases in check? Researchers Dan Lovallo … Read More 

Borrowing Influence: How to Get by With a Little Help from Your Friends

PON Staff   •  10/08/2010   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

Jeswald W. Salacuse (Henry J. Baker Professor of Law; former Dean, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University; author of The Global Negotiator and Seven Secrets for Negotiating with Government

Most of us see negotiation as a one-on-one encounter, but bringing in outside help can make your negotiations more effective. In this article, Jeswald Salacuse … Read More 

Learn More From Your Deals

PON Staff   •  10/05/2010   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

Adapted from “Learning to Learn,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter.

Learning about a concept or technique is one thing. Actually putting new knowledge to work is quite another. The gap between “knowing” and “doing” is a challenge for managers who want to hone their effectiveness, whether through formal training or private reflection on their experience.

Recent … Read More 

Learning to Manage Climate Change Risks: Three New Multiparty Negotiation Games That Can be Used to Enhance Public Engagement

PON Staff   •  10/05/2010   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills, Pedagogy at PON, Research Projects

The Clearinghouse now offers three, multi-party role play simulations focused on helping cities manage climate change risks. These were prepared by the Science Impact Collaborative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under the direction of Professor Larry Susskind. The purpose of these exercises is to engage the public in a mixture of political and technical … Read More 

Honor Your Fellow Negotiator

PON Staff   •  10/04/2010   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

Adapted from “Negotiators: Guard Against Ethical Lapses,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter.

During the past couple of years, a number of scandalous stories involving unethical behavior made headlines: Countrywide’s and AIG’s risky business practices, trader Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, and former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich’s alleged attempt to sell a U.S. Senate seat. As instances … Read More 

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