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 “fairness” is a distraction

PON Staff   •  05/14/2010   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

Adapted from “Accept or Reject?” by Deepak Malhotra (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter.

Negotiators usually have strong feelings about fairness. Unfortunately, our fairness perceptions tend to be biased in a self-serving manner. Research has shown that, at the end of a negotiation, most people feel they were more cooperative … Read When “fairness” is a distraction 

NYTimes Article Highlights Kagan’s Dilemma at Harvard Law School

PON Staff   •  05/12/2010   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

A New York Times article published May 6 highlights the dilemma Supreme Court nominee and former dean of Harvard Law School Elena Kagan faced over whether to allow the military to recruit at Harvard Law School.

Professor Robert Mnookin, head of PON is quoted saying “Elena is very good at reading the lay of the land, … Learn More About This Program 

Great expectations?

PON Staff   •  05/11/2010   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Adapted from “Faulty Expectations,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter.

One of the most common, clear recommendations to emerge from negotiation literature is the need to consider the other party’s decisions. Ample evidence shows that negotiators too often fail to think about the other negotiator or do so in a simplistic manner. Professors Kristina A. Diekmann … Read Great expectations? 

When women make good agents

PON Staff   •  04/20/2010   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Adapted from “When Does Gender Matter in Negotiation?” by Dina W. Pradel (vice president, Y2M), Hannah Riley Bowles (professor, Harvard Kennedy School), and Kathleen L. Mcginn (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter.

Businesspeople often wonder whether men or women are better negotiators. According to research, gender is not a reliable predictor of … Read When women make good agents 

Too much commitment?

PON Staff   •  04/20/2010   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

Adapted from “Are You Overly Committed to the Deal?” First published in the Negotiation newsletter.

A telecommuter hires a carpenter to build a workstation for her home office. The carpenter’s contract requires payment of 50% upon signing, an additional 30% halfway through the job, and the final 20% upon completion. When the job is done, … Read Too much commitment? 

Overestimating our resolve

PON Staff   •  04/20/2010   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

Aggressive Negotiation Tactics: Threats at the Bargaining Table

Adapted from “Predicting Your Response to Conflict,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter.

Imagine an upcoming negotiation. How will you respond if your opponent seems bent on provoking an argument? If you’re like most people, you’ll have difficulty predicting your precise response. Professor Dan Gilbert of Harvard University found that when asked how a … Read Overestimating our resolve 

A second look at snap decisions

PON Staff   •  04/13/2010   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

Adapted from “It’s Not Intuitive: Strategies for Negotiating More Rationally,” by Max H. Bazerman and Deepak Malhotra (professors, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter.

When deciding whether to start a new business, entrepreneurs should critically and comprehensively analyze negotiations over land, construction, hiring, and so on. Yet in a study by Arnold Cooper … Read A second look at snap decisions 

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