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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Keeping Your Cool when the Negotiations Get Hot

PON Staff   •  06/30/2008   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

On the heels of an intricate negotiation, conditions change for the worse. Crops fail, the price of oil skyrockets, one side issues an earnings restatement, or the market as a whole is a lot less promising than it was when you negotiated the initial terms. Suddenly your agreement has lost its luster. How should you … Read More 

You Want How Much for the Mug?!

PON Staff   •  06/30/2008   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Common psychological barriers lead us to overvalue our possessions. That can be a problem when it’s time to get rid of them. Some possessions truly are priceless—we wouldn’t part with them for any amount of money. Others are virtually priceless, or “pseudosacred,” according to Harvard Business School professor Max Bazerman. We might claim that these … Read More 

When Facilitation Goes Wrong

PON Staff   •  06/26/2008   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Facilitation works best when a facilitator is matched properly to the group and to the situation. Look out for these signs of trouble that may suggest that you need a different facilitator, or that facilitation may not be working for your group:

Poor chemistry. Your facilitator’s personal style may be too forceful, or not forceful enough, … Read More 

Facilitating within a Group Structure

PON Staff   •  06/26/2008   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Consider the dilemma faced by Joe, the vice president of semiconductor technology at one of the largest computer companies in the world. He is also the chair of an alliance made up of representatives from six other large companies. The group works together to develop and acquire certain production technologies. The group also second-guesses every … Read More 

Facilitation with a Consensus Building Approach

PON Staff   •  06/26/2008   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Recent delays at a manufacturing company have cut deeply into company profits. The management appoints a multi-departmental team to come up with a way of speeding up the launch of new products. A vice president of manufacturing is put in charge of overseeing the effort and is encouraged to use consensus building techniques to take … Read More 

Negotiating with Your Children

PON Staff   •  06/26/2008   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Negotiating with your children may seem counterintuitive but parents can build stronger relationships with them by implementing a problem-solving approach when trying to resolve family conflicts.

In his book How to Negotiate with Kids…Even When You Think You Shouldn’t (Viking, 2003), Scott Brown, a founder of the Harvard Negotiation Project at Harvard Law School, outlines a … Read More 

Boost your negotiations skills and confidence

PON Staff   •  06/17/2008   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills, Resources, Reviews of Books

The following book, Negotiation Genius, was co-winner of the 2008 CPR Award for Excellence in ADR (Outstanding Book Category).  It provides clear and methodical advice for preparing for and executing any negotiation, drawing on decades of behavioral research and the experience of thousands of business clients.

Whether you’ve “seen it all” or are just … Read More 

Value Creating Differences

PON Staff   •  06/04/2008   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

Negotiation training often focuses on the identification of “shared interests” and the search for common ground between parties. However, this sound advice can also inadvertently lead negotiators to miss potential opportunities for joint gains. The search for differences in negotiations can help parties discover many additional value-creating possibilities while also improving the outcome for all … Read More 

Brahimi Receives 2002 Great Negotiator Award

PON Staff   •  10/04/2002   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Ambassador Lakhdar Brahimi (middle) with James Sebenius (left) and Jeswald Salacuse at Harvard Business School on October 2, 2002

The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School is pleased to announce that the recipient of the 2002 Great Negotiator Award is Ambassador Lakhdar Brahimi, the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy to Afghanistan.

Ambassador Brahimi is a … Read More 

Barshefsky Awarded 2001 Great Negotiator

PON Staff   •  05/14/2001   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

Charlene Barshefsky, US Trade Representative in the second Clinton administration, will receive this year’s Great Negotiator Award next month. The award is presented annually by the Program on Negotiation to an individual whose lifetime achievements advance negotiation and dispute resolution. Professor Frank Sander of the PON Steering Committee said on behalf PON that “We are … Read More 

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