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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PON hosts “world premiere” of Abraham Path Initiative Films

PON Staff   •  12/09/2009   •  Filed in Conflict Resolution, Daily, Events, Harvard Negotiation Project, Negotiation Skills, PON Film Series

The PON Film Series has shown nearly 50 films over the past several years at events that are open to students and the public. On December 8, the PON Film Series had a “world premiere” of several short films about the Abraham Path Initiative, a hiking trail being developed in the Middle … Learn More About This Program

Making the first move

PON Staff   •  11/24/2009   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

Adapted from “Should You Make the First Offer?” by Adam D. Galinsky (Professor, Northwestern University). First published in Negotiation Newsletter.
Whether negotiators are bidding on a firm, seeking agreement on a compensation package, or bargaining over a used car, someone has to make the first offer. Should it be you, or should you wait to … Read Making the first move

PON saddened by the death of artist and Great Negotiator, Jeanne-Claude

PON Staff   •  11/19/2009   •  Filed in Daily, Events, Great Negotiator Award, Negotiation Skills, News

“The Program on Negotiation is deeply saddened to learn of the death of Jeanne-Claude, half of the dynamic and brilliant artistic partnership of Christo and Jeanne-Claude,” commented Robert H. Mnookin, Chair of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. “In September 2008, we honored Christo and Jeanne-Claude as the Program on Negotiation’s “Great Negotiators”. … Learn More About This Program

Negotiate how you’ll negotiate

PON Staff   •  11/03/2009   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

Adapted from “Have You Negotiated How You’ll Negotiate?” by Robert C. Bordone, Professor, and Gillien S. Todd, Lecturer, Harvard Law School.

Breakdowns in negotiation are common. In the face of impasse at the bargaining table, managers are quick to blame either the challenges of the issues being negotiated or the hard-line tactics of the opposing parties. … Read Negotiate how you’ll negotiate

Go the extra mile

PON Staff   •  10/27/2009   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

Adapted from “Build Rapport—and a Better Deal,” by Janice Nadler, professor, School of Law, Northwestern University.

In negotiation, rapport is a powerful force that can promote mutually beneficial agreements. Negotiators who already have a good working relationship are fortunate to have rapport built into their interactions. Strangers, however—especially those whose communications are limited to telephone or … Read Go the extra mile

Dealing with choice overload

PON Staff   •  10/14/2009   •  Filed in Negotiation Skills

When it comes to offering and considering choices in a negotiation, the more the better, right? In fact, the presence of too many options may actually hamper people from coming to any agreement.

A study from the decision-making realm supports this conclusion. Draeger’s Market in Menlo Park, Calif., is renowned for its wide selection of gourmet … Read Dealing with choice overload

Be sure to give at the office

PON Staff   •  10/14/2009   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

Reciprocation tactics are tried and true. Politicians “logroll” votes on pet projects, companies offer free product samples to consumers, and charitable organizations include small gifts when soliciting donations. According to the norm of reciprocity, if you’re nice to me, I’ll be nice in return, and vice versa.

In the realm of negotiation, you can gain many … Read Be sure to give at the office

Are you being hoodwinked?

PON Staff   •  10/06/2009   •  Filed in Daily, Negotiation Skills

As a partner at your growing law firm, you’ve been charged with negotiating the lease of much-needed additional office space in your building. The real-estate agent has informed you that if you don’t increase your offer by $10,000 by the end of the day, you’ll lose the space to another company. Is she bluffing, or … Read Are you being hoodwinked?

Gender in Negotiation and Decision Making Research Seminar

PON Staff   •  09/20/2009   •  Filed in Daily, Events, Negotiation Skills, Webcasts

The research seminar on Gender in Negotiation and Decision Making is jointly sponsored by the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School and the Women and Public Policy Program at Harvard Kennedy School.

Michael Morris is the Chavkin-Chang Professor of Leadership in the Columbia Business School as well as a Professor in the Psychology Department … Learn More About This Program

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