Harvard Negotiation Master Class: Advanced Strategies for Experienced Negotiators – April 26-30, 2021

By PON Staffon / Harvard Negotiation Master Class


Harvard Negotiation Master Class


Advanced Strategies for Experienced Negotiators
The program runs on April 26-30, 2021

Take Your Negotiation Skills to the Master Level

What if you could negotiate at an even higher level? The Harvard Negotiation Master Class is designed for people like you: strong negotiators who want to become even better.

Strictly limited to 60 participants who have completed a prior course in negotiation, this first-of-its-kind program offers unprecedented access to experts from Harvard Law School, Harvard Business School, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology—all of whom are committed to delivering a transformational learning experience.

Through small learning groups, dynamic exercises with two-way feedback, and intensive simulations, you will gain proven frameworks for addressing your most complicated negotiation challenges—emerging a highly skilled and confident dealmaker.

Top Five Reasons to Attend the Harvard Negotiation Master Class – Now Live and Online
  1. Identify and eliminate your negotiating weaknesses.
  2. Learn how to leverage your bargaining skills in new ways.
  3. Become expert at resolving and defusing conflict anywhere.
  4. Develop the skills necessary to remain in—or ascend to—the C-suite and upper management.
  5. Master new strategies that most negotiators have never seen before.
Join the Ranks of the Master Dealmakers

The Harvard Negotiation Master Class offers the rare opportunity to step away from your day-to-day responsibilities to focus on developing a competency that will serve you the rest of your professional life. After five intensive days, you will emerge a highly confident negotiator who truly understands the game—and how to play it.

About the Program on Negotiation

Widely recognized as the preeminent leader in the field of negotiation, negotiation research, and dispute resolution, the Program on Negotiation (PON) is an interdisciplinary multi-university consortium based at Harvard Law School. Since its founding in 1983, PON has established itself as one of the world’s outstanding executive education negotiation training institutions.

Leaders in Negotiation Executive Education

  • PON’s executive education training programs are designed to help participants become successful negotiators, deal with difficult people and hard bargainers, structure deals, and manage conflict productively.
  • Each session of the Harvard Negotiation Master Class is limited to just 60 participants to ensure a highly personalized experience.
  • World-renowned faculty members from Harvard and MIT comprise the teaching team.

Who Should Attend

The Harvard Negotiation Master Class attracts a diverse group of participants—all of whom are proficient negotiators who wish to take their skills to the next level.

Participants typically have 10-20 years of negotiation experience and have taken a prior course with the Program on Negotiation or a comparable program. The program is appropriate for CEOs, VPs, directors, and managers across a wide range of job functions including sales, operations, human resources, and marketing as well as for individuals in the education, government and nonprofit sectors.

Past Participants

…And Many More!

Fees and Dates

Five Sessions: $4,497

Harvard Negotiation Master Class sessions:
April 26-30, 2021

Participant Feedback

“This course is designed to truly change the way one thinks about negotiating on many levels.”

“This is the best program of negotiation in the world.”

“This is definitely a very good investment of time, effort, and money.”

“This program brings real-world negotiation skills into focus.”


Our Team

Sheila Heen

April 2021 session

April 2021 session

April 2021 session

Sheila Heen is a lecturer on law at Harvard Law School, co-founder and CEO of Triad Consulting Group, and senior affiliate of the Harvard Negotiation Project, where she has spent the last 20 years developing negotiation theory and practice. She additionally teaches in executive education and MBA leadership programs at Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business and Washington University’s Olin School of Management.

Gabriella Blum

April 2021 session

April 2021 session

April 2021 session

Gabriella Blum is a member of the Program on Negotiation Executive Committee and faculty director of the Program on International Law and Armed Conflict. She is widely published in the fields of public international law and the law and morality of war and is a Carnegie Fellow and recipient of the Roy C. Palmer Civil Liberties Prize.

Brian Mandell

April 2021 session

April 2021 session

April 2021 session

Brian Mandell is the Mohammad Kamal Senior Lecturer in Negotiation and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, a faculty associate at the Center for Public Leadership, and director of the Harvard Kennedy School Negotiation Project. He is a preeminent teacher and curriculum designer at the Harvard Kennedy School, where he leads an innovative, intensive annual workshop course on advanced multiparty negotiation and conflict resolution.

Lawrence E. Susskind

April 2021 session

April 2021 session

April 2021 session

Lawrence Susskind is the Ford Foundation Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and one of the founders of PON, where he is vice chair for instruction and director of the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center.

April 2021 Agenda – Live & Online!

Each day includes two 30-minute breaks, one 15 minute break, and daily coaching sessions in groups of 15. Each participant will also have the opportunity to work with a coach in a small group of 3-4 to discuss their individual negotiation case. You will be part of one of these working group sessions which will run from 2:15-3:45pm daily. On Friday, April 30 the program will end at 12:15pm ET.

Session 1


Monday, April 26, 2021


9:00 am – 10:00 am Introduction by Lawrence Susskind
10:00 am – 1:00 pm Lecture led by Brian Mandell
1:15 pm – 4:00 pm ET Participants will spend this time in coach Sessions and Working Group Meetings

Learn to set the tone and build momentum at the outset of a negotiation.

As a seasoned negotiator, you know to come prepared for the full arc of a negotiation. Research shows, however, that a negotiator should spend just as much time preparing for the first 180 seconds of a negotiation encounter. That’s because the outcomes of the very first interactions—where negotiators act upon thin slices of information—disproportionately affect overall success. Moreover, when things go awry in these critical first few moments, it can be difficult to recover. In this session, you’ll learn to set the tone and agenda, create rapport, and build momentum at the outset of a negotiation.

In this session, you will learn to:

  • Prepare for negotiation by evaluating sources of power and assessing barriers to negotiated agreement
  • Identify shared, opposing, and tradeable interests
  • Set a firm, collaborative tone, shape expectations, and propose a well-sequenced agenda that aligns with your priorities
  • Generate momentum and a trust-building conversation by sharing information
  • Invoke fairness standards to avoid early missteps likely to trigger an impasse or motivate potential spoilers
  • Ask probing, clarifying, and investigative questions in a nondefensive manner
  • Make opening offers grounded in high aspirations that signal a robust BATNA
  • Leverage your professional reputation to encourage concessions
  • Maintain emotional control and defend against hard bargaining tactics by reframing unacceptable early moves or offers designed to destabilize negotiators
  • Establish the groundwork for writing the other side’s victory speech by focusing on addressing their underlying interests and concerns
  • Signal your attentiveness to geographic and organizational cross-cultural differences

To enable a constructive coaching session, participants will be surveyed about their opening moves in negotiations and be provided with relevant reading materials.

Session 2


Tuesday, April 27, 2021


10:00 am – 1:00 pm Lecture led by Sheila Heen
1:15 pm – 3:45 pm ET Participants will spend this time in coach Sessions and Working Group Meetings

Gain a robust framework for improving the quality of feedback conversations.

As we become more experienced negotiators, past successes reinforce our strengths, and we increasingly default to strategies and approaches that have served us well in the past. As a result, our repertoire becomes deeper, but not broader. And our blind spots—the places where we are missing opportunities, frustrating others, or settling for suboptimal outcomes—become increasingly invisible to us.

To compound the challenge, as we become more senior in any organization, fewer and fewer people are willing to give us candid coaching, even as our blind spots have a larger and larger impact on our deals, our team, our colleagues, and our organization.

Most organizations combat this problem by teaching people how to give feedback skillfully and often. And that helps, some. But at the end of the day, it’s the receiver who is in charge. It’s the receiver who decides whether and how to take in the feedback, what sense to make of it, and whether and how to change. And, it turns out, receiving feedback is among the most challenging aspects of being human and of having relationships—both professional and personal.

We will look at what makes receiving feedback so hard, the triggered reactions we all have, and how to find genuine value in even the most unskilled and irritating feedback you get. You will leave the session with a robust frameworkfor improving the quality of feedback you give and receive.

Session 3


Wednesday, April 28, 2021


10:00 am – 1:00 pm Lecture led by Gabriella Blum
1:15 pm – 3:45 pm ET Participants will spend this time in coach Sessions and Working Group Meetings

Learn to negotiate across and behind the table.

As you climb the leadership ladder, negotiation becomes a more complex process. Any deal you reach with your counterparts needs to be acceptable to the people you’re representing. For example, political leaders need the support of the public, heads of unions must secure the agreement of the union members, and CEOs need to consider the positions of their companies’ boards and shareholders. Your constituents’ viewpoints are of great significance to your negotiations—they can propel an agreement, or they can effectively block it.

Paradoxically, however, while support from constituencies makes it easier for you to reach an agreement, it also makes it easier for your counterpart to force you to accept less favorable terms.

This session will introduce you to the theory and practice of two-level games—the idea that every negotiation occurs not only across the table, but also behind the table. We will discuss strategies for managing your own constituencies and ways you can influence the other party’s constituencies to your advantage. During this session, you will:

  1. 1. Gain an understanding of the two-level games framework.
    • Explore the negotiation process through the two-level lens.
    • Examine the ways in which disagreements between leaders and their people either constrict or expand the range of possible negotiated outcomes, and how this affects the power of those negotiating at the table.
    • Consider strategies for shaping constituencies’ preferences, including sticks, carrots, control of information, and more.
  2. 2. Explore real-world scenarios.
    • Study real-world cases, spanning politics, business, and organizations, that illustrate successes and failures in managing constituencies on both sides of the table.
  3. 3. Practice your newfound insights.
    • Take part in an interactive business negotiation simulation in which your team has a chance to implement lessons from this session.By adopting the two-level framework, you will learn how to maximize your negotiating power and ensure that any deal you reach can be successfully implemented by your organization.

Session 4


Thursday, April 29, 2021


10:00 am – 1:00 pm Lecture led by Lawrence Susskind
1:15 pm – 3:45 pm ET Participants will spend this time in coach Sessions and Working Group Meetings

Identify the critical steps to enhance negotiation capabilities across your organization.

As a participant in this advanced program, you’re undoubtedly familiar with what it takes to succeed in two-party negotiations. However, multiparty negotiations, whether inside your own organization or with external parties, are far more complicated. When there are more parties, the usual two-party approach to negotiation or problem solving won’t be sufficient to ensure good results. This session focuses on the three key ways to improve your performance in multiparty negotiations:

1. Building Coalitions
Coalitions emerge when three or more parties negotiate and parties band together to get the votes they need or to stop others from forming a winning coalition. Coalitional dynamics can arise not just across the table (between parties in a dispute) but also behind the table (among individuals on one side or the other). Individual performance depends on knowing when and how to form blocking and winning coalitions.

2. Managing Multiparty Negotiations
When there are a lot of parties trying to discuss multiple issues, everyone has to fight for “air time.” Someone has to set an agenda, hold participants to agreed-upon ground rules, step in when emotions boil over, and keep a clear record of what has been agreed upon. When a participant tries to do all of this, the others have a right to wonder whether that person is trying to steer the process toward an outcome that is best for them. An alternative is to rely on a professional facilitator or mediator. The ways in which participants in multiparty negotiations can both facilitate and pursue their own interests is a key focus of this segment of the Master Class, although with a careful review of mediation dynamics.

3. Informal Problem Solving
Informal, facilitated problem-solving sessions (which are not part of a formal negotiation process) give parties a chance to participate in informal idea-generation. This is a way to ensure “inventing without committing.” Professor Susskind will discuss how he has experimented successfully with such idea-generating sessions, otherwise known as devising seminars, in all kinds of multiparty negotiating contexts.

To highlight theoretical lessons and help you develop key multiparty negotiation skills, this session includes two interactive simulations, along with case studies and engaging classroom discussions. In this session, you will:

  • Confront the key differences between two-party and multiparty negotiations
  • Explore research findings that highlight the difficulties likely to arise in multiparty negotiating situations
  • Learn how common multiparty negotiations are in many (if not most) business, government, and organizational settings
  • Have an opportunity to try out well-tested facilitation and mediation strategies for handling the difficulties associated with multiparty negotiations

Session 5


Friday, April 30, 2021


10:00 am – 11:00 am Final Section Meeting
11:00 am – 11:15 am Break
11:15 am – 12:15 pm Synthesize Learning and Wrap-Up – Lawrence Susskind
12:15 pm ET Adjournment

In this closing session, Professor Susskind introduces a Theory of Practice (ToP) that will help you systematically reflect on the key elements of your personal theory of negotiation practice and link them to key learning objectives from the program. ToP includes instructions we give ourselves regarding the steps we should take to prepare for a negotiation; the list of things to maximize the creation of value in each negotiation; the strategies to follow when it is time to distribute value; and the moves to make when agreements need to be implemented.