Expert One-Day Program: June 14, 2022, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. ET

NEW! Overcoming Resistance in a Negotiation

Faculty: Stevenson Carlebach

What can you do when you encounter resistance in a negotiation?

We all encounter resistance. Whether we’re negotiating, giving feedback, managing up, or leading change, we are all familiar with situations in which we lay out a perfectly rational argument but, inexplicably, the other party resists. Maybe they say no, or worse, they say yes but don’t follow through.

Have you ever experienced resistance when …

  • Despite having put together a reasonable proposal, your counterpart says, “no, my hands are tied”? And no matter what you do, they claim to have only limited discretion to negotiate with you?
  • You develop a better way of working—a new process or procedure that clearly meets your organization’s goals—but your colleagues drag their feet?
  • Someone makes extreme demands in a negotiation, followed by small, slow concessions—or none at all?
  • As you meet with a promising direct report to coach them on problematic behavior, they nod, say they understand, and agree to make the changes; yet weeks later, you notice the same behavior?
Understanding and alleviating the three causes of resistance

In human interactions, resistance is inevitable. Pushing harder tends to increase the resistance. But giving in not only leads to suboptimal results, it also pushes your counterpart to dig in. The key to unlocking resistance is diagnosing and mitigating the causes.

The Influence Equation

Through breakout sessions, exercises, role plays, and other hands-on experiences, Carlebach will explain what to do when you encounter resistance. This session will introduce you to the Influence Equation—a simple, high-impact framework that can help you identify and overcome three major factors that fuel resistance in any given negotiation:

  1. Reasoning: As you make your argument, are you using your own logic or your counterpart’s? Do you know what would persuade them? Who are their experts? What language or ideas will best resonate with them?
  2. Interests: If you’re hearing “no,” then your counterpart is likely failing to see how your proposal meets their needs, wants, or concerns. It’s crucial to understand the interests that motivate your counterpart and then build these into a “yesable” proposal.
  3. Relationship: If your counterpart doesn’t trust you, then resistance is almost a certainty. Understanding the reasons behind your counterpart’s distrust is critical to strengthening the relationship and getting to “yes.”

In this eye-opening, one-day session led by communication, negotiation, and dispute resolution specialist Stevenson Carlebach, you will:

  • Deepen your understanding of the essential elements of persuasion and how to use them to prepare for your next negotiation;
  • Diagnose the issues behind difficult negotiations and learn how to rebuild relationships for more effective outcomes; and
  • Plan a long-term influence campaign to help reduce resistance and become more influential over time.

Learn more about PON Expert One-Day Programs.



Expert One-Day Program: $1,497
Where: The program will run on Zoom.
Morning Session: 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. ET
One-hour break (lunch for East Coast): 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. ET
Afternoon Session: 1:30 – 5:00 p.m. ET
A 30-minute break will be flexibly incorporated into each morning and afternoon session.
Certificate: When you complete your training program you will receive a certificate from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School signed by Program on Negotiation Executive Committee Chair, Professor Guhan Subramanian.

An independent trainer and consultant in the field of negotiation, Stevenson Carlebach co-teaches the very popular Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation seminar “Mediation and Conflict Management.” He has also taught negotiation at Georgetown University Law Center.

Outside of the classroom, Carlebach works with Fortune 500 companies throughout the world in the area of strategic relationship management. He designs programs, consults, and coaches executives through his firm, Eque LLC.

In the public sector, Carlebach has worked with senior appointees at the White House. He taught negotiation to action officers at the Pentagon. He worked with country directors at the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS to help them manage their difficult conversations. He has also worked with the ministries of education in Israel and Argentina to bring conflict resolution to educators. He is the single father of four teenagers, who give him daily opportunities to practice his skills … and learn humility.