Bruce Patton

Bruce Patton

Co-founder and Distinguished Fellow, Harvard Negotiation Project, Harvard Law School

Bruce Patton collaborated with Roger Fisher to pioneer the teaching of negotiation at Harvard Law School, where he was Thaddeus R. Beal Lecturer on Law for 15 years. He continues to teach the Negotiation Workshop and Advanced Negotiation Workshop in the Harvard Negotiation Institute, the Program on Negotiation for Senior Executives, and occasional courses for law students. In 1984, he co-founded Conflict Management Inc. (CMI), a negotiation consulting and training firm, and Conflict Management Group (now part of Mercy Corps), a not-for-profit entity that works on conflicts of public concern. In 1997, he and four CMI/Harvard Negotiation Project colleagues founded Vantage Partners LLC, an international consulting firm that helps Global 2000 companies negotiate and manage strategic relationships for bottom-line results.

Patton is the co-author of Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement without Giving In (2nd ed., Penguin, 1991), which has been printed in 36 languages. He also co-authored Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most (Viking/Penguin, 1999), a New York Times business bestseller.


A.B., Harvard College

J.D., Harvard Law School

Research interests

Effective negotiation techniques, mediation and multiparty alignment processes, dispute systems design, organizational capacity-building mechanisms for effective negotiation, relationship, conflict management in strategic contexts, negotiation pedagogy

Selected publications

  • “The Deceptive Simplicity of Teaching Negotiation.” Negotiation Journal 25, no. 4 (October 2009): 481–498.
  • With Michelle Gravelle and Scott Peppet. “Enlightened Power through Difficult Conversations.” In Enlightened Power: How Women Are Transforming the Practice of Leadership, edited by Linda Coughlin, Ellen Wingard, and Keith Hollihan. Jossey-Bass, 2005.
  • “Negotiation.” In The Handbook of Dispute Resolution, edited by Michael L. Moffitt and Robert C. Bordone. Jossey-Bass, 2005.



12 Responses to “Bruce Patton”

  • Hello Team,

    I had reached out to understand options for a workshop. Unfortunately, I havent heard back and cant readily see my requests in the comments/logs either. Can you kindly advise?


    • Hello
      If you are interested in a workshop from a particular professor you will need to reach out to them individually.

  • Shana P.

    Hello! I am one of our Leadership, Org Development, & Growth leads at a small pharma company. Our External Affairs function is hoping to invite Bruce Patton to engage with the team during an upcoming on-site meeting. One of our partners enjoyed a session with Dr. Patton at a previous organization and highly recommended his expertise regarding Negotiation & Leadership. I am reaching out on behalf of the team to gather additional information. Thank you so much!

  • Catherine L.

    Mr. Patton, I would like to speak with you about assisting (or recommending someone) to contract with assisting our consultants and counsel in negotiations of medical liability matters.

  • Hello! I am a program manager of Metinvest Univercity
    We are looking for a speaker for our Sales conference and would like to get in touch with Bruce Patton about.
    Could you connect me with Mr. Patton, please.

  • Maegen M.

    Hi there, I’m hoping to get in touch with Bruce Patton about appearing as a guest on our podcast. He was recommended to us and we feel he would be the perfect fit. If you could please forward this to him, I’d love to send him more info if he’s interested. Thank you!

  • Hello Dr. Patton, my name is Dr. Latonia Craig. I am the Assistant Dean for Inclusive Excellence at Purdue University in the college of veterinary medicine. In Fall 2020, we launched our virtual learning cafes-a series of 50 minute critical conversations surrounding diverse topics. We would love to invite you to one of our Spring sessions to discuss “difficult conversations with complex people” (or something around this). We would be happy to pay you an honorarium for this 50 minute conversation. Faculty and staff will receive a resource at the end of our conversation, in this case it would be a copy of one of your books. Please let me know if you are interested.


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