Sheila Heen

Sheila Heen

Thaddeus R. Beal Professor of Practice, Harvard Law School

Co-Founder and CEO, Triad Consulting

Senior Affiliate, Harvard Negotiation Project

An expert on managing difficult negotiations, Sheila Heen is a lecturer on law at Harvard Law School and a founder of Triad Consulting. Her corporate clients include Apple, BAE Systems, HSBC, Tatweer of Dubai, Unilever, the Federal Reserve Bank, Pixar, Novartis, and numerous family businesses. She often partners with executive teams, helping them work through conflict, repair working relationships, and make sound decisions together. In the public sector, she has also provided training for the New England Organ Bank, the Singapore Supreme Court, the Obama White House, and theologians struggling with disagreement over the nature of truth and God. Heen has spent the last 20 years with the Harvard Negotiation Project, developing negotiation theory and practice.

Heen is the co-author of the New York Times business bestseller Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most, which has been named among 50 psychology classics, and by Penguin as among the 75 most important books they have published. She has appeared on shows as diverse as Oprah and the G. Gordon Liddy Show, NPR, Fox News, and CNBC’s Power Lunch. Her articles have been published in the New York Times, the Harvard Business Review, Fortune, Negotiation Journal, and Real Simple, among others.


B.A., Occidental College

J.D., Harvard Law School

Research interests

Negotiation theory, decision making, conflict resolution, improving conversations

Selected publications

  • With Douglas Stone and Bruce Patton. Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most. Penguin USA, 2000.
  • With Douglas Stone. Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well. Portfolio Penguin, 2015.
  • “Sleeping with the (Political) Enemy.” New York Times, November 1, 2012.
  • “Responding to Feedback You Disagree With.” Harvard Business Review, April 14, 2017.
  • With Douglas Stone. “Find the Coaching in Criticism.” Harvard Business Review, January–February 2014.

No Responses to “Sheila Heen”

  • Michael P.

    I wish to invite Sheil to speak to US District Court Chief Judges on “Difficult Conversations.”

  • Hi- I am interested in having Sheila do a 1 hour talk but I have not been able to get in touch with her. Can you assist?

  • Michelle H.

    Hi I am trying to get in touch with Sheila to seek permission to use The Learning Conversation as part of a manualised Psychological programme. Can you assist?

  • Jamie S.

    I’ve used your TEDTalk about feedback to help my future EMS supervisors become better at providing and receiving feedback. Your videos are wonderful! I would be interested in having you come talk to our providers here at BrownU.

  • Richard D.

    I’ve seen your talks and read your Feedback book. I would like to learn more about having you come to Minneapolis to help Evangelical Free Church leaders and staff grow in our communication and feedback giving and receiving skills.

  • I am planning a retreat series for female surgeons and would like to discuss engaging Ms Heen for the project beginning at the end of April.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *