Discover step-by-step techniques for avoiding common business negotiation pitfalls when you download a copy of the FREE special report, Business Negotiation Strategies: How to Negotiate Better Business Deals, from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.


business negotiation

Negotiations in business can be for a range of items, including but not limited to: employee compensation, business acquisitions, vendor pricing and sales, real estate leases, and the fulfillment of contract obligations.

The following items are tagged business negotiation:

Asking for More in Salary Negotiation: Jennifer Lawrence and Jennifer Aniston Speak Out

Posted by & filed under Salary Negotiations.

“We’re very much a sexist society,” actress Jennifer Aniston said in back in 2015 in an interview with the New York Times, addressing not just the constant questions she faces about marriage and children, but about recent revelations of pay discrimination and salary negotiation in Hollywood. “Women are still not paid as much as men,” Aniston … Read More 

NEW FREE REPORT! Salary Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Free Report.

Discover how to refine your negotiation skills with this free special report, Negotiation Training: How Harvard Negotiation Exercises, Negotiation Cases and Good Negotiation Coaching Can Make You a Better Negotiator, from Harvard Law School. … Read More 

Power Asymmetry and the Principal Agent Problem

Posted by & filed under Teaching Negotiation.

Downloadable Video Simulation from the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center This video simulation on power asymmetry and principal agent dynamics by Professor Lawrence Susskind and Robert Wilkinson was designed to give students insights into the challenges surrounding difficult conversations, both with people across the table, as well as with people on their own side. The Power Asymmetry and … Read More 

Negotiate the Healthcare Industry

Posted by & filed under Teaching Negotiation.

Teach Your Students to Negotiate One of the Largest Global Industries Healthcare is one of the biggest economies in the world, with billions of dollars spent on treatments and associated research. There are typically significant interests at stake in healthcare negotiations, which are made all the more complex by the presence of both public and private … Read More 

For Price Negotiators, Preparation is the Key to Success

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Some cultures have a long tradition of haggling—bargaining back and forth about the price of an item—in markets and bazaars. By contrast, in the United States and many other countries, haggling between buyers and sellers is an under-practiced skill. You might routinely pass up opportunities to haggle in situations where financial negotiations are not the … Read More 

Understanding Your Counterpart’s BATNA

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

One of the most popular questions concerning negotiation strategy and an area of negotiation research that draws heavily on negotiation examples in real life is how do negotiators identify their BATNA, or best alternative to a negotiated agreement, and even better, how do they identify their counterpart’s BATNA? Consider the saga of a company that … Read More 

Harborco: Role-Play Simulation

Posted by & filed under Free Report.

Harborco is a consortium of development, industrial, and shipping concerns that are eager to proceed with the building of a new port, but face hurdles and potential opposition as they advance through the licensing process. The Federal Licensing Agency would like to see them work with other stakeholders to develop a project that is acceptable … Read More 

How to Negotiate a Business Deal

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

In late 2016 and early 2017, news stories abounded of companies that were having second thoughts about planned mega-mergers. Abbott Laboratories began looking for ways to exit its acquisition of Alere, citing investigations of the medical test maker, for example. And Verizon started rethinking its acquisition of Yahoo! following a data breach at the tech … Read More 

What to Do When Your BATNA is Not Good Enough

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

The following question was featured in the “Ask the Negotiation Coach” section of the Negotiation Briefings newsletter, April 2010 issue. Question: What should I do when a negotiation seems to be all about price, I have no BATNA, and the other side knows it? … Read More 

In Business Negotiations, Dress the Part

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Negotiators involved in high-stakes mergers and acquisitions typically come to the table armored in meticulously tailored apparel and designer shoes. But as Dana Mattioli reports in a recent Wall Street Journal negotiation topics in business article, those who are trying to woo business from an apparel company often end up dressing down at the bargaining … Read More 

The Hidden Hazards of BATNA Development

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The following question was posed to Program on Negotiation faculty member and associate professor of business administration at Harvard Business School in the Negotiations, Organizations & Markets Unit, Francesca Gino and involves a negotiation example from real life from the world of business negotiations. … Read More 

In Group Negotiation, Avoid a Turf Battle

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In group negotiation, turf battles—heated conflicts over territory, control, rights, or power—are common. Department heads clash over scarce resources. Companies, community groups, and governments get tied up in lawsuits over undeveloped land. Across the globe, fishing groups have depleted fish stocks in their rush to catch the biggest share for themselves. … Read More 

How to Use MESOs in Business Negotiations

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It’s not uncommon in business negotiations to find yourself on the brink of impasse. You and your counterpart have exchanged a series of offers and counteroffers, and you’ve met somewhere close to the middle—but not close enough. With each side firmly rooted in its position, there may seem to be no way forward. … Read More 

Teach Your Students Value Distribution with a Simulation on Solar Power

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Do your students really understand the difference between value distribution and integrative negotiation, and have you given them a chance to practice their distributive bargaining skills? Do they understand that every negotiation includes elements of both value creation and value distribution? To help teach these key negotiation skills the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) has developed a … Read More 

Price Negotiation Advice for Consumers

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

It’s official: Price negotiations aren’t just for big-ticket items anymore. The prices of furniture, electronics, wine, jewelry, and other “medium-ticket” goods are now frequently up for discussion. The ancient art of haggling has made a comeback, so brush up on your skills with our six price negotiation tactics. … Read More 

How to Balance Your Own Values in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

What are the best negotiation examples from real life? Imagine that you’ve been negotiating the sale of a property that is owned by your company. The buyer has made an attractive offer that you’ve tentatively accepted. Your boss is pleased with the terms as they stand, but suggests that you go back to the buyer … Read More 

Contract Negotiations and Business Communication: How to Write an Iron-Clad Contract

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In contract negotiations, writing a contract that both encapsulates the negotiated agreement but also incorporates future elements such as the business relationship and the sustainability of the agreement can be a daunting task for even the most experienced negotiators. Executives often leave the legal issues surrounding their deals to their attorneys. While this division of … Read More 

Framing in Negotiation

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So, you’ve offered what you think is a great deal, but your counterpart doesn’t seem to agree. What’s the problem? The offer may be excellent—it’s how you’ve approached framing in negotiation that’s holding you back. … Read More 

Negotiation Tactics for Bargaining with Difficult People: The Comcast Merger

Posted by & filed under Dealing with Difficult People.

If a competitive bargaining session shifts in a counterpart’s direction, your anger could send the wrong signals to your negotiation counterpart. In this instance, strong emotions portray desperation rather than strength. Here are some bargaining and negotiation tactics for dealing with difficult situations in relationships. … Read More 

5 Win-Win Negotiation Strategies

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Business negotiators understand the importance of reaching a win-win negotiation: when both sides are satisfied with their agreement, the odds of a long-lasting and successful business partnership are much higher. But concrete strategies for generating a win-win contract often seem elusive. The following five, from experts at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, … Read More 

10 Popular Business Negotiation Articles

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Here are ten popular business negotiation articles on the Program on Negotiation website. Drawn from a variety of negotiation case studies as well as negotiation research, the following articles offer strategies for engaging in integrative negotiations aimed at creating win-win scenarios for each party at the negotiation table. 1. What is the Right of First Refusal? Rights … Read More 

Teaching Real Estate Negotiation: How to Identify and Create Value

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How do you teach your students to identify and create value in real estate negotiations?  Real estate negotiation can be difficult for both the buyer and the seller. Teaching real estate negotiation can involve value creation, distributive bargaining, as well as issue linkages. It is important for both buyers, sellers, and agents to identify ways to … Read More 

Professional Negotiators: Give Texts a Chance

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Do you negotiate via text? If you’re a young person early in your career, your answer may be an emphatic yes. If you’re a little older, maybe you answered no. Even so, if you took a closer look at the saved text messages on your smartphone, you might find you’ve recently negotiated the division of … Read More 

Writing the Negotiated Agreement

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Some negotiations end with a negotiated agreement that is a plan of action rather than a signed contract – for example, a plumber agrees to fix the tile damage caused by his work. Other negotiations wouldn’t be appropriate to commemorate in writing, such as how you and your spouse decide to discipline your young … Read More 

How to Find the ZOPA in Business Negotiations

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In business negotiation, two polar-opposite errors are common: reaching agreement when it wouldn’t be wise to do so, and walking away from a mutually beneficial outcome. How can you avoid these pitfalls? Through careful preparation that includes an analysis of the zone of possible agreement, or ZOPA in business negotiations. … Read More 

How to Create Win-Win Situations

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In business negotiation, a win-win agreement may be the ultimate goal, but it can sometimes prove elusive. Here, we offer four strategies from experts at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School on how to create win-win situations in even the trickiest negotiations. … Read More 

Business Negotiations: How to Improve Your Reputation at the Bargaining Table

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In multi-issue business negotiations, research suggests that the advantage goes to negotiators with a reputation for collaboration rather than competition. In a series of studies by Catherine H. Tinsley and Kathleen O’Connor, participants were told they would be negotiating with someone who had either a tough reputation, a cooperative reputation, or an unknown reputation. Although … Read More 

Lessons for Business Negotiators: Negotiation Techniques from International Diplomacy

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Executives rarely view themselves as diplomats engaged in international diplomacy but business negotiators often find the two fields share negotiation skills and negotiation techniques. Rightly or wrongly, diplomacy evokes images of frivolity – days spent wandering exotic capitals, nights spent cruising embassy cocktail parties. … Read More 

Renegotiate Salary to Your Advantage

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As we prepare to renegotiate salary, most of us intend to ask for as much as we can without antagonizing our employer. But we sometimes undervalue our worth, with disappointing consequences. … Read More 

Negotiation Skills and Bargaining Techniques from Female Executives

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Dozens of female CEOs and other high-level women negotiators have told us about their experiences negotiating in traditionally masculine contexts where standards and expectations were ambiguous. Their experiences varied according to the gender triggers that were present in the negotiations and they adapted their negotiation skills to accommodate these shifts. … Read More 

The Pitfalls of Negotiations Over Email

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Negotiation research suggests that email often poses more problems than solutions when it comes to relationships, information exchange, and outcomes in conflict resolution negotiation scenarios. First, establishing social rapport via email can be challenging. The lack of nonverbal cues and the dearth of social norms regarding its use can cause negotiators to be impolite and … Read More 

BATNA Examples—and What You Can Learn from Them

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What is a BATNA in negotiation? In their bestseller Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton (Penguin, 1991) described BATNA, or best alternative to a negotiated agreement, as the path you’ll follow if you don’t reach agreement in your current negotiation. Awareness of your BATNA will keep you … Read More 

Cross Cultural Communication: Translation and Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

In previous international negotiation articles from cross cultural negotiation case studies, we have focused on how international negotiators can avoid cognitive biases and overcome cultural barriers. But how do negotiators dealing with counterparts that speak another language modify their negotiation techniques to accommodate for the lack of a common language? … Read More 

Best Negotiation Books: A Negotiation Reading List

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Whether you are facing negotiations with Congress, colleagues, customers, or family members, the following negotiation books, published in recent years by experts from the Program on Negotiation, offer new perspectives on common negotiating dilemmas. … Read More 

Types of Negotiation for Business Professionals

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What is negotiation? In her book The Mind and Heart of the Negotiator, Northwestern University professor Leigh Thompson defines negotiation as “an interpersonal decision-making process necessary whenever we cannot achieve our objectives single-handedly.” This definition stresses the interdependence that’s fundamental to any negotiation. Narrowing in on this definition, when preparing to negotiate, business professionals often wonder … Read More 

Business Negotiation Solutions: To Eat or Not to Eat?

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We’ve all shared a meal with a negotiating counterpart at one point or another, whether a business lunch, a working dinner, or sandwiches in a conference room. What are the advantages and potential pitfalls of combining food and drink with negotiation? Here, we offer business negotiation solutions for those who are trying to decide whether … Read More 

Negotiate Organizational Development

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Teach Your Students to Promote Organizational Development and Build Leadership Skills Efforts to impact change in any kind of organization usually involve multiple kinds of negotiations or consensus-building efforts. Organizational development is most effective when the participants in the organization, whether public, private or civil society, are directly engaged in deciding what might need to change, … Read More 

Corporate Negotiation Pitfalls: The Case of Facebook

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

In corporate negotiation, negotiators often care most about getting the best price possible, assessing the other party’s ability to follow through, and closing the deal. Unfortunately, such business preoccupations can lead dealmakers to overlook potential ethical concerns, as current negotiations in the news often attest. Examining some of Facebook’s recent corporate negotiation mistakes, we describe … Read More 

How to Handle Difficult People—Including Your Rivals

Posted by & filed under Dealing with Difficult People.

One of the most common questions raised by businesspeople is how to handle difficult people. This question contains a hidden assumption: Faced with abrasive, competitive, and even unethical behavior, we view ourselves as being in the right and the other party as being wholly wrong. Yet it’s important to consider that, in our real-life conflict scenarios, … Read More 

Negotiate Business Contracts that Last

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

After engaging in the complex process of business negotiation, business negotiators are often happy to pass off the technicalities of deal drafting to their attorneys. Unfortunately, this handoff is prone to errors. Vague, contradictory, and missing deal terms are not uncommon, and they can lead to serious problems during the implementation stage, according to Harvard … Read More 

Negotiation Challenges for Family Business Relationships

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Communication in business negotiations is important – but even more so when your counterparts and negotiating partners are family members. In this article drawn from negotiation research, the negotiation strategies for avoiding conflict and crafting win-win negotiated agreements are outlined. … Read More 

In Business Negotiations, Eat Before You Negotiate

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When preparing for your next business negotiation, you may want to strategize not only about what you’ll put on the bargaining table, but also how much food you’ll put in your belly beforehand. That’s the message of new research that Cornell University professor Emily Zitek and Dartmouth College professor Alexander Jordan presented at the annual … Read More 

Business Negotiation Skills: How to Deal with a Failing Business Partnership

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It had seemed like the beginning of a fruitful relationship. In April 2012, six wealthy businessmen teamed up to buy the Philadelphia Inquirer and several affiliated businesses for $61.1 million, promising to work together to reverse the newspaper’s flagging fortunes. Their infusions of cash and appointment of a Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter, William K. Marimow, as … Read More 

The Process of Business Negotiation

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Negotiators are more satisfied with the outcome of a negotiation when they think the process has been fair, research shows. To maximize satisfaction and build a strong working relationship, don’t leave the process of business negotiation up to chance. Given the importance of negotiation in business communication, you’d be wise to consider the following seven … Read More 

Entrepreneurial Negotiation – New Book on Negotiation Challenges for Entrepreneurs

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Entrepreneurial Negotiation: Understanding and Managing the Relationships that Determine Your Entrepreneurial Success The great majority of startups fail, and most entrepreneurs who have succeeded have had to bounce back from serious mistakes. Entrepreneurs fumble key interactions because they don’t know how to handle the negotiation challenges that almost always arise. They mistakenly believe that deals … Read More 

Why Great Negotiators Earn More Money

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What’s the best way to claim more money in a negotiation? Many professional negotiators would recommend hard-bargaining tactics, such as asking the other party to disclose their bottom line, standing firm on price, and threatening to walk away. But truly great negotiators recognize that using haggling strategies alone may leave significant money on the table. … Read More 

A Token Concession: In Negotiation, the Gift that Keeps on Giving

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When making concessions in negotiation, we tend to assume that a concession must really cost us, financially or otherwise, for the other side to take notice and give us what we want. But in fact, we can often make real headway toward our negotiation goals by giving a token concession—a concession that costs us little, … Read More 

Sales Negotiation Techniques

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

In sales negotiations, making the first offer is often a smart move. The first offer can anchor the discussion that follows and can have a powerful effect on the final outcome. But if the other party makes the first offer, you’ll need to be prepared to frame your counteroffer carefully. What is framing in negotiation? It … Read More 

Crossed Wires? Negotiation Games To Help Your Business Deal Sidestep Legal, Technical And Emotional Glitches

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

What’s faster than the pace of technological development? The pace of lawsuits being filed about the adoption of new technologies, patent infringement, and intellectual property rights. In our modern world, professionals must be able to resolve highly challenging technology-related disputes – often before they reach the courtroom. That’s where the Program on Negotiation’s Teaching … Read More 

What is the Anchoring Bias?

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

It may be the most burning question in business negotiation: Should you make the first offer? Traditionally, negotiators were advised to wait for the other side to make a first offer. According to this reasoning, the other side’s offer gives you valuable information about his goals and alternatives. More recently, however, research on the anchoring bias has … Read More 

When a Win-Win Negotiation Creates Controversy

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In negotiation, the concessions we are willing to make in public sometimes are very different from the concessions we are willing to make in private. Take the statement that U.S. secretary of state Rex Tillerson made during his visit to China in March. … Read More 

Top 10 Celebrity Negotiations of 2015

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Here are the top 10 celebrity negotiations from the year 2015. From integrative bargaining strategies to building bridges with counterparts in contentious talks, these negotiation scenarios demonstrate the effectiveness of collaborative, win-win negotiation tactics. … Read More 

In Business Negotiations, Capitalize on a Right of First Refusal

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As dealmakers look for more sophisticated ways to reduce risks and increase returns, a right of first refusal—a contractual guarantee that one side can match any offer that the other side later receives—has become a common and useful tool to add to your business negotiation skills.


Build powerful negotiation skills and become a better dealmaker and leader. Download our FREE special report, Negotiation Skills: Negotiation Strategies and Negotiation Techniques to Help You Become a Better Negotiator, from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.


When the mergers-and-acquisitions (M&A) boom began in 1993, many deals … Read More 

Facing an Email Negotiation? Take a Proactive Approach

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As a format for negotiating complex deals, email has a bad reputation. Negotiators are more likely to deceive one another when using email, and they have trouble building trust and rapport in email messages. Furthermore, some research has found that negotiators achieve less joint gain and are less satisfied with their outcomes when negotiating over … Read More 

What Does Conflict Management Mean in Business Negotiations with Competitors?

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

They say it pays to keep your friends close and your enemies closer, but in business negotiation, keeping your enemies—or competitors—close could end you up in court, as Apple’s recent encounter with the U.S. Department of Justice suggests. The story begins back in 2007 when, unhappy with Amazon’s low, flat price of $9.99 for e-books, five … Read More 

Negotiation Frontiers: Exploring New Opportunities to Negotiate

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

Many U.S. law schools are in crisis, to hear some tell it. During the recent recession, many law firms instituted mass layoffs and pay cuts, and few have fully recovered. As a result, college graduates are thinking twice about becoming lawyers, and many law schools have fewer high-quality applicants to choose from. In the past … Read More 

Ask better questions in negotiation

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Consider questions you might overhear in a typical business negotiation: ■ “ You want how much for that order?” ■ “Can you see what an excellent offer this is?” ■ “Are you ready to take this deal, yes or no?” It’s not difficult to see the limitations of these questions. The first one is likely to promote defensiveness. The … Read More 

Why Classic Cases?

Posted by & filed under Daily.

Why are some negotiation exercises still used in a great many university classes even twenty years after they were written? In an effort to understand more about the enduring quality of some classic teaching materials, we asked faculty affiliated with PON to explain why they think some role play simulations remain bestsellers in the Clearinghouse … Read More 

Jeswald Salacuse Article Published in International Negotiation Journal

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Jeswald Salacuse’s article Teaching International Business Negotiation: Reflections on Three Decades of Experience was published in International Negotiation, Volume 15, Number 2. The full article can be purchased here. Abstract: The author has taught international business negotiation in a wide variety of university courses and executive training programs throughout the world during the last three decades. He … Read More 

Teams across cultures

Posted by & filed under Daily.

Adapted from “Team Negotiating: Strength in Numbers?”, first published in the Negotiation newsletter. According to conventional wisdom, when it comes to negotiation, there’s strength in numbers. Indeed, several experimental studies have supported the notion that you should bring at least one other person from your organization to the bargaining table if you can. On average, this … Read More 

Your place or mine?

Posted by & filed under Daily.

Adapted from “Your Place or Mine? Deciding Where to Negotiate,” by Jeswald W. Salacuse (Professor, Tufts University), first published in the “Negotiation Newsletter”. Everyone knows the three rules of real estate: “Location! Location! Location!” When it comes to making deals, choosing the right place to negotiate can be just as important. The location you select can … Read More