When you download the New Conflict Management: Effective Conflict Resolution Strategies to Avoid Litigation you will learn how wise negotiators extract unexpected value using an indirect approach to conflict management.


conflict negotiation

What is Conflict Negotiation?

Conflict negotiation is the process of resolving a dispute or a conflict permanently, by providing for each sides’ needs, and adequately addressing their interests so that they are satisfied with the outcome.

In many negotiations, both parties are aware of what their interests are, and are willing to engage in a give-and-take process with the other party to come to an agreement. But conflict negotiation often ends with people focusing on either power, rights, or interests. 

Exerting your rights or power tends to escalate disputes. But an interest-based conflict negotiation strategy tends to generate greater satisfaction and better working relationships, and is often less expensive. Unfortunately, when we’re feeling angry and wronged, power-based threats and rights-based lawsuits spring to mind. Often, these approaches are aimed at meeting our immediate needs. 

Remember, however, in negotiation, your problem is likely the other side’s problem, and vice versa. This knowledge can help improve your conflict negotiation skills. Understanding that your counterpart is motivated to work with you to solve problems can promote conflict negotiation and help you collaborate to avoid worst-case scenarios, such as mortgage foreclosures, damaged reputations, and lawsuits.

The areas where you and your counterpart do not see eye-to-eye are areas of growth and opportunities for value creation. Understanding your differences, you can best work to reconcile them in order to achieve bargaining success. Increasing our respect for views contrary to our own and learning to live with fundamental differences in values and beliefs are themselves laudable goals.

To learn more, and discover how to improve your dispute resolution skills, download this free report, Dispute Resolution, Working Together Toward Conflict Resolution on the Job and at Home, from Harvard Law School.

We will send you a download link to your copy of the report and notify you by email when we post new business negotiation advice and information on how to improve your dealmaking skills to our website.

The following items are tagged conflict negotiation:

For Business Negotiators, Patience Can be a Virtue

Posted by PON Staff & filed under BATNA.

Business negotiators know that persistence and tenacity can make all the difference between impasse and a game-changing breakthrough. Take the saga behind Microsoft’s 2013 announcement of its pending $7.2 billion acquisition of Finnish mobile phone company Nokia’s handset and services business. The two parties engaged in many months of fruitless talks before either side believed … Read More 

Effective Leadership Techniques: Negotiating as an Agent

Posted by Katie Shonk & filed under Leadership Skills.

Following Joe Biden’s election as the next U.S. president, we revisit a 2014 Negotiation Briefings article, “When You’re Negotiating for Someone Else, Stay in the Deal,” about the significant role Biden negotiated for himself as vice president. As vice president to President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2017, Joe Biden worked hard to be, in his … Read More 

Conflict Negotiation Skills for Broken Contracts

Posted by Katie Shonk & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, many agreements—renting a concert venue, hiring workers for a new café chain, acquiring a company—became untenable or illogical overnight. But it’s not easy to exit a signed contract without risking a costly legal dispute. By sharpening our conflict negotiation skills, we can negotiate satisfactory solutions without ending up in court. One … Read More 

International Negotiation Role Playing: Understanding the Theory and Practice of Systemic Peacebuilding

Posted by PON Staff & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Policymakers, practitioners, and academics have seized on the need for peacebuilding negotiation strategies in international negotiation to be as complex and adaptive as the societies within which they work. As a result, there are loud calls for “whole of government” or “whole of community” approaches that cross traditional sectoral boundaries.  The problem is that these approaches are … Read More 

Conflict Negotiation Skills for Ending Partnerships Peacefully

Posted by Katie Shonk & filed under Conflict Resolution.

The process of dissolving a partnership can be wrenching, whether the split is undertaken by a couple, business partners, or an organization. But as many real-life examples of conflict resolution show, there are proven ways to calm the turmoil that often accompanies partnership dissolutions and set parties up for a hopeful future. Among conflict resolution … Read More 

How to Resolve Cultural Conflict: Overcoming Cultural Barriers at the Negotiation Table

Posted by Katie Shonk & filed under Conflict Resolution.

After recently losing an important deal in India, a business negotiator learned that her counterpart felt as if she had been rushing through the talks. The business negotiator thought she was being efficient with their time. In this useful cross-cultural conflict negotiation example, how should this negotiator improve her negotiation skills? … Read More 

Coping with Difficult Coworkers

Posted by Katie Shonk & filed under Dealing with Difficult People.

At one time or another, most of us have found ourselves coping with difficult coworkers. We might experience flare-ups over workload, funding, or personality issues, to name just a few sources of workplace conflict. The experience of coping with difficult coworkers can be extremely stressful. The following conflict negotiation skills can help you address this … Read More 

Shades Israel Fellows Walk the Abraham Path Together

Posted by PON Staff & filed under Abraham Path Initiative, International Negotiation, Middle East Negotiation Initiatives.

On June 5, 2013, Shades Israeli and Palestinian fellows walked the Abraham Path in Israel’s Negev on a guided tour organized by PON Senior Fellow Shula Gilad, visiting Jewish and Arab villages on the route, learning about the Abrahamic tradition of the societies, their current challenges and success. As is the case for others who … Read More 

How to Manage Conflict at Work

Posted by Katie Shonk & filed under Conflict Resolution.

A 62-year-old salesman believes he has convincing evidence that his boss passed him over for a promotion because of his age. What options does he have? He could let the matter drop and perhaps look for another job. He could file an employment-discrimination lawsuit. Or, if his company offers mediation services, he could have the … Read More 

Conflict Negotiation Strategies for Business Negotiators

Posted by Katie Shonk & filed under Conflict Resolution.

When closing a deal, new business partners are typically optimistic about the path ahead. But somewhere down the line, conflict is almost inevitable. One party may miss a deadline. The two sides may interpret contract terms differently. Changing economic conditions may make it difficult for one side to uphold its end of the deal. When a … Read More