Effective leadership is the ability to successfully influence and support a team or group of people.
It’s important to point out there’s much more to effective leadership than just delegating from the top. A great leader is also a great negotiator. And a negotiator is only successful if they have a deep understanding of what they value, and an ability to convey it to their counterpart(s).
Adapting one’s leadership styles in order to do this is essential, giving a negotiator the opportunity to know when to hold firm to a position and when cede it in the interest of gaining a stronger agreement. Great negotiators seek agreements that will last and they have the effective leadership skills to convey that to the other side. How does one achieve that goal?
When making decisions in negotiation, we often consider one option at a time—one proposal, one job candidate, etc. Yet researchers have found that people make more rational—and ethical—decisions when they compare two or more options rather than just evaluating one. Effective leadership involves weighing several choices simultaneously and encouraging others to do the same.
Arguing over a single contentious issue rarely prompts win-win deals. Bring a host of other issues to the table to identify overlooked opportunities and potential trades across issues.
In negotiation, when deeply held beliefs and principles are at stake, typical strategies to resolve conflict may fail, whether in family conflict scenarios or in business. These three tailored strategies to resolve conflict over core values can help.
… Read More
What is the role of leadership in an organization? Contrary to the traditional image of a sole individual steering the ship, leaders have an obligation to empower everyone in their organization to make sound and ethical decisions in negotiations and other contexts.
… Read More
At the negotiation table, what’s the best way to uncover your negotiation counterpart’s hidden interests? Build a relationship in negotiation by asking questions, then listening carefully. Even if you have decided to make the first offer and are ready with a number of alternatives, you should always open by asking and listening to assess your … Read The Importance of a Relationship in Negotiation
The persistence of the so-called “glass ceiling” and salary gap between men and women is often chalked up to the fact that men historically have been more assertive about negotiating for higher salaries, promotions, and other contributors to career success..
… Read More
Expressions of gratitude have a number of positive effects, such as helping us savor pleasurable experiences, manage stress, and strengthen relationships, researchers have found. In negotiation and other contexts, showing gratitude also motivates those we thank to keep on giving.
… Read The Power of a Simple Thank You in Negotiation
Looking at the role of leadership in negotiation, we see that collaborative leadership can involve promoting conflict in negotiating and decision-making teams—as long as that conflict is managed constructively.
… Read More
How can managers and their organizations increase the odds that negotiation training will lead to beneficial long-term results? Here are several pieces of advice, drawn from experts at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.
… Read More
Are great leaders born or made? The question has fascinated scholars for nearly two centuries and spawned many theories.
The trait theory of leadership, which dates to the mid-1800s, originally proposed that only certain people possessed the personality traits required of effective leaders. Although that view has been widely rebutted, management scholars have continued to try … Read The Trait Theory of Leadership
Negotiation is not only something we do at work; often the toughest negotiations we encounter are in our personal lives. Some of the most successful negotiation examples of the power of negotiation skills in dispute resolution is when they repair relationships between friends.
… Read Repairing Relationships Using Negotiation Skills
A medical facility might not be the first place you think of for effective leadership in a negotiation. But that’s precisely what took place between a doctor and his patients. At Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York City, a leading cancer research and treatment institution, doctors often will advise men who are … Read More
Running a multinational corporation, starting a small business, or leading a diplomatic mission all require critical leadership skills. Being an effective leader necessitates negotiating both within your organization and with external partners. In Real Leaders Negotiate, author Jeswald Salacuse explains that leaders can increase their effectiveness by using negotiation in each of the three phases … Read Teaching Critical Leadership Skills
Major-league sports franchises in the United States have a history of moving from town to town in search of bigger markets and higher profits—often breaking hearts and promises in the process. The story of how the National Football League (NFL) team formerly known as the St. Louis Rams came to move to Los Angeles in … Read More
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 Negotiating Organizational Development
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump repeatedly asserted that if he were elected, eliminating the U.S. trade deficit with China would be a top priority. But once in office, Trump was alternately swayed by opposing factions in his administration: pro-business moderates and America-first trade hawks. The resulting roller-coaster ride, as summarized in the Wall Street Journal, serves … Read More
Leaders sometimes need to devote significant time to convincing a counterpart of the logic and appeal of their proposals. What happens when they need to persuade negotiators on opposite sides of an issue to see your point of view? Such situations highlight why negotiation is important in leadership, as effective leadership can require special skills … Read More
Women remain vastly underrepresented in organizational leadership positions in the United States and beyond. Leadership homogeneity can lead to gender-biased decisions that harm not only women employees but also organizations as a whole—including in the context of employment negotiations. In 2018, top track and field athletes revealed how their corporate sponsors penalized them for becoming … Read More
Increasingly, executives are displaying visionary leadership on issues related to social justice. The National Basketball Association printed the words “Black Lives Matter” on the court in its Orlando, Florida, “bubble” in 2020, for example, and businesses such as Netflix have committed to making significant financial investments in Black communities.
On March 25, 2021, Georgia’s Republican-led legislature … Read Visionary Leadership through Coalition Building
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
In our negotiations and beyond, all of us engage in behaviors that create value—as well as actions that destroy it. Ethical leadership requires us to become more aware of the harm we cause in the world, work to reduce it, and to encourage those we lead to do the same.
Consider the Sackler family, which owns … Read More
When old business models no longer serve us well, strategic leadership is needed to adapt to new times and conditions. This was true when entertainment-industry disrupter Netflix and two major U.S. theater chains tried to negotiate a wide theatrical release for The Irishman, the Netflix-financed Martin Scorsese film. Their impasse highlights the important role of … Read Strategic Leadership: Move Beyond the Status Quo
When faced with conducting a series of negotiations with numerous counterparts, we often benefit from teaming up with colleagues. There’s much to learn about collaborative leadership from the deals that curators at France’s Louvre Museum conducted to secure loans of Leonardo da Vinci works for a major exhibit that opened in October 2019, as Kelly … Read Collaborative Leadership at the Louvre
The United States and South Korea were both hit hard by the coronavirus. Yet while South Korea swiftly limited the virus’s impact, infection and death rates have soared in the United States. What can the United States and other countries learn from South Korea’s coronavirus response and how can they better prepare for future pandemics? … Read More
A Crisis Creates a Leadership Vacuum
A publicly traded company on the NYSE with a reputation for business savvy and lucrative deal making is caught in a morally questionable situation that threatens the very future of the firm. As the dust settles, the CEO, on whose watch the scandal occurred, is forced to step down. Word … Read Teach Crucial Leadership Skills
Chartered Management Institute conducted a study focusing on the salary gap between men and women in an attempt to discover why the pay gap between the genders persists even when systemic changes were undertaken to prevent this from happening.
… Read More
When the poet Walt Whitman wrote, “Surely, whoever speaks to me in the right voice, him or her shall I follow,” he conveyed the notion that persuasive communication is fundamental to effective leadership. Whitman’s words also underscore the importance of shaping leadership communications to meet individual concerns, interests, and styles.
When deciding how to communicate, recognize … Read Find the Right Leadership Voice
The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School
501 Pound Hall
1563 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138
tel (if calling from outside the U.S.) +1-301-528-2676