When an important negotiation is looming, “winging it” is never the answer. The best negotiators engage in thorough negotiation preparation. That means taking plenty of time to analyze what you want, your bargaining position, and the other side’s likely wants and alternatives. … Read Negotiation Preparation Strategies
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.
getting to yes
What is Getting to Yes?
Getting to Yes is a universal method for negotiating personal and professional disputes.
Getting to Yes provides a concise strategy for arriving at mutually acceptable agreements in every kind of conflict — whether it involves parents and children, neighbors, bosses and employees, customers or corporations, tenants or diplomats. Written by Program on Negotiation co-founders Roger Fisher, Bruce Patton, and William Ury, Getting to Yes shares strategies for separating the people from the problem.
However, our biggest obstacle in any given negotiation usually isn’t a difficult partner, bad timing, or a lack of power. Rather, it is ourselves. “We sabotage ourselves by reacting in ways that do not serve our true interests,” Ury writes. Virtually all of us have destructive patterns that we fall back on in negotiation, such as losing our temper, withdrawing instead of communicating, or saying yes when we need to set limits.
Once we understand this and address our blind spots, we gain better mental clarity. It’s imperative to take time to evaluate our own truths, clear our heads of distractions and gain mental clarity. By taking time to focus on our feelings and motivations prior to entering a negotiation, we can better understand what drives us during interpersonal negotiations. This, in turn, can lead to healthier relationships, in and out of the office.
Getting to Yes highlights a method of getting to yes with yourself through six essential steps:
- Put Yourself in Your Shoes
- Develop Your Inner BATNA
- Reframe Your Picture
- Stay in the Zone
- Respect Them Even If
- Give and Receive
These steps are not just for addressing major conflict, but are also useful in everyday interactions with our spouses, children, work colleagues and others. When used together as an integrated method, they can drive dramatic change and tremendous satisfaction in our lives.
In short, Getting to Yes offers a new way to approach each day with introspection, generosity and a great sense of self-confidence.
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.
The following items are tagged getting to yes:
This highly-interactive, online course is designed to raise your awareness of your own approach to conflict, introduce a range of theories about mediation and participatory processes, and improve your conflict management skills. While we will discuss a wide range of dispute resolution processes that involve third parties, we will focus on mediation. … Read More
Perfect your negotiation skills in this free special report, BATNA Basics: Boost Your Power at the Bargaining Table from Harvard Law School. … Read More
Parties can often reach a better agreement through integrative negotiation—that is, by identifying interests where they have different preferences and making tradeoffs among them. If you care more about what movie you see tonight, but your friend cares more about where you have dinner, for example, you can each get your preference on the issue … Read More
Course Dates: This course is closed Too many negotiators leave value on the table. They painfully divide a small pie after a costly battle while failing to capture offsetting opportunities for joint gain, or win the battle, but at the cost to relationships and reputation that limit long-term value. Reliably negotiating optimal outcomes requires a keen … Read More
Imagine that you’re buying a used car from its original owner. Of course, you want to get the best deal you can for your money, while your counterpart wants to maximize the value of his asset. After haggling with one another, each side finally arrives at a price point acceptable to both parties. But how … Read More
Course Dates: This course is closed Turn disputes into deals. Transform deals into better deals. Resolve intractable problems. Negotiating effectively requires the ability to change the game – moving away from conflict and toward collaboration. In this intensive, interactive program, you acquire a proven framework for maximizing the value of your negotiation. … Read More
In 2009, we collected many types of curriculum materials from teachers and trainers who attended the Mediation Pedagogy Conference. We received general materials about classes on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) as well as highly specific and idiosyncratic units like Conflict Resolution through Literature: Romeo and Juliet and a negotiating training package for female managers … Read More
Course Dates: This course is closed When negotiations become difficult, emotions often escalate and talks break down. To overcome barriers and turn negotiations from difficult to collaborative, from breakdown to breakthrough, you must learn to understand the inter- and intra-personal dynamics at play. In this program, you will examine how your own assumptions and behaviors can … Read More
How can you uncover additional value, make useful trades, and put together a package that exceeds your party’s expectations? Here are four integrative negotiation strategies for value creation that all negotiators should add to their toolkit. … Read More
This virtual and highly interactive semester-length seminar explores the ways that people negotiate to create value and resolve disputes. Designed to improve understanding of negotiation theory and build negotiation skills, the curriculum integrates negotiation research from several academic fields with experiential learning exercises. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, all sessions will be delivered live. … Read More
In an episode of the American television show The Office, bumbling manager Michael Scott consults with a manual on conflict resolution while attempting to mediate a dispute between two of his subordinates, Angela and Oscar. After Scott explains that there are five approaches to resolving conflict, beginning with “win-lose,” an annoyed Angela interrupts: “Can we … Read What is a Win-Win Negotiation?
Use Video Examples to Teach Your Students to Become Better Mediators Parties engaged in disputes are often unable to reconcile their differences alone, or fail to reach outcomes that are adequate for everyone. Mediators can add a great deal of value by helping parties to efficiently and effectively examine the issues at hand, take the interests … Read Download Your Next Mediation Video
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 How to Find the ZOPA in Business Negotiations
Sometimes our negotiation mistakes are glaring: We accidentally reveal our bottom line, criticize the other party when patience was warranted, or get our numbers mixed up. More often, though, our negotiation mistakes are invisible: We get a perfectly good deal but are unaware that we could have gotten a better one if we hadn’t succumbed … Read More
There’s a better, third way of negotiating—one that doesn’t rely on toughness or accommodation, but that will improve your likelihood of meeting your negotiation goals. In their pivotal negotiation text, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In (Penguin, 2nd edition, 1991), Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton of the Harvard Negotiation Project promote … Read More
Many people dread negotiation, not recognizing that they negotiate on a regular, even daily basis. Most of us face formal negotiations throughout our personal and professional lives: discussing the terms of a job offer with a recruiter, haggling over the price of a new car, hammering out a contract with a supplier. … Read What is Negotiation?
Your BATNA, or the ability to identify a negotiator’s best alternative to a negotiated agreement, is among one of the many pieces of information negotiators seek when formulating dealmaking and negotiation strategies. If your current negotiation reaches an impasse, what’s your best outside option? … Read More
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
In their revolutionary book Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In (Penguin, 3rd edition, 2011), Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton introduced the world to the possibilities of mutual-gains negotiation, or integrative negotiation. The authors of Getting to Yes explained that negotiators don’t have to choose between either waging a strictly competitive, win-lose … Read Six Guidelines for “Getting to Yes”
In business negotiations, our actions and reactions often go against our best interests. Self-examination can help, writes Getting to Yes author William Ury in his new book. … Read More
The ladder of inference describes how a negotiator, or any decision maker, relies upon her personal knowledge, or observable data, up the ladder of inference to the next stage, which is selected data. … Read The Ladder of Inference: A Resource List
Negotiation jujitsu means breaking the vicious cycle of escalation by refusing to react. Resistance should be channeled into activities such as “exploring interests, inventing options for mutual gain, and searching for independent standards.” … Read More
Imagine that you’re about to hire someone to provide a service—say, to repair your leaky roof, design a new website for your business, or host an online event. In such everyday negotiation situations, when you receive a price quote, should you try to negotiate a better deal? … Read More
We love giving out negotiation tips. A negotiation daily reader once asked us, “All the negotiation advice I read says that I should listen and ask questions in negotiations. That makes sense, and I mean to. But once the other side starts talking, I often find myself telling them what they left out or why … Read More
Planning a new course for next semester or looking to reinvent a current one? Check out our brief course outlines to get started planning your syllabus. The Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) now offers brief outlines for eleven different course types which include recommended simulations and books and highlight key teaching points. While all teaching materials … Read More
In 1975, Leigh Steinberg launched his career as a sports agent by proving that even a little power can be a dangerous thing. He faced what appeared to be a tough negotiation with the Atlanta Falcons. The team had chosen Steinberg’s client, rookie quarterback Steve Bartkowski, as their first pick in the first round of … Read When a Little Power is a Dangerous Thing
What can business negotiators learn from current negotiations in the news? Quite a bit, according to the dozens of negotiation experts who contributed to the January 2019 special issue of the Negotiation Journal, entitled “Negotiation and Conflict Resolution in the Age of Trump.” … Read More
Learning great BATNA examples, or estimations of your best alternative to a negotiated agreement as well as that of your negotiating counterpart, are essential to effective negotiation strategies. When preparing to negotiate, always take time to consider these important questions. … Read More
If your current negotiation reaches an impasse, what’s your best outside option? Most seasoned negotiators understand the value of evaluating their BATNA, or best alternative to a negotiated agreement, a concept that Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton introduced in their seminal book, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In (Penguin, 1991, second … Read Take your BATNA to the Next Level
While hammering out an agreement during negotiation, a mid-level manager offered a customer a significant price discount. When the discount failed to materialize, the customer sued. In response, company representatives argued that the manager did not have the authority to offer the discount. Who is right? … Read In Negotiation, How Much Authority Do They Have?
Stewart recently interviewed negotiation expert and Program on Negotiation co-founder William Ury to discuss the aftermath of avoiding the fiscal cliff and the rounds of tough negotiations between Democrats and Republicans still to come. … Read More
“Separate the people from the problem,” advises the best-selling negotiation text Getting to Yes. That’s certainly good counsel when tempers flare and bargaining descends into ego battles, but it’s a mistake to ignore the psychological crosscurrents in negotiation. Unless they are addressed, a deal may never be reached. … Read Self-Analysis and Negotiation
At the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, William Ury, a founding member of the Program on Negotiation and co-author of the seminal book Getting to Yes, spoke about his latest book, Getting to Yes with Yourself (and Other Worthy Opponents). Over 250 community members, students, and faculty members filled Austin Hall to hear Ury … Read More
In both our personal and our business negotiations, “getting to yes” is typically the ultimate goal. Negotiation research and advice tend to focus on identifying the conditions that can help people overcome their differences, relax firm positions, and reach harmonious terms that could lead to a mutually fulfilling long-term relationship. This mindset risks downplaying the fact … Read More
The BATNA (best alternative to a negotiated agreement) concept, popularized by Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton in their book Getting to Yes (Penguin Books, third edition, 2011), has been disseminated all over the world and doubtless helped thousands avoid settling for less than what they want in negotiations. When you have identified your … Read More
At a Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) faculty pedagogy seminar, members of the PON faculty and negotiation community gathered to hear Gordon Kaufman (MIT Morris A. Adelman Professor of Management, Emeritus) speak about how he uses quantifiable data to plot student-learning trajectories. The conversation focused on the ongoing debate within the negotiation pedagogy community regarding the way … Read More
Q: I lead a team of approximately 50 lawyers in the in-house legal department of a Fortune 500 company. As our team gets larger, reflecting the company’s growth, I’d like to install quality-control measures to ensure that all our attorneys are effectively negotiating settlements when appropriate and taking cases to trial when not. What are … Read More
Are You Your Own Worst Enemy? We interviewed William Ury, co-founder of the Program on Negotiation, one of the world’s leading experts on negotiation, and bestselling author of Getting to Yes and Getting Past No, about his book, Getting To Yes With Yourself. Great negotiators know that the path to resolution is not always linear but rather … Read More
Q: I have been doing a lot of business deals in the Middle East and elsewhere in Asia. With all due respect, negotiations seem to drag on and on in that part of the world. How can I negotiate effectively in this situation at the negotiation table? A: You’ve picked up on a critical cultural difference that, … Read More
We’ve all been there. One kid wants it his way; the other wants it her way and an inevitable conflict ensues. Shouting, crying, and harsh words are often part of the mix—creating stress for everyone, including the parents who just want to know how to resolve conflicts. … Read More
Many professional negotiators have come away from talks wondering, How did that pleasant discussion turn sour? Why did the deal unravel at the last minute? … Read For Better Communication, Try Appreciation
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 What to Do When Your BATNA is Not Good Enough
Poor communication explains many of our negotiation mistakes, write Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton in Getting to Yes, their landmark book. Here are four negotiation skills tips adapted from Susan Hackley’s May 2005 article “Can You Break the Cycle of Bad Communication?,” first published in Negotiation. … Read More
By following these steps in your next negotiation, you’ll improve the chances of meeting everyone’s interests. … Read Negotiation Skills: Value Creation Resources
The year 2017 offered plenty of negotiation hits and misses in the realms of government, business, and beyond. To avoid failed negotiations in 2018, politicians, business leaders, and the rest of us would be wise to explore the following recent negotiation books, which can help steer us through our most difficult negotiating dilemmas: … Read Must-Read Negotiation Books for 2019
When should you walk away in negotiation? That’s a common question that negotiation experts pose of professional negotiators. We are typically advised to walk away from the bargaining table when we haven’t been able to get a better deal than we can get elsewhere. But in intercultural negotiation, particularly in international negotiation in certain countries … Read More
In an interview with WBUR News, William Ury, Co-founder of the Program on Negotiation and co-author of the book Getting to Yes, offered some advice for our country’s leaders. “You write President Trump’s victory speech in which he says to his base, ‘I won,’ and you write Nancy Pelosi’s victory speech in which he says to her … Read More
Have you been energized by the unique “aha” moment students experience when negotiation videos are used in their class? Us too! … Read Teaching Negotiation Videos – All Downloadable!
Trouble at the Watering Hole: Teach Your Children About Conflict Resolution With This New Book This fun and educational book from the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) builds a foundation for kids to learn ways to constructively resolve problems and to build strong skills that can be used to resolve conflict for the rest of their … Read NEW BOOK! Conflict Resolution for Children
Many negotiation and mediation instructors draw from other disciplines for a range of purposes. Insights from social psychology, for instance, can help students understand, explain, or predict certain interpersonal and inter-group dynamics. Ideas from economics and game theory can shed light on various value-creation principles. … Read More
The Program on Negotiation would like to honor the memory of beloved colleague Howard Raiffa by highlighting his vast contributions to the field of decision making, negotiation, and dispute resolution. Howard Raiffa was one of the four principal co-founders of the Harvard Kennedy School and the Frank Plumpton Ramsey Professor of Managerial Economics Emeritus, a … Read PON Remembers Howard Raiffa
The practice of using alcohol to grease the wheels has a long and storied role in famous negotiations. In recent decades, shared drinks during adversarial bargaining helped lead to breakthroughs in conflicts in Serbia and Northern Ireland, for example. … Read Drinks at the White House? Clinton Plans on It
Program on Negotiation faculty member Daniel Shapiro’s latest book, Negotiating the Nonnegotiable: How to Resolve Your Most Emotionally Charged Conflicts, is now available at the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center. Dan Shapiro has written a masterpiece – clear, insightful, and practical – about the most difficult and emotionally-charged of negotiations…Highly recommended! -William Ury, co-author of Getting to Yes … Read More
The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School is pleased to present: Negotiating at Work: Turn Small Wins into Big Gains
with Deborah Kolb Professor Emerita, Simmons College School of Management Tuesday, November 17 4:00-5:15 PM Pound Hall 102 Harvard Law School Campus Free and open to the public; refreshments will be served. About the book: Negotiation is undoubtedly essential to navigating the working world. Dr. … Read More
The Abraham Path Initiative and the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School are pleased to present:
Negotiating the Path of Abraham: The Flip Side of the Middle East
with William Ury Co-author of “Getting to Yes” and co-founder of Harvard’s Program on Negotiation and Dave Cornthwaite, Leon McCarron, Hannah Messerli, James Sebenius, and José Filipe Torres Saturday October 10 1:30-5 PM Milstein East B, Wasserstein Hall Harvard Law School Campus Free … Read More
You likely have noticed that this newsletter and other negotiation advice from the Western world tends to promote rationality, logic, and fact finding over emotional reactions or a focus on abstract concepts such as honor. This rational approach dovetails well with the values and assumptions of American and other Western cultures. But how well does … Read More
Program on Negotiation faculty members Jeswald Salacuse, Deborah Kolb, and William Ury were named by Time magazine as the authors of three of the five best negotiation books of 2015. Jeswald Salacuse’s latest work, The Global Negotiator: Making, Managing and Mending Deals Around the World in the Twenty-First Century, describes the negotiation skills people need to succeed … Read More
Program on Negotiation faculty discuss the negotiation strategies used by US President Barack Obama and Congressional Republicans negotiating the end of the shutdown of the United States government. … Read More
When you’re getting ready to meet with more than one party, the usual steps of two-party negotiation apply. … Read Preparing for Multiparty Negotiation
The Harvard Negotiation Project was recently mentioned in the Wall Street Journal by David Feith in his interview with Benny Tai, “China’s New Freedom Fighters.” Benny Tai, a 49 year old lawyer who has been branded an “enemy of the state,” founded Occupy Central with Love and Peace, a group that promotes civil disobedience in order … Read More
The deal started with an offhand remark at a news conference. In September, as President Barack Obama threatened U.S. military action against Syria, a reporter asked U.S. secretary of state John Kerry if there were any way an attack could be avoided. Syrian president Bashar al-Assad “could turn over every single bit of his chemical … Read Negotiators: Prepare to go with the flow
The Washington Post’s “On Leadership” column by Jenna McGregor asked renowned negotiation experts on how the government shutdown in Washington, DC could be ended at the bargaining table. Among the experts interviewed were Robert Mnookin, Chair of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School (PON) and author of Bargaining With The Devil: When To Negotiate, … Read More
Peace talks in the Middle East between Israel and Palestine have stalled for years and, with no ‘new beginnings’ on the horizon, many have come to expect stagnation and lack of progress in talks between the neighbors. That was until this week when Secretary of State John Kerry was successful in getting Palestinian and Israeli … Read More
The Program on Negotiation will present an episode of The Advocates, an award winning television show created in 1969 by the late Roger Fisher. … Read More
By following these tips in your next negotiation, you’ll improve your chances of meeting everyone’s interests. Before you sit down at the bargaining table, imagine a wide-range of options and packages, including some that may seem far-fetched. When talks begin, remember that getting down to business too quickly can stand in the way of building trust. Emphasize to … Read Negotiation Tips: A Value-Creation Checklist
By following these tips in your next negotiation, you’ll improve the chances of meeting everyone’s interests. … Read A Value-Creation Checklist: Five Helpful Tips
Roger Fisher, co-founder of the Program on Negotiation and the Harvard Negotiation Project, died on August 25 at age 90. A true pioneer and leader, he helped launch a new way of thinking about negotiation, and he worked tirelessly to help people deal productively with conflict. “Through his writing and teaching, Roger Fisher’s seminal contributions literally … Read More
Roger Fisher, one of the cofounders of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School and Samuel Williston Professor of Law, Emeritus, was honored on the 8th of April with a celebration of his career, research, and contributions to both the HLS community and the field of negotiation. … Read More
The hardest step in negotiation is often the first. Costly lawsuits can drag on it everyone is afraid to be the first to blink. Prospective buyers and sellers can waste endless hours dancing around a possible deal. And in collective bargaining, labor and management teams sometimes paint themselves into corners by refusing to negotiate “matters … Read Leading Horses to Water
The good news is the lockout is over and the NBA will be back in business on Christmas Day. The bad news is that as a result of the contract dispute, fans across America have been disappointed and millions of dollars have been lost. Ticket takers, security guards, bars, restaurants and parking lots near the arenas … Read William Ury interviewed on the NBA lockout
The PON Film Series presents “The Interrupters” followed by a post-screening discussion with William Ury, co-author of Getting to YES & Gary Slutkin, Executive Director of Chicago’s Ceasefire Date: Tuesday, November 15, 2011 Time: 6:30 PM Location: Ames Courtroom, Austin Hall, Harvard Law School Campus The Interrupters tells the moving and surprising stories of three Violence Interrupters who try to protect their Chicago … Read PON Film Series presents “The Interrupters”
In a recent article published in the Washington Post, Dr. William Ury, co-founder of the Program on Negotiation, suggests that Republicans and Democrats hammering out a deal on the national debt ceiling could benefit from the experience of negotiators. Professional negotiators know that certain tactics can backfire in tense situations. Issuing ultimatums, publicly criticizing your counterpart, … Read More
Adapted from “Leading Horses to Water,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. The hardest step in negotiation is often the first. Costly lawsuits can drag on if everyone is afraid to be the first to blink. Prospective buyers and sellers can waste endless hours dancing around a possible deal. And in collective bargaining, labor and management … Read How to Get to the Table
Adapted from “Stubborn or Irrational? How to Cope with a Difficult Negotiating Partner,” by Lawrence Susskind (professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Suppose you’re an experienced salesperson entering into negotiations for a contract renewal with a company you’ve successfully done business with for years. Recently, your counterpart at the other company … Read Dealing With a Stubborn Counterpart
Adapted from “When You Mean No, Say So!” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Too often, we say yes when we shouldn’t. Wanting to be team players at work, we postpone a family vacation. Or we pitch in on a community project when we have no time for it. In the short term, we please whoever … Read Getting to No
Working It Out is a 27-page handbook designed to introduce high school students to problem-solving, interest-based negotiation. Written by Getting to YES co-author Roger Fisher and Difficult Conversations co-author Douglas Stone, Working It Out presents core concepts from both books in a clear, simple format with plenty of age-appropriate examples from family, school, workplace and … Read Opening students up to negotiation
Adapted from “Self-Analysis and Negotiation,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. “Separate the people from the problem,” advises the bestselling negotiation text “Getting to Yes”. That’s certainly good counsel when tempers flare and bargaining descends into ego battles, but it’s a mistake to ignore the psychological crosscurrents in negotiation. Unless they are addressed, a deal may … Read First, know thyself
presents: Seeing the Middle East in a New Way: Films from the Abraham Path
with William Ury
Tuesday, December 8, 2009 7:00PM Ames Courtroom, Austin Hall Harvard Law School Campus Join the Program on Negotiation for a film screening and discussion about The Abraham Path (Masar Ibrahim al Khalil), a route of cultural tourism which follows the footsteps of Abraham/Ibrahim through the … Read More
“The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School is a renowned source of expertise in the field,” reported the Boston Globe today in its story, “Iraq latest crucible for Harvard mediation.” Reporting on the work done by conflict resolution professionals at Conflict Management Group in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the report notes that “The blood not spilled … Read More
The following book, Negotiation Genius, was co-winner of the 2008 CPR Award for Excellence in ADR (Outstanding Book Category). It provides clear and methodical advice for preparing for and executing any negotiation, drawing on decades of behavioral research and the experience of thousands of business clients. Whether you’ve “seen it all” or are just … Read Boost your negotiations skills and confidence