Learn how to negotiate like a diplomat, think on your feet like an improv performer, and master job offer negotiation like a professional athlete when you download a copy of 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.


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Courses and Training

Negotiation and Leadership: Dealing with Difficult People and Problems

Posted by & filed under executive training, Negotiation and Leadership (3 and 1 Day Courses).

It’s often said that great leaders are great negotiators. But how does one become an effective negotiator? On-the-job experience certainly plays a role, but for most executives, taking their negotiation skills to the next level requires outside training. Designed to accelerate your negotiation capabilities, Negotiation and Leadership examines core decision-making challenges, analyzes complex negotiation scenarios, … Read More 

Free Report

Negotiation Master Class Fall 2017 Program Guide

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Over the years thousands of professional have participated in negotiation programs at the Program on Negotiation (PON) at Harvard Law School. And after a few months or years of putting their negotiation skills and techniques to work, participants inevitably ask us, what’s next? The Program on Negotiation is pleased to announce the Negotiation Master Class, … Read More 

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Courses and Training

Free Report

Negotiation and Leadership Fall 2017 Brochure

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It’s often said that great leaders are great negotiators. But how does one become an effective negotiator? On-the-job experience certainly plays a role, but for most executives, taking their negotiation skills to the next level requires outside training. … Read More 

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Courses and Training

Harvard Negotiation Master Class: Advanced Strategies for Experienced Negotiators – November 13-15, 2017

Posted by & filed under Harvard Negotiation Master Class.

Strictly limited to 60 participants who have completed a prior course in negotiation, this first-of-its-kind program offers unprecedented access to experts from Harvard Law School, Harvard Business School, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology—all of whom are committed to delivering a transformational learning experience. By working closely with them, you will: … Read More 

Free Report

Spring 2017 Brochure

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It’s often said that great leaders are great negotiators. But how does one become an effective negotiator? On-the-job experience certainly plays a role, but for most executives, taking their negotiation skills to the next level requires outside training. … Read More 

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Negotiation Exercises to Help Your Students Avoid Cross-Cultural Pitfalls

Posted by & filed under Teaching Negotiation.

It’s no secret that communication and negotiation etiquette varies widely across cultures. In France, for example, it is rude to talk money over dinner, while in Brazil the American ‘A-OK’ gesture (thumb and forefinger forming a circle) can be a major insult. The increasingly diverse and global nature of business sets the stage for disputes that … Read More 

Courses and Training

Negotiation and Leadership: Dealing with Difficult People and Problems

Posted by & filed under executive training, Negotiation and Leadership (3 and 1 Day Courses).

Negotiation and Leadership Dealing With Difficult People and Problems Fall: December 5-7, 2016 Spring: April 18-20, 2017 | May 15-17, 2017 | June 19-21 2017

Become a More Effective Negotiator Great leaders are great negotiators. By equipping you with the innovative negotiation strategies you need to excel at the bargaining table, Negotiation and Leadership will help you:

Improve working relationships and resolve seemingly … Read More 

Free Report

Negotiation Master Class Spring 2017 Program Guide

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Over the years thousands of professional have participated in negotiation programs at the Program on Negotiation (PON) at Harvard Law School. And after a few months or years of putting their negotiation skills and techniques to work, participants inevitably ask us, what’s next? The Program on Negotiation is pleased to announce the Negotiation Master Class, … Read More 

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3 Team-Building Techniques for Successful Negotiations

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team-building techniques

Newly formed teams are often encouraged or even required to engage in team-building techniques and exercises, which might range from volunteering at a nonprofit together to sharing little-known secrets about each other to building a tower out of marshmallows and spaghetti. Although such activities can be effective at building bonds and trust, they don’t do … Read More 

Courses and Training

Mediating Disputes

Posted by & filed under Harvard Negotiation Institute, Harvard Negotiation Institute (5 Day Courses).

Course Dates: June 5-9, 2017 The success of any mediation is predicated on the skills of the mediator. In this popular program, you will acquire the practical skills and techniques for facilitating negotiations between disputing parties. From family and employment matters to public policy and business disagreements, you will discover effective ways to settle differences and mediate … Read More 

Free Report

Negotiation Master Class Fall 2016 Program Guide

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Over the years thousands of professional have participated in negotiation programs at the Program on Negotiation (PON) at Harvard Law School. And after a few months or years of putting their negotiation skills and techniques to work, participants inevitably ask us, what’s next? The Program on Negotiation is pleased to announce the Negotiation Master Class, … Read More 

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Negotiation Examples in Business: Ethics, Bias, and Bargaining in Good Faith

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

negotiation examples in business negotiation ethics and bias in negotiation

As we’ve discussed in previous articles about negotiation examples in business, a negotiator’s beliefs concerning negotiation ethics are affected by cognitive biases. You probably can recall times when a negotiating opponent made what appeared to be a blatant misstatement. If you’re like most people, you assumed the person was lying to gain an advantage. … Read More 

Courses and Training

Secrets of Successful Dealmaking

Posted by & filed under Harvard Negotiation Institute, Harvard Negotiation Institute (5 Day Courses).

Course Dates: June 5-9, 2017 In corporate dealmaking, much of the action happens away from the negotiating table. Successful dealmakers understand that deal set-up and design greatly influence negotiation outcomes. In this program, you will examine the legal, tactical, and structural elements of dealmaking and acquire practical skills and techniques for navigating difficult tactics and pursuing … Read More 

Free Report

Fall 2016 Brochure

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It’s often said that great leaders are great negotiators. But how does one become an effective negotiator? On-the-job experience certainly plays a role, but for most executives, taking their negotiation skills to the next level requires outside training. … Read More 

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Courses and Training

Mediating Disputes – Fall 2017

Posted by & filed under Harvard Negotiation Institute, Harvard Negotiation Institute (5 Day Courses).

Course Dates: TBA In this popular program, you will acquire the practical skills and techniques for facilitating negotiations between disputing parties. From family and employment matters to public policy and business disagreements, you will discover effective ways to settle differences and mediate disputes across a variety of contexts. This program will provide you with core mediation skills … Read More 

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Courses and Training

Free Report

Spring 2016 Seminar Program Guide

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It’s often said that great leaders are great negotiators. But how does one become an effective negotiator? On-the-job experience certainly plays a role, but for most executives, taking their negotiation skills to the next level requires outside training. … Read More 

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Courses and Training

Negotiation and Leadership: Dealing with Difficult People and Problems

Posted by & filed under executive training, Negotiation and Leadership (3 and 1 Day Courses).

It’s often said that great leaders are great negotiators. But how does one become an effective negotiator? On-the-job experience certainly plays a role, but for most executives, taking their negotiation skills to the next level requires outside training. Designed to accelerate your negotiation capabilities, Negotiation and Leadership examines core decision-making challenges, analyzes complex negotiation scenarios, … Read More 

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Using Principled Negotiation to Resolve Disagreements

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Using Principled Negotiation to Resolve Disagreements

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 

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Power in Negotiation: The Impact on Negotiators and the Negotiation Process

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power in negotiation the impact on negotiators and the negotiation process

According to Dacher Keltner of the University of California at Berkeley and his colleagues, power in negotiation affects two primary neurological regulators of behavior: the behavioral approach system and the behavioral inhibition system. Powerful negotiators demonstrate “approach related” behaviors such as expressing positive moods and searching for rewards in their environment. … Read More 

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Free Report

Negotiation Strategies for Women: Secrets to Success

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As a general manager of a business unit and the father of two daughters in college, I have no tolerance for gender bias in the workplace or anywhere else for that matter. At least that’s what I thought, until a women manager handed me the Negotiation Strategies for Women report that she recently received from … Read More 

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The Best Negotiation Exercises, Simulations and Videos

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Have you planned your curriculum and purchased your teaching material for the next academic year? We’re here to help you to find the best negotiation exercises and teaching aids for your negotiation classes. The Teaching Negotiation Resource Center is your one-stop shop for negotiation exercises, role-play simulations and teaching videos. Whether you’re teaching a new course … Read More 

Free Report

Sally Soprano: Role-Play Simulation

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Sally Soprano is a distinguished soprano who is now somewhat past her prime. She has not had a lead role in two years but would like to revive her career. The Lyric Opera has a production scheduled to open in three weeks, but its lead soprano has become unavailable. Lyric’s representative has requested a meeting … Read More 

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Free Report

Teaching Negotiation: Understanding The Impact Of Role-Play Simulations

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Negotiation can be challenging. And so can teaching it! At the Program on Negotiation (PON) at Harvard Law School, we help educators, scholars and practitioners like you learn how to more effectively teach negotiation. Notably, role-play simulations are a particularly useful way to facilitate experimentation and introduce participants to new dispute resolution tools, techniques and … Read More 

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6 Bargaining Tips and BATNA Essentials

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bargaining tips BATNA

The best bargaining tips taught by the experts should offer ways to enhance your bargaining power in negotiation. To do this, you must cultivate a strong BATNA, or best alternative to a negotiated agreement. The more appealing your best alternative is, the more comfortable you will feel asking for more in your current negotiation—secure in … Read More 

Free Report

Training Women to Be Leaders: Negotiating Skills for Success

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In this Special Report, we offer advice selected from the Negotiation newsletter to help women develop the negotiation skills essential to career advancement, and to help organizations encourage women employees to be more effective at the bargaining table. You will learn what hold women back from asking for more, the link between gender and flexible … Read More 

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

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cultural conflict

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 negotiation example, how should this negotiator improve her negotiation skills? … Read More 

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Negotiation Master Class Fall 2013 Program Guide

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For the first time ever, the Program on Negotiation is offering a master-level course for negotiators. The program is highly personalized and taught by 4 negotiation experts from Harvard and MIT. If you are selected to participate, you will be assigned to small learning groups, take part in dynamic exercises with two-way feedback, work closely … Read More 

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How to Capitalize on Luck in Negotiation

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Imagine that you have just negotiated a great deal on a house – and rightly so, given how deftly you managed the process from start to finish. You diligently studied the local real estate market and uncovered the seller’s motives for listing her property. You even created mutual gain by allowing the seller to stay … Read More 

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How to Balance Your Own Values in Negotiation

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best negotiation examples negotiating conflicts of interest

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 

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Win Win Negotiation: Managing Your Counterpart’s Satisfaction

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How to arrive at optimal agreements and make everyone happy with win win negotiation

As the following points of win-win negotiation will demonstrate, ensuring that your counterpart is satisfied with a particular deal requires you to manage several aspects of the negotiation process, including his outcome expectations, his perceptions of your outcome, the comparisons he makes with others, and his overall negotiation experience itself. … Read More 

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How Short-Term Focus Contributes to Future Disasters in Business Negotiations

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How Short-Term Focus Contributes to Future Disasters in Business Negotiations

Negotiators tend to concentrate too closely on the here and now. By incorporating future concerns into your talks, you’ll make sounder decisions and guard against crises. In the midst of the current U.S.financial crisis, accusations of greed on Wall Street have sounded across the globe. Greed may be a significant factor in the collapse of credit … Read More 

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Case Study of Business Negotiations and Deal Making: Giving Voice to Negotiators Away from the Bargaining Table

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Case Study of Business Negotiations and Deal Making: Giving Voice to Negotiators Away from the Bargaining Table

Sometimes negotiators focus too much on the bargaining session at hand, to the detriment of bargainers away from the negotiation table, a group whose concerns and input is just as valid as those of the negotiators themselves. Here are some negotiation tips to help make sure your bargaining strategies include the voices and concerns of … Read More 

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What is Negotiation?

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negotiation style

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 More 

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5 Tips for Improving Your Negotiation Skills

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5 Tips for Improving Your Negotiation Skills

The prospect of boosting our negotiation skills can be so overwhelming that we often delay taking the necessary steps we can follow to improve, such as taking time to prepare thoroughly. The following five guidelines will help you break this daunting task into a series of manageable—and often essential—strategies. … Read More 

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Revolutionize How You Teach TNRC Negotiation Exercises and Role-Plays

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You’ve told us that using technology in your teaching is important so we spent some time evaluating various platforms and software that help negotiation teachers and trainers to utilize the power of role-plays in their classes. The team at iDecisionGames has created a web-based platform that offers many benefits and opportunities to transform how you … Read More 

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How Much Should You Share at the Negotiation Table?

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How Much Should You Share at the Negotiation Table?

Suppose that two entrepreneurs, a marketing expert and an IT specialist, are thinking about merging their consulting firms to create a greater synergy of services. As their talks unfold, each wonders how much information to disclose. Should they bring up discussions with other potential partners? … Read More 

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The Power of a Simple Thank You in Negotiation

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The Power of a Simple Thank You in Negotiation

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. In a series of experiments, researchers Adam M. Grant and Francesca Gino examined why expressions of … Read More 

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Using Negotiation Games to Develop Skills for Commercial Dispute Resolution

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negotiating skills and negotiation tactics developing skills for commercial dispute resolution using negotiation games

Private sector or commercial negotiations can range from relatively straightforward, high-stakes contract negotiations between suppliers and distributors to complex, multiparty negotiations between government, industry, and other interest groups. By honing their skills and more effectively engaging in negotiations, firms can positively influence their bottom line. Likewise, government officials and other stakeholders will achieve better outcomes … Read More 

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Bullard Houses Role-Play Simulation Helps Researchers Explore Gender Inequality

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Bullard Houses Role-Play Simulation Helps Researchers Explore Gender Inequality

In a recent Slate.com article, writer and PhD in Psychology Jane Hu described the findings of a research study by Professor Laura J. Kray, University of California, Berkeley. Kray, along with co-authors Jessica Kennedy, PhD, and Alex Van Zant, PhD, investigated the role gender played in negotiation and focused specifically on whether the stereotype of women … Read More 

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Dealmaking: Relationship Rules for Dealmakers

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Dealmaking: Relationship Rules for Dealmakers

Here are some concrete guidelines for fostering a strong relationship between deal making partners, drawn from The Global Negotiator: Making, Managing, and Mending Deals Around the World in the 21st Century, by Tufts University professor Jeswald W. Salacuse: … Read More 

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Reservation Point in Negotiation: Reach Negotiated Agreements by Asking the Right Questions

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reservation point negotiation reach negotiated agreements by asking the right questions

A reservation point negotiation is a bargaining scenario in which each side is trying to reconcile the other’s highest offer and the other’s lowest price. This negotiation example can apply to many other bargaining situations and demonstrates the value of open communication with your counterpart at the negotiation table. … Read More 

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When a Job Offer is “Nonnegotiable”

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When a Job Offer is "Nonnegotiable"

Question: I am in my final year of business school and starting to prepare for job interviews. I have heard many of the organizations that recruit on campus are not open to negotiating specific terms of employment. Rather, they offer everyone roughly the same deal terms. To what extent should I respect such conventions versus … Read More 

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Conflict and Negotiation Case Study: Long-Term Business Partnerships and Negotiated Agreements

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Conflict and Negotiation Case Study: Long-Term Business Partnerships and Negotiated Agreements

To protect the future interests of their organization, negotiators sometimes must accept fewer benefits or absorb greater burdens in the short run to maximize the value to all relevant parties – including future employees and shareholders – over time. Suppose that the operations VPs of two subsidiaries of an energy company are preparing to negotiate the … Read More 

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How to Negotiate Under Pressure

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How to Negotiate Under Pressure

At the time, it seemed to be an example of coolheaded dealmaking in the midst of disaster. In 2009, hit hard by the 2008 financial crisis and changes in consumer preferences, U.S. automaker Chrysler was on the brink of collapse, and the Treasury Department stepped in to do a deal. In exchange for about $12 … Read More 

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Why First Impressions Matter in Negotiation

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Why First Impressions Matter in Negotiation

Even when not based in reality, the expectation that someone is “tough” or “cooperative” becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy at the bargaining table. When you approach an allegedly tough competitor with suspicion and guardedness, he is likely to absord these expectations and become more competitive. … Read More 

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How to Negotiate a Business Deal

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How to Negotiate a Business Deal

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 

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How to Negotiate Online

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how to overcome cultural barriers to communication how to negotiate online

International negotiators are often faced with the problem of how to overcome cultural barriers to communication. When you communicate in person, social norms – including body language, manners, and physical appearance – guide your behavior and ease the process. … Read More 

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The Negotiation Process in China

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negotiation process

With its booming economy and growing international consumer influence, the role of negotiation in international business is more important than ever and negotiation skills appropriate for China are in high-demand. Here are a few negotiation tips to help you successfully navigate your next round of business negotiations in China. … Read More 

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What is a Win-Win Negotiation?

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What is a Win-Win Negotiation?

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 More 

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What is Anchoring in Negotiation?

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What is anchoring in negotiation, and how does it play out? Consider this anchoring bias example from Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School Guhan Subramanian. While running a negotiation simulation in one of his classes, Subramanian noticed that one student spent a considerable amount of time explaining why $10.69 per hour would be an impossible … Read More 

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Essential Negotiation Skills: Limiting Cognitive Bias in Negotiation Scenarios

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Essential Negotiation Skills: Limiting Cognitive Bias in Negotiation Scenarios

In past articles, we have highlighted a variety of psychological biases that affect negotiators, many of which spring from a reliance on intuition, and may hinder integrative negotiations. Of course, negotiators are not always affected by bias; we often think systematically and clearly at the bargaining table. Most negotiators believe they are capable of distinguishing … Read More 

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Announcing the 2017 PON Summer Fellows

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negotiation topics in business six negotiation strategies for integrative negotiations involving haggling

PON offers fellowship grants to students at Harvard University, MIT, Tufts University and other Boston-area schools who are doing internships or undertaking summer research projects in negotiation and dispute resolution in partnership with public, nonprofit or academic organizations. The Summer Fellowship Program’s emphasis is on advancing the links between scholarship and practice in negotiation and … Read More 

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Why is Negotiation Important: Mediation in Transactional Negotiations

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Why is Negotiation Important: Mediation in Transactional Negotiations

We generally think of mediation as a dispute-resolution device. Federal mediators intervene when collective bargaining breaks down. Diplomats are sometimes called in to mediate conflicts between nations. So-called multi-door courthouses encourage litigants to mediate before incurring the costs – and risks – of going to trial. … Read More 

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Four Strategies for Making Concessions in Negotiation

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Four Strategies for Making Concessions in Negotiation

Skilled negotiators know that making strategic concessions at the right time can be an effective tactic in negotiations. In this article, Deepak Malhotra, professor at Harvard Business School and PON affiliated faculty member, suggests four ways to make your concessions work to your best advantage. 1. Label Your Concessions In negotiation, don’t assume that your actions will … Read More 

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The Opposite of Autocratic Leadership Styles

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advantages and disadvantages of leadership styles the opposite of autocratic leadership

While the advantages and disadvantages of leadership styles are not always readily apparent, one thing is certain – being decisive while avoiding autocratic leadership tactics is necessary for successful leaders and negotiators alike. Navigating these treacherous waters can be extraordinarily challenging, but it can also give rise to creative decisions that help resolve disagreements in … Read More 

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Emotional Intelligence as a Negotiating Skill

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successful negotiation examples emotional intelligence as a negotiating skill and negotiation tactic

The concept of emotional intelligence burst into the cultural imagination in 1995 with the publication of psychologist Daniel Goleman’s bestselling book of the same name. Experts have predicted that scoring high on this personality trait would boost one’s bargaining outcomes and have found many successful negotiation examples using emotional intelligence in their research. … Read More 

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Conflict and Negotiation Case Study: The Pitfalls of Negotiations Over Email

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conflict resolution online the pitfalls of negotiations over email

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 

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Negotiating with Millennials – How to Overcome Cultural Differences in Communication

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how to overcome cultural differences in communication - negotiating with the next generation

Negotiation training often focuses on bridging gaps between negotiators with different styles, backgrounds, or objectives, but what about overcoming generational barriers in negotiation? Generational differences need not stymie efforts at the bargaining table. In this segment from “Dear Negotiation Coach,” we explore how to overcome cultural differences in communication with members of the Millennial generation. … Read More 

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Conflict Management: The Challenges of Negotiating Online

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case study of conflict management and negotiation the challenges of negotiating online

Negotiation research suggests that e-mail often poses more problems than solutions when it comes to relationships, information exchange, and outcomes. Here is a case study of conflict management and negotiation about the challenges of building rapport with your counterpart when negotiating online. … Read More 

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Impact of Leadership Styles on Strategic Decisions: Taylor Swift and Apple Music at the Negotiation Table

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what is leadership in a negotiation look to taylor swift

When Apple Inc. announced plans to step into the market for streaming audio, it had no idea what was waiting for it. To do it, the company negotiated countless agreements with musicians and studios. How someone can take charge of so many complex negotiations with musicians and studio executives begs the question, what is leadership … Read More 

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International Negotiations and Cognitive Biases in Negotiation

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International Negotiations and Cognitive Biases in Negotiation

In discussing international negotiations and cognitive biases in negotiation, professor Cheryl Rivers of Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, highlights in a negotiation research literature review, seasoned negotiators often hear stories about the unethical behaviors of people of other nationalities. Perhaps the toughest problems arise surrounding what Rivers calls “ethically ambiguous” negotiation tactics and … Read More 

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When a Win-Win Negotiation Creates Controversy

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When a Win-Win Negotiation Creates Controversy

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 

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A Case Study of Conflict Management: Family Conflict Resolution Lessons from the Home

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a case study of conflict management family conflict resolution lessons from the home

In Lessons in Domestic Diplomacy, the New York Times’ Bruce Feiler, drawing on family conflict resolution negotiation examples in his past, offers a case study of conflict management by focusing on disputes in the home, asking, “how do we break out of negative patterns of conduct and proactively approach problems encountered in our everyday lives?” … Read More 

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Negotiation Ethics: Dealing with Deception at the Bargaining Table

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Negotiation Ethics: Dealing with Deception at the Bargaining Table

In his book Bargaining for Advantage: Negotiation Strategies for Reasonable People (Penguin, 2006), G. Richard Shell analyzes this story from Nancy Griffin and Kim Masters’s book Hit & Run: How Jon Peters and Peter Guber Took Sony for a Ride in Hollywood (Simon & Schuster, 1996) as an example of the deceptive tactics negotiators sometimes … Read More 

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Announcing the 2017-2018 PON Graduate Research Fellows

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The Program on Negotiation Graduate Research Fellowships are designed to encourage young scholars from the social sciences and professional disciplines to pursue theoretical, empirical, and/or applied research in negotiation and dispute resolution. Consistent with PON’s goal of fostering the development of the next generation of scholars, this program provides support for one year of dissertation … Read More 

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Persuasive Parenting through Negotiation

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Persuasive Parenting through Negotiation

In his book How to Negotiate with Kids…Even When You Think You Shouldn’t (Viking, 2003), Scott Brown, a co-founder of the Harvard Negotiation Project at Harvard Law School, outlines a framework for dealing with your children using the principles of negotiation. He identifies six principles of “persuasive parenting” that will allow you and your child to … Read More 

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5 Good Negotiation Techniques

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Use Integrative Negotiation Strategies to Create Value at the Bargaining Table

You’ve mastered the basics of good negotiation techniques: you prepare thoroughly, take time to build rapport, make the first offer when you have a strong sense of the bargaining range, and search for wise tradeoffs across issues to create value. Now, it’s time to absorb five lesser-known but similarly effective negotiation topics and techniques that … Read More 

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Learning From Negotiation Role-Plays

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Learning From Negotiation Role-Plays

It’s a familiar practice in negotiation training: Students are divided up and assigned to engage in role-play exercises known as simulations. Each person reads confidential information about her role, the two (or more) players get together and negotiate, and then the class reconvenes to debrief the experiences. Simulation took root as a common method for teaching … Read More 

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Conflict Management and Negotiation: Personality and Individual Differences That Matter

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Although Elfenbein and her colleagues did find that negotiators performed at a similar level from one negotiation to the next, to their surprise, these scores were only minimally related to specific personality traits. And traits that are basically unchangeable, such as gender, ethnic background, and physical attractiveness, were not closely connected to people’s scores. A small … Read More 

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Winner’s Curse: Negotiation Mistakes to Avoid

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Winner’s Curse : Negotiation Mistakes to Avoid

Imagine that at the beginning of class, a professor produces a jar full of coins and announces that he is auctioning it off. Students can write down a bid, he explains, and the highest bidder wins the contents of the jar in exchange for his or her bid. … Read More 

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How to Overcome Cultural Barriers at the Negotiation Table

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How to Overcome Cultural Barriers at the Negotiation Table

Imagine that you’re the American representative of a U.S. food company, and you’re hoping to procure a new ingredient for several of your products from a German company. A representative from the company is flying in to meet with you. Do you expect your German counterpart to behave differently than the Americans you typically deal … Read More 

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Putting Your Negotiated Agreement Into Action

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negotiation examples in business implementing your negotiated agreement

Normally negotiators focus on the deal-at-hand as well as those present at the negotiation table, neglecting other aspects of the negotiated agreement that would not only impact others outside of the room but also require their cooperation for the agreement’s success and viability. … Read More 

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What is Crisis Management in Negotiation?

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What is Crisis Management in Negotiation?

Organizations often establish elaborate business crisis management plans. Through a rapid, centralized response, an organization can shift swiftly and efficiently from day-to-day operations into crisis-management mode, whether that crisis involves a building evacuation, a tumble in the company’s stock price, or a product recall. Why does the need for crisis negotiation arise, what is crisis management … Read More 

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Dealing with Difficult People? First Look in the Mirror

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dealing with difficult people first look in the mirror

We’ve all faced the challenge of dealing with difficult people – those who refuse to give you what you want in negotiation for no clear reason other than sheer stubbornness. But dismissing others as stubborn, irrational, and difficult is typically a mistake. … Read More 

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Salary Negotiation: How to Ask for a Higher Salary

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salary negotiation skills at the bargaining table how to ask for more in wage negotiations

For a new employee, salary negotiation skills can be the most important and the most intimidating, but the most important, of difficult conversations to have at the beginning of your career. A new employee, successfully negotiating a salary offer up by $5,000 could make a huge difference over the course of her career. … Read More 

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Google’s Negotiations with Groupon: How Business Negotiators Can Maximize Value Claiming While Engaging in Integrative Negotiations

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Google's Negotiations with Groupon: How Business Negotiators Can Maximize Value Claiming While Engaging in Integrative Negotiations

It seemed to be a match made in Internet heaven. In late 2010, Google made a $6 billion bid for Groupon, the Chicago­based company that e­mails daily coupon deals for local goods and services to consumers around the world. (If enough people sign up, the daily deal “tips,” meaning the coupons are issued; otherwise, the … Read More 

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Cognitive Biases in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution – Common Negotiation Mistakes

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cognitive biases in negotiation and conflict resolution - common negotiation mistakes

Negotiators planning to engage in conflict resolution in a personal or business disputes should be aware of cognitive biases in negotiation, particularly when your dispute is being decided by a judge. Before doing so, you should consider carefully what psychologists, political scientists, and legal scholars have learned about judges from negotiation research and social science: … Read More 

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Dealmaking: Don’t Wait for Them to Blink

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dealmaking

In labor disputes and dealmaking, negotiators on both sides are likely to overestimate the odds that the other side will view their proposals as fair. In fact, however, self-serving perceptions of what constitutes a fair settlement can cause negotiators to remain miles apart. These factors appear to have come into play when the National Hockey … Read More 

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An Example of the Anchoring Effect – What to Share in Negotiation

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an example of the anchoring effect - what to share in negotiation

The prospect of sharing information with a negotiating counterpart can be scary – it can fix your counterpart into a position at the negotiation table you didn’t intend (an example of the anchoring effect). Share too much, and the other side might conclude that you’re desperate to make a deal, any deal. … Read More 

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Dealmaking: Dealing with the Other Side’s Constituents

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Dealmaking: Dealing with the Other Side's Constituents

During a meeting with a potential customer, a new salesperson leaves the room several times to make phone calls. Each time when she returns, she tells the customer she can’t accept the terms they just negotiated. Exasperated by her apparent lack of authority, the customer ends the meeting abruptly. … Read More 

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Overcoming Cultural Barriers to a Negotiated Agreement: Negotiation Ethics and International Negotiations

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cross cultural negotiation example negotiation ethics and culture

Cross cultural negotiation examples provide insights into how negotiation techniques change depending on the context in which negotiators find themselves. As Professor Cheryl Rivers of Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, points out in a recent negotiation research literature review, seasoned negotiators often hear stories about the unethical behaviors of people of other nationalities. … Read More 

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Why Great Negotiators Earn More Money

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Why Great Negotiators Earn More Money

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 

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Overcoming Cultural Barriers in Negotiation: China and the Gold Rush Mentality

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Overcoming Cultural Barriers in Negotiation: China and the Gold Rush Mentality

If Chinese culture favors insiders, it stands to reason that outsiders face an uphill battle. In One Billion Customers: Lessons from the Front Lines of Doing Business in China (Free Press, 2005), business executive and Wall Street Journal bureau chief James McGregor writes of the 1996 attempt by Xinhua, the official Chinese news agency, to … Read More 

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Negotiation Techniques: Diagnose Your Negotiating Style

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Negotiation Techniques: Diagnose Your Negotiating Style

How would you describe your negotiation techniques or negotiating style? Are you a cooperative negotiator who focuses on crafting negotiated agreements that benefit everyone, or do you actively compete to get a better deal than your counterpart? … Read More 

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Managing Difficult Negotiators

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Managing Difficult Negotiators

In negotiation, we are often confronted with the task of dealing with difficult people—those who seem to prefer to set up roadblocks rather than break down walls, or who choose to take hardline stances rather than seeking common ground. If you’re skilled in BATNA negotiations, you’ll have an easier time dealing with such people. … Read More 

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Negotiation Skills: How to Work with Your Counterpart in Negotiations

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negotiation skills in business communication seeking advice from others

Negotiation skills in business communication and seeking advice from others, what are the potential benefits? Advice seeking inherently employs multiple self-presentation tactics (including ingratiation, self-promotion, and supplication), it allows us to improve both our competence and our likability. … Read More 

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Negotiation Skills and Bargaining Techniques from Female Executives

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Negotiation Skills and Bargaining Techniques from Female Executives

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 strategies to accommodate these shifts. … Read More 

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The Importance of Relationships in Negotiation

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The Importance of Relationship in Negotiation

A relationship is a perceived connection that can be psychological, economic, political, or personal; whatever its basis, wise leaders, like skilled negotiators, work to foster a strong connection because effective leadership depends on it. … Read More 

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Power in Negotiations: How to Maximize a Weak BATNA

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Power in Negotiations: How to Maximize a Weak BATNA

In business negotiations, we tend to assume that it’s the more financially successful party that has an edge. But if that party has a weak BATNA, or best alternative to a negotiated agreement, it could be the seemingly weaker party that comes out on top. … Read More 

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For Professional Negotiators, Three Is a Magic Number

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professional negotiators

Everything good comes in threes, they say. For storytellers, this means understanding that readers and listeners find a sequence of three things to be memorable, satisfying, and compelling—whether it’s three bears, three little pigs, or three kings. For professional negotiators, sequences of three can be rewarding as well. The following examples of good negotiation skills … Read More 

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How to Control Your Emotions in Conflict Resolution

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How to Control Your Emotions in Conflict Resolution

To guard against acting irrationally or in ways that can harm you, authors of Beyond Reason: Using Emotions As You Negotiate Roger Fisher and Daniel Shapiro advise you to take your emotional temperature during a negotiation. Specifically, try to gauge whether your emotions are manageable, starting to heat up, or threatening to boil over. … Read More 

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In Business Negotiations, Dress the Part

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negotiation topics in business dress the part at the bargaining table

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 

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Negotiating Around a Bad BATNA

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Don’t assume your public statements will win over a reluctant negotiator. Know when it’s best to move on and make the most of your current situation. … Read More 

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BATNA: Negotiation Preparation to Help Avoid Giving Up at the Bargaining Table

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batna negotiation preparation to help avoid giving up at the bargaining table

When you expect an opponent to be competitive, your confidence in the outcomes you can achieve in negotiation is likely to plummet. In negotiation research with Adam Galinsky of Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, negotiators were provided with some background about their counterpart including information on how competitive their counterpart has been in previous negotiations. … Read More 

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Cross Cultural Communication: Translation and Negotiations

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Cross Cultural Communication: Translation and Negotiations

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 

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Try a Contingent Contract if You Can’t Agree on What Will Happen

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contingent contract

In negotiation, all the goodwill, trust, and cooperation you create can seem useless if you and your negotiating counterpart disagree about how future events may play out. In such cases, a contingent contract can be a highly useful, though widely overlooked, tool for creating value in negotiation. … Read More 

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Repairing Relationships Using Negotiation Skills

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successful negotiation examples repairing relationships and dispute resolution using negotiation skills

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 More 

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Are You Ready to Negotiate?

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characteristics of negotiation styles are you ready to negotiate

“Winging it” is a fine approach to life’s minor decisions, but in negotiation, it can be disastrous. Follow these three preparation steps and improve your agreements. … Read More 

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Negotiation Skills: Building Trust in Negotiations

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Trust may develop naturally over time, but negotiators rarely have the luxury of letting nature take its course. Thus it sometimes seems easiest to play it safe with cautious deals involving few tradeoffs, few concessions, and little information sharing between parties. … Read More 

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Body Language in the Negotiation Process and Beyond

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negotiation techniques and body language body language negotiation examples in real life

Negotiation experts typically advise us to meet with our counterparts in person whenever possible rather than relying on the telephone or Internet. As convenient as electronic media may be, they lack the visual cues that help convey valuable information and forge connections in face-to-face talks. Without access to gestures and facial expressions, those who negotiate … Read More 

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Managing Cultural Differences in Negotiation

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managing cultural differences

It’s important to educate yourself about your counterpart’s culture so that you don’t risk offending her or seeming unprepared. At the same time, it would be a mistake to focus too narrowly when preparing for cross-cultural communication in business. Research on international negotiation can help us think more broadly when it comes to managing cultural … Read More 

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Star Wars Stories: George Lucas and a Strong BATNA, Passed Over

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star wars BATNA

In negotiation, your best source of power is typically your best alternative to a negotiated agreement, or BATNA. When you are aware that you have an appealing alternative deal to the one you’re working on, you will be less tempted to accept an agreement that doesn’t meet your minimum requirements. A strong BATNA gives you … Read More 

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Top International Negotiation Case Studies in Business: The Microsoft-Nokia Deal

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nokia international negotiation microsoft

International negotiation brings on more challenges than most. On September 3, 2013, Microsoft announced a deal to acquire Finnish mobile phone company Nokia’s handset and services business for $7.2 billion, the New York Times reported. The agreement marked a belated but bold move by Microsoft to upgrade its presence in handheld devices and signals an … Read More 

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Negotiation Skills: How to Become a Negotiation Master

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Negotiation Skills: How to Become a Negotiation Master

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 

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Are Salary Negotiation Skills Different for Men and Women?

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Most negotiators don’t engage in the kinds of high-stakes bargaining we read about in publications such as The Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times, but almost every negotiator will need advanced salary negotiation skills during the course of her career to deal with a scenario that is, in many ways, the definition of a … Read More 

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Implement Negotiation Training in Your Organization

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For Better Job Negotiations, Improve Performance Reviews

Organizations across the globe spend many millions of dollars each year on negotiation training for their employees. This training can be in-house, led by consultants and other experts, or employees can travel to training programs at universities and elsewhere. After engaging in a couple of days of training, employees return to the office and attempt … Read More 

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Conflict Management and Negotiating When Pride is at Stake

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conflict management

The fallout from Iceland’s financial crisis offers a case study in dealing with those who have suffered a significant blow to their self-esteem. In late 2008, Iceland teetered on the edge of bankruptcy following the collapse of its three largest banks. Since becoming independent of the government in 2002, the banks had pursued a strategy … Read More 

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Understanding Different Negotiation Styles

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business negotiation styles

In the business world, some negotiators always seem to get what they want, while others more often tend to come up short. What might make some people better negotiators than others? The answer may be in part that people bring different negotiation styles and strategies to the bargaining table, based on their different personalities, experiences, … Read More 

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Negotiation Topics in Business: Coming Up with Win-Win Solutions at the Bargaining Table

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integrative negotiation and a win-win solution a place in business negotiations

Even those who effectively engage in an integrative negotiations or mutual-gains approach to negotiation, a bargaining scenario in which parties work together to meet interests and maximize value creation during the negotiation process, can be stymied by the task of dividing up a seemingly fixed pie of resources, such as budgets, revenue, and time. … Read More 

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Managing Difficult Employees—Like Alex Rodriguez?

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Managing Difficult Employees —Like Alex Rodriguez?

What negotiation strategies should employers use when dealing with difficult employees? Conflict management strategies and negotiation skills go hand in hand as this negotiation example about New York Yankees’ star baseball player Alex Rodriguez demonstrates. … Read More 

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Ten Popular Business Negotiation Articles

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top 10 business negotiation articles

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 present negotiation examples in real life and offer strategies for engaging in integrative negotiations strategies aimed at creating win-win scenarios for each party at the negotiation … Read More 

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Negotiation Advice: When to Make the First Offer in Negotiation

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negotiation advice - when to make the first offer in negotiation

When or when not to make the first offer in negotiations is a question many expert negotiators ask themselves when approaching business negotiations, real estate transactions, or even interpersonal negotiations with friends and family. In this article drawn from negotiation research, we offer negotiating skills and negotiation tips for when, and when not, to make … Read More 

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How to Manage Conflict at Work

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How to manage conflict at work

Sooner or later, almost all of us will find ourselves trying to cope with how to manage conflict at work. At the office, we may struggle to work through high-pressure situations with people with whom we have little in common. We need a special set of strategies to calm tempers, restore order, and meet each … Read More 

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An Alternative to Traditional Dispute Resolution Instruction

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dispute resolution

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 

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How Chaos at the Bargaining Table Can Help Negotiators Reach Agreement

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negotiators - examples of negotiation situations

Here are some examples of negotiation situations in which chaos at the bargaining table works to the negotiator’s advantage. Whether conducting business negotiations involving commercial transactions or personal disputes with a friend, the following negotiating skills and techniques can be used. … Read More 

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5 Win-Win Negotiation Strategies

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Business negotiators understand the importance of reaching a win-win deal: 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 

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Promoting Fair Outcomes in Negotiation

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So, you believe you’ve done everything you can do create value in your negotiation. You engaged in logrolling, making trades based on your and the other party’s different preferences on particular issues. You brainstormed new issues to add to the discussion, added a contingent contract, and proposed multiple offers simultaneously to identify which your counterpart … Read More 

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Negotiation Ethics May Be a Slippery Slope

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negotiation ethics may be a slippery slope

Negotiation researchers have refuted the widespread belief that honesty varies widely among individual negotiators. Rather, because people respond strongly to their environment, personal standards for negotiation ethics often vary depending on the context. … Read More 

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Power in Negotiation and Self-Fulfilling Prophecies

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When you expect people to be competitive, it’s not only your own behavior that changes. You also set up a self-fulfilling prophecy, such that your expectations about the other side’s behavior lead him to behave in ways that confirm your expectations. … Read More 

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In Employment Contract Negotiation, “No Haggling” Isn’t the Answer

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in employment contract negotiation no haggling isn’t the answer

In spring 2015, Ellen Pao, the former CEO of social networking and news website Reddit, revealed in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that her company had taken a bold move in its efforts to create an “equal opportunity environment for everyone” at the company. Specifically, Reddit no longer negotiates salary with job candidates, … Read More 

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Closing the Deal in Negotiations

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business negotiations

In dealmaking, we typically devote significant time to trying to convince a counterpart of the logic and appeal of our proposals. But sometimes our role becomes a more defensive one, as our negotiation behaviors focus on trying to dissuade others from pursuing a route that we believe could be disastrous. That was the task outgoing United … Read More 

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Emotion and the Art of Business Negotiations

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The sale of Picasso’s works by his heirs is fraught with negative emotion. How do negative emotions impact negotiation and behavior at the bargaining table? This article offers negotiation skills insights into how to counter or prevent negative emotions in negotiation. … Read More 

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How Expressing Disappointment Impacts Offers in Negotiations

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Most of us have had the experience of feeling disappointment during a negotiation. If a counterpart picks up on this disappointment, will it affect the offers she makes? Professor Gert-Jan Lelieveld of Leiden University and his colleagues considered this question in a recent study. In four experiments, college students were assigned to play a simple negotiating … Read More 

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Great Negotiators vs. Great Negotiations: The Program on Negotiation’s Great Negotiator Teaching Series

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great negotiators vs great negotiations the program on negotiation’s great negotiator teaching series

Teaching negotiation using case studies focused on the efforts of great negotiators can help achieve several pedagogical goals at the same time. Developed by Professor James Sebenius of Harvard Business School, the Program on Negotiation’s Great Negotiator case study series, available from the PON Clearinghouse, highlights the lessons learned by each recipient of PON’s Great … Read More 

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How Professional Negotiators Can Avoid Public Controversy

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successful negotiation examples emotional intelligence as a negotiating skill and negotiation tactic

In negotiation, we sometimes become so focused on what we’re trying to achieve at the bargaining table that we fail to adequately account for how the deal could look to observers. As two recent deals that the U.S. government reached with Iran show, it’s important for professional negotiators to consider the optics. … Read More 

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Negotiation Books: A Negotiation Reading List for 2017

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As a new year approaches, many of us are making the usual resolutions aimed at improving our health and well-being. Why not also add the goal of being a more effective negotiator to the list? Whether you are facing negotiations with Congress, colleagues, customers, or family members, the following negotiation books, published in recent years … Read More 

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When Dealing with Difficult People, Try a Complementary Approach

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When Dealing with Difficult People, Try a Complementary Approach

To hear businessman and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump tell it, the United States under President Barack Obama has bungled one negotiation after another on the global stage due to an inability to stand firm and take tough stances on key issues when engaging in difficult conversations. … Read More 

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Overcoming Cultural Barriers in Negotiations and the Importance of Communication in International Business Deals

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the importance of communication in international business overcoming cultural barriers in dealmaking negotiations

Communication in negotiation scenarios is the means by which negotiators achieve objectives, build relationships, and resolve disputes. Communication becomes even more important when negotiating counterparts are from different cultures. The following question was posed to our Negotiation newsletter editorial board and Program on Negotiation faculty member Jeswald Salacuse offers his insights. … Read More 

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Six Guidelines for “Getting to Yes”

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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 More 

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Case Studies: Ten Great Conflict Resolutions

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top ten conflict resolution posts

Conflict resolution is the process of resolving a dispute or a conflict by meeting at least some of each side’s needs and addressing their interests. Conflict resolution sometimes requires both a power-based and an interest-based approach, such as the simultaneous pursuit of litigation (the use of legal power) and negotiation (attempts to reconcile each party’s … Read More 

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Characteristics of Negotiation Styles: Negotiation Skills for Win-Win Negotiations

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characteristics of negotiation styles negotiation skills for win-win negotiations

A few characteristics of negotiation styles include hard bargaining tactics focused on claiming as much value as possible and integrative negotiation strategies such as value creation or win-win negotiation scenarios. What negotiation styles leads to optimal negotiated agreements and are suitable to win-win negotiations? One skill to cultivate that will have a positive impact on … Read More 

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How to Overcome Cross Cultural Barriers in Negotiation

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overcoming-cultural-barriers-in-negotiation-how-to-launch-more-productive-cross-cultural-negotiations_

On February 28, 2014, Russian troops swarmed into Crimea following violent clashes between protesters and police in Kiev, Ukraine, and Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych’s abrupt departure from the country. Urging Russian president Vladimir Putin to retreat, Western leaders desperately searched for a way to help him “save face.” It was a daunting task. Having made an … Read More 

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The Value of Using Scorable Simulations in Negotiation Training

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In the fall of 2015, 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 we assess instructional outcomes. Quantif-why-able? PON co-founder … Read More 

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Beware Your Counterpart’s Biases

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In the past we have encouraged you to ‘debias’ your own behavior by identifying the assumptions that may be clouding your judgment. We have introduced you to a number of judgment biases – common, systematic errors in thinking that are likely to affect your decisions and harm your outcomes in negotiation. Learn how to identify … Read More 

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Value Creation in Negotiation

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Use Integrative Negotiation Strategies to Create Value at the Bargaining Table

Many people say they dread negotiating and avoid it whenever they can. Why? Typically, because they view negotiation as a competition in which one party’s gains come at the expense of the other party. … Read More 

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Value Claiming in Negotiation

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In most negotiations, we face two goals: claiming value and creating value. Value can be defined as anything you would like to get out a negotiation, whether it be more dollars, a consulting contract, a new rug, an end to conflict, and so on. … Read More 

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Grading a Negotiation: Examples of How to Evaluate Student Performance

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Grading a Negotiation: Examples of How to Evaluate Student Performance

Whether to grade student role-play performance, process and outcomes is a tricky question. Jim Lawrence, a long-time PON contributor, simulation author, attorney and practicing mediator with Frost Brown Todd LLC, recently shared his thoughts on the value and purpose of grading students participating in negotiation simulations. … Read More 

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Worst Negotiation Tactics of 2015

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Here are some of the worst negotiation tactics displayed during calendar year 2015 – from hard-bargaining, distributive negotiation strategies aimed at getting the whole pie to stonewalling strategies intended to stymy the development of a negotiated agreement. … Read More 

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How to Write a Contract: Three Deal-Drafting Pitfalls

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how to write a contract three deal drafting pitfalls

The transfer of an agreement from negotiators to lawyers or other professional deal drafters can introduce three main types of mistakes. Read on to discover how you can avoid making these same mistakes at the bargaining table during your next dealmaking negotiation session. … Read More 

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Negotiation Skills: Threat Response at the Bargaining Table

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When someone issues a threat or an ultimatum, take a step back and diagnose the problem. Consider how you would respond to threats and ultimatums such as these during negotiation. In the face of such tough talk, should you strike back with a counterthreat? Probably not. Because counterthreats raise the emotional temperature of a negotiation, … Read More 

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What is the Winner’s Curse?

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Imagine that while exploring an outdoor bazaar in a foreign country, you see a beautiful rug that would look perfect in your home. While you’ve purchased a rug or two in your life, you’re far from an expert. Thinking on your feet, you guess that the rug is worth about $5,000. You decide to make … Read More 

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Types of Power in Negotiation

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Social psychologists have described different types of power that exist in society, and negotiators can leverage these types of power in negotiation as well. … Read More 

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Conflict Management: Anger – The Good and the Bad

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Most negotiations are “mixed motive” in structure, requiring us both to compete to claim value and to cooperate to create value. The ability to move back and forth between these two goals is a critical – and difficult – skill to master. … Read More 

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Maintaining Your Power in Negotiations

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Given the pitfalls of having a position of relative power, what is a powerful negotiator to do? By following these steps, you can keep your edge while encouraging cooperative, rather than competitive, behavior. … Read More 

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What’s Keeping You from Closing the Deal?

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When talks stall, it’s tempting to jump to conclusions: “It’s purely a price gap.” “They’re being unreasonable.” “We’re not communicating well.” “We’re in a weak position.” … Read More 

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In “Non-negotiation” with Antonio Brown, Steelers Find Mutual Gains

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The National Football League’s Pittsburgh Steelers faced a dilemma. Mid-contract, the team’s star wide receiver, Antonio Brown, asked the team to improve upon the six-year, $42.5 million deal they negotiated back in 2012. Brown had risen to become the best receiver in football and believed he was underpaid. … Read More 

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Top 10 Negotiation Skills

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Increasingly, business negotiators recognize that the most effective bargainers are skilled at both creating value and claiming value—that is, they both collaborate and compete. The following 10 negotiation skills will help you succeed at integrative negotiation. … Read More 

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Sacred Issues in Negotiation

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Violations of sacred values can bring negotiations to an abrupt halt. But it’s important to determine if the values are really sacred. Sacredness exists when a person would never make a tradeoff on a particular issue. … Read More 

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Negotiation Situations: Examples of When Negotiators Assume Too Much

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negotiation situations examples of when negotiators assume too much

One pitfall is that decision makers often overlook others’ viewpoints. When we do take others’ thinking into account, we tend to assume that they know as much as we do. For this reason, marketing experts are generally worse than non-expert consumers at predicting the beliefs, values, and tastes of consumers. … Read More 

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10 Negotiation Failures

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Here’s a list of some of the most notable negotiation flops – from deals that were over before they started, to those that were botched at the table, to those that proved disastrous well after the ink had dried. … Read More 

Daily

Drinks at the White House? Clinton Plans on It

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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 More 

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Teaching with Video-Based Negotiation Scenarios

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Access to multimedia content has rapidly increased throughout the world, with videos and short clips permeating our daily life. We are consuming, producing, and interacting with videos more now than ever before. In light of increasing video fluency and interest in using videos in education, the Program on Negotiation’s Teaching Negotiation Resource Center is creating … Read More 

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How Your Organization Can Benefit from Mediation Techniques

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If you manage people, disputes will show up at your door. The marketing VP protests that the budget cap you and your new finance VP proposed is hindering a research initiative you supported. Two young sales representatives are embroiled in a turf war. Your administrative assistant is upset because the HR director won’t approve the … Read More 

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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 

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World in Crisis! One of the Most Immersive and Rewarding Negotiation Games Ever Created

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This negotiation simulation comprised “the most intense, challenging and educational days of my life” reported one participant. What sort of experience could possibly elicit such a comment? One of the most immersive and rewarding negotiation games ever developed: a 72-party mega-simulation called the Transition Exercise!

The Transition (Excercise Trailer) from MediaTank on Vimeo. This one-of-a-kind, intensive, multi-party … Read More 

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A Second Look at Rights of First Refusal

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When transferring property, sellers sometimes insist on rights of first refusal—the chance to be first in line to repurchase the property if their buyer later decides to sell. A right of first refusal can be an obvious advantage if your financial circumstances later change. … Read More 

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Adaptability at the Bargaining Table: How Improvisation and Jazz Music Inform Negotiation Strategy

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Aggressive tactics and hard-bargaining strategies may, at face value, provide a roadmap to success at the bargaining table but, as the Washington Post’s Kelly Johnson discovered in her interview with Program on Negotiation faculty member Michael Wheeler, adaptability to ever-changing circumstances is essential for the “dynamic” negotiations one encounters in everyday life. … Read More 

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Negotiation Research Demonstrates the Impact of Memory on Decision Making Processes in Bargaining Scenarios

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Findings from Negotiation Research How Memory Affects Decision Making in Negotiations

Recent negotiation research published by Psychological Science from Program on Negotiation faculty member and assistant professor at Harvard University’s Department of Psychology Joshua Greene and his colleague Elinor Amit explores the impact vivid mental imagery has on decision-making processes for negotiators. The negotiation skills insights that can be obtained from such negotiation research are many … Read More 

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How to Avoid Intercultural Barriers: A Better Negotiation Map

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how to avoid intercultural barriers a better negotiation map

How often have you heard that, when entering a negotiation, you should get your allies onboard first? Conventional wisdom, but not always the best advice. When the United States sought to build a global anti-Iraq coalition following Iraq’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait, for instance, Israel appeared to be its strongest regional ally. … Read More 

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Announcing the 2016 PON Summer Fellows

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PON offers fellowship grants to students at Harvard University, MIT, Tufts University and other Boston-area schools who are doing internships or undertaking summer research projects in negotiation and dispute resolution in partnership with public, non-profit or academic organizations. The Summer Fellowship Program’s emphasis is on advancing the links between scholarship and practice in negotiation and … Read More 

Daily

Announcing the 2016-2017 PON Graduate Research Fellows

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    The Program on Negotiation Graduate Research Fellowships are designed to encourage young scholars from the social sciences and professional disciplines to pursue theoretical, empirical, and/or applied research in negotiation and dispute resolution. Consistent with PON’s goal of fostering the development of the next generation of scholars, this program provides support for one year of dissertation … Read More 

Daily

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. The agreement trap The “agreement trap” describes the tendency to agree … Read More 

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Make the Most of Negotiation Skills Training

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make the most of negotiation skills training

Across the globe, negotiation skills training has become a common activity in managerial life. Organizations often take steps to improve their managers’ negotiation skills and their ability to manage other negotiators by enrolling them in negotiation skills training programs. Yet often when these managers return to the office, they fail to thoroughly apply the lessons they’ve … Read More 

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Daily

Real World Negotiations Examples: Bargaining for a New Car

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According to a recent report from NPR Morning Edition’s Sonari Glinton, women not only negotiate harder bargains than men when it comes to vehicle purchases, but also they do more extensive preparatory work. Conventional wisdom has always placed the automobile in the realm of the masculine, but the emergence of the prepared and educated female … Read More 

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Negotiation Research Examines Ethics in Negotiating Scenarios

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A lack of transparency regarding negotiations between hospitals and the insurers known as preferred provider organizations, or PPOs, is a key contributor to spiraling health-care costs in the United States, according to an August article in the New York Times. The problem starts with the somewhat arbitrary, sky-high prices that hospitals put on their supplies and … Read More 

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On Its Head: Teaching Negotiation in a Flipped Classroom

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After my experience flipping this class, I came away with the following lessons: 1. Negotiation is a very suitable topic for this type of methodology. 2. This approach helps students who are audio and visual learners. 3. The in-class one-on-one time allows instructors to really work with students on specific problems and challenges. 4. Class size may present a … Read More 

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How a Bad BATNA Keeps Medicare Drug Prices High

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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump disagrees with his Democratic competitors, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, on most political issues. But on the issue of prescription drug prices under Medicare, Trump agrees with Clinton and Sanders that the U.S. government is getting a lousy deal. Recently, Trump, Clinton, and Sanders have all called for the government to … Read More 

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Using Mediation to Resolve International Disputes

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As businesses increasingly branch out globally, they also face the possibility of broken contracts and strained relationships. Mediation can be an effective means of resolving disputes and getting business partners back on track, but do intercultural differences complicate the process? If so, how can disputants and mediators adjust? Elizabeth D. Salmon of the University of Maryland … Read More 

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Emotion in Negotiations: How to Detect Sincerity at the Bargaining Table

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Following the British Petroleum oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in the spring of 2010, some media observers criticized President Barack Obama for seeming to be emotionally detached. Obama ultimately did display anger about the oil spill in a televised interview, only to be further critiqued on the grounds that his anger did not … Read More 

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With Patient Approach, FBI Steered Oregon Occupiers Toward Their BATNA

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The 41-day armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon ended on February 11 when the last occupiers surrendered. Federal authorities in six states also arrested seven others accused of being involved in the occupation, according to the Associated Press. The standoff had begun when Ammon Bundy and his followers took over the … Read More 

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Negotiation Skills for Resolving International Conflicts

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What are the essential skills a negotiator needs to resolve conflicts abroad? How do international conflicts differ from domestic conflicts? What issues specific to bargaining across borders emerges in intercultural negotiations? In this article we explore ways in which negotiators can develop bargaining skills to overcome any barriers to communication they may encounter in negotiations … Read More 

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Learning from the Debates About the Debates

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There is “nothing worse than a debate about debates,” John Podesta, the chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, recently said in the midst of his candidate’s heated negotiations with Democratic rival Bernie Sanders about the terms of their debates. Many who participated in these negotiations would likely agree. But the debates about debates—both on the … Read More 

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The High Cost of Bad Advice at the Negotiation Table

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If you’re thinking about buying a house, one of your first moves may be to choose a real estate agent who can advise you through the process. If you want a big-name publisher to buy your book, you probably will try to sign on an experienced literary agent as your counselor and advocate. Less formally, … Read More 

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How to Overcome Barriers and Save Your Negotiated Agreement at the Bargaining Table

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On November 20 of last year, Hostess Brands announced that it had failed to reach agreement with its second-biggest union and, as a result, was permanently shutting down its operations. The news was met with dismay by baby boomers and others who had grown up with the 80-year-old company’s shelf-stable confections. But consumers had been passing … Read More 

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The Two Koreas Practice Conflict Management

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In August 2015, the decades-long conflict between South Korea and North Korea threatened to reach a breaking point. The causes of conflict between North and South go deep, but in this case, the South accused the North of planting land mines that seriously injured two South Korean border guards. South Korea retaliated with an old … Read More 

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In Negotiations with Ben Affleck, No Appealing BATNA

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in negotiations with ben affleck no appealing batna

In negotiation, your best source of power is typically your best alternative to a negotiated agreement, or BATNA. Having a strong outside alternative enables you to walk away from a deal that doesn’t meet your needs or that would compromise your vision or ethics. But when you are dealing with a negotiating partner who seems irreplaceable, … Read More 

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In Greece Crisis Negotiation, Tough Conditions May Have Affected the Deal

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in greece crisis negotiation, tough conditions may have affected the deal

During a crisis negotiation, all that may seem to matter is reaching a deal as quickly as possible. The desire to head off a disaster may lead crisis negotiators to forego the usual comforts of life, such as sleep, in their single-minded pursuit of their goal. Those appear to have been the conditions under which the … Read More 

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The Moral Quandary: Negotiation Exercises Featuring Ethical Dilemmas

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In a negotiation, few issues heighten tensions faster than when one party feels that the other party has done something ethically or morally incorrect. To help professionals prepare for times like this, the Program on Negotiation’s Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) offers a variety of negotiation exercises designed to teach participants how to handle disputes that … Read More 

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Two Examples of the Winner’s Curse in Business Negotiations

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These business negotiations – an auction and a negotiated acquisition – highlight both the promise and risks of high-priced purchases and the dangers of the winner’s curse in negotiations. Negotiators fall victim to the winner’s curse in negotiations when they over-compete (and overbid) for items in the pursuit of a “victory” at the bargaining table. … Read More 

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In The Simpsons Dealmaking, Harry Shearer Goes Public

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How did actor Henry Shearer and the producers of the hit television show The Simpsons arrive at a win-win negotiated agreement? In this article drawn from examples of negotiation in real life, we examine the negotiations between the actor and the producers and offer insights into the bargaining strategies employed by each. … Read More 

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Top 10 Best Pieces of Negotiation Advice of 2015

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Across politics, business, entertainment, and sports, negotiators reminded us that collaboration and close attention are needed to resolve disputes and reach innovative deals. 10. Searching the haystack. As reported this year, an unexpected break came in the U.S. Department of Justice’s investigation of large U.S. banks’ role in the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis after an … Read More 

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The Risks and Pitfalls of Stonewalling in Negotiations

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Contract negotiations between Jason Pierre-Paul and the New York Giants demonstrates the hazards of intentionally stonewalling your counterpart in negotiations. A successful defensive end with the Giants since 2010, Pierre-Paul was renegotiating his contract after a couple of mildly disappointing seasons. The Giants’ offer of a “franchise tag” designation did not sit well with Pierre-Paul, … Read More 

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Win-Win Negotiation with Bethenny Frankel

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Win Win negotiations for Bethenny Frankel

In this negotiation scenario straight from reality television, Lu Ann de Lesseps, Ramona Singer, and Sonja Morgan test their negotiating prowess against reality tv network Bravo in their contract renewal renegotiations. Skinnygirl mogul and financial whiz kid, Bethenny Frankel, offers a template for bargaining for success on reality tv and beyond. … Read More 

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In Business Negotiations, Capitalize on a Right of First Refusal

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in business negotiations capitalize on a right of first refusal

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.

in business negotiations capitalize on a right of first refusal

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.

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When the mergers-and-acquisitions (M&A) boom began in 1993, many deals simply required the seller to let the buyer know if a “superior proposal” came along. By the late 1990s, buyers were demanding—and receiving—more than this: an exclusive negotiating period of several days, during which they could decide whether to match or improve upon another bidder’s offer. In current business negotiations, rights of first refusal, also known as matching rights or rights of first offer, are being rapidly incorporated into business negotiations at all levels and in many industries.

In the typical right of first refusal, the grantor gives the right holder the right to buy an asset on the same terms that the grantor would receive from any other bona fide, prospective bidder, otherwise known as the third party.

Suppose, for example, that a private company is negotiating an equity infusion from an investor in exchange for a 20% ownership stake and a set on the board. To preserve its stability, the company conditions the deal on a right of first refusal: before the investor can sell his stake to someone else, the company can buy it back at the negotiated price. The investor accepts the deal, and the company gets its equity.

Now suppose that two years have passed since the company (the right holder) and the investor (the grantor) signed their deal. The investor now wants to liquidate his investment. One potential buyer offers to purchase the 20% interest for $3.4 million. The investor now is required to ask the company, which holds the matching right, if it wants to match the offer. This contractual obligation has important consequences that depend in large part upon the role you play in a negotiation.

Advice for the grantor In negotiation, including a right of first refusal in an agreement can be a classic win-win move. To take a real estate right of first refusal, suppose you’re a landlord negotiating with a prospective tenant. You want to maintain the ability to sell the apartment to someone else in the future, while your prospective tenant wants a commitment to rent the apartment for as long as she wants. The solution might be to offer the tenant a right of first refusal—the power to match any legitimate third-party offer. In this manner, the tenant gains the opportunity to avoid the disruption of a move, and you preserve your own flexibility.

A right of first refusal can also create value through tradeoffs on negotiators’ different expectations. Let’s return to the case of the investor who buys a 20% ownership stake in a private company, and assume that the investor plans to hold the stake for a long time. If the company is not as sure about his commitment, a right of first refusal is cheap for the investor to give and valuable for the company to receive.

Advice for the right holder As the prospective right holder, you should know precisely what a proposed right of first refusal will give you. Many deals that seem to guarantee a right of first refusal are, in fact, murky about the consequences that could arise.

For potential right holders, the most common mistake is to fail to specify what will happen if you choose to match a bid. Will your matching bid call off the contest with the third party or launch a bidding war?

Other details are equally important. How long do you have to decide whether to match an offer? If the duration of the right of first refusal is ambiguous, a third party could short-circuit your right by making an exploding offer with a short fuse. You might fail to match the offer due to time pressure rather than to your unwillingness to pay. The end result is a right of first refusal worth significantly less than you thought.

Advice for third parties What if you’re thinking about making an offer that would trigger a right of first refusal? Returning to the case of the investor with a 20% stake in a company, imagine that you approach the investor about buying him out. When you learn about the company’s right of first refusal, you face a difficult situation. If the company exercises its right of first refusal, you’ve wasted time conducting due diligence and negotiating. If the company doesn’t exercise its right of first refusal, you likely have overpaid. Why? Because the company probably has better information about the true value of the 20% stake than you do. As a result of this information asymmetry, many sophisticated investors avoid deals that trigger a right of first refusal.

Yet the winner’s curse may not apply to you. First, the right holder simply might not be able to match your offer due to a liquidity crunch. Second, you may have just as much or better information about the value of the asset as the right holder. If the right holder doesn’t match your bid, she may not recognize these sources of value. Third, you might bring some special value to the table that the right holder lacks. Try to assess whether any of these three justifications apply before making a bid. If one of them does, you’re ready for business.

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Adapted from “Matching Rights: A Boon to Both Sides,” by Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School professor Guhan Subramanian, first published in the Negotiation newsletter.

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

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The Program on Negotiation’s Top Ten International Negotiations Posts

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the program on negotiation’s top ten international negotiations posts

Whether dealing with difficult or hard bargainers like Putin or forging business partnerships, international negotiations are fraught with a level of complexity rarely encountered in everyday negotiations. Here are the top ten international negotiation articles on the Program on Negotiation’s website. … Read More 

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“Negotiating at Work: Turn Small Wins into Big Gains”: A Book Talk with Deborah Kolb

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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 

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Negotiation Skills in Business Communication: Status Anxiety

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negotiation skills in business communication status anxiety

Negotiation Skills in Business Communication: Campeau Corporation and Federated Department Stores Sometimes in negotiation we are forced to deal not only with the issues on the table but also with concerns about status. One famous instance took place in the late 1980s, when Robert Campeau, head of the Campeau Corporation and then one of Fortune magazine’s “50 … Read More 

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Integrative Negotiation Examples: Making Wise Bets on the Future in Bargaining Scenarios

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integrative negotiation examples making wise bets on the future in bargaining scenarios

A town government and a private fuel-oil company have a standing contract that they have renewed for several years in a row. The contract is again up for renewal, and the town manager is under pressure from his constituents to reduce the city’s heating costs and avoid tax increases. The city’s fuel-oil consumption has remained … Read More 

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Negotiating Skills and Negotiation Tactics: Damage Control in Conflict Resolution

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negotiating skills and negotiation tactics damage control in conflict resolution

Framing in negotiation, and the negotiating skills and negotiation tactics that go behind effective bargaining, can help not only achieve a negotiator’s goals at the bargaining table, but also can anticipate the fallout or kickback received from parties away from the negotiation table. President Obama’s tax-cut negotiations with Senate Republicans in late 2010 offer cautionary … Read More 

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

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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 

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Announcing the 2015 PON Summer Fellows

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About the PON Summer Fellowship Program: PON offers fellowship grants to students at Harvard University, MIT, Tufts University and other Boston-area schools who are doing internships or undertaking summer research projects in negotiation and dispute resolution in partnership with public, non-profit or academic organizations. The Summer Fellowship Program’s emphasis is on advancing the links between scholarship … Read More 

Daily

Announcing the 2015-2016 PON Graduate Research Fellows

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The Program on Negotiation Graduate Research Fellowships are designed to encourage young scholars from the social sciences and professional disciplines to pursue theoretical, empirical, and/or applied research in negotiation and dispute resolution. Consistent with the PON goal of fostering the development of the next generation of scholars, this program provides support for one year of … Read More 

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PON Faculty Members Jeswald Salacuse, Deborah Kolb, and William Ury Honored on Time’s List of the Five Best Negotiation Books of 2015

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pon faculty members jeswald salacuse deborah kolb and william ury honored on time List of the five best negotiation books of 2015

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 

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Student Opportunity: Harvard International Negotiation Crisis Simulation

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The Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, the Gleitsman Program for Leadership on Social Change at the Center for Public Leadership, the Harvard Kennedy School Negotiation Project, and the Belfer Center’s Future of Diplomacy Project are pleased to announce: Registration Is Now Open for the 1st Annual Harvard International Negotiation Crisis Simulation

  Application: Undergraduates, graduates, and PhD students from … Read More 

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International Negotiation: Your Own Worst Enemy?

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Knowing how to manage your own internal conflicts before engaging in negotiations is an invaluable negotiation skill negotiators should develop prior to engaging in international negotiations, business or otherwise. … Read More 

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Teaching Negotiation: A Symposium On Excellence & Innovation For Teachers & Trainers

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This program is designed for anyone who teaches negotiation, dispute resolution, or conflict analysis across any field (e.g., law, business, international relations, social work, peace studies, public policy, urban planning, environmental studies, and engineering). Negotiation trainers who provide on-site or online training to business or community clients should also attend so they can evaluate potential new … Read More 

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Deal Negotiation and Dealmaking: What to Do On Your Own

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Six negotiation skills tips for negotiators seeking to creative value during their next round at the bargaining table. Business negotiators are often faced with the complex task of coordinating multiple parties – here are some tips for the individual business negotiator on how to achieve success in her next deal negotiation. … Read More 

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Jennifer Lawrence and Jennifer Aniston: Asking for More in Salary Negotiations

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“We’re very much a sexist society,” actress Jennifer Aniston said in a recent 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 in Hollywood. “Women are still not paid as much as men,” Aniston continued. “I’ve been up against that … Read More 

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In Dealmaking, Look for the Needle in the Haystack

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When you’re desperate to make a good deal, breakthroughs can come at unexpected times and places. Consider what happened when Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Elias was looking through a sheaf of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. documents while taking care of his newborn son in 2012. At the time, directed by President Barack Obama, the … Read More 

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Negotiation Skills: When It’s Better to Be in the Dark

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When your agent negotiates on your behalf, it’s generally smart to have her keep you in the loop throughout the process with regular phone calls, e-mails, or meetings. But in a recent article in Poets & Writers magazine, literary agent Betsy Lerner identified conditions in which you might prefer to be uninformed. … Read More 

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Share Your Stories With The Negotiation Community

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At the Program on Negotiation (PON) at Harvard Law School, we know that learning from your peers can be extremely valuable. That’s why we’d like to ask you to share your experiences using the role-play simulations, videos, and other materials available through the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) at PON. Our goal is for you to … Read More 

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Negotiation Skills: Could I Really Make a Difference?

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Individual negotiators are sometimes overwhelmed by the idea of leading organization-wide changes to negotiation practices. In fact, it doesn’t take much time or effort to set the wheels of reform in motion, write Hallam Movius and Lawrence Susskind in Built to Win. … Read More 

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For Sony Pictures Execs, The Interview Tested Negotiation Skills

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On December 17, Sony Pictures Entertainment made the unprecedented move of canceling the scheduled release of a major motion picture, the Seth Rogen comedy The Interview, due to the threat of terrorist attacks from hackers. The nation’s largest multiplex theater chains had already decided not to show the film in the wake of the threat … Read More 

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To Avoid the Need for Dispute Resolution, Plan Ahead

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When disputes flare up in business relationships, a failure to thoroughly anticipate and prepare for the future is often to blame. Consider a dispute that has arisen surrounding the estate of Maurice Sendak, the acclaimed children’s book author and illustrator of dozens of books, including the masterpiece Where the Wild Things Are. As Randy Kennedy … Read More 

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Dealmaking: Beyond Collusion – How to Include Outsiders in Your Deal in Business Negotiations

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The issue of bidder collusion raises a larger question for negotiators: What ethical responsibility do we have to those who aren’t seated at the table with us? Harvard Business School professor Max H. Bazerman uses the term “parasitic value creation” to describe the common tendency of negotiators to focus so narrowly on identifying benefits for those … Read More 

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Negotiation Skills and Dealmaking: Committing to an Arbitrary Deadline

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During the NBA’s 2011 lockout, NBA commissioner David Stern’s arbitrary deadlines may have done more harm than good. But he had more luck with an arbitrary deadline during the league’s previous lockout, which whittled the 1998–1999 NBA season down to 50 games per team, as Don A. Moore explained in a 2004 article for Negotiation. … Read More 

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Conflict Resolution and Opportunities for Mutual Gains in Negotiation: Key Concepts from Getting to Yes

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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 

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PON Graduate Research Fellow Vera Mironova Published by Foreign Policy

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Every year, the Program on Negotiation (PON) honors distinguished scholars with a Graduate Research Fellowship that provides support for one year of dissertation research and writing in negotiation and related topics in alternative dispute resolution. These grants promote negotiation research and are awarded to candidates in the social sciences and professional disciplines who are currently … Read More 

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Negotiation Skills: A Failure to Communicate

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Question: I’ve just finished reading the recent book No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller (Wiley, 2010) by Harry Markopolos, the whistle-blower in the Bernard Madoff scandal. Why do you think Markopolos was so ineffective at persuading the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that Madoff was a fraud? What does this story tell us … Read More 

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How to Deal When the Going Gets Tough

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Most business negotiators understand that by working collaboratively with their counterparts while also advocating strongly on their own behalf, they can build agreements and longterm relationships that benefit both sides. During times of economic hardship, however, many negotiators abandon their commitment to cooperation and mutual gains. Instead, they fall back on competitive tactics, threatening the other … Read More 

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Negotiators: Guard Against Ethical Lapses

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During the past several years, one scandalous story of unethical behavior after another has made headlines: Countrywide’s and AIG’s risky business practices, trader Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, and former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich’s alleged attempt to sell a U.S. Senate seat. As instances of people behaving badly proliferate, some commentators have wondered if we are … Read More 

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Why We Focus on Culture in Negotiations

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Adapted from “Coping with Culture at the Bargaining Table,” first published in the May 2009 issue of Negotiation. Why we focus on culture Why does concentrating on the other side’s culture lead to problems in negotiation? Consider that negotiators often focus too narrowly on the most obvious information about the task at hand. Such focusing failures lead negotiators to … Read More 

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Intercultural Negotiations: When Negotiators Try Too Hard

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Adapted from “Coping with Culture at the Bargaining Table,” first published in the May 2009 issue of Negotiation. Though intercultural negotiating schemas can be useful, negotiators often give too much weight to them, according to an article in the May issue of the journal Negotiation and Conflict Management Research, “Starting Out on the Right Foot: Negotiation Schemas When … Read More 

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In Career Dealmaking, Strike the Right Balance

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Two stories emerged in the news this month that illustrate polar opposite attitudes toward negotiating salary and benefits in the workplace. First, a New York Times profile revealed that Ira Glass, the creator and host of the popular radio show “This American Life,” is highly uncomfortable earning a high salary. In recent years, Glass earned … Read More 

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Master the Art and Science of Haggling for More Productive Business Negotiations

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Just like the prices of houses, cars, and other big-ticket items, the prices of furniture, electronics, wine, jewelry, another “medium-ticket” goods are now frequently up for discussion. The ancient art of haggling—the back-and-forth dance of offers and concessions between buyer and seller—is making a comeback, and you would do well to brush up on your … Read More 

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When International Negotiation Stymies the Best Mediators

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On May 13, Lakhdar Brahimi, U.N. special envoy to Syria, announced that he was quitting his position as lead mediator of the Syrian conflict due to frustration with a lack of progress. The same day, a French diplomat said the Syrian government had used chemical weapons more than 12 times after signing a treaty banning … Read More 

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When Conflict Doesn’t Require Conflict Resolution

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Most of us dread conflict and the need to engage in conflict resolution. Yet we may be reaping benefits from certain forms of conflict on the job, according to a new study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology. Researchers Gergana Todorova (the University of Miami), Julia B. Bear (Stony Brook University), and Laurie R. Weingart … Read More 

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Disappointed by Results? Improve Accountability in Business Negotiations

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When it comes to planning and carrying out talks, negotiators are too often left to their own devices. Here’s how to guide your employees toward better results. How satisfied are you with the outcomes that negotiators in your organization achieve? Most likely, you can think of a few successes worth crowing about, a few you’d like to sweep … Read More 

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In Mediation, Set Conditions with Care

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On April 9, Israel said it was “deeply disappointed” by remarks by Secretary of State John Kerry that seemed to primarily blame Israel for the current breakdown in U.S.-mediated Middle East peace talks, as reported in the New York Times. Last July, the United States brought Israel and the Palestinians back together for a series of … Read More 

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In Business Negotiations, 12 Strategies for Curbing Deception

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In negotiation, deception can run rampant: parties “stretch” the numbers, conceal key information, and make promises they know they can’t keep. Unfortunately, most of us are very poor lie detectors. Even professions that encounter liars regularly, such as police officers and judges, do not perform better than chance at detecting deception, Professor Paul Ekman of the … Read More 

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For Detroit Pensioners, Dispute Resolution Pays Off

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On April 15, Detroit city employees and retirees breathed a huge sigh of relief after the city’s emergency manager and its pension fund managers reached a deal that would significantly reduce proposed cuts to pension benefits, CNNMoney reports. Some civilian workers will face a 4.5% reduction in pensions and lose cost-of-living adjustments. Retired public-safety workers … Read More 

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Low-Drama Negotiation Skills at the “Late Show”

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Just one week after David Letterman revealed his decision to leave his long-running talk show, the Late Show with David Letterman, CBS announced that comedian Stephen Colbert would be his replacement. The negotiations surrounding the changing-of-the-guard were remarkably business-like and calm for the tumultuous world of late-night television. Letterman debuted his show Late Night in 1982 … Read More 

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Business Negotiations: Why Does Process Matter?

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Negotiating the right process for your negotiation is well worth the time and effort, for two important reasons. First, process drives substance. Imagine what might have happened if the pharmaceutical company and the biotech firm had agreed up front to resolve the royalty issue rather than simply exchanging their best arguments before splitting the difference. … Read More 

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Have You Negotiated How You’ll Negotiate?

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A large pharmaceutical company was engaged in licensing negotiation with a small biotech firm over the terms of a technology transfer. When the talks reached a standstill over royalty rates, the two sides began an all-weekend marathon session. Each side came armed with supporting arguments and data, but, by Sunday afternoon, they had failed to converge toward … Read More 

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You Have Less Information Than You Think

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Most negotiators understand the importance of preparation and will dedicate significant time and energy to analyzing important negotiations in advance. Chances are, however, that powerful negotiators will undertake less informative and less accurate analyses than their weaker counterparts will. For instance, in a hypothetical salary raise negotiation, a negotiator may be so confident of her contributions that … Read More 

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With “Surrender,” John Boehner Shows Keen Negotiation Skills

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On February 11, House of Representatives Speaker John A. Boehner reportedly rendered his Republican colleagues speechless. At a meeting of the Republican Capitol Hill Club, Boehner announced that he would bring to a vote a measure to raise the U.S. government’s borrowing limit without preconditions until March 2015, as reported in the New York Times. The … Read More 

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Critical Decisions in Negotiation: A Faculty Book Talk with Professor Robert Bordone

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The Program on Negotiation invites the public to the upcoming Harvard Law School Library  event in honor of Professor Robert Bordone’s recently published DVD set. Critical Decisions in Negotiation with Professor Robert Bordone a faculty book talk followed by a panel discussion with Professor Michael Wheeler and Lecturer at Law Chad Carr

Tuesday, February 18, 2013 12:00 p.m.

Location:  Lewis … Read More 

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Top 10 International Negotiations of 2013: A Temporary Agreement with Iran

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On November 24, the United States and five other world powers announced an interim agreement to temporarily freeze Iran’s nuclear program. The six-month accord is designed to give international negotiators time to negotiate a more comprehensive pact that would remove the threat of Iran producing nuclear weapons. … Read More