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.


negotiation advice

What is Negotiation Advice?

Most of the negotiation advice you find centers on the mistakes all of us make. But individual differences in personality, intelligence, and outlook could also affect your negotiations.

Emerging research links individual traits to negotiation outcomes and suggest ways you might use negotiation advice to improve your relationships and your results.

For instance, traditional negotiation advice highlights the power of making the first offer. The first offer that a party puts forth will have a strong anchoring effect on the negotiation that follows. Yet even though many expert negotiators are aware of this, they can still fall victim to the anchoring effect.

With this knowledge, what can non-expert negotiators do to ensure they get a fair deal? In tense bargaining situations, many of us choose to consult an expert for negotiation advice, preferably someone who has carried out hundreds of similar deals with great success.

Less formally, it’s common to ask for negotiating advice from more experienced coworkers and other colleagues.

Unfortunately, the state of mind that commonly drives us to seek out negotiation advice in the first place—anxiety—makes us highly susceptible to that advice, including bad advice.

There are three steps you can take that will help you put negotiation advice into perspective and get the best deal possible for yourself:

Tip 1. Prepare, prepare, prepare.

Tip 2. Choose the right negotiation process.

Tip 3. Use the threat of walking away.

There’s one more bonus tip: Face your anxiety head-on. Thorough preparation and relaxation strategies can alleviate anxiety, but don’t feel you need to vanquish it altogether. Small amounts of anxiety may be very constructive, helping you concentrate and take the task seriously.

Discover how to refine your negotiation skills with this free special report, Negotiation Advice from Negotiation Briefings: The Best of “Dear Negotiation Coach”, from Harvard Law School.

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

The following items are tagged negotiation advice:

Case Study of Conflict Management: To Resolve Disputes and Manage Conflicts, Assume a Neutral 3rd Party Role

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

In their book Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most (Penguin Putnam, 2000), authors Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Heen tell us how to engage in the conversations in our professional or personal lives that make us uncomfortable by examining a case study of conflict management. Tough, honest conversations are critical for managers, … Read More

Dealing with Difficult People: Coping with an Insulting Offer in Contract Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Dealing with Difficult People.

The following “Ask the Negotiation Coach” question was posed to Dwight Golann, Suffolk University Law School professor and negotiation expert: “I deal with legal disputes and would like to find reasonable solutions without wasting years in court. But my opponents seem to feel compelled to make extreme—actually, insulting—opening offers. How should I respond to these … Read More

Individual Differences in Negotiation—and How They Affect Results

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Negotiation advice is often “one size fits all,” yet we approach negotiations with vastly different experiences and traits. How do individual differences in negotiation play out? In one study, Washington University professor Hillary Anger Elfenbein and her colleagues found evidence that individual differences, including personality, accounted for an impressive 49% of the variance in negotiators’ … Read More

Harborco: Role-Play Simulation

Posted by & filed under Free Report.

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

Advice for Peace: Ending Civil War in Colombia

Posted by & filed under Great Negotiator Award, Pedagogy at PON, Teaching Negotiation.

Check out this freely available video of Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and his Peace Advisory Team as they discuss lessons learned from the Colombian peace process negotiations with the FARC guerrillas.   The civil war in Colombia lasted 52 years, taking the lives of at least 220,000 people and displacing up to seven million civilians. In … Read Advice for Peace: Ending Civil War in Colombia

Negotiation Advice: When to Make the First Offer in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

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

Top Ten Posts About Conflict Resolution

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

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 Top Ten Posts About Conflict Resolution

Chatbot Negotiations: What Can AI Do for You?

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Seemingly all of a sudden, chatbots like ChatGPT and other forms of artificial intelligence (AI) are becoming ubiquitous in everyday life. These virtual conversation partners can do everything from make dinner reservations to write essays to flirt, if sometimes with unsettling results. No surprise, then, that chatbots are beginning to play a role in our … Read Chatbot Negotiations: What Can AI Do for You?

Take your BATNA to the Next Level

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

If your current negotiation reaches an impasse, what’s your best outside option? Most seasoned negotiators understand the value of evaluating their BATNA, or best alternative to a negotiated agreement, a concept that Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton introduced in their seminal book, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In (Penguin, 1991, second … Read Take your BATNA to the Next Level

Lessons for Business Negotiators: Negotiation Techniques from International Diplomacy

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

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

How to Control Your Emotions in Conflict Resolution

Posted by & filed under 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

Expert Job Negotiation Advice for Long-Term Success

Posted by & filed under Salary Negotiations.

When you enter a job negotiation, what goals are foremost on your mind? If you’re like most people, you are primarily preoccupied with making a great impression and winning the job. Acing the interviews can seem like the only thing that matters, especially if you’ve been out of work or desperate to escape a miserable … Read More

Job Negotiation Advice from Leading Ladies

Posted by & filed under Salary Negotiations.

Thanks to a series of cultural events and news stories, job negotiation advice has become a hot topic among women professionals and businesspeople more generally. First came Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead (Knopf, 2013) and corresponding movement, which encouraged women to take on leadership roles and … Read Job Negotiation Advice from Leading Ladies

Dear Negotiation Coach: Eliminating Unconscious Biases at Work By Naming Them

Posted by & filed under Leadership Skills.

Black men and women continue to be vastly underrepresented in leadership roles in corporate America due to unconscious biases in the workplace, amongst other reasons that may be more conscious. Those who advance in majority-white organizations encounter both covert and overt bias, and often struggle to feel authentic and connected, write contributors to the book … Read More

Dear Negotiation Coach: Can Negotiation Theory Help Us Understand Our Religious Identity?

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Negotiation theory suggests you focus on interests, not positions; separate inventing from committing; invest heavily in “What if?” questions; insist on objective criteria; and try to build nearly self-enforcing agreements. But what if the negotiation is with yourself, or about your own religious identity? For example, what does it mean to be Jewish in America? What challenges … Read More

Conflict Resolution in the Family

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

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 Conflict Resolution in the Family

How to Negotiate with Difficult People: International Negotiation, and a Refusal to Communicate

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

Business negotiators sometimes face the difficult question of whether to negotiate with someone they believe to be immoral, untrustworthy, or otherwise undesirable as a negotiating partner. In his book Bargaining with the Devil: When to Negotiate, When to Fight (Simon & Schuster, 2011), Program on Negotiation chair Robert Mnookin offers negotiation advice on the complex … Read More

Win Win Negotiation: Different Cultures, Shared Meals

Posted by & filed under Win-Win Negotiations.

From movie moguls hammering out film deals in Los Angeles to publishers and agents assessing each other’s tastes in New York, the “power lunch” has become a familiar institution. Across the globe, negotiators often do business over shared meals, whether out of convenience or as part of a concerted effort to get to know one … Read More

Dealing with Difficult Clients: Price Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Dealing with Difficult People.

When dealing with difficult clients, we sometimes can trace our struggles to the early stages of our interactions—including our price negotiations. If initial price negotiations are contentious and frustrating for the client, their unhappiness is likely to leave you handling difficult situations and managing difficult people in your ongoing business relationship. In this post, we … Read More

The Impact of Anxiety and Emotions on Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Intense negotiation scenarios, we often choose to consult an expert for advice, preferably someone who has carried out hundreds of similar deals with great success. When we consult with others on our negotiations, we must weigh their advice against our own opinions and research. Past negotiation research finds that we tend to undervalue advice from … Read More

The High Cost of Bad Advice at the Negotiation Table

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

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

Dispute Resolution in Job Negotiations: Repairing a Work Relationship

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

On October 15, 2012, Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit walked into the office of the bank’s chairman, Michael E. O’Neill, expecting a routine meeting and perhaps some words of praise. The day before, Citigroup had released a favorable earnings report that suggested the bank was beginning to rebound from the financial crisis. Citi had received a … Read More

In Business Negotiations, Capitalize on a Right of First Refusal

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

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.

Claim your FREE copy: Negotiation Skills

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

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

Negotiation Research You Can Use: When “Honor Talk” Pays in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

You likely have noticed that this newsletter and other negotiation advice from the Western world tends to promote rationality, logic, and fact finding over emotional reactions or a focus on abstract concepts such as honor. This rational approach dovetails well with the values and assumptions of American and other Western cultures. But how well does … Read More

Women and Negotiation: Why Women Sometimes Ask for Less

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

The average college­-educated woman earns $713,000 less over the course of her working life than her male counterpart, according to the Coalition of Labor Union Women. What explains this persistent gender gap? Women employees’ awareness that they could be penalized for negotiating assertively on their own behalf is one factor, according to new research from … Read More

Business Negotiation Advice: When Your Image is Everything

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Turning to another questionable negotiation from Illinois politics, in 2005, then–U.S. senator Barack Obama and his family bought a house in Chicago. On the same day the Obamas closed on the property, the wife of real estate developer Antoin Rezko bought an adjacent parcel of land. Rezko was a key fundraiser for Obama’s Senate campaign. … Read More

Negotiating for Continuous Improvement: Offer Ongoing Negotiation Coaching

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

How can organizations capitalize on negotiation experience? Through reflective practice: the process of considering the results of each negotiation in light of initial expectations and then discussing what ought to be tried next. While each negotiator must take initiative for reflective practice, to truly learn from experience, most need continual coaching from mentors. … Read More

The Darker Side of Perspective Taking

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Many negotiation experts recommend that you try to take the other party’s perspective, particularly when attempting to resolve disputes. Recent research by Nicholas Epley of the University of Chicago and Eugene Caruso and Max Bazerman of Harvard University suggests a dark side to this generally sound negotiation advice. The researchers ran a series of experiments … Read The Darker Side of Perspective Taking

When we expect selfish behavior

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Adapted from “The Darker Side of Perspective Taking,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, April 2007. Many negotiation experts recommend that you try to take the other party’s perspective, particularly when attempting to resolve disputes. Research by Nicholas Epley of the University of Chicago and Eugene Caruso and Max Bazerman of Harvard University suggests a dark … Read When we expect selfish behavior

Negotiation Advice for the 112th Congress

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution, Daily, News.

Professor Robert Bordone, director of the Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program and Tobias Berkman, Associate of HNMCP, published an article in the Harvard Negotiation Law Review titled Negotiation Advice for the 112th Congress. To read the full article, click here. “There will be many post-mortems in the wake of the historic changes brought about … Read Negotiation Advice for the 112th Congress