Introductory negotiation courses are taught in law and business schools around the world, but are also increasingly taught to undergraduates and in all types of corporate settings. No matter the context, though, the basic elements of negotiation are roughly similar. Teaching interest-based negotiation, the Zone of Possible Agreement (ZOPA), the Best Alternative to a Negotiated … Read More
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.
What is Negotiation Simulation?
Negotiation simulation and role-play exercises introduce participants to new negotiation and dispute resolution tools, techniques and strategies.
The field of negotiation is constantly evolving, and as such, requires new ways of teaching negotiation.The Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) offers realistic negotiation simulation materials that can help parties practice and learn key negotiation skills.
Highly effective and engaging, negotiation simulation exercises help to facilitate dynamic learning, as participants explore issues from both sides of the table, experiment with different approaches to resolution, and have an opportunity to see the results.
Through negotiation simulation, participants learn:
- How to hone their “basic” skills of negotiation, such as active listening, improving one’s BATNA, and inventing options of mutual gain.
- How to improve the process by organizing informal dialogue before the formal negotiations.
- The importance of the basic tenets of the mutual gains approach to negotiation: prepare, create value, distribute value, and follow through.
- How to handle multi-party negotiation dynamics, including coalition building, as well as meeting design, and caucusing.
- How to evaluate a wide range of possible agreements using both technical and non-technical criteria.
- How to handle uncertainty by using contingent agreements.
- How to create value through trades across different priorities.
- Address the tension between creating and claiming value.
- The impact of aspirations and reservation values on negotiated outcomes.
- The importance of responding and adjusting to new information as it becomes available during a negotiation.
Negotiation simulation materials address many of the issues around the environment, technology, healthcare, business and commercial issues, labor relations, government, and so much more.
To learn more, get your complimentary special report, Teaching Negotiation: Understanding The Impact Of Role-Play Simulations. This report assembles three key articles originally published in Negotiation Briefings, the newsletter of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. Get your copy today.
The following items are tagged negotiation simulation:
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
Discover how to refine your negotiation skills with this free special report, Negotiation Training: How Harvard Negotiation Exercises, Negotiation Cases and Good Negotiation Coaching Can Make You a Better Negotiator, from Harvard Law School. … Read More
How do you use the mutual gains approach in contract negotiations? In contract negotiations, parties can often resort to positional bargaining instead of using the mutual gains approach. Teaching students to generate creative options in contract negotiations can help them avoid positional bargaining and achieve more beneficial and sustainable agreements. The Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) … Read More
Discover how to build a winning team, find an effective negotiation “coach,” budget for negotiations training and boost your business negotiation results in this free special report from Harvard Law School. … Read More
With the spread of a global pandemic, climate crisis, and the war on terror, resolving international conflicts has become increasingly complex. Training to address these difficult global conflicts must also reflect the modern issues and dynamics that face the international community. The Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) has several new international negotiation simulations that reflect … Read More
Business negotiators generally understand that to get what they want from another party or parties, they will have to give something away. But what concessions should you offer in the deal-making process, and what form should they take? New research on concession making in negotiation offers tips to add to your repertoire of business skills. Finding … Read More
The following question regarding the anchoring effect was asked of Program on Negotiation faculty member and Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School professor Guhan Subramanian. … Read More
How Can Communities Negotiate Climate Change Risks? With ocean temperatures rising and hurricanes growing more frequent and severe, the impacts of climate change are dramatically affecting many communities. The severe flooding brought on by repeated storms has forced the impacted communities to confront a range of public health risks, as well as evaluations of drainage and … Read More
Pearl River is a seven party, facilitated, multi-issue negotiation over the management of dams in a coastal basin. Pearl River is a facilitated, multi-issue negotiation simulation for eight or nine participants about the management of five dams in the hypothetical Pearl River basin. This science-based negotiation simulation provides an opportunity for learning about and discussing larger-scale … Read More
As the 20th anniversary of the horrific terror attacks of September 11th approaches, we look back at all that has changed in the world and at home in the two decades since. In the wake of the destruction of the World Trade Center in New York City, there were difficult questions and challenges facing those … Read More
Men tend to achieve better economic results in negotiation than women, negotiation research studies have found overall. Such gender differences are generally small, but evidence from the business world suggests that they can add up over time. … Read More
Asynchronous role-play simulations teach valuable negotiation skills outside of a typical class format. Asynchronous learning is a term used to describe education, instruction, or learning that does not occur in the same time or place. Asynchronous learning uses resources that facilitate knowledge sharing outside the constraints of time and place among a group of people. Using … Read More
Consider this anchoring bias example from Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School faculty member 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 wage rate to offer the student’s counterpart. The … Read More
When preparing for cross-cultural communication in business negotiations, we often think long and hard about how our counterpart’s culture might affect what he says and does at the bargaining table. … Read More
Whether at the local, federal, or international level, negotiations with governments often involve unique pressures and constraints. Does the official at the table actually have decision-making authority? What kinds of regulatory or policy constraints are they operating under? Governments often pursue very different interests in negotiations from those of a private company. In Seven Secrets for … Read More
Have you planned your curriculum and purchased your teaching material for next semester? We’re here to help you to find the best negotiation exercises and teaching aids for your negotiation classes. … Read More
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
How Negotiation Can Impact Public Perceptions Companies and governments alike can experience strong public resistance to new initiatives, or fierce public backlash to mistakes. How should they deal with an angry public? Incorporating a public relations perspective into a problem-solving or public dispute resolution processes can make the difference between success or failure. Adopting a mutual … Read More
Back on July 11, 2000, U.S. president Bill Clinton welcomed Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat to a summit at Camp David aimed at resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict once and for all. The summit covered various contentious issues, including territory, settlements, security, and the status of refugees. After about two weeks, … Read More
After closing the deal in negotiations, we often feel a sense of pride. Imagine, for example, that you are a purchasing agent who just scored a significant price concession from a supplier. Now it’s time to hang up the phone and move on to another negotiation with a different supplier. You’re feeling proud of how … Read More
Wise negotiators recognize the value of both collaborating and competing at the bargaining table. They look for ways to increase the pie of value for all parties, often by identifying differences across issues and making tradeoffs. And they also rely on distributive bargaining strategies to try to claim as much of that larger pie for … Read More
Negotiators’ expressions of emotion offer critical feedback about their preferences, offers, fears, and other information, yet emotions can be notoriously difficult to interpret accurately. One study by Hillary Anger Elfenbein (Washington University, St. Louis) found that negotiators detected emotions accurately only 58% of the time. That accuracy rate may be even lower in email negotiations, … Read More
Technology is a pervasive feature of modern life, providing countless benefits ranging from new cancer treatments to smart phones. Technology can also be a source of disruption and is at the root of many disputes. Parties frequently disagree on the likely costs and benefits associated with the adoption of new technologies. They feud over such … Read More
We tend to have strong intuitions about which personality traits help or hurt us in negotiation, but does research on the topic confirm our hunches? Does personality in negotiation matter? Before we explore this topic, please answer “True” or “False” in response to the following questions: 1. Extroverted negotiators tend to perform better than introverted negotiators. 2. Agreeable … Read More
Negotiators from Western cultures, such as the United States, tend to be trusting. They’re often open to sharing information with counterparts, and expect ideas to flow freely. But in many other cultures, negotiators tend to be less trusting and more cautious about sharing information about their interests. Of course, there are many ways to build trust … Read More
Do your students really understand the difference between value distribution and integrative negotiation, and have you given them a chance to practice their distributive bargaining skills? Do they understand that every negotiation includes elements of both value creation and value distribution? To help teach these key negotiation skills the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) has developed a … Read More
Promoting ethical negotiation is one of the steps we can take to reduce the odds that someone will try to deceive you, and is likely to be a more fruitful strategy than trying to improve your ability to detect lies. Negotiators tend to view lies on a spectrum ranging from marginally acceptable to egregious. Certain types … Read More
Are extroverts by nature better negotiators than introverts? Or are they at a disadvantage in negotiation? As we’ll see, the answer is far from decided. However, we all have clear opportunities to build on our own strengths and learn from those of others. Quiet, loud, and somewhere in between Introversion is a personality trait marked by a … Read More
Have you ever found yourself negotiating with difficult personalities, or negotiating with someone who seemed entirely ruthless and lacking in empathy? From time to time, we may end up in the deeply unsettling position of negotiating with someone who appears to have no concern for us or our outcomes. People who are antisocial, lack empathy, and … Read More
Due to the anchoring bias, the first offer made in a negotiation often has an outsized effect on the outcome. But recent research shows that anchoring with a range offer can have an even bigger impact than a single figure. … Read More
To learn more about negotiation biases, let’s look back to July of 2018 when the principal flutist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO), Elizabeth Rowe, became the first Massachusetts resident to sue her employer under a new state law designed to address the persistent pay gap between men and women. Despite being the most frequent … Read More
Think about what your house, condominium, or some other valuable asset might be worth in today’s market. Did the price you paid for it affect your answer? … Read More
Online negotiation has become ubiquitous, as it allows us to negotiate across the miles cheaply and quickly. Yet online negotiation creates special challenges. With email, instant messaging, and text messages, negotiators typically lack visual, verbal, and other sensory cues to interpret how their counterpart is feeling. And while videoconferencing—via Skype, Google Hangouts, and so on—adds … Read More
How important is body language in the negotiation process? Negotiators are often advised to engage in small talk before getting down to business. … Read More
As you may have noticed, the first offer made in a negotiation often has a significant influence on the final outcome. In their research, psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky documented that the first number introduced in a negotiation serves as an “anchor” that can be impossible to ignore—no matter how irrelevant, outrageous, or insulting … Read More
Three role-play simulations focus on the mediation of values-based disputes. … Read More
International law and diplomacy is a rapidly evolving field that depends on the brokering of agreements between nations and other stakeholders. Whether there are language barriers, cultural differences, or both, some of the most challenging negotiations involve parties from different nations. Because of the relative lack of clear legal precedents and the difficulties of enforcement, … Read More
We’ve all shared a meal with a negotiating counterpart at one point or another, whether a business lunch, a working dinner, or sandwiches in a conference room. What are the advantages and potential pitfalls of combining food and drink with negotiation? Here, we offer business negotiation solutions for those who are trying to decide whether … Read More
Coke vs. Pepsi. Clinton vs. Trump. Apple vs. Samsung. The New York Yankees vs. the Boston Red Sox. Whether we work in business, politics, sports, or another arena, our competitors sometimes turn into fierce rivals. In addition, many sales, legal, and financial firms structure jobs, incentives, and promotion systems in ways that pit employees against one … Read More
Have you ever found yourself negotiating with someone who seemed entirely ruthless and lacking in empathy? From time to time, we may end up in the deeply unsettling position of handling difficult people who appear to have no concern for us or our outcomes. People who are antisocial, lack empathy, and habitually engage in impulsive, manipulative, … Read More
Everyone negotiates every day. How we negotiate is changing dramatically due to the use of various technological tools. People need not fear this change. Rather, they should understand the different technology at their disposal, grasp the pros and cons, and determine how to select the best medium to suit their needs, negotiation style, and approach. … Read More
Update Your Teaching Materials with Our Top Negotiation Role Play Simulations The field of negotiation is constantly evolving, and as such, requires new ways of teaching negotiation. It can sometimes happen that students come into a class having already encountered the negotiation simulation being used in the course, or that a different kind of exercise is … Read More
One of the most common questions raised by businesspeople is how to handle difficult people. This question contains a hidden assumption: Faced with abrasive, competitive, and even unethical behavior, we view ourselves as being in the right and the other party as being wholly wrong. Yet it’s important to consider that, in our real-life conflict scenarios, … Read More
In the fall of 2017, Amazon created a stir when it announced it was taking bids from North American cities and regions interested in hosting its second headquarters, known as HQ2. Driven by the promise of 50,000 jobs and a $5 billion campus that Amazon promised would be the “full equal” of its main campus in … Read More
Imagine yourself in the following negotiation scenarios:
You’re a chef who is having trouble finding cooks in an oversaturated restaurant market. You’re so desperate to get fully staffed that you find yourself making significant concessions on salary, scheduling, and other issues during interviews with potential hires. You are trying to sell a used piano online before an … Read More
Negotiate International Sports Contracts In many business negotiations, especially those involving athletes, you will find an agent negotiating on behalf of the principal party. This unique principal-agent relationship can cause challenges at the negotiating table. The agent may have different preferences from their principal party. Agents may also have different incentives from the principal. Agents may … Read More
This month, we talk to Harvard Business School professor Michael Wheeler about the challenges and opportunities of learning from our negotiations. Wheeler is the author of The Art of Negotiation: How to Improvise Agreement in a Chaotic World (Simon & Schuster, 2013) and the “Negotiation 360” preparation app, which is available for Android and Apple devices. Negotiation Briefings: … Read More
Imagine that you are a purchasing agent who just scored a significant price concession from a supplier. Now it’s time to hang up the phone and move on to another negotiation with a different supplier. You’re feeling proud of how you handled the last negotiation and confident that this next negotiation will go just as well, maybe … Read More
The party that makes the first offer in a negotiation generally gets the best deal, multiple negotiation studies suggest. The first offer presented serves as an anchor that draws subsequent offers in its direction. … Read More
Body language, and how to monitor and interpret it, is a negotiating skill and negotiation tactic every effective negotiator should add to her skillset according to negotiation research. … Read More
If you needed a lawyer to help you settle a business dispute, would you prefer (a) one who was completely partisan toward your point of view or (b) one who saw both sides of the conflict? You might assume that the partisan lawyer would work harder for you than someone who sees things from both sides’ … Read More
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
Negotiation is often characterized as a physiologically arousing event marked by pounding hearts, queasy stomachs, and flushed faces. We might assume that heightened physiological arousal would mar our negotiation performance, but this is only true for some, researchers Ashley D. Brown and Jared R. Curhan of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found in a new … Read More
In complex legal negotiations, money, reputations, and sometimes even lives are often at stake. Legal professionals must know how to read and debate the law as well as fully embrace the art and science of negotiation. To help attorneys and other legal professionals become well versed in law and court-based negotiation, the Program on Negotiation’s Teaching … Read More
From brokering a deal to negotiating a sale, there are many disputes that happen at work. Among the most challenging are those involving employers and employees. That’s the case with Binder Kadeer: Consultation in the Company, a negotiation exercise brought to you by the Program on Negotiation’s Teaching Resource Center (TNRC). … Read More
You likely have noticed that this newsletter and other negotiation advice from the Western world tends to promote rationality, logic, and fact finding over emotional reactions or a focus on abstract concepts such as honor. This rational approach dovetails well with the values and assumptions of American and other Western cultures. But how well does … Read More
Feeling ambivalent in negotiation? No worries Business negotiators often find themselves feeling positive and negative emotions simultaneously, such as concern that an offer won’t be received well and excitement over the offer’s potential. We often try to squelch our emotions for fear of appearing unstable or vulnerable. Indeed, past research has suggested that expressions of emotional ambivalence—the signs … Read More
Anger can carry an advantage in negotiation, past research has shown. When we display anger, our counterparts tend to view us as powerful and intimidating. Consequently, they make more concessions than they would ordinarily and lower their demands. On the flip side, negotiators who appear happy tend to do worse than others. Happiness and contentedness appear … Read More
As negotiators, we understand the importance of estimating the likely parameters of an agreement in upcoming talks. Yet even the most experienced negotiators have moments of surprise at the bargaining table when they realize that their estimates were far off the mark. A new negotiation study by professor Michael P. Haselhuhn of the University of California … Read More
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
You’ve probably grown accustomed to seeing people not-so-discreetly checking messages on their smartphones or laptops during meetings. Maybe you’ve even been guilty of this yourself. Paying more attention to a phone than to the person in front us is clearly rude in most situations. Could it also affect how well we negotiate? Researchers Aparna Krishnan and … Read More
Negotiation is often characterized as a physiologically arousing event marked by pounding heart, queasy stomachs, and flushed faces. We might assume that heightened physiological arousal would mar our negotiation performance, but this is only true for some, researchers Ashley D. Brown and Jared R. Curhan of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found in a new … Read More
In negotiation, two (or more) heads are better than one, most researchers have found. In several studies conducted in the United States, teams were better than solo negotiators at exchanging information with counterparts and making accurate judgments, and teams also achieved better outcomes for everyone involved. The tendency of teams to outperform solo negotiators has been … Read More
Tucked away in an idyllic corner of Maine is a summer camp that features many traditional American activities: singing around bonfires, flag raising ceremonies, Color Wars, and chilly dips in the lake. Less ordinary, however, are the daily dialogue sessions, where Israeli and Palestinian campers heatedly discuss their identities, homelands, politics, and pain. Meet Seeds of … Read More
Adapted from “Is Time on Your Side?” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, May 2007. A difficult negotiation looms on the horizon—say, next year’s allocation of resources across divisions or your family’s summer vacation destination. Should you negotiate now or wait? Professors Marlone Henderson, Yaacov Trope and Peter Carnevale of New York University provide experimental … Read More
Adapted from “Battles of the Sexes,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. What happens when men and women compete with one another for scarce resources? In a fascinating series of studies, Professor Laura Kray of the University of California at Berkeley and her colleagues show that gender stereotypes have unexpected effects on the behavior of pairs … Read More
Adapted from “Make Them More Satisfied with Less,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter. In negotiation, sometimes you just don’t have much to give. If your department’s budget has been slashed, your subordinates will have to settle for smaller raises than usual – or none at all. When consumer demand for your red-hot product levels … Read More