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 tactics

What are Negotiation Tactics?

Negotiation tactics include any range of skills that a negotiator will employ during the course of negotiation in order to secure an objective.

Some negotiators seem to believe that hard-bargaining negotiation tactics are the key to success. They resort to threats, extreme demands, and even unethical behavior to try to get the upper hand in a negotiation. When negotiators resort to this behavior, they convey that they view negotiation as a win-lose enterprise.

To prevent your negotiation from disintegrating into hard-bargaining, you first need to make a commitment not to engage in these types of negotiation tactics yourself. Remember that there are typically better ways of meeting your goals, such as building trust, asking lots of questions, and exploring differences.

In our lives as negotiators there will inevitably be times when we feel angry, frustrated, and mistreated. This is why it is important to be prepared with solid negotiation tactics.

Even so, if you’ve determined that threats and hard-bargaining negotiation tactics would indeed serve your interests, make sure the threat will function as a motivator, not a punishment. Frame it in terms of how compliance will further your counterpart’s interests rather than how noncompliance will thwart them.

Recognize too, that this type of power struggle is a sign that you’ve gotten bogged down in a win-lose negotiation where each side is trying to grab the biggest piece of the pie. Wise negotiators try to get beyond such competitions to look for both ways to benefit—and keep their smiles on their faces.

You can download a complimentary copy of our special report, Negotiation Skills: Negotiation Strategies and Negotiation Techniques to Help You Become a Better Negotiator, right now!

Discover how to handle complicated, high-level business negotiations in this free special report from Harvard Law School. We will also notify you by email when we post new negotiation advice and information to our website.

 

 

The following items are tagged negotiation tactics:

Emotional Intelligence as a Negotiating Skill

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

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 Emotional Intelligence as a Negotiating Skill

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

What is Distributive Negotiation and Five Proven Strategies

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Most negotiations call for very different, even opposing, skills: collaboration and competition. To get a great deal, we typically must work with others to find new sources of value while also competing with them to claim as much of that value for ourselves. Before mastering the intricacies of value creation in negotiation, it helps to … Read More

10 Hard-Bargaining Tactics to Watch Out for in a Negotiation

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

Some negotiators seem to believe that hard-bargaining tactics are the key to success. They resort to threats, extreme demands, and even unethical behavior to try to get the upper hand in a negotiation. In fact, negotiators who fall back on hard-bargaining strategies in negotiation are typically betraying a lack of understanding about the gains that … Read More

5 Types of Negotiation Skills

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Businesspeople who are looking for effective negotiation strategies often confront a dizzying array of advice. It can be useful to take a step back and categorize these strategies into various types of negotiation tactics. Highlighting the benefits of negotiation in business, the following five types of negotiation tactics can help you think more broadly about … Read 5 Types of Negotiation Skills

Aggressive Negotiation Tactics: Threats at the Bargaining Table

Posted by & filed under Daily, Negotiation Skills.

Broadly speaking, a threat is a proposition that issues demands and warns of the costs of noncompliance. Even if neither party resorts to them, potential threats shadow most negotiations. A wise threat satisfies your own interests and targets the other side’s interests. Consider whether the threat will truly help you achieve your broader goals. Issuing … Read More

Salary Negotiations in the NBA and Beyond

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

In negotiation, one great deal can beget another. For the National Basketball Association (NBA), its stellar 2016 national television contract begat dozens of stellar salary negotiations for top players and even mediocre ones. But after the boom year passed, players’ expectations bounced up against reality. The story, which could repeat itself after the next TV … Read Salary Negotiations in the NBA and Beyond

What is Crisis Management in Negotiation?

Posted by & filed under Crisis Negotiations.

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. … Read What is Crisis Management in Negotiation?

How to Use Tradeoffs to Create Value in Your Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Win-Win Negotiations.

How do expectations of fairness and reciprocity at the bargaining table impact negotiator decisions regarding the strategies and tactics they use during bargaining? Sometimes talks get off on the wrong foot. Maybe you and your partner had a different understanding of your meeting time, or one of you makes a statement that the other misinterprets. … Read More

Negotiating Salary: Confronting the Gender Pay Gap

Posted by & filed under Salary Negotiations.

In December 2014, leaks of data hacked from Sony Pictures revealed that when negotiating salary for their roles in the film American Hustle, actresses Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams came away with significantly less than their male costars in the ensemble cast. Lawrence and Adams were paid 7% of the film’s profits; Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, … Read More

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

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

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

International Negotiations and Cognitive Biases in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under International 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

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

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

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

Power in Negotiations: How to Maximize a Weak BATNA

Posted by & filed under 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

Hardball Negotiation Tactics: Time Pressure in Major League Baseball

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

Major League Baseball (MLB) games are known for their leisurely pacing. In recent years, off-season negotiations between teams and free agents have sometimes proceeded at a similarly glacial rate, to the consternation of players. Changing power dynamics have led teams to resort to hardball negotiation tactics, such as dragging out talks. As a result, players … Read More

How to Overcome Cultural Barriers in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

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 How to Overcome Cultural Barriers in Negotiation

Negotiation Tactics for Bargaining with Difficult People: The Comcast Merger

Posted by & filed under Dealing with Difficult People.

If a competitive bargaining session shifts in a counterpart’s direction, your anger could send the wrong signals to your negotiation counterpart. In this instance, strong emotions portray desperation rather than strength. Here are some bargaining and negotiation tactics for dealing with difficult situations in relationships. … Read More

The Opposite of Autocratic Leadership Styles

Posted by & filed under Leadership Skills.

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 The Opposite of Autocratic Leadership Styles

When Business Negotiation Tactics Fail

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

When business negotiation tactics fail to consider outside interests, especially in the case of international mergers, deals can fall apart quickly. Automakers Renault and Fiat Chrysler discovered this when they ignored other stakeholders in an ill-fated attempt at a deal. The idea of a merger was sparked because of tightening global competition and demand for new … Read When Business Negotiation Tactics Fail

Dealing with Difficult People and Unethical Negotiation Tactics

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

The fallout from unfair and ill-advised negotiated agreements can reverberate for years to come, as the City of Miami learned from its 2009 stadium deal with former Florida Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria. The story highlights aspects of dealing with difficult people, including their threats, questionable claims, and other potentially unethical negotiation tactics. The Great Switcheroo Back in … Read More

New Negotiation Tactics for Your Multiparty Negotiation Toolkit

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

“Confessionals.” “Informal informals.” “Indabas.” Delegates from the 196 nations participating in the U.N. Climate Change Conference, held in Paris at the end of 2015, cycled through an eclectic variety of negotiating formats in their race to make binding commitments to lower greenhouse-gas emissions. According to media reports, the participants’ willingness to shake up the complex … Read More

When Hard-Bargaining Isn’t Enough

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

Leonardo da Vinci’s painting Salvator Mundi has long been shrouded in mystery. The 16th-century portrait of Jesus Christ periodically disappeared over hundreds of years before being mistakenly sold at auction as another artist’s work for just £45 in 1958. In 2005, art dealers purchased the damaged painting for approximately $10,000 in an estate auction. After … Read When Hard-Bargaining Isn’t Enough

M&A Negotiation Tactics: In Discovery-WarnerMedia Deal, AT&T Tries, Tries Again

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

It was a dramatic about-face. In mid-2018, AT&T finalized its $85 billion purchase of Time Warner after successfully fighting off U.S. government antitrust lawsuits. Just less than three years later, in May 2021, AT&T announced it was spinning off Time Warner, now known as WarnerMedia, after merger-and-acquisition (M&A) negotiations with media company Discovery. If approved … Read More

BATNA and Risky Negotiation Tactics

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

Your BATNA is your “best alternative to a negotiated agreement.” Expect that your negotiating counterpart has one going into a negotiation, and so should you. Below is a good BATNA negotiation example involving how to leverage your away-from-the-bargaining-table options and the risks inherent with such a negotiation strategy. … Read BATNA and Risky Negotiation Tactics

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

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation.

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

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

Negotiating with Millennials – How to Overcome Cultural Differences in Communication

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

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

3 Team-Building Techniques for Successful Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

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

In Group Negotiation, Avoid a Turf Battle

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

In group negotiation, turf battles—heated conflicts over territory, control, rights, or power—are common. Department heads clash over scarce resources. Companies, community groups, and governments get tied up in lawsuits over undeveloped land. Across the globe, fishing groups have depleted fish stocks in their rush to catch the biggest share for themselves. … Read In Group Negotiation, Avoid a Turf Battle

Hostage Negotiation Techniques for Business Negotiators

Posted by & filed under Crisis Negotiations.

What do FBI hostage negotiation techniques and business dealmaking have in common? Not a lot, we might assume. In workplace talks, lives are rarely at stake, and tensions seldom escalate into violence. Yet dig a bit deeper, and similarities emerge: just as in a crisis negotiation, business talks can be highly charged, unpredictable, and emotional. In … Read More

Hardball Tactics in Negotiation Increase with Rivalry

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

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

How to Handle Difficult People—Including Your Rivals

Posted by & filed under Dealing with Difficult People.

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

Bargaining at a Fever Pitch

Posted by & filed under Leadership Skills.

Have you ever won an auction only to realize later that you overbid for the prize? In competitive bidding situations, it’s easy to get carried away in the heat of the moment and overpay. The Boston Red Sox 2006 procurement of Japanese pitching phenomenon Daisuke “Dice-K” Matsuzaka offers a lesson in keeping cool in these … Read Bargaining at a Fever Pitch

What is Dispute Resolution in Law: The Ins and Outs of Arbitration

Posted by & filed under Dispute Resolution.

A “one-shot” form of dispute resolution, arbitration is usually faster and cheaper than litigation. In addition, rather than being assigned a judge, parties are able to select their arbitrator. What is dispute resolution in law and how do alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods like arbitration operate inside and outside a courtroom? Here are some examples of … Read More

MESO Negotiation: Learn from a Seller’s Market

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

What negotiating skills can negotiators take away from hyper competitive bargaining situations? With home sales heating up (again) in some parts of the United States, homebuyers are facing competition they haven’t seen since before the real-estate bubble burst back in 2008, and it’s showing up in the form of packed open houses, multiple bids above … Read MESO Negotiation: Learn from a Seller’s Market

How to Conduct a Mediation During Crisis Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Mediation.

The most difficult peace negotiations in recent decades—in Ireland, the Middle East, the former Yugoslavia, and Sri Lanka—were plagued by a common enemy: violent disruptions by spoilers opposed to the peace process. In each of these cases, extremists stalled negotiations by creating security crises that divided public opinion and drove negotiators apart. … Read More

Conflict Management Training and Negotiation Research: How Nervous Energy Affects Negotiation Scenarios and Attempts at Conflict Resolution

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

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

With Patient Approach, FBI Steered Oregon Occupiers Toward Their BATNA

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

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

In Negotiations with Ben Affleck, No Appealing BATNA

Posted by & filed under 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

Top 10 Best Pieces of Negotiation Advice of 2015

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

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 Top 10 Best Pieces of Negotiation Advice of 2015

Negotiation Skills in Business Communication: Heading Off Deception

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

In all types of negotiations and across all phases of the process, people can sometimes misrepresent or fail to tell the truth. Individual negotiators lie with the hope of improving their own outcomes. When negotiating his salary with the Cranbury, N.J.–based pharmaceutical marketing firm Carter-Wallace in 1997, Robert Bonczek misrepresented his prior title and salary … Read More

Negotiating Skills and Negotiation Tactics: Damage Control in Conflict Resolution

Posted by & filed under 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