While many of our articles discuss negotiation theory and the latest research, sometimes it helps to discuss negotiation examples in real life when offering negotiation tips and advice. The following negotiation example is based on bargaining in real estate, a negotiation scenario many of us may face in our lifetime. … Read Negotiation Examples in Real Life: Buying a Home
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What is Negotiation Theory?
Negotiation theory finds that a cooperative approach is the surest path to understanding the other party and discovering new sources of value.
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.
There are three negotiation theory principles that may be especially helpful in efforts to negotiate solutions to many problems:
- Focus on interests. Interest-based bargaining, which involves exploring the deeper interests underlying negotiators’ stated positions, can help parties identify potential tradeoffs and opportunities for joint gains.
- Anticipate and address sources of bias. Under the best of conditions, we are all prone to predictable biases and other cognitive errors. For instance, in-group bias can keep us from allocating resources equitably across groups.
- Reach agreement within and across parties. For every agreement we reach, a host of other agreements is often needed. Many crisis and business negotiations often require multilateral bargaining.
At the other end of the spectrum, even though current negotiation theory advises us to cooperate whenever possible, and reveal information to create maximum value, you must calculate the risks and rewards of sharing information with your counterpart.
This is why negotiation theory needs to factor in the current perspectives of those at the table while also integrating other stakeholders. To achieve sustainable deals, negotiators must anticipate everyone who would have to bear any negative consequences of a deal, including their coworkers, children, and communities.
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The following items are tagged negotiation theory:
Bonus day for June Negotiation and Leadership program. In this focused one-day session, Guhan Subramanian shows you how to successfully navigate complex deals, including negotiauctions, by bringing together auction and negotiation strategies in a meaningful way. … Read Unlocking Value in Complex Business Deals
Over the years thousands of professionals 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? … Read More
This video simulation on power asymmetry and principal agent dynamics by Professor Lawrence Susskind and Robert Wilkinson was designed to give students insights into the challenges surrounding difficult conversations, both with people across the table, as well as with people on their own side. … Read Power Asymmetry and the Principal Agent Problem
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 Harvard Kennedy School—all of whom are committed to delivering a transformational learning experience. … Read More
Your BATNA, or the ability to identify a negotiator’s best alternative to a negotiated agreement, is among one of the many pieces of information negotiators seek when formulating dealmaking and negotiation strategies. If your current negotiation reaches an impasse, what’s your best outside option? … Read More
Course Dates: This course is closed When negotiations become difficult, emotions often escalate and talks break down. To overcome barriers and turn negotiations from difficult to collaborative, from breakdown to breakthrough, you must learn to understand the inter- and intra-personal dynamics at play. In this program, you will examine how your own assumptions and behaviors can … Read More
Many actions that could help alleviate the Covid-19 pandemic require us to change our behavior on a personal level, such as staying home from work and wearing a mask in public places. Others, such as making coronavirus-related research more widely available, require more organizational and systemic change. … Read Negotiating Change During the Covid-19 Pandemic
This virtual and highly interactive semester-length seminar explores the ways that people negotiate to create value and resolve disputes. Designed to improve understanding of negotiation theory and build negotiation skills, the curriculum integrates negotiation research from several academic fields with experiential learning exercises. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, all sessions will be delivered live. … Read More
Here, we consider four types of information that may be best kept under wraps: sensitive or privileged information, information that isn’t yours to share, information that diminishes your power, and information that may fluctuate during negotiations. … Read When Not to Show Your Hand in Negotiations
Some negotiations end with a negotiated agreement that is a plan of action rather than a signed contract – for example, a plumber agrees to fix the tile damage caused by his work. Other negotiations wouldn’t be appropriate to commemorate in writing, such as how you and your spouse decide to discipline your young … Read Writing the Negotiated Agreement
Every salesperson has his or her war stories: tales of difficult customers who made extreme demands and threats, tried to take advantage, or were extremely rude. Dealing with difficult customers is inevitable in the sales world, and the question of how to handle difficult customers looms large. The following three guidelines can help you stay … Read How to Handle Difficult Customers
What can business negotiators learn from current negotiations in the news? Quite a bit, according to the dozens of negotiation experts who contributed to the January 2019 special issue of the Negotiation Journal, entitled “Negotiation and Conflict Resolution in the Age of Trump.” … Read More
Back in early 2008, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg began thinking about hiring Sheryl Sandberg, a vice president at Google and a former chief of staff for the U.S. Department of the Treasury, as the social-media company’s new chief operating officer. The two met several nights a week for almost two months to discuss … Read More
Alain Lempereur, has developed the concept of “responsible negotiation”, and answers questions about how to conduct more ethically sound negotiations. … Read More
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
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
For 17 years, Katherine Shonk has been the editor of Negotiation Briefings. The author of two works of fiction (The Red Passport and Happy Now?), she is leaving her post after this issue to devote more time to her next novel and other editing work. Katherine will continue to share negotiation lessons in blog posts … Read More
A three-year dispute between Starbucks and Kraft Foods over distribution of Starbucks packaged coffee in grocery stores was resolved in 2013 when an arbitrator determined that Starbucks had breached its agreement with Kraft and ordered the coffeemaker to pay the food giant $2.75 billion. … Read More
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 Teaching with Video-Based Negotiation Scenarios
This virtual and highly interactive semester-length seminar explores how people negotiate to create value and resolve disputes. Designed to improve understanding of negotiation theory and build negotiation skills, the curriculum integrates negotiation research from several academic fields with experiential learning exercises. All sessions will be delivered live via Zoom. Emphasizing both theoretical and practical insights, this … Read More
While teachers and trainers around the world work to transition their courses into remote formats, we asked some of our experienced online teachers to share their experiences with the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) so as to provide insights to those who might be working to teach online for the first time. Samuel “Mooly” Dinnar is … Read Moving Online: Pedagogy in a Pandemic
The year 2017 offered plenty of negotiation hits and misses in the realms of government, business, and beyond. To avoid failed negotiations in 2018, politicians, business leaders, and the rest of us would be wise to explore the following recent negotiation books, which can help steer us through our most difficult negotiating dilemmas: … Read Must-Read Negotiation Books for 2019
The negotiation psychology of the parties at the table can contribute significantly to the likelihood of reaching an agreement. In Beyond Reason, world-renowned negotiator Roger Fisher and psychologist Daniel Shapiro advise “ignore emotions at your own peril. Emotions are always present and often affect your experience. You may try to ignore them, but they will not … Read Teach Your Students Negotiation Psychology
The Consensus Building Institute (CBI) based in Boston, Massachusetts and in Washington, DC has honored Program on Negotiation faculty member Lawrence Susskind with its creation of a one-year graduate student fellowship that offers the successful candidate the opportunity to work with CBI in Boston or DC on an area of focus for bot CBI and … Read More
Peace talks in the Middle East between Israel and Palestine have stalled for years and, with no ‘new beginnings’ on the horizon, many have come to expect stagnation and lack of progress in talks between the neighbors. That was until this week when Secretary of State John Kerry was successful in getting Palestinian and Israeli … Read More
The Program on Negotiation Film Series recently screened “The Island President,” the story of President Mohamed Nasheed’s efforts to garner world-wide attention on climate change, as rising sea levels threatened the survival of his country, the Maldives. In introducing the film, PON Managing Director Susan Hackley said, “This wonderful film shows how a skilled negotiator … Read More
The Art of Negotiation Moved to Pound Hall 101 on the HLS Campus October 18, 2011 7:30 pm Free and open to the public Please join world-renowned artist Romero Britto as he unveils a series of paintings produced in collaboration with Professor Daniel Shapiro and Harvard College students. Each painting illustrates a key aspect to address the emotional dimension of … Read The Art of Negotiation
Adapted from “Stubborn or Irrational? How to Cope with a Difficult Negotiating Partner,” by Lawrence Susskind (professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Suppose you’re an experienced salesperson entering into negotiations for a contract renewal with a company you’ve successfully done business with for years. Recently, your counterpart at the other company … Read Dealing With a Stubborn Counterpart
Adapted from “Better or Best: Keeping Your Options Open,” by Michael Wheeler (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter. Jim, a well-regarded residential developer operating outside Philadelphia, has been scouting around for a site for his next project. Two properties seem promising. The Abbott estate consists of 75 acres of woodlands and some … Read Keeping Your Options Alive
Access to multimedia content is rapidly increasing throughout the world, with videos and short clips permeating our daily life – whether in gas stations, on ATMs, cell phones, or mobile entertainment devices. We are consuming, producing, and interacting with videos more now than ever before: YouTube is the third-most visited website on the Internet, the … Read Making and Using Films to Teach Negotiation
An Experiment: Exploring Interdisciplinary Linkages between Negotiation and Communication Studies What would negotiation pedagogy look like if we focused more on the core meanings and practices of communication? How can understanding the underpinnings of communication – the components of conversation and the exchange of meaning – help us understand and improve our negotiations? The weekend of … Read More