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

What is Negotiation?

Negotiation is a bargaining process through which parties attempt to forge an agreement to resolve disputes, establish a business contract, purchase a new home, or conclude a peace treaty.

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? People bring different negotiation styles and strategiesto the bargaining table, based on their different personalities, experiences, and beliefs about negotiating.

The Program on Negotiation’s founder Roger Fisher authored the book Getting to Yes with Harvard faculty William L. Ury and Bruce Patton and defines negotiation as a “back-and-forth communication designed to reach an agreement when you and the other side have some interests that are shared and others that are opposed.”

Other experts define negotiation using similar terms. In her negotiation textbook The Mind and Heart of the Negotiator, Leigh Thompson refers to negotiation as an “interpersonal decision-making process” that is “necessary whenever we cannot achieve our objectives single-handedly.” And in their book Judgment in Managerial Decision Making, Max H. Bazerman and Don A. Moore write, “When two or more parties need to reach a joint decision but have different preferences, they negotiate.”

Together, these negotiation definitions encompass the wide range of negotiations we carry out in our personal lives, at work, and with strangers or acquaintances.

You can improve your negotiation skills in business and personal disputes by downloading a complimentary copy of our special report, Negotiation Skills: Negotiation Strategies and Negotiation Techniques to Help You Become a Better Negotiator, from Harvard Law School, right now! We will send you a download link to your copy of the report and notify you by email when we post new business negotiation advice and information.

The following items are tagged negotiation:

The 4P Framework for Strategic Negotiation and Leadership

Posted by & filed under 1 Day Courses, executive training.

We all experience emotionally challenging conflicts and negotiations. Whether you are negotiating with your board or with your family, over internal resources or with external partners, as the buyer or as the seller, emotions can turn an otherwise productive negotiation into an unprofitable disaster.It does not have to be that way. In this interactive workshop, … Read More 

PON Global — Online September and November 2021 Brochure

Posted by & filed under Free Report.

An innovative, blended learning course that has been hosted in cities around the world, PON Global is now being offered online. PON Global is brought to you by the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School (PON), which has provided world-class negotiation training to more than 50,000 global professionals. Adapted for online delivery, PON Global … Read More 

Contract Negotiations and Business Communication: How to Write an Iron-Clad Contract

Posted by & filed under Business Negotiations.

In contract negotiations, writing a contract that both encapsulates the negotiated agreement but also incorporates future elements such as the business relationship and the sustainability of the agreement can be a daunting task for even the most experienced negotiators. Executives often leave the legal issues surrounding their deals to their attorneys. While this division of … Read More 

Harvard Negotiation Master Class: Advanced Strategies for Experienced Negotiators – April 26-30, 2021

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 

PON Global — Online July 2021 Brochure

Posted by & filed under Free Report.

An innovative, blended learning course that has been hosted in cities around the world, PON Global is now being offered online. PON Global is brought to you by the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School (PON), which has provided world-class negotiation training to more than 50,000 global professionals. Adapted for online delivery, PON Global … Read More 

Mediating Disputes – Now Live and Online

Posted by & filed under Mediation at PON - Online.

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 and training … Read More 

MESO: Make Multiple Equivalent Simultaneous Offers to Create Value in Dealmaking Table

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

MESO negotiation, a negotiation strategy for creating value with a counterpart who may be reluctant to negotiate, allows negotiators to propose multiple offers without signaling commitment or preference for any one option. Business negotiators that practice integrative negotiation strategies often complain that although they try to focus on creating value, they run into far too many difficult … Read More 

Advanced Mediation Workshop: Mediating Complex Disputes – Now Live and Online

Posted by & filed under Mediation at PON - Online.

You’ve handled numerous mediation sessions with ease. You are confident in your mediation skills, especially between two parties who want a fair resolution. But how do the dynamics change when their lawyers join the session? What happens when the mediation expands to multiple parties who are bringing many issues to the table? Mediators are very … Read More 

Negotiation Master Class Spring 2021 Program Guide

Posted by & filed under Free Report.

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? The Program on Negotiation is pleased to announce the Negotiation Master Class, … Read More 

Mediation and Conflict Management – Online

Posted by & filed under Mediation at PON - Online, PON Semester Programs, PON Seminars.

This highly-interactive, online course is designed to raise your awareness of your own approach to conflict, introduce a range of theories about mediation and participatory processes, and improve your conflict management skills. While we will discuss a wide range of dispute resolution processes that involve third parties, we will focus on mediation. … Read More 

Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most

Posted by & filed under 1 Day Courses, executive training.

Whether dealing with a challenging customer, a difficult supplier, an unhappy employee, an unreasonable official, or a demanding boss, we all have conversations we anticipate with dread. Gain the strategies, tools, and frameworks you need to manage difficult conversations effectively in this one-day program led by negotiation experts Bruce Patton and Douglas Stone. … Read More 

PON Global — Online February and March 2021 Brochure

Posted by & filed under Free Report.

An innovative, blended learning course that has been hosted in cities around the world, PON Global is now being offered online. PON Global is brought to you by the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School (PON), which has provided world-class negotiation training to more than 50,000 global professionals. Adapted for online delivery, PON Global … Read More 

Win Win Negotiation: Managing Your Counterpart’s Satisfaction

Posted by & filed under Win-Win Negotiations.

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 

Leveraging the Power of Emotions As You Negotiate

Posted by & filed under 1 Day Courses, executive training.

We all experience emotionally challenging conflicts and negotiations. Whether you are negotiating with your board or with your family, over internal resources or with external partners, as the buyer or as the seller, emotions can turn an otherwise productive negotiation into an unprofitable disaster.It does not have to be that way. In this interactive workshop, … Read More 

Make the Most of Online Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Free Report.

We said goodbye to breakfast meetings, client lunches, and after-work happy hours. Goodbye to handshakes, fist bumps, and pats on the back. Goodbye to the boots-on-the-ground sales game as we knew it, and hello to Zoom calls and text messaging. To make matters even more difficult, the economy started to trend downwards—and so did the … Read More 

Unlocking Value in Complex Business Deals

Posted by & filed under 1 Day Courses, executive training.

Through interactive lectures, freeze/unfreeze experience-based learning exercises, and personalized feedback, you will enhance your ability to prepare for complicated bargaining situations. You’ll also learn how to boost leverage by creating the right kind of competition (or, in some cases, merely the perception of competition) and examine the four critical considerations of complicated negotiation situations: the … Read More 

Change Management: Negotiating Organizational Change in the 21st Century

Posted by & filed under 1 Day Courses, executive training.

Change is vital to organizational growth, health, and survival. It is also incredibly difficult to execute well—often resulting in diminished morale and feelings of anxiety and mistrust. In fact, researchers estimate that less than half of major corporate change projects at Fortune 1000 firms have been successful. … Read More 

Getting the Deal Done

Posted by & filed under Free Report.

Dear Business Professional, Simon’s story says a lot how to get deals done. Here’s how he tells it: For nearly a decade, I’ve been an acquisitions editor at one of the largest book publishers in the Northeast. It’s my job to skim through reams of manuscripts to identify those that might be commercially viable—and … Read More 

Negotiation Skills and Bargaining Techniques from Female Executives

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

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 skills to accommodate these shifts. … Read More 

NEW FREE REPORT! Salary Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Free Report.

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 

Make the Most of Your Salary Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

What salary negotiation skills can you use if a potential employer asks you about your past salary? If you earned a competitive wage, your concern may be whether the new employer can afford you. … Read More 

Negotiation Workshop: Improving Your Negotiating Effectiveness

Posted by & filed under Harvard Negotiation Institute, Harvard Negotiation Institute (Five-Day Programs).

Course Dates: This course is closed Too many negotiators leave value on the table. They painfully divide a small pie after a costly battle while failing to capture offsetting opportunities for joint gain, or win the battle, but at the cost to relationships and reputation that limit long-term value. Reliably negotiating optimal outcomes requires a keen … Read More 

The Anchoring Heuristic: Anchoring for Maximum Effect

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

It’s said that you never get a second chance to make a great first impression, and that certainly can be the case in negotiation. A weak handshake or a gruff demeanor can color how we see someone for a very long time. Similarly, make an unambitious or poorly worded first offer, and you’re much less … Read More 

Negotiation Workshop: Strategies, Tools, and Skills for Success

Posted by & filed under Harvard Negotiation Institute, Harvard Negotiation Institute (Five-Day Programs).

Course Dates: This course is closed Turn disputes into deals. Transform deals into better deals. Resolve intractable problems. Negotiating effectively requires the ability to change the game – moving away from conflict and toward collaboration. In this intensive, interactive program, you acquire a proven framework for maximizing the value of your negotiation. … Read More 

Using Body Language in Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

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 

Secrets of Successful Dealmaking

Posted by & filed under Harvard Negotiation Institute, Harvard Negotiation Institute (Five-Day Programs).

Course Dates: This course is closed 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 … Read More 

New Simulation on Negotiating the Future of Dams

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

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 

Negotiating Difficult Conversations: Dealing with Tough Topics Productively

Posted by & filed under Harvard Negotiation Institute, Harvard Negotiation Institute (Five-Day Programs).

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 

Negotiation and Leadership: Dealing with Difficult People and Problems BR

Posted by & filed under executive training, Negotiation and Leadership - Live and Online.

Negotiation and Leadership Dealing With Difficult People and Problems Spring sessions: April 16–18 | May 14–16 | June 18–20 2018 Fall sessions: September 24–26 | October 15–17 | December 3–5 2018 Focused one-day sessions Spring sessions: April 19, 2018 | May 17, 2018 | June 21, 2018 Fall sessions: September 27, | October 18, | December 6, 2018

.embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; … Read More 

Business Crisis Management: Crisis Communication Examples and How to Use Police Negotiation Techniques

Posted by & filed under Free Report.

In this free special report negotiation experts offers advice on how to turn crisis situations into collaborative negotiations. Throughout the report, you will discover how to apply the lessons of professional hostage negotiators, avoid disasters through careful planning, diffuse tensions with angry members of the public, and break through impasse with open communication. … Read More 

Negotiation and Leadership: Dealing with Difficult People and Problems AQ

Posted by & filed under executive training, Negotiation and Leadership - Live and Online.

Negotiation and Leadership Dealing With Difficult People and Problems Spring sessions: April 16–18 | May 14–16 | June 18–20 2018 Fall sessions: September 24–26 | October 15–17 | December 3–5 2018 Focused one-day sessions Spring sessions: April 19, 2018 | May 17, 2018 | June 21, 2018 Fall sessions: September 27, | October 18, | December 6, 2018

.embed-container { position: relative; padding-bottom: 56.25%; height: 0; … Read More 

The New Conflict Management: Effective Conflict Resolution Strategies to Avoid Litigation

Posted by & filed under Free Report.

This report reveals how wise negotiators extract unexpected value using an indirect approach to conflict management. An aggressive management style can set you up for repeated failure. Direct conflict management approaches can be overly combative and counter-productive. Experienced negotiators know that compromise seldom succeeds. Win/lose is really lose/lose. The best negotiation strategy results in … Read More 

Business Negotiation Skills to Curb Your Overconfidence

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

To avoid the pitfalls of overconfidence, you need a clear understanding of how overconfidence is likely to affect your judgments and decisions (and those of your counterparts) at the bargaining table. Fortunately, new research suggests exactly when to expect overconfidence and offers insight into how you can prevent it from getting you into trouble in … Read More 

Negotiation and Leadership NL P

Posted by & filed under executive training, Negotiation and Leadership - Live and Online.

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 

Dealing with Difficult People

Posted by & filed under Free Report.

At the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School (PON), we are dedicated to helping professionals deal with hard bargainers and resolve even the most challenging disputes. To help you understand the principles of negotiation and conflict resolution, we put together a special report: Dealing With Difficult People. Discover how to collaborate, negotiate, and bargain … Read More 

Dear Negotiation Coach: Debiasing Job Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

In many organizations, policies and systems perpetuate gender and racial discrimination and inequality, including higher pay for white men as compared to others for the same work. Harvard Kennedy School professor Iris Bohnet, the author of What Works: Gender Equality by Design (Belknap Press, 2016), overviews steps professionals can take to promote wiser, more equitable … Read More 

Negotiation and Leadership NL O

Posted by & filed under executive training, Negotiation and Leadership - Live and Online.

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 

What is Conflict Resolution, and How Does It Work?

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

If you work with others, sooner or later you will almost inevitably face the need for conflict resolution. You may need to mediate a dispute between two members of your department. Or you may find yourself angered by something a colleague reportedly said about you in a meeting. Or you may need to engage in … Read More 

Sidetracked: Understanding the Psychological Barriers that Derail Negotiations

Posted by & filed under 1 Day Courses, executive training.

We all experience emotionally challenging conflicts and negotiations. Whether you are negotiating with your board or with your family, over internal resources or with external partners, as the buyer or as the seller, emotions can turn an otherwise productive negotiation into an unprofitable disaster.It does not have to be that way. In this interactive workshop, … Read More 

Negotiate Strong Relationships at Work and at Home

Posted by & filed under Free Report.

The experts and editors from Harvard’s Program on Negotiation offer a sampling of advice from past issues of Negotiation to help you learn to foster relationships by building rapport, manage conflict in long-term relationships and negotiate business decisions with family members. … Read More 

What is Crisis Management in Negotiation?

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

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 More 

Negotiation and Leadership: Dealing with Difficult People and Problems

Posted by & filed under executive training, Negotiation and Leadership - Live and Online.

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 

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 More 

Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most

Posted by & filed under 1 Day Courses, executive training.

Whether dealing with a challenging customer, a difficult supplier, an unhappy employee, an unreasonable official, or a demanding boss, we all have conversations we anticipate with dread. Gain the strategies, tools, and frameworks you need to manage difficult conversations effectively in this one-day program led by negotiation experts Bruce Patton and Douglas Stone. … Read More 

The Right Negotiation Environment: Your Place or Mine?

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Everyone knows the three rules of real estate: “Location! Location! Location!” When it comes to making deals, choosing the right negotiation environment can be just as important. The location you select can dramatically affect the ensuing process and, ultimately, the end result. In deal making, the answer to the question “Your place or mine?” is … Read More 

Practical Lessons from the Great Negotiators

Posted by & filed under 1 Day Courses, executive training.

Since 2001, the Program on Negotiation has bestowed the “Great Negotiator Award” on individuals who have successfully negotiated against great odds to accomplish worthy goals. In this fascinating one-day session, you’ll have the rare opportunity to explore how these remarkable negotiators overcame their most formidable challenges—and how to apply these lessons in your own negotiations. … Read More 

Mediation Secrets for Better Business Negotiations: Top Techniques from Mediation Training Experts

Posted by & filed under Free Report.

In this Special Report, the experts and editors from Harvard’s Program on Negotiation offer a sampling of advice from past issues of Negotiation to help you learn the techniques you need to resolve your disputes through mediation. You will learn to select the right dispute-resolution process, choose a mediator with appropriate expertise, learn the steps your … Read More 

Negotiation and Dispute Resolution – Online

Posted by & filed under PON Semester Programs, PON Seminars.

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 

Labor Relations: Negotiating Collective Bargaining Agreements

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Contract bargaining in labor relations is one of the most complex areas of negotiation and dispute resolution. There are rarely clear cut or mutually agreed upon notions of what a fair salary and benefits package would be, so employers and workers, either individually or collectively, often find themselves at odds. Furthermore, contract bargaining in a … Read More 

Leveraging the Power of Emotions As You Negotiate

Posted by & filed under 1 Day Courses, executive training.

We all experience emotionally challenging conflicts and negotiations. Whether you are negotiating with your board or with your family, over internal resources or with external partners, as the buyer or as the seller, emotions can turn an otherwise productive negotiation into an unprofitable disaster.It does not have to be that way. In this interactive workshop, … Read More 

Negotiation Strategies for Women: Secrets to Success

Posted by & filed under Free Report.

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 

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

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

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 

Negotiation and Leadership: Dealing with Difficult People and Problems

Posted by & filed under executive training, Negotiation and Leadership - Live and Online.

At Negotiation and Leadership, you will test your beliefs and assumptions, overcome emotional and rational biases, examine complex negotiation scenarios, and discover a range of competitive and cooperative negotiation strategies. In this acclaimed program, we compress 30 years of groundbreaking research into three thought-provoking days. In sessions taught by our expert faculty, you’ll broaden your … Read More 

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

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

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 

Training Women to Be Leaders: Negotiating Skills for Success

Posted by & filed under Free Report.

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 

Business Negotiations: How to Improve Your Reputation at the Bargaining Table

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

In multi-issue business negotiations, research suggests that the advantage goes to negotiators with a reputation for collaboration rather than competition. In a series of studies by Catherine H. Tinsley and Kathleen O’Connor, participants were told they would be negotiating with someone who had either a tough reputation, a cooperative reputation, or an unknown reputation. Although … Read More 

The Winner’s Curse: Avoid This Common Trap in Auctions

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Imagine that a professor shows a jar full of coins to his class and announces he’s auctioning it off. Students are told they can write down a bid and that the highest bidder will win the contents in exchange for the money he or she bid. After everyone has written down their bids, the professor … Read More 

Teaching Negotiation: Understanding The Impact Of Role-Play Simulations

Posted by & filed under Free Report.

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 

Advice for Peace: Ending Civil War in Colombia

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

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 More 

In Email Negotiations, When They’re Happy, Do You Know it?

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

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 

Famous Negotiations Cases – NBA and the Power of Deadlines at the Bargaining Table

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

It’s a classic famous negotiations case. In the summer of 1988, National Basketball Association (NBA) team owners and players were at loggerheads over their new contract. At midnight on June 30, the owners declared a lockout, halting preparations for the start of the 1998–99 NBA season. The players and owners negotiated for six long months, … Read More 

Should Women “Lean In” to Create More Value in Negotiations?

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

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 

Dear Negotiation Coach: Building Trust with Reluctant Counterparts

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Tetsushi Okumura is a professor at the Tokyo University of Science and has been a visiting scholar at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. His research articles have appeared in leading management and psychology journals, and he has translated into Japanese many popular books on negotiation. Recently, Okumura has been interviewing Japanese government negotiators to … Read More 

How to Control Your Emotions in Conflict Resolution

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

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 

Negotiating the Good Friday Agreement

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Retired US Senator George Mitchell played a critical role in negotiating the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland. In an interview with Susan Hackley, Managing Director of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, in the February 2004 Negotiation newsletter, he describes how he was able to facilitate an agreement between these long-warring parties. … Read More 

4 Sales Negotiation Traps—and How to Overcome Them

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Whether you’re planning to put your home up for sale, trying to unload excess merchandise, or searching for new clients, there’s a good chance you’ll make your next sales negotiation more challenging than it needs to be by falling into common cognitive traps. You can improve your sales negotiation skills by learning about four traps … Read More 

Great Women Leaders Negotiate

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Great women leaders are no different than great male leaders—except that they may have faced more discrimination, lower expectations, and stronger resistance along the way. When women in leadership succeed, they often do so by cultivating successful negotiating skills. Here, we examine strategies that three top women in negotiation employed to become great women leaders. … Read More 

Win-Win Negotiation Strategies for Rebuilding a Relationship

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

When negotiators come together after a period of mutual mistrust, it can be difficult for each side to reconcile their grievances with the other. Here are some strategies that others have used to bring bargaining counterparts together even after a long, contentious period of silence. … Read More 

Win-Win Bargaining: Private Negotiation, Public Auction, or Both?

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

When Amazon and Apple each began scouting locations for a new campus in 2017, we might have expected them to follow similar negotiating strategies aimed at win-win bargaining. In fact, their searches were very different:

Amazon set off a frenzy in September 2017 when it announced it was soliciting bids from cities interested in hosting its second headquarters, … Read More 

Managing Difficult Negotiators

Posted by & filed under BATNA.

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 

Overconfidence About Future Failure or Success: Limiting Strategic Miscalculation in Business Negotiations

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Over-precision doesn’t necessarily lead us to think we’re better negotiators than we actually are. Rather, it causes us to trust our initial instincts too much. Sometimes we’re actually overconfident that we’ll perform worse than others. This tendency applies to competitive situations, including negotiation. Those who underestimate their ability to be competitive usually will choose to stay out … Read More 

Check Out the New Brief Course Outlines from the TNRC

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

Planning a new course for next semester or looking to reinvent a current one? Check out our brief course outlines to get started planning your syllabus. The Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) now offers brief outlines for eleven different course types which include recommended simulations and books and highlight key teaching points. While all teaching materials … Read More 

Teach Your Students to Negotiate the Technology Industry

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized.

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 

Negotiation Research Says to Make Stronger First Offers in Multi-Issue Negotiations

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Should you make the first offer in a negotiation? What about multi-issue negotiations? It’s not a trivial question. The negotiator who makes the first offer can powerfully anchor the discussion in her favor, research has found. In fact, the first offer accounts for between 50% and 85% of the variance in a negotiation’s final outcome, Adam … Read More 

When Good Negotiations Go Sour: When Mark Wahlberg Asked for More

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Good negotiations can easily be spoiled when the outcome is in poor taste. After actor Kevin Spacey faced multiple accusations of sexual misconduct in late 2017, director Ridley Scott and Imperative Entertainment, the company that produced and financed the film All the Money in the World, decided to edit Spacey out of the film and hire … Read More 

The Opposite of Autocratic Leadership Styles

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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 

Business Negotiation Skills: How to Deal with a Failing Business Partnership

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It had seemed like the beginning of a fruitful relationship. In April 2012, six wealthy businessmen teamed up to buy the Philadelphia Inquirer and several affiliated businesses for $61.1 million, promising to work together to reverse the newspaper’s flagging fortunes. Their infusions of cash and appointment of a Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter, William K. Marimow, as … Read More 

Dear Negotiation Coach: Negotiating with Kids Successfully

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Q: I avoid using hardball tactics in my professional negotiations since they often backfire and escalate conflict. But at home, my wife and I often find ourselves resorting to threats, bribes, and lies to get our three young children (ages seven, five, and three) to cooperate, and I lose my cool more often than I’d … Read More 

Dear Negotiation Coach: Does Communication Style Matter in Negotiation?

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In your research, you compared whether a warm and friendly negotiating style or a tough and firm negotiating style is more effective in distributive negotiation, where people are dividing rather than creating value. Which style do people tend to think will be more effective, and are they correct? Francesca Gino: Consistent with the old adage “You … Read More 

Self-Analysis and Negotiation

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“Separate the people from the problem,” advises the best-selling negotiation text Getting to Yes. That’s certainly good counsel when tempers flare and bargaining descends into ego battles, but it’s a mistake to ignore the psychological crosscurrents in negotiation. Unless they are addressed, a deal may never be reached. … Read More 

Negotiation Challenges for Family Business Relationships

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Communication in business negotiations is important – but even more so when your counterparts and negotiating partners are family members. In this article drawn from negotiation research, the negotiation strategies for avoiding conflict and crafting win-win negotiated agreements are outlined. … Read More 

Principled Negotiation: Focus on Interests to Create Value

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There’s a better, third way of negotiating—one that doesn’t rely on toughness or accommodation, but that will improve your likelihood of meeting your negotiation goals. In their pivotal negotiation text, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In (Penguin, 2nd edition, 1991), Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton of the Harvard Negotiation Project promote … Read More 

How to Create Win-Win Situations

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In business negotiation, a win-win agreement may be the ultimate goal, but it can sometimes prove elusive. Here, we offer four strategies from experts at the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School on how to create win-win situations in even the trickiest negotiations. … Read More 

Are You Ready to Negotiate?

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

Dispute Resolution for India and Bangladesh

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Sometimes in international negotiation, disputes are left to fester for years, even decades, until parties decide there is something to be gained from reaching agreement. In an example of a cross cultural negotiation case study, the nations of Bangladesh and India seized on an opportunity to push the “restart” button on their bumpy relationship by … Read More 

India’s Direct Approach to Conflict Resolution

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In our global economy, organizations have unprecedented opportunities to grow by forming partnerships worldwide. Yet when we are negotiating abroad, cultural, language, and other differences can lead to misunderstandings that may eventually spiral into conflicts ranging from labor strikes to lawsuits to broken partnerships that require conflict resolution. At the same time, we want to … Read More 

Negotiation Tips: Listening Skills for Dealing with Difficult People

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We love giving out negotiation tips. A negotiation daily reader once asked us, “All the negotiation advice I read says that I should listen and ask questions in negotiations. That makes sense, and I mean to. But once the other side starts talking, I often find myself telling them what they left out or why … Read More 

The Art of Negotiation: Anger Management at the Bargaining Table

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Displays of anger can pay off for negotiators, at least when it comes to claiming value in negotiation, research shows. Viewing angry negotiators as formidable opponents, we respond to their demands by making concessions, professor Gerben A. van Kleef of the University of Amsterdam and his colleagues found in research from 2004. … Read More 

Debunking Negotiation Myths

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In her book The Mind and Heart of the Negotiator, Leigh Thompson cites four widely held negotiation myths that bar negotiators from improving their skills. This analysis is worth the attention of anyone who wants to move beyond platitudes to a deeper understanding of negotiation. … Read More 

Negotiation Skills: Building Trust in Negotiations

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Trust in negotiations 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. But avoiding risk can mean missing out on significant opportunities. For this reason, … Read More 

Teach Your Students to Negotiate Climate Change

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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 

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

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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 

The Star Wars Negotiations and Trust at the Negotiation Table

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What is negotiation in business? Negotiation research has identified it as a process of building trust and negotiation tactics for building trust at the bargaining table have proven effective in helping negotiators create, and claim, more value out of dealmaking scenarios. … Read More 

Building Coalitions: Apple and the Art of Persuasion

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Whether you have one of its ubiquitous products or even its rivals offerings, you most certainly have heard of Apple, the United States electronics giant whose phoenix-like rise to the top of the business world has inspired legions of fans and detractors alike. … Read More 

Bipartisan Agreement Proved Elusive in 2017 Immigration Negotiations

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On September 5, 2017, President Donald Trump announced that in six months he would phase out Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the Obama-era policy that has shielded from deportation about 800,000 people brought to the United States illegally as children. Members of Congress seeking permanent protections for the so-called Dreamers covered under DACA then … Read More 

What is an Arbitration Agreement?

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If you have ever owned a cell phone or been issued a credit card, odds are you’ve signed an arbitration agreement. You also may have signed an arbitration agreement when you started your current job or a past one, whether you remember doing so or not. … Read More 

Dealmaking: Relationship Rules for Dealmakers

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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 

Negotiation Research Examines Ethics in Negotiating

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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, back in a 2013 article in the New York Times. This topic has many questioning ethics in negotiating within the healthcare industry. The problem starts with the … Read More 

Asynchronous Learning: Negotiation Exercises to Keep Students Engaged Outside the Classroom

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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 

How to Portray Confidence in Negotiation So You Don’t Look Desperate

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In our negotiations, we all regularly cope with counterparts who try too hard—such as salespeople who pester us with phone calls or show up at our office or home unannounced. Their desperation to reach a deal comes through loud and clear, making them seem not only annoying but also potentially ripe for exploitation. At the … Read More 

5 Common Negotiation Mistakes and How You Can Avoid Them

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Sometimes our negotiation mistakes are glaring: We accidentally reveal our bottom line, criticize the other party when patience was warranted, or get our numbers mixed up. More often, though, our negotiation mistakes are invisible: We get a perfectly good deal, but are unaware that we could have gotten a better one if we hadn’t succumbed … Read More 

A Token Concession: In Negotiation, the Gift that Keeps on Giving

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When making concessions in negotiation, we tend to assume that a concession must really cost us, financially or otherwise, for the other side to take notice and give us what we want. But in fact, we can often make real headway toward our negotiation goals by giving a token concession—a concession that costs us little, … Read More 

Dear Negotiation Coach: Making a Deal When You Have Anxiety

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Q: Negotiations make me anxious. In the past year, I negotiated for a car at a dealership, a higher salary at work, a lower price on a piece of furniture at an antiques market, and an important business contract as part of a team. Each time, my palms got sweaty, my heart started to race, … Read More 

6 Bargaining Tips and BATNA Essentials

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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 

Why Negotiations Fail

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When we think of failed business negotiations, most of us picture negotiators walking away from the table in disappointment. But that’s only one type of disappointing negotiation. Failed business negotiations also include those that parties come to regret over time and those that fall apart during implementation. The following three types of negotiation failures are … Read More 

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 

Planning for Cyber Defense of Critical Urban Infrastructure

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Save Fairport: Planning for Social Cyber Defense of Critical Urban Infrastructure Cybersecurity for critical urban infrastructure is a major public safety issue for cities. Cyber-attacks can cause major physical damage, as well as sow chaos and undermine public faith in government. Cyber criminals constantly develop new types of malware, which may not be detectable by current … Read More 

Renegotiate Salary to Your Advantage

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As we prepare to renegotiate salary, most of us intend to ask for as much as we can without antagonizing our employer. But we sometimes undervalue our worth, with disappointing consequences. … Read More 

Collective Bargaining Negotiations and the Risk of Strikes

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Collective bargaining negotiations help level the playing field between individual employees and management by enabling employees to organize and find strength in numbers. But when collective bargaining negotiations fall apart, the result can be a devastating strike. … Read More 

Developing Negotiation Skills for Integrative Negotiations – Does Personality Matter?

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Imagine that after some negative experiences at the bargaining table or if you are frustrated in your efforts to improve your negotiation skills, you’ve started to worry that you simply don’t have the right personality to be a great negotiator let alone a value-creating, integrative negotiations expert. The other party always seems to get the … Read More 

Teach by Example with These Negotiation Case Studies

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Negotiation case studies use the power of example to teach negotiation strategies. Looking to past negotiations where students can analyze what approaches the parties took and how effective they were in reaching an agreement, can help students gain new insights into negotiation dynamics. The Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) has a variety of negotiation case … Read More 

Settling Out of Court: Negotiating in the Shadow of the Law

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When disputes arise, negotiators face the difficult question of whether to try to reach a settlement on their own or hand decision-making power over to a judge, a jury, or an arbitrator. Parties often benefit from settling their disputes before going to court, write Robert H. Mnookin, Scott R. Peppet, and Andrew S. Tulumello in … Read More 

Will You Avoid a Negotiation Impasse?

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In the summer of 2016, Illinois became the only U.S. state in the past 80 years to go an entire year without a full operating budget, according to Reuters. It reached that dubious milestone thanks to an epic negotiation impasse between Republican governor Bruce Rauner and the Democratic-controlled state legislature. The story of the negotiation … Read More 

Pick the Right Negotiation Pace

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People operate at different speeds at the bargaining table. This is called their negotiation pace. Suppose that one bargainer is impatient, gritting her teeth and thinking, “Cut to the chase, for Pete’s sake!” Feeling pressured, the other person wants to say, “Easy on the coffee, pal! Let’s give this the time it deserves.”  … Read More 

Dear Negotiation Coach: How to Negotiate Price and Start Off on the Right Foot

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Do you know how to negotiate price? Is there a better way to approach this type of negotiation that differs from other negotiation strategies? In this week’s Dear Negotiation Coach column, we answer the question. QUESTION I’m trying to decide whether to make the first offer in a price negotiation. I’ve heard arguments in favor of both … Read More 

What Makes a Good Mediator?

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What makes a good mediator? And how is it that mediators—who themselves lack any power to impose a solution—nevertheless often lead bitter disputants to agreement? … Read More 

Fairness in Negotiation

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Imagine that you and your business partner agree to sell your company. You end up getting an offer that pleases you both, so now you face the enviable task of splitting up the rewards. How do you ensure that there is fairness in negotiation? … Read More 

Self-Fulfilling Prophecies and Power in Negotiation

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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 

Why First Impressions Matter in Negotiation

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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 

New Simulation: Having Difficult Conversations Over Email

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Negotiating over email has its own unique challenges and opportunities. For example, people often assume that the emails they have sent are read immediately and so experience anxiety when there isn’t a prompt response, failing to account for reasonable delays. On the other hand, email negotiations also provide a permanent record of what is discussed … Read More 

Negotiation Team Dynamics: The Divide-and-Conquer Strategy

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In an interesting example of negotiation team dynamics, during a 2018 New Year’s Day address, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un proposed opening talks with South Korea to discuss the North’s possible participation in the Winter Olympics, to be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea, the following month. Hoping to avoid disruption by the North, South Korean … Read More 

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

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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 

Best Negotiation Books: A Negotiation Reading List

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Whether you are facing negotiations with Congress, colleagues, customers, or family members, the following negotiation books, published in recent years by experts from the Program on Negotiation, offer new perspectives on common negotiating dilemmas. … Read More 

Mediation Training: What Can You Expect?

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Organizations have long recognized the value of hiring professional mediators to help resolve disputes. More and more, managers have begun to also see value in securing mediation training for themselves and their employees. Although there are times when the services of an unbiased, professional mediator are needed, there may also be instances in which employees … Read More 

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 

Dealing with Difficult People? Negotiation Lessons from Ronald Reagan

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In recent months, U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders have struggled to find a winning strategy to convince Russian President Vladimir Putin to back away from his aggressions toward Ukraine. In a Wall Street Journal editorial, Ken Adelman, U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s ambassador to the United Nations and arms-control director, writes that recently … Read More 

Download Your Next Mediation Video

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Use Video Examples to Teach Your Students to Become Better Mediators Parties engaged in disputes are often unable to reconcile their differences alone, or fail to reach outcomes that are adequate for everyone. Mediators can add a great deal of value by helping parties to efficiently and effectively examine the issues at hand, take the interests … Read More 

Dear Negotiation Coach: What Hostage Negotiations Can Teach Any Negotiator

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Business negotiations often fail; meanwhile, hostage negotiations have an incredibly high success rate—up to 94%. We spoke with former police psychologist and hostage negotiator George A. Kohlrieser, the Distinguished Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior at IMD Business School in Switzerland and the author of Hostage at the Table: How Leaders Can Overcome Conflict, Influence Others, … Read More 

Essential Negotiation Skills: Limiting Cognitive Bias in Negotiation

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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 negotiation. 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 

Framing in Negotiation

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So, you’ve offered what you think is a great deal, but your counterpart doesn’t seem to agree. What’s the problem? The offer may be excellent—it’s how you’ve approached framing in negotiation that’s holding you back. … Read More 

The Process of Business Negotiation

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Negotiators are more satisfied with the outcome of a negotiation when they think the process has been fair, research shows. To maximize satisfaction and build a strong working relationship, don’t leave the process of business negotiation up to chance. Given the importance of negotiation in business communication, you’d be wise to consider the following seven … Read More 

Redevelopment Negotiation: The Challenges of Rebuilding the World Trade Center

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In the wake of the horrific terror attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001, there were difficult questions and challenges facing those who were involved in the redevelopment negotiation. The Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) offers a unique case package designed to teach these complex challenges in this … Read More 

How to Respond to Questions in Negotiation

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What’s the toughest question you’ve ever been asked during a negotiation? Do you know how to respond to questions when they’re out of your comfort zone? If you negotiate frequently, it might be hard to narrow it down to just one. Focusing on job interviews, here are a few negotiation questions that candidates often dread:

“How … Read More 

How to Handle Difficult Customers

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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 More 

Writing the Negotiated Agreement

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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 More 

Techniques for Improving Your Negotiating Ability

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Many organizations subject their executives to rigorous performance reviews, yet few companies include negotiation effectiveness as one of the core competencies they track. Instead, negotiation is usually subsumed under categories such as “emotional intelligence,” or “persuasiveness” and negotiation techniques and their improvement through negotiation training are not a regular part of employee training programs. … Read More 

Servant Leadership and Warren Buffett’s Giving Pledge

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Billionaire Warren Buffett is not particularly interested in making more money for himself. At 85 years old, he has amassed a staggering fortune, worth over $65 billion. Instead, what has consumed him for the last six years is how to give it all away, and how to convince other billionaires to do the same. … Read More 

Negotiating Skills: How to Bargain “Behind the Table”

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After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, U.S. president George H. W. Bush and his secretary of state, James Baker, were eager to win international support for German reunification and German membership in NATO. But Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev faced strong opposition to these measures from members of his own Communist Party. Both … Read More 

Visionary Leadership through Coalition Building

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Increasingly, executives are displaying visionary leadership on issues related to social justice. The National Basketball Association printed the words “Black Lives Matter” on the court in its Orlando, Florida, “bubble” in 2020, for example, and businesses such as Netflix have committed to making significant financial investments in Black communities. On March 25, 2021, Georgia’s Republican-led legislature … Read More 

What is Dispute System Design?

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Dispute System Design (DSD) is the process of identifying, designing, employing, and evaluating an effective means of resolving conflicts within an organization. In order to be effective, dispute systems must be thoroughly thought out and carefully constructed. … Read More 

Famous Negotiators: Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin

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At a January press conference last year, German chancellor Angela Merkel dangled a carrot in front of Russian president Vladimir Putin: the possibility of a summit in Kazakhstan aimed at easing the Ukraine crisis, to be attended by her and the leaders of France and Ukraine. That carrot, however, was dangling from a significant string. … Read More 

Using Integrative Negotiation Techniques to Close the Deal

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Like a contingency, a condition to a deal is a related though far less common deal-structuring technique. A condition is an ‘if’ statement like a contingency, but, whereas a contingency depends on unknown future events, a condition is entirely within the control of the parties involved. … Read More 

5 Ways to Be a More Strategic Business Partner

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If you’re looking to be a strategic business partner, you need to have your eyes and ears open at all times. In the world of mergers and acquisitions, some acquirers try to improve the companies they purchase by expanding them and emphasizing innovation, while others choose to focus on cutting costs. Due in part to millennials’ … Read More 

Do Attitudes in Negotiation Influence Results?

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Many people consider negotiations to be stressful and threatening. Others view them as challenges to be overcome. Do these different attitudes influence the outcomes that people reach? New research by professors Kathleen M. O’Connor of Cornell University and Josh A. Arnold of California State University sheds light on this important question. … Read More 

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

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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 

Dealmaking Secrets from Henry Kissinger

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More than 1,600 international relations experts from across the political spectrum overwhelmingly rate Henry Kissinger, who served under former presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, the most effective secretary of state of the last half-century. In their book, Kissinger the Negotiator: Lessons from Dealmaking at the Highest Level (Harper, 2018), James K. Sebenius, R. Nicholas … Read More 

Negotiating with Liars: Bluffing versus Puffing

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How many time have you sat at the bargaining table, and wondered, “am I negotiating with liars?” And to your own self be true—how many times have you been untruthful in a negotiation? The example below shines a light on how lies can get negotiators into hot water. Back in July 2014, Jesse Litvak, the former … Read More 

Negotiating with Colleagues: Training for Collaborative Human Resources Negotiations

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Human resources representatives are often involved in a wide array of internal company negotiations, including one-on-one disputes between colleagues as well as inter-department budgeting and overall staffing plans. To deftly handle this wide array of negotiations, human resources representatives must balance the various stakeholder concerns, financial assessments, and competing interests with fairness, consideration for relationships, … Read More 

Dear Negotiation Coach: Confronting Unconscious Bias Constructively

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In her book The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias (HarperCollins, 2018), Dolly Chugh, a social psychologist at New York University’s Stern School of Business, drew on her research about confronting unconscious bias to write the quintessential guide to standing up for our beliefs. In a conversation with her, she offered … Read More 

3 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 

What Is Distributive Negotiation?

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What is distributive negotiation? Distributive negotiation involves haggling over a fixed amount of value—that is, slicing up the pie. In a distributive negotiation, there is likely only one issue at stake, typically price. When you are negotiating with a merchant in a foreign bazaar, or over a used car closer to home, you are generally … Read More 

The Importance of a Relationship in Negotiation

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At the negotiation table, what’s the best way to uncover your negotiation counterpart’s hidden interests? Build a relationship in negotiation by asking questions, then listening carefully. Even if you have decided to make the first offer and are ready with a number of alternatives, you should always open by asking and listening to assess your … Read More 

What is Anchoring in Negotiation?

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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 

7 Tips for Closing the Deal in Negotiations

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“ABC: Always Be Closing.” That’s the sales strategy that actor Alec Baldwin’s character Blake shared in the 1992 film Glengarry Glen Ross as he tried to motivate a group of real estate salesmen. In his verbally abusive, profanity-laced speech, Blake presented a ruthless model of closing a business deal that ignores customers’ needs and cuts … Read More 

Learning from Feedback without Losing Your Mind

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During the coronavirus pandemic, you might be getting a lot of feedback, whether from the new “coworkers” in your home, the boss you only see in video meetings, or strangers critical of your social-distancing practices. Instead of retreating after receiving feedback, open up a conversation, Heen and Stone advise. We need to get beyond the … Read More 

New International Negotiation Simulations: Teaching International Negotiation with Current Global Dynamics

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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 

How Much Does Personality in Negotiation Matter?

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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 

Lessons for Business Negotiators: Negotiation Techniques from International Diplomacy

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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 Negotiate Under Pressure

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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 

How to Overcome Cultural Barriers in Negotiation

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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 

New Simulation on Bidding in an International Business Negotiation: Euro-Idol

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Euro-Idol is a four-party, two-round international business negotiation over the selection of the host country and city for the upcoming Euro-Idol music competition. In this new simulation from the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC), cities must bid to host the Euro-Idol competition, and therefore gain the economic benefits that come with hosting such a large … Read More 

Dear Negotiation Coach: What Are Business Negotiation Skills for Entrepreneurs?

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To get an idea or innovation off the ground takes strong business negotiation skills as an entrepreneur. Yet, in their book Entrepreneurial Negotiation: Understanding and Managing the Relationships that Determine Your Entrepreneurial Success (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2018), Program on Negotiation instructor Samuel Dinnar and MIT professor Lawrence Susskind write that many entrepreneurs are falling short. Here, Susskind explains … Read More 

How to Negotiate with Friends and Family

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“Never do business with friends,” the adage goes. But should you always stay away from an opportunity to negotiate with friends and family? A strict policy of keeping friends and family members out of our business lives would be impractical, and it could cause us to pass up potentially valuable negotiating opportunities. … Read More 

Best Negotiators in History: Nelson Mandela and His Negotiation Style

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The late Nelson Mandela will certainly be remembered as one of the best negotiators in history. He was clearly “the greatest negotiator of the twentieth century,” wrote Harvard Law School professor and Program on Negotiation Chairman Robert H. Mnookin in his seminal book, Bargaining with the Devil, When to Negotiate, When to Fight. … Read More 

What Is an Umbrella Agreement?

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Business negotiators tend to want the best of both worlds. When reaching an agreement, they want to pin down parties’ respective rights and responsibilities, but they also want to retain the flexibility they need to deal with ever-changing business conditions. One solution to this apparent dilemma is to craft an umbrella agreement. … Read More 

Contract Negotiation Skills: Setting Yourself Up for Success

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Business negotiators tend to focus on getting to the finish line, which is typically defined as a signed contract. The contract negotiation skills we need to get there—such as building trust, brainstorming issues, and negotiating a great price—are pivotal, yet we often overlook the importance of setting up our agreement for success during the implementation … Read More 

Tough Topics in Negotiation: Negotiating a Non-Compete Agreement with Employers

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In integrative negotiation, each side seeks to create and claim value with an eye towards the future of the negotiating relationship. One way of securing this relationship is a noncompete agreement: Employers sometimes ask potential employees to agree not to work for their competitors in the future but don’t assume such requests are nonnegotiable. … Read More 

The Negotiation Process in China

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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 

Teaching Mediation: Exercises to Help Students Acquire Mediation Skills

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Often, disputing parties are unable achieve satisfactory or sustainable outcomes on their own through direct negotiation, and require the assistance of a mediator or facilitator. Mediators can help parties involved in a dispute through examining the issues at hand, uncovering the parties’ underlying interests, and identifying creative solutions. To act as mediator requires a great … Read More 

Negotiating with the Enemy

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Should negotiating with the enemy always be off the table? The 2014 Bergdahl exchange offers insights for negotiators who are deciding whether to do business with a known enemy. On May 31, 2014 the White House made the surprise announcement that the Taliban had released Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, the sole American prisoner of war in the … Read More 

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Training: Mediation Curriculum

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In 2009, we collected many types of curriculum materials from teachers and trainers who attended the Mediation Pedagogy Conference. We received general materials about classes on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) as well as highly specific and idiosyncratic units like Conflict Resolution through Literature: Romeo and Juliet and a negotiating training package for female managers … Read More 

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

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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 

Union Strikes and Dispute Resolution Strategies

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When a conflict looms, it can be tempting for each side to try to make unilateral decisions on key issues because of the belief that negotiations with the other side will be a dead end. This dispute resolution strategy may pay off in the short term, but it’s important to factor in the long-term costs … Read More 

Check Out the International Investor-State Arbitration Video Course

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Master Class on International Investor-State Arbitration: What is it? How Does it Work? This two-hour video course is intended to teach students, legal practitioners, business executives, and government officials the essentials of international investor-state arbitration, an area of increasing concern for legal practice, business strategy, and government policy. In the video Master Class on International Investor-State Arbitration: … Read More 

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

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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 

Understanding Different Negotiation Styles

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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 

Emotional Triggers: How Emotions Affect Your Negotiating Ability

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Example of negotiation in daily life: Imagine you’re about to negotiate with a competing firm about a possible merger. You enter the conference room and find a reasonable and fair representative from the other company, someone you’ve reached mutually beneficial agreements with in the past. … Read More 

Government Negotiations and Beyond: Using Carrots and Sticks Effectively

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In 1987 government negotiations, U.S. president Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev took early steps to end the Cold War by signing the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) arms control treaty in Washington, D.C. Banning all ground-launched nuclear and conventional missile systems within a certain range, the INF treaty put in place a strict … Read More 

Types of Mediation: Choose the Type Best Suited to Your Conflict

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When parties involved in a serious conflict want to avoid a court battle, there are types of mediation can be an effective alternative. In mediation, a trained mediator tries to help the parties find common ground using principles of collaborative, mutual-gains negotiation. We tend to think mediation processes are all alike, but in fact, mediators … Read More 

Four Negotiation Examples in the Workplace That Sought Greater Equity and Diversity

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There are a number of infamous negotiation examples in the workplace, but one most notable instance occurred in March 2018, when more than 700 Canadian doctors, residents, and medical students signed an online petition protesting their pay. The public health-care system in Quebec had been the victim of budget cuts, and the medical professionals weren’t … Read More 

The Importance of Negotiation in Business and Your Career

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What are the essential ingredients to getting ahead in the workplace? Hard work, communication skills, and a generous dose of luck all play a role, of course. Another key ingredient—one that is often overlooked—is the ability to recognize and capitalize on opportunities to negotiate for your career success. Why is negotiation in business important? Because … Read More 

The Importance of Relationship Building in China

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Although most Americans treat those they know differently than they treat strangers, Chinese relationship building towards insiders and outsiders tends to be more extreme than in the United States – and therefore more important in negotiations in China than many Americans understand. … Read More 

Current Negotiations in the News: Lessons for Business Negotiators

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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 

Learn from the Best with the Great Negotiator Case Studies

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No one can provide perspective on conflict resolution like experts who have been involved in some of the world’s most complex negotiations. Since 2001, the Program on Negotiation (PON) has bestowed the Great Negotiator Award upon distinguished leaders whose lifelong accomplishments in the fields of negotiation and dispute resolution have had compelling and lasting results. The Great … Read More 

Dear Negotiation Coach: To Resolve Conflict, Address Dignity Concerns

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Dignity violations can often be found at the core of interpersonal conflicts, according to Dr. Donna Hicks, an associate at Harvard’s Weatherhead Center for International Affairs. The author of Leading with Dignity: How to Create a Culture That Brings Out the Best in People (Yale University Press, 2018), Hicks shared with us how we can resolve … Read More 

Team Building Using Negotiation Skills

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To avoid conveying weakness to the other side, rather than calling for a break at the first sign of trouble, some negotiation teams devise secret signals they can use to bring wayward members in line—for instance, someone might stretch out her arms to communicate to another member that he’s getting off track. … Read More 

Negotiation Analysis: The US, Taliban, and the Bergdahl Exchange

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The exchange between the United States and the Taliban of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban leaders held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, represented the first public prisoner exchange of a US soldier in the thirteen year US involvement in Afghanistan. The background of the deal including how Private First Class Bergdahl (promoted twice to Sergeant … Read More 

The Advantages of Bias at the Negotiation Table

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What impact do cognitive biases have on bargaining scenarios? Work by negotiation researchers Russell B. Korobkin of UCLA and Chris P. Guthrie of Vanderbilt University suggests how to turn knowledge of four specific biases into tools of persuasion. … Read More 

How Much Should You Share at the Negotiation Table?

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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 

Methods of Dispute Resolution: Building Trust in Online Mediation

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Before the Covid-19 pandemic, mediators and other negotiation practitioners often insisted on meeting in person, convinced that online methods of dispute resolution lack “the human touch”—the warmth, energy, body language, and other subtle factors that build essential ingredients in conflict resolution, including trust, empathy, and rapport. But when lockdowns and social-distancing restrictions took hold in the … Read More 

Managing Cultural Differences in Negotiation

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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 

Using Principled Negotiation to Resolve Disagreements

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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 

The Pitfalls of Negotiations Over Email

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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 

In Real-Life Conflict Scenarios, Promote Constructive Dissent

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Real-life conflict scenarios can keep groups from being effective. But at a press conference on March 6, Trump suggested that any conflict within the White House has been beneficial: “I like conflict. I like having two people with different points of view, and I certainly have that, and I make a decision. But I like … Read More 

Win Win Negotiations: Can’t Beat Them? Join a Coalition.

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This negotiation case study demonstrates the power of coalitions to achieve objectives at the bargaining table. How can negotiators cooperate with bargaining counterparts to create value for both sides? Here is the strategy used by Wyoming ranchers to achieve just that. … Read More 

Negotiating Identity and Values-Based Disputes

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How Do Parties in Conflict Negotiate Core Beliefs? Identity and values-based disputes are particularly challenging to resolve, as identities are naturally inflexible and values are typically much less elastic than interest-based issues. In conventional interest-based negotiation, parties often do give up one thing in exchange for getting something they want more. This is often not possible … Read More 

Ask A Negotiation Expert: The Accidental Negotiation Expert

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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 

How to Get a Great Deal When Trust is Low

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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 

When Negotiations is a Love Song

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On Valentine’s Day, 1945, Matilda Genevieve Scaduto, the 20-year- old granddaughter of Sicilian immigrants, was working the elevator at a Milwaukee hotel when she met a traveling violinist named Boudleaux Bryant. He started calling her Felice, saying it suited her better than Matilda because she was happy all the time, according to American Songwriter magazine. … Read More 

Learning from crisis negotiations

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In crisis negotiations, we typically face a number of difficult decisions. Should we try to negotiate on our own or team up with others with shared goals? Should we take time to drive a hard bargain or try to wrap up talks as quickly as possible? How can we account for uncertainty and risk in … Read More 

Negotiating Strategies for Navigating Sensitive Topics

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When devising negotiating strategies, some topics seem off-limits: difficult to bring up and perhaps impossible to resolve. Consider the following anecdotes: – In the process of negotiating an acquisition that would include key personnel, members of the buyer’s team are concerned about rumors that a top executive from the target firm has a serious drinking problem … Read More 

How to Negotiate in Cross-Cultural Situations

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Figuring out how to negotiate in cross-cultural situations can seem like a daunting endeavor, and for good reason. Negotiating across the cultural divide adds an entire dimension to any negotiation, introducing language barriers, differences in body language and dress, and alternative ways of expressing pleasure or displeasure with the elements of a deal. As a … Read More 

VIDEO: William Ury on “Getting to Yes with Yourself”

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At the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, William Ury, a founding member of the Program on Negotiation and co-author of the seminal book Getting to Yes, spoke about his latest book, Getting to Yes with Yourself (and Other Worthy Opponents). Over 250 community members, students, and faculty members filled Austin Hall to hear Ury … Read More 

Digitally Enhanced Simulation Packages – With Live Data Analytics

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In-depth Teaching Materials with Real Time Data Analytics Designed to Enhance Teaching Negotiation  From the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) at PON, and iDecisionGames: digitally enhanced simulation packages designed to take your teaching to the next level. The Enhanced Simulation Package from the TNRC and iDecisionGames brings a new, interactive learning experience to teaching negotiation. This easy … Read More 

Dear Negotiation Coach: Negotiation Interpreters Leave Space for Interpretation

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Negotiators tend to view language interpreters as neutral in international negotiation, but reality is more complicated, according to Sanda Kaufman, a professor of Planning, Public Policy, and Administration at Cleveland State University who studies negotiation and intervention in urban, environmental, and organizational contexts. Fluent in four languages, Kaufman is also an experienced negotiation interpreter who … Read More 

Why is Negotiation Important: Mediation in Transactional Negotiations

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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 

Negotiation Advice: When to Make the First Offer in Negotiation

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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 

Negotiation Examples in Real Life: Buying a Home

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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 More 

Mediation and the Conflict Resolution Process

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It’s often the case that when two people or organizations try to resolve a dispute by determining who is right, they get stuck. That’s why so many disputes end up in court. There is a better way to resolve your dispute: by hiring an expert mediator who focuses not on rights but on interests—the needs, … Read More 

Mediation Process and Business Negotiations: How Does Mediation Work in a Lawsuit?

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How does mediation work in a lawsuit? What benefits can mediation offer businesses that deal with multiple contractual agreements, some of which may end in disputes? These questions were answered by Harvard Law School Associate Professor and negotiation expert Dan Greiner in an “Ask the Negotiation Coach” segment from our Negotiation Briefings newsletter. … Read More 

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 landmines that seriously injured two South Korean border guards. South Korea retaliated with an old tactic … Read More 

Lessons Learned from Teaching Online: Pedagogy in a Pandemic

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The exercises and videos developed for teaching online can also help improve in-person courses. As teachers and trainers around the world are working to transition their courses online and wondering about how their approach to teaching will be altered moving forward, the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) asked some of our experienced online teachers to share … Read More 

Howard Raiffa Taught Us About Decision-Making and Negotiation

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If you’ve ever made a decision tree, engaged in risk analysis, or created a scoring system when preparing for a negotiation, you benefited from the work of economist Howard Raiffa, whether you realized it or not. And the decisions you’ve made in your negotiations likely have been far smarter as a result. After all, decision-making … Read More 

Salary Negotiation: How to Ask for a Higher Salary

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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 

Negotiation Preparation Strategies

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When an important negotiation is looming, “winging it” is never the answer. The best negotiators engage in thorough negotiation preparation. That means taking plenty of time to analyze what you want, your bargaining position, and the other side’s likely wants and alternatives. … Read More 

Business Conflict Management

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In the business world, workplace disputes are all too common. Consider these real-life conflict scenarios: a group of employees who, working overtime to make up for staff shortages, complain to their manager that they aren’t getting paid enough for the extra time. A colleague confides about his boss’s verbal abuse. Two employees argue openly about … Read More 

Stonewalling in Negotiations: Risks and Pitfalls

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Contract negotiations between Jason Pierre-Paul and the New York Giants demonstrate 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 

Sales Negotiation Techniques

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In sales negotiations, making the first offer is often a smart move. The first offer can anchor the discussion that follows and can have a powerful effect on the final outcome. But if the other party makes the first offer, you’ll need to be prepared to frame your counteroffer carefully. What is framing in negotiation? It … Read More 

Dear Negotiation Coach: Is There Promise in Online Negotiation?

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In this edition of Dear Negotiation Coach, Harvard Business School professor Max H. Bazerman describes how online negotiation could increase efficiency and trust in many realms. In-person negotiations can offer advantages over electronic negotiations—for example, in terms of rapport building and value creation. But what advantages might online negotiation have over face-to-face negotiation? Max H. Bazerman: Online … Read More 

The Importance of Communication in Negotiations: Preparing Your Negotiating Team

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When a team is preparing for a critical negotiation, members need to appoint a leader, allocate roles and responsibilities, and discuss their at-the-table strategy. Another key objective that teams sometimes fail to discuss is the importance of staying “on message” – that is, making sure that statements by individual members don’t contradict the group’s agreed-upon … Read More 

Contingency Contracts in Business Negotiations

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Question: Lately I have been hearing a lot—both in the news and on the job—about companies using contingencies in contracts. Given that I sometimes negotiate deals that entail a lot of risk regarding how future events will play out, I am interested to know how contingencies work and how I might use them. … Read More 

Cross Cultural Communication: Translation and Negotiation

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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 

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

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Back in November 2012, Hostess Brands announced that it had failed to reach a negotiated 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 

Take your BATNA to the Next Level

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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 More 

Teach Your Students Value Distribution with a Simulation on Solar Power

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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 

In Negotiation, Is Benevolent Deception Acceptable?

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Do you behave as honestly as possible in your negotiations? Do you view honesty as a critical attribute in your negotiation counterparts? You probably answered these questions in the affirmative: Like many of us, you view deliberate deception to be both unethical and risky. … Read More 

What is a Win-Win Negotiation?

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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 

Mediation: Sitting Down at the Table

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One of the central skills of a mediator is the ability to solve problems. And while problem solving skills may lead to successfully negotiated agreements between disputing parties, an effective mediator also has to get each side to agree to sit down at the bargaining table in the first place. … Read More 

The Abraham Path: A Thousand Miles on Foot

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The Abraham Path is a cultural route tracing Abraham’s footsteps across the present-day Middle East. The path offers hikers the opportunity to engage with the peoples and landscapes of the region firsthand, and to see the region from a new perspective. The path offers an intriguing case of very challenging, long-term negotiations to establish a contiguous … Read More 

Dear Negotiation Coach: When Silence in Negotiation is Golden

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Question: I have the sense that silence can sometimes be useful, but it usually just makes me feel uncomfortable. Does silence in negotiation have benefits? A: In Western cultures, many people are uncomfortable with silence. We tend to talk on top of one another, with little pause between point and counterpoint. Any silence that occurs often … Read More 

Negotiation Ethics: Dealing with Deception at the Bargaining Table

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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 

Closing the Deal in Negotiations: 3 Tips for Sequential Dealmaking

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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 

International Negotiations and Cognitive Biases in Negotiation

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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 International Relations: Finding Common Ground

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When thinking of negotiation in international relations, it’s difficult to think of any negotiation with higher stakes than those surrounding nuclear nonproliferation. Often conducted amid international conflict and public scrutiny, complicated by language and cultural barriers, and carried out under tight deadlines, talks aimed at ensuring that nuclear technology is used peacefully and that disarmament … Read More 

Types of Conflict in Business Negotiation—and How to Avoid Them

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Conflict in business negotiation is common, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There are steps we can take to avoid types of conflict and misunderstandings. Often, it helps to analyze the unique causes of conflict in particular negotiation situations. Here, we look at three frequent types of conflict in business negotiations and offer … Read More 

Managing Expectations in Negotiations

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Successful negotiators work hard to ensure that when they and their counterpart leave a negotiation, both sides feel satisfied with the agreement. Why should you care whether the other side is pleased with negotiations or not? … Read More 

In Business Negotiations, Eat Before You Negotiate

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When preparing for your next business negotiation, you may want to strategize not only about what you’ll put on the bargaining table, but also how much food you’ll put in your belly beforehand. That’s the message of new research that Cornell University professor Emily Zitek and Dartmouth College professor Alexander Jordan presented at the annual … Read More 

Negotiating with Governments: How to Deal with Government Officials

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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 

The Hidden Pitfalls of Video Negotiation

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It used to be that when negotiating counterparts were located far apart, one side or the other would need to get in a car, train, or plane if the parties wanted to do business face-to-face. These days, you only need to set up a videoconference on an app such as Zoom or Google Hangouts to … Read More 

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 

Repairing Relationships Using Negotiation Skills

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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 

Arbitration vs Mediation: What’s Wrong with Traditional Arbitration?

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Arbitration vs mediation: Traditionally, the arbitrator is not limited to selecting one of the parties’ contract proposals but may determine the contract terms on his own. If negotiators know that impasse will lead to traditional arbitration, they typically assume that the arbitrator will reach a decision that’s an approximate midpoint between their final offers. … Read More 

The Value of Using Scorable Simulations in Negotiation Training

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At a Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) faculty pedagogy seminar, 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 … Read More 

Dear Negotiation Coach: Dealing with an Exploding Offer

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Question: I was recently laid off from my longtime job and am back on the market. I received a pretty good offer (Job A) but was being considered for a more interesting, higher-paying job (Job B) at the same time. The recruiter for Job A told me the company needed an answer within two days, … Read More 

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 

Dealing with Cultural Barriers in Business Negotiations

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If you negotiate regularly on the job, you probably have engaged in multiple business negotiations with counterparts from other cultures. Negotiating across cultural barriers can significantly expand your organization’s reach and bring great rewards. Yet negotiating cross-culturally also can pose challenges, such as these. … Read More 

Leadership Skills in Negotiation: How to Negotiate Equity Incentives with Senior Management

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How can you use your leadership skills in negotiation to divide the pie of resources with those that helped you grow it in the first place? In this negotiation case study, Kevin Mohan, Senior Lecturer at  Harvard Business School examines how executives can expand the pie while helping those who contribute claim equitable value. … Read More 

How to Negotiate a Higher Salary

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When considering how to negotiate a higher salary, job candidates often focus on back-and-forth haggling strategies. But it’s at least as important to think about our broader goals, the type of organization we’d be joining, and the best way to frame an offer. The following advice on how to bargain salary should set you up … Read More 

What is Distributive Negotiation and Five Proven Strategies

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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 

Diplomatic Negotiations: The Surprising Benefits of Conflict and Teamwork at the Negotiation Table

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As the US presidential primary season heats up for both parties, it helps to take a look back at the 2008 US presidential election and the win-win coalition forged between Barack Obama and his then-rival, Hillary Clinton. As this example demonstrates, if carefully managed, disagreements can lead to better results than you might expect. … Read More 

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

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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 

How to Balance Your Own Values in Negotiation

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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 

How to Manage Conflict at Work

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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 

In Negotiation, How Much Authority Do They Have?

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While hammering out an agreement during negotiation, a mid-level manager offered a customer a significant price discount. When the discount failed to materialize, the customer sued. In response, company representatives argued that the manager did not have the authority to offer the discount. Who is right? … Read More 

Negotiating the Healthcare Industry

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Teach Your Students to Negotiate One of the Most Critical Global Industries With an ongoing pandemic devastating communities around the world, the acute importance of the healthcare industry to community welfare has become even more apparent. Healthcare is one of the biggest economies in the world, with billions of dollars spent on treatments and associated research. … Read More 

Dear Negotiation Coach: Breaking Bad News in Negotiation

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Q: I am a real-estate agent working in a relatively active market. Unfortunately, market conditions mean I often am delivering bad news to buyers: houses go off the market before I can arrange a walk-through; my clients’ offers often are countered very aggressively or rejected outright; and sellers may not be willing to agree to … Read More 

Conflict Management Skills When Dealing with an Angry Public

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When negotiators get along well, creative problem solving is easy. When they become upset, however, they seem to forget everything they know about finding joint gain, to the point of giving up tangible wins simply to inflict losses on the other party. This is especially true in high-profile negotiations that turn nasty. … Read More 

Why Great Negotiators Earn More Money

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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 

Negotiation Logistics: Best Practices for Better Deals

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Negotiators are often so intent on preparing for the substance of a negotiation—researching the other party, analyzing their alternatives, and so on—that they neglect to devote adequate time to critical negotiation logistics, such as where to negotiate, how formal or informal talks should be, and even the shape of the negotiating table. Before the official start … Read More 

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 in business negotiations. … Read More 

Cognitive Biases in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution – Common Negotiation Mistakes

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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 

Choose the Right Dispute Resolution Process

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What is dispute resolution? There are three basic types of dispute resolution, each with its pros and cons. The first two, mediation and arbitration, are considered types of alternative dispute resolution because they are an alternative to litigation. … Read More 

What Leads to Renegotiation?

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Renegotiation is generally triggered for one of two reasons: an imperfect contract or changed circumstances. The goal of any written contract is to express the parties’ full understanding of their deal. … Read More 

Ask A Negotiation Expert: How Conversational Receptiveness Might Bridge Our Divide

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In the United States and elsewhere, people with very different worldviews on politics seem hopelessly and dangerously divided. A skill called “conversational receptiveness,” which involves using certain language to show you’re willing to thoughtfully engage with opposing views, can help lessen tensions, write researchers Michael Yeomans of Imperial College London, Julia Minson of Harvard Kennedy … Read More 

Why It Pays for Powerful Parties to Negotiate

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In recent years, the U.S. film industry has avoided dealing with a mounting inefficiency. Historically, theater companies have negotiated with film studios for the right to screen movies for three months before they can be released in other formats, including streaming, on demand, and DVD. Staggering the release of films in different formats has benefited studios … Read More 

Why diversity hiring efforts often fail—and how your organization can do better

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Immediately before the abbreviated Major League Baseball (MLB) draft, televised live on June 10, 2020, league commissioner Rob Manfred made a statement acknowledging the harm of systemic racism and inequality, and said that he and team owners would be “active participants in social change.” As he spoke, each MLB team’s general manager (GM) or head … Read More 

Real Life Negotiation Lessons Learned from Fiction

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When the COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020—coinciding with his upcoming sabbatical—Harvard Business School professor Deepak Malhotra, a member of the Program on Negotiation Executive Committee, saw the perfect opportunity to try something new. The author of three previous books, he turned his hand to fiction, penning “The Peacemaker’s Code,” a thrilling novel grounded in … Read More 

Distributive Bargaining Strategies

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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 

Bargaining for a New Car: Real World Negotiations Examples

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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 

Power Asymmetry and the Principal Agent Problem

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Downloadable Video Simulation from the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center 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. The Power Asymmetry and … Read More 

Dear Negotiation Coach: The Hidden Benefits of Mistrust in Negotiation

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Q: I’ve heard a lot about the benefits of developing trust in negotiation and experienced some of them myself. But in my negotiations, I find myself struggling with the question of how trusting to be. Is there a benefit to mistrust in negotiation? Should I always aim to be as trusting as possible? A: In negotiation, … Read More 

Collaborative Negotiation Examples: Tenants and Landlords

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In the best of times, negotiators brim with resources, energy, and optimism, which inspire collaboration and creativity. In the worst of times—such as now—negotiators are so stressed and fearful that they can be distrustful and rigid. During the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve often seen the latter negotiation style. But several collaborative negotiation examples have emerged in … Read More 

Dressing for Success: How Wealth and Status Cues Affect Business Negotiation

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In business negotiations, we know we’re supposed to focus on substance: which issues matter to both sides, what each party can afford, what each side’s outside alternatives are, how to build a strong relationship, and so forth. Yet we’re often swayed by more superficial, often irrelevant aspects of negotiation, such as the shape of the table, whether … Read More 

Teaching Contract Negotiation: Using the Mutual Gains Approach

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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 

Cultural Barriers and Conflict Negotiation Strategies: Apple’s Apology in China

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When dealing with a difficult counterpart, it helps to take a conciliatory approach to the bargaining table. While apologies necessarily involve moments of vulnerability, they can also open doors to value creation and strengthen the relationship you have with your bargaining counterpart. Let’s look back at Apple’s apology in China for its maligned warranty policies … Read More 

Tired of Liars? Promote More Ethical Negotiation Behavior

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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 

Entrepreneurship and Negotiation: Call for Papers and Proposals

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The Negotiation Journal is Hosting a Virtual Conference for its Special Issue on Entrepreneurship and Negotiation While negotiation and entrepreneurship scholars have traditionally worked in different circles, their work increasingly intersects as the two fields co-evolve. Both entrepreneurship and negotiation involve dynamic, strategic, interpersonal activities that seek to create and claim some form of value.  Both … Read More 

Dear Negotiation Coach: How Can You Simplify Complex Negotiations with Stakeholder Alignment?

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In complex, multiparty negotiations, the task of value creation can quickly become overwhelming because of the large number of parties and interests at stake. An emerging process called “stakeholder alignment” can help construct order from chaos in complex negotiations, according to Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld, a professor at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at … Read More 

Advanced Negotiation Techniques: Negotiating Partnerships Online

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As the Covid-19 pandemic took hold in the spring of 2020, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) ground nearly to a halt. Many believed it would be impossible to build the trust and rapport needed to form successful partnerships from a distance. But as social distancing restrictions dragged on, deal making took off. Global companies struck deals … Read More 

New Simulation: Ethical Dilemmas Surrounding Water Shutoffs in Older American Cities

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Ethical Dilemmas Surrounding Water Shutoffs in Older American Cities, newly available from the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC), is a six party, multi-issue negotiation involving environmental, political, economic and social interest groups, in a shrinking American city, where the water infrastructure is in desperate need of repair. This role-play simulation illustrates the ethical, financial and … Read More 

Nelson Mandela: Negotiation Lessons from a Master

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Some people learn to negotiate on the job, in a classroom, or in a therapist’s office. In Nelson Mandela’s case, “prison taught him to be a master negotiator,” writes Bill Keller in his New York Times obituary of the legendary activist turned president, who died on December 5, 2013. Soon after his arrival at South Africa’s … Read More 

Ask A Negotiation Expert: Negotiation Means Sometimes Having To Say You’re Sorry

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An apology can be an essential means of repairing trust and rebuilding damaged relationships. Yet we don’t always apologize effectively, according to Jeswald Salacuse, a distinguished professor at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, and a faculty member of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. We spoke to Salacuse about … Read More 

Negotiation in the News: Last Negotiating Moves From A Never-Boring President

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Whether they love him or hate him, one thing negotiation analysts and practitioners should be able to agree on is that outgoing U.S. president Donald Trump has provided fascinating negotiations to examine and learn from over the past four years. His dealmaking both at home and abroad has been marked by impulsive, sometimes head- scratching decisions; … Read More 

Making the best of pandemic-era deal disruptions

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This past fall, three grown children set about helping their mother, Mina, find a memory care facility for John, their 85-year-old father. John’s previously mild dementia had progressed rapidly during the Covid-19 pandemic, to the point that he could no longer live safely at home. John’s children gathered a short list of affordable long-term care facilities … Read More 

How to Negotiate via Text Message

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Do you negotiate via text message? If you’re a young person early in your career, there’s a good chance you could easily pull up message strings full of discussions about issues and offers. If you’re a little older, you might have answered no. Even so, if you took a closer look at the saved text … Read More 

Government Negotiations: Pfizer’s Rocky Road to U.S. Covid-19 Vaccine Deals

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In late December, 2020, the Trump administration reached a $1.95 billion deal with pharmaceutical company Pfizer to purchase 100 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine it had developed in partnership with German drugmaker BioNTech, enough to immunize 50 million people. It was the second such deal the parties had reached since the pandemic began to … Read More 

New Simulation and Case Study: Camp Lemonnier

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Negotiating a Lease Agreement for a Key Military Base in Africa Camp Lemonnier is a United States Naval Expeditionary Base located in Djibouti and is the only permanent U.S. military base in Africa. Djibouti, bordering Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, has been home to Camp Lemonnier since the September 11, … Read More 

Implicit and Explicit Bias: When Negotiators Discriminate Based on Race

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Implicit and explicit bias are common, whether the guilty parties are aware of it, or not.  On July 14, 2015, American Honda Finance Corporation (AHFC), the U.S. financing division of Japanese car manufacturer Honda, agreed to refund $24 million to minority borrowers to settle federal investigations. AHFC was alleged to have racially discriminated against the … Read More 

Nicole Bryant is named the next Managing Director of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School

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Nicole Bryant will be joining the Program on Negotiation on January 25, 2021 as our next Managing Director. She brings to the position a proven track record of successful management and growth of large-scale continuing education programming in an international context. Bryant joins the Program on Negotiation from Tufts University, where she served as the Director … Read More 

Dear Negotiation Coach: Responding (Or Not) to an Ultimatum in Negotiation

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Many times in our lives, we will encounter an ultimatum in negotiation. Sometimes the ultimatum is real, and often times it is not. However, there are ways to approach an ultimatum in negotiation to get past this sometimes burdensome hurdle. Professor Deepak Malhotra answers this week’s Dear Negotiation Coach column: QUESTION A counterpart recently made a “take … Read More 

Job Offer Negotiation Tips During the Pandemic

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Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, many jobseekers have concluded that if they are lucky enough to be offered a good job in a tight market, they lack the power needed to negotiate better employment terms. In fact, a silver lining of the crisis is that it has created new opportunities to negotiate. With the coronavirus throwing … Read More 

Teaching Community Dispute Resolution: Exercises to Facilitate Positive Change

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Community dispute resolution provides communities with a forum to address conflict, uncover and resolve the underlying issues, and thereby achieve positive change. Community dispute resolution provides an alternative to the judicial system and facilitates collaborative community relationships. Community dispute resolution processes can include training and educational activities, and may involve a mediator from within the … Read More 

The Door in the Face Technique: Will It Backfire?

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Have you ever heard of the door in the face technique? In a classic and rather amusing study from 1975, Arizona State University professor Robert Cialdini and his colleagues sent research assistants around campus posing as employees of the county’s juvenile detention center. They stopped people randomly on walkways and asked them if they would … Read More 

BATNA Strategy: Should You Reveal Your BATNA?

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In their best-selling book Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton (Penguin, 1991) introduced the concept of having a BATNA strategy (best alternative to a negotiated agreement) as “the standard against which any proposed agreement should be measured.” When you know what you’ll do if you don’t reach … Read More 

10 Notable Negotiations of 2020

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If there’s one thing that negotiators have practiced this year, it’s thinking on their feet. As our 10 notable negotiations of 2020 illustrate, the coronavirus pandemic left individuals, businesses, nonprofits, and governments trying to replace outmoded plans with more workable alternatives.  10 Notable Negotiations of 2020 10. Struggling to play ball. This year, sports leagues scrambled to … Read More 

Tips for Teaching Simulations Online: Q&A with David Seibel

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Check out the video from our recent session on teaching simulations online to pick up tips for running negotiation exercises remotely! Apprehensive about using role-play simulations in your remote or online blended course? Pick up tips on how to make simulations run smoothly over video, including how to best manage breakouts, run multiparty simulations, report results, … Read More 

Diplomacy Examples in the Covid-19 Era

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In 2020, grounded by the Covid-19 pandemic, international diplomats accustomed to traveling from capital to capital found themselves stuck in a never-ending stream of videoconferences. To take a number of diplomacy examples, the G7, the G20, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank all met online, reduced to tiny faces on a screen. The … Read More 

Ask A Negotiation Expert: Spreading Negotiation Knowledge for a Better World

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For 19 years, the Program on Negotiation (PON) at Harvard Law School has grown and thrived under the leadership of Managing Director Susan Hackley. As PON’s chief administrative and financial officer, Hackley has overseen all activities, including academic events, executive education, interdisciplinary programs, and publications, including Negotiation Briefings. Hackley, who has taught negotiation seminars around … Read More 

Lessons learned from a great negotiation leader

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Leadership in negotiation In academia, there are often subtle conflicts between the executive staff who run programs and centers, and the academics connected to them. Only a talented leader can consistently weave together such groups and integrate very different views. Susan has been such a leader for many years. She provides a vision of doing all we … Read More 

Negotiation research you can use: In sales, front-end honesty can boost back-end profits

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In our information age, buyers have squeezed sellers’ profit margins by collecting readily available data about the value of goods and services. Car buyers can easily identify the dealership cost of their preferred vehicle online and use it to negotiate a great price, for example. And more than 94% of business buyers surveyed by Accenture said … Read More 

Negotiating fruitful partnerships at warp speed

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In the global pharmaceutical industry, companies often work in utter secrecy to be the first to bring moneymaking, lifesaving drugs to market. But when the novel coronavirus emerged in China in early 2020, many leading drugmakers quickly recognized that they would not be able to swiftly develop and mass- produce effective Covid-19 vaccines and treatments on … Read More 

Negotiation in the News: The NBA tries to make the best of another (projected) bad season

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In negotiations across the world, financial troubles brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic have left parties squabbling over smaller and smaller pies. The silver lining? Negotiators may have little choice but to get a deal done, and awareness of this reality can motivate creative thinking and cooperation. Negotiating the terms of their upcoming season, the National … Read More 

Bargaining in Bad Faith: Dealing with “False Negotiators”

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We tend to forget—at our peril—that not everyone at the bargaining table wants to close a deal and may be bargaining in bad faith. Consider the following negotiations:

A competitor approaches you about a potential partnership. After a series of meetings that seemed promising, however, your counterpart stops returning your calls. You are left with the nagging … Read More 

How to Deal with Difficult Customers

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To hear some salespeople and service representatives tell it, difficult behavior from customers is at an all-time high. Stories of demanding customers proliferate in the press and on social media, while customers likewise complain that their needs increasingly are not being met by companies focused on the bottom line. … Read More 

Definition of Mediation and the Mediation Process: The Impact of Lawyers on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

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How does the presence of lawyers affect the mediation process and mediations in general? You might guess that when one or both sides bring an attorney to a mediation, the process would become more contentious and adversarial, with impasse more likely, than if the parties worked solely with a mediator. … Read More 

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

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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 

Are Introverts at a Disadvantage in Negotiation?

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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 

Does Using Technology in Negotiation Change Our Behavior?

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Imagine that two people are introduced to each other via email by a mutual friend. They begin discussions on the phone regarding a potential business partnership, which lead to several in-person meetings during which their laptops are open and their smartphones are on the table, available for checking facts and tracking down data. In between … Read More 

For Business Negotiators, Patience Can be a Virtue

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Business negotiators know that persistence and tenacity can make all the difference between impasse and a game-changing breakthrough. Take the saga behind Microsoft’s 2013 announcement of its pending $7.2 billion acquisition of Finnish mobile phone company Nokia’s handset and services business. The two parties engaged in many months of fruitless talks before either side believed … Read More 

When Our “Principles” Crash up Against our Negotiation Goals

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It’s not uncommon for us to get caught up in the “principle” of a negotiation, and forget all about our negotiation goals. Below is a cautionary tale of a years-long battle to keep the public away from a beach the owner had never even visited, and it stands as an extreme case study of how … Read More 

Four Ways to Manage Conflict in the Workplace

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Samantha was livid. While making a presentation during a meeting that both attended, Brad, a newcomer in her department, had shared some slides during a presentation that were clearly based on ideas for a project she’d shared with him privately—without giving her credit. Samantha angrily confronted Brad in his office after the meeting; he became … Read More 

Win-Lose Negotiation Examples

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When we think of win-lose negotiation examples, we think of competitions in which it seemed that one party had to succeed and the other had to fail. In fact, in the majority of win-lose negotiation examples, a win-win negotiation was possible, but parties overlooked opportunities to create value. As a consequence, they reached subpar results. … Read More 

Conflict Management: Intervening in Workplace Conflict

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Question: I’m aware of lots of unresolved personnel issues that seem to be festering in my department, such as complaints about someone who is not doing his share of the work, another person whose griping is causing a drop in morale, and two coworkers who can’t seem to get along. I’m comfortable negotiating with customers, … Read More 

Conflict Off the Rink: The NHL Negotiations

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Negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) between the National Hockey League Player’s Association (NHLPA) and the NHL’s team owners took a tumultuous turn in mid-August, a month before the current agreement’s looming expiration date of September 15. … Read More 

Is Humor in Business Negotiation Ever Appropriate?

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Have you ever wondered if humor in business negotiation is appropriate, and when? Imagine this scenario. You’re sitting among some of your company’s partners. Just when it seems that they have reached a stalemate, your boss cracks a joke that instantly lightens the mood. Almost magically, she is able to rejuvenate the conversation—and reemphasize her position—in … Read More 

Casino Two: Updated Version of Casino Now Available from the TNRC

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Gender can play a complex role in workplace dynamics, and so teaching students about how to approach these issues is critical. The Casino simulation, available from the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC), has been widely used to teach participants about the role gender can play in the workplace. Now there is a new, updated version which … Read More 

Managing Conflicts of Interest

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An agent—whether a real-estate agent, lawyer, literary agent, or financial adviser—can provide the knowledge, experience, connections, and negotiation skills and strategies needed to get you a great deal. But we tend to forget that agents’ and clients’ financial interests are almost never perfectly aligned. A busy real-estate agent may advise you to offer more for … Read More 

A Negotiation Preparation Checklist

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Without a doubt, the biggest mistake that negotiators make—and one that many make routinely—is failing to thoroughly prepare. When you haven’t done the necessary analysis and research, you are highly likely to leave value on the table and even to be taken advantage of by your counterpart. A negotiation preparation checklist can help you avoid … Read More 

Value Creation in Negotiation

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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 

Conflict Resolution in the Family

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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 

The Power of a Simple Thank You in Negotiation

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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. … Read More 

Negotiating with Difficult Personalities and “Dark” Personality Traits

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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 

For a Mutually Beneficial Agreement, Collaboration is Key

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At the Program on Negotiation, we urge you to aim higher by combining such competitive value-claiming with collaborative value creation. Not because it’s the “nice” thing to do, but because it’s been proven to be the best path to a truly mutually beneficial agreement. … Read More 

Putting Your Negotiated Agreement Into Action

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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 

When Not to Show Your Hand in Negotiations

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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. Fearful of being hurt by revealing too much information, most negotiators play their facts and preferences close to the vest. … Read More 

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 

Persuasive Parenting through Negotiation

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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 

Teaching Online: Negotiation Pedagogy in a Pandemic

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How do we adapt learning objectives to online instruction? As the Coronavirus spreads around the world, many universities have moved to a remote learning structure with online classes. This raises a very crucial question for instructors: how do you transition a course designed to be in-person into an online format while ensuring students remain engaged and … Read More 

Managing the “Negotiator’s Dilemma” with Multiple Equivalent Simultaneous Offers

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Today we’ll talk about multiple equivalent simultaneous offers, or MESOs. Consider the following two perspectives on negotiation:

Following the finalization of a new trade agreement among Canada, Mexico, and the United States, Enrique Peña Nieto, then the president of Mexico, said on September 3, 2018, that the agreement “achieves what we proposed at the start: a … Read More 

Negotiation Team Strategy

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Some negotiations are simple enough to handle on our own, but those deals are increasingly rare in the business world. These days, to thrive in negotiation, you often need to be able to work effectively as part of a negotiation team. … Read More 

BATNA and Risky Negotiation Tactics

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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 More 

Negotiating for a Win Win Coalition at the Bargaining Table

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If a pet project of yours is facing an up-or-down vote, negotiation can be a powerful tool to help sway the outcome in your favor. One example was New York governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s successful campaign to legalize same-sex marriage in the state, as described by Michael Barbaro in the New York Times. … Read More 

In Contract Negotiation, Wise Business Negotiators Sweat the Small Stuff

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What are business negotiators responsible for in contract negotiation? Many would say they’re in charge of building relationships and new business, crafting creative solutions, and fighting for the best deal possible. Few, however, would say they’re responsible for ensuring that the deal holds up well over time. … Read More 

Major Negotiations in History: In Paris Climate Talks, Planning Was Key

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On November 4, 2020, the day after the U.S. presidential election, President Donald Trump officially pulled the United States out of the global climate agreement known as the Paris Accord. The United States is the only country to have exited the pact, which President-elect Joe Biden vowed to reenter upon taking office in January. The 195 … Read More 

Asking for More in Salary Negotiation: When Jennifer Lawrence and Jennifer Aniston Spoke Out

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“We’re very much a sexist society,” actress Jennifer Aniston said in back in 2015 in an 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 and salary negotiation in Hollywood. “Women are still not paid as much as men,” Aniston … Read More 

Crisis Negotiation: The European Financial Crisis

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Planning for crisis negotiation scenarios, particularly in international negotiations, can help negotiators develop strategies before a crisis emerges. Here are some of the negotiation strategies European central bank leaders uses during the financial crisis to help prevent a market collapse. … Read More 

Fostering Constructive Conflict in Team Negotiation

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Conflict can, indeed, be an asset in team negotiation and decision- making, but only if it’s managed constructively. Even if you appreciate conflict, most people are more inclined to want to get along well with others. In groups and team negotiation, that motivation can hold us back from expressing viewpoints that diverge from those of the … Read More 

Setting Standards in Negotiations

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As the starting point from which all commercial transactions occur, from purchasing equipment to setting salaries, negotiatiosn in business is an essential skill no matter what field a negotiator finds herself. Using an objective standard can strengthen your proposal and eliminate emotional bias. … Read More 

How to Renegotiate a Bad Deal

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Think you have some stories from trying to renegotiate? Try this one on for size. Many viewed the deal to be a terrible one from the start.  Back in December 2008, Richard M. Daley, then Chicago’s mayor, announced that his administration had agreed to lease the city’s parking meters for 75 years to a private company … Read More 

In Conflict Resolution, President Carter Turned Flaws Into Virtues

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When it comes to conflict resolution, surprisingly useful nuggets of advice come from the realm of international conflict. Take the Camp David Accords of 1978, as described minute-by-minute by Lawrence Wright in his new book, Thirteen Days in September. U.S. President Jimmy Carter made history by negotiating a peaceful end to the conflict between Israel … Read More 

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

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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 

Ask A Negotiation Expert: The Surprising Benefits of Negotiating with Your Kids

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These days, families are experiencing a lot of togetherness—and perhaps more disagreement and conflict than usual. In their new book, Negotiating at Home: Essential Steps for Reaching Agreement with Your Kids (Praeger, 2020), Rutgers Business School professor Terri R. Kurtzberg and Baruch College professor Mary C. Kern explain how parents can apply negotiation skills to … Read More 

Negotiation research you can use: When Criticism Helps— and Hurts—Brainstorming

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There’s usually only one hard-and-fast rule for brainstorming sessions: Don’t be critical. So entrenched is the belief that negative feedback stifles creativity that at product- design firm IDEO, team facilitators have been known to ring a bell when a team member throws cold water on another person’s idea. In negotiation and dispute resolution, the idea-generation stage … Read More 

Will your business negotiation make it to the finish line?

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This past summer, the White House and the pharmaceutical industry buckled down to negotiate a long-awaited deal aimed at lowering the price of prescription drugs for Americans. Both parties had strong motivations to reach an agreement: With the 2020 presidential election looming, President Donald Trump was eager to fulfill a campaign promise he’d made during … Read More 

Learning from Crisis Negotiations

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When businesses and industries are hit by an unforeseen disaster, they often need to quickly launch crisis negotiations and wrap them up as soon as possible. But time pressure can stifle essential elements of sound dealmaking, including rational thinking, perspective taking, and collaboration, while also promoting dysfunctional competition. Recent negotiations within industries facing crisis offer … Read More 

The Pros and Cons of Back-Channel Negotiations

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Back-channel negotiations provide temporary protection from deal spoilers and public scrutiny. Back-channel negotiations have been used in numerous conflicts across the globe, including the Israeli-Palestinian peace process from 1994 to 1996 and the Iranian hostage crisis in 1979–1980. In 1985, the imprisoned Nelson Mandela conducted back-channel negotiations with South Africa’s minister of justice, Hendrik Jacobus Coetsee, … Read More 

What is Alternative Dispute Resolution?

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So, you’re stuck in a serious dispute, but you’re desperate to avoid the hassle and expense of a court case. You’ve heard about alternative dispute resolution but are not sure what it entails. … Read More 

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

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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 

The Winner’s Curse in Negotiations: How to Avoid It

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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 negotiation. 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 

The Ladder of Inference: A Resource List

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The ladder of inference is a model of decision making behavior originally developed by Chris Argyris and Donald Schoen and elaborated upon in the context of negotiation by Program on Negotiation co-founder Bruce Patton in his book Difficult Conversations, co-authored with fellow Program on Negotiation faculty members Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen. The model describes … Read More 

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Techniques: Negotiating Conditions

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A married couple was debating whether their four-year-old daughter should attend public or private elementary school. It was a difficult issue, and Mike had a tendency to walk out when the conversation got heated. Frustrated, Lisa turned to negotiating terms and conditions just as a negotiator would in a business deal. … Read More 

Managing Difficult Employees: Listening to Learn

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Managing difficult employees is one of the biggest challenges that leaders face. When employees seem unreasonable, belligerent, or uncooperative, managers may be tempted either to brush aside the problem or, alternatively, to fly off the handle. A better solution when managing difficult staff? Use negotiation techniques to get to the root of underlying problems. The following … Read More 

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

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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 

Managing a Multiparty Negotiation

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Multiparty negotiations can be incredibly challenging. Just ask the negotiators from over 170 countries who managed to reach agreement on October 15 on a legally binding accord to combat climate change. … Read More 

Conflict Management: The Challenges of Negotiating Online

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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 

Teach Your Children How to Resolve Conflicts With This Book

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We’ve all been there. One kid wants it his way; the other wants it her way and an inevitable conflict ensues. Shouting, crying, and harsh words are often part of the mix—creating stress for everyone, including the parents who just want to know how to resolve conflicts. … Read More 

Negotiation Research on Organizational Approaches to Negotiating Systems

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While most negotiation research aims to sharpen individual managers’ skills, there is growing scholarly and professional interest in an organizational approach to negotiation.A systemic perspective evaluates the training, authority, procedures, and resources that manager need to improve their companies’ “return on negotiation,” as consultant Danny Ertel puts it. Looking at negotiations broadly reveals important design … Read More 

Navigating Business Relationships Using Negotiation

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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 

Winner’s Curse: Negotiation Mistakes to Avoid

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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 

Labor Negotiation Strategies

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No one likes strikes. They can be financially devastating to employers and employees alike. And because strikes inconvenience the public, whatever popular support striking workers gain may fade when a strike drags on over time. … Read More 

Negotiating with Millennials – How to Overcome Cultural Differences in Communication

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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 

MESO Negotiation Strategies and Negotiation Techniques

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MESO negotiation techniques for negotiators include creating value at the bargaining table by identifying multiple proposals of equal value and presenting them to your counterpart simultaneously. By making tradeoffs across issues, parties can obtain greater value on the issues that are most important to them. But how can you be sure you’re making the right … Read More 

Win-Win Negotiations: Should You Consider a Deal Sweetener?

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The following question was asked of Andrew Wasynczuk, MBA Class of 1953 and Senior Lecturer of Business Administration Harvard Business School in the Negotiation Briefings monthly “Ask the Negotiation Coach” column: I run a midsized retail sports-apparel chain located in the southwestern United States. I’ve been searching for a seasoned executive to lead new store expansion … Read More 

Effective Leadership Techniques: Negotiating as an Agent

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Following Joe Biden’s election as the next U.S. president, we revisit a 2014 Negotiation Briefings article, “When You’re Negotiating for Someone Else, Stay in the Deal,” about the significant role Biden negotiated for himself as vice president. As vice president to President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2017, Joe Biden worked hard to be, in his … Read More 

5 Tips for Improving Your Negotiation Skills

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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 

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

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Back 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 … Read More 

The Importance of Power in Negotiations: Taylor Swift Shakes it Off

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In negotiation, our success often hinges on our bargaining power—which in turn can depend on forces beyond our control. That truism was highlighted in two recent disputes arising from business negotiations over the pricing of copyrighted material in the digital era, one from the music world, the other from publishing. … Read More 

Does Small Talk in Negotiation Offer Big Gains?

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According to conventional wisdom, small talk builds rapport and gets both sides a better deal in the end. But in fact, the question of whether to engage in small talk can be highly context-specific. New York City investment bankers, for example, tend to be far less likely than Texas oil executives to engage in small … Read More 

Running Simulations Online: Zoom Tips and Tricks

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Negotiation simulations, while incredibly useful teaching tools, can be difficult to orchestrate logistically, especially with large groups of participants. Moving classes online has made running simulations even more complex. Zoom, as well as many other video chat platforms, has lots of features to assist with running simulations online. To help educators prepare for this unpredictable … Read More 

Counteracting Negotiation Biases Like Race and Gender in the Workplace

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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 

Integrative Negotiation: Don’t Forget the Future When Negotiating

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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 

5 Types of Negotiation Skills

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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 More 

Price Anchoring 101

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Opening offers have a strong effect in price negotiations. The first offer typically serves as an anchor that strongly influences the discussion that follows. In research documenting price anchoring, psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky found that even random numbers can have a dramatic impact on people’s subsequent judgments and decisions. … Read More 

Effective Negotiation Strategies for Dealing with Competitors

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In the business world, organizations take competition for granted, to the extent that they often overlook opportunities to meet their goals by working with one another. But the benefits of negotiation in business can extend to our dealings with competitors. Recent high-profile negotiations highlight three effective negotiation strategies competitors can use to cooperate and compete. … Read More 

Closing the Deal in Negotiations When Win-Win Seems Likely

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Excerpted from the article “Will Your Negotiation Make It to the Finish Line?” in the December 2020 issue of Negotiation Briefings, the Program on Negotiation’s monthly newsletter of advice for professional negotiators.  When it comes to closing the deal in negotiations, agreements sometimes fall apart for good reason. If one or more parties realize they could … Read More 

Emotional Intelligence as a Negotiating Skill

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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 

Negotiation with Your Children: How to Resolve Family Conflicts

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Few negotiation examples in real life demonstrate the benefit of effective conflict resolution skills than those disputes that arise in the home, such as those between parents and children. Getting a good night’s sleep and eating a healthy dinner might seem like obvious goals for parents to have for their young children, but kids won’t … Read More 

Integrative Negotiations: Dispute Resolution Through Joint Fact-Finding

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Sometimes parties to a dispute disagree on key facts and forecasts but lack the technical or scientific expertise needed to come to a consensus. Suppose, for instance, that a developer is seeking to build a high-rise condominium building in a village that is experiencing a development boom. Longtime residents fight the proposal, arguing that another … Read More 

Salary Negotiations and How to Negotiate Performance-Based Pay

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Salary negotiations are never predictable. Imagine that you are a sales rep with a company that is getting hit hard by a financial crisis. No one has been laid off yet, but everyone is nervous about that possibility. In an effort to save jobs, your sales manager has quietly proposed that everyone take lower base … Read More 

For Price Negotiators, Preparation is the Key to Success

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Some cultures have a long tradition of haggling—bargaining back and forth about the price of an item—in markets and bazaars. By contrast, in the United States and many other countries, haggling between buyers and sellers is an under-practiced skill. You might routinely pass up opportunities to haggle in situations where financial negotiations are not the … Read More 

Conflict Negotiation Skills for Broken Contracts

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Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, many agreements—renting a concert venue, hiring workers for a new café chain, acquiring a company—became untenable or illogical overnight. But it’s not easy to exit a signed contract without risking a costly legal dispute. By sharpening our conflict negotiation skills, we can negotiate satisfactory solutions without ending up in court. One … Read More 

Police Negotiation Techniques from the NYPD Crisis Negotiations Team

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Few negotiators can imagine negotiation scenarios more stressful than the kinds of crisis negotiations the New York City Police Department’s Hostage Negotiation Team undertake. But police negotiation techniques employed by the New York City Police Department’s Hostage Negotiations Team (HNT) in high-stakes, high-pressure crisis negotiation situations, outlined in an article from Jeff Thompson and Hugh … Read More 

Understanding Your Counterpart’s BATNA

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One of the most popular questions concerning negotiation strategy and an area of negotiation research that draws heavily on negotiation examples in real life is how do negotiators identify their BATNA, or best alternative to a negotiated agreement, and even better, how do they identify their counterpart’s BATNA? Consider the saga of a company that … Read More 

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

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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 

Ask Better Negotiation Questions

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Consider negotiation questions you might overhear in a typical business negotiation: ■ “ You want how much for that order?” ■ “Can you see what an excellent offer this is?” ■ “Are you ready to take this deal, yes or no?” It’s not difficult to see the limitations of these negotiation questions. The first one is likely to promote … Read More 

5 Dealmaking Tips for Closing the Deal

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When you’ve made progress on certain issues but remain stymied on others in a negotiation, it’s time to take a hard look at what’s standing between you and a mutually acceptable deal. Professor Robert Mnookin of Harvard Law School and his colleagues at Stanford University have created a catalog of common dealmaking barriers to agreement, … Read More 

An Example of the Anchoring Effect

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People tend to irrationally fixate on the first number put forth in a negotiation—the anchor—no matter how arbitrary it may be. Even when we know the anchor has limited relevance, we fail to sufficiently adjust our judgments away from it. This is the anchoring effect. … Read More 

How to Solve Intercultural Conflict

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The question of how to solve intercultural conflict is one of the most difficult ones facing negotiators. Misunderstandings and disputes caused by cultural differences can further complicate already challenging negotiations, whether you are doing business at home, abroad, or online. The following guidelines can help us achieve better results in cross-cultural communication and negotiation. 1. Jump-Start … Read More 

Signing Bonus Negotiation 101

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After engaging in a successful salary negotiation for a coveted job, most people are ready to shake hands and start sharing the good news with friends and family. But these days, there may be one more negotiation you should consider launching before saying yes: a signing bonus negotiation. … Read More 

How to Negotiate a Business Deal

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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 

Leadership Styles in Crisis Negotiations

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Since the start of the global economic recession in 2008, few issues have proven as explosive as the Greek debt crisis. The Greek government’s commitment to repay billions of dollars in loans has been a source of contention with creditors ever since a sizable bailout was issued in 2010. … Read More