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.


the art of negotiation

What is the Art of Negotiation?

The art of negotiation helps us adapt to the sometimes chaotic nature of negotiations by supplementing our careful plans with creativity and flexibility.

Harvard Business School Professor Michael Wheeler literally wrote the book on the art of negotiation. Effective conflict management and adept improvisational negotiation skills are an asset to any business negotiator in the global economy and The Art of Negotiation: How to Improvise Agreement in a Chaotic World distills the negotiation research into techniques and skills businesses can implement immediately.

Even when armed with sound negotiation advice, we may still find ourselves struggling to cope with the surprises that pop up at the bargaining table. But the fact is, adaptability to ever-changing circumstances is essential for the “dynamic” negotiations one encounters in everyday life.

Because negotiation is an essential skill for your life and your career, the art of negotiation approach helps us view negotiation not only from the perspective of something that can be learned but also as something that can be honed through experience. Just as the greatest jazz musicians have mastered their ability to riff off of one another, so too must a negotiator master her ability to lead laterally while at the bargaining table.

This is a key lesson for anyone engaged in negotiation. Jazz musicians need to be great listeners. Yet there’s a widely held assumption in the business world that negotiation is mostly about talking and that the best negotiators are often the best conversationalists. That view overlooks perhaps the most crucial aspect of the negotiation process: listening.

You can learn more about the art of negotiation in this free special report, Business Negotiation Strategies: How to Negotiate Better Business Deals, from Harvard Law School.

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

The following items are tagged the art of negotiation:

Lessons for Business Negotiators: Negotiation Techniques from International Diplomacy

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

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

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 

Prepare for the Semester: Negotiation Pedagogy Articles from the Negotiation Journal

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

Whether you are going to be teaching negotiation next semester for the first time, or are a seasoned negotiation instructor, insightful research in negotiation pedagogy can help you approach your course in more effective and innovative ways. The Negotiation Journal, from the Program on Negotiation (PON), has a collection of articles on negotiation pedagogy that … 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 

Must-Read Negotiation Books for 2019

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Training.

The year 2017 offered plenty of negotiation hits and misses in the realms of government, business, and beyond. To avoid failed negotiations in 2018, politicians, business leaders, and the rest of us would be wise to explore the following recent negotiation books, which can help steer us through our most difficult negotiating dilemmas: … Read More 

Kissinger the Negotiator: New Book on Dealmaking and Diplomacy

Posted by & filed under Teaching Negotiation.

Lessons from Dealmaking at the Highest Level In this groundbreaking, definitive guide to the art of negotiation, PON faculty James Sebenius (Harvard Business School) and Robert Mnookin (Harvard Law School), along with R. Nicholas Burns of the Harvard Kennedy School, offer a comprehensive examination of one of the most successful dealmakers of all time: Henry Kissinger. Politicians, … Read More 

Deal Design Guidelines: Set Yourself Up for a Better Deal

Posted by & filed under Dealmaking.

Without realizing it, we leave many of our most important decisions in negotiation up to chance. When talking to a potential negotiating partner, we may assume that we have met the best person possible to do this particular deal. We make tacit assumptions about whether we’ll negotiate in person, what we’ll discuss, how long the … Read More 

Adaptability at the Bargaining Table: How Improvisation and Jazz Music Inform Negotiation Strategy

Posted by & filed under Negotiation Skills.

Aggressive tactics and hard-bargaining strategies may, at face value, provide a roadmap to success at the bargaining table but, as the Washington Post’s Kelly Johnson discovered in her interview with Program on Negotiation faculty member Michael Wheeler, adaptability to ever-changing circumstances is essential for the “dynamic” negotiations one encounters in everyday life. … Read More 

Complexity Personified: International Standards Negotiations from a Microsoft Manager’s Perspective

Posted by & filed under International Negotiation, Videos.

Complexity Personified: International Standards Negotiations from a Microsoft Manager’s Perspective On April 3, 2013, the Program on Negotiation hosted Jason Matusow, General Manager of International Standards at Microsoft, for a lunch seminar. His talk, titled “Complexity Personified: International Standards Negotiations from a Microsoft Manager’s Perspective,” covered the myriad of challenges that can arise when managing both … Read More 

The Art of Negotiation

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution, Daily, Events, Student Events, Students.

The Art of Negotiation Moved to Pound Hall 101 on the HLS Campus October 18, 2011 7:30 pm Free and open to the public Please join world-renowned artist Romero Britto as he unveils a series of paintings produced in collaboration with Professor Daniel Shapiro and Harvard College students.   Each painting illustrates a key aspect to address the emotional dimension of … Read More