Negotiation Coach

Learn how to master the art of negotiation and dispute resolution with the insights from experts at the Harvard University's Program on Negotiation.

Intervening in workplace conflict

August 15, 2011
Q. I’m aware of lots of unresolved personnel issues that seem to be festering in my department. I’m comfortable negotiating with customers, but I don’t know if I ought to get involved in these difficult, more personal matters. Shouldn’t I just mind my own business?

The shared impact of deadlines

April 11, 2011
Q. “Due to the nature of my business, I often find myself negotiating under tight deadlines. Given that I commonly do not have any flexibility around my deadlines, do you have any advice on how to better hide this weakness?”

A failure to communicate

February 16, 2011
Q. “I’ve just finished reading No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller by Harry Markopolos, the whistle-blower in the Bernard Madoff scandal. Why do you think Markopolos was so ineffective at persuading the SEC that Madoff was a fraud? What does this story tell us about how to be persuasive in negotiation?”

When to ‘kick it upstairs’

December 13, 2010
Q. “I am about to begin a negotiation whose subject matter is squarely within my area of responsibility. However, the dollar amounts at stake are so large that I’m tempted to kick it upstairs to my boss, or at least involve my boss directly in the negotiation. What are the pros and cons of doing so?”

Making multiple offers can pay off

November 15, 2010

Effective negotiators seek opportunities to create value. 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 offer?

Are you focused on what’s relevant?

November 9, 2010
When weighing job offers, many students base their decision on vivid, high-prestige qualities such as salary or firm reputation, overlooking factors more relevant to their ability to thrive in the new position. These job-seekers, like all negotiators, are susceptible to “vividness bias.” How can you keep vividness from working against you? Here are a few ways to focus your attention in the right direction:

When you’re facing a tough negotiator

July 9, 2010
Suppose you’re about to face off with an “old school” negotiator whose reputation for hard bargaining precedes him. There are steps you can take to transform a potential zero-sum competition of wills into an interaction that is aligned toward problem solving—even when facing the hardest bargainer.

What’s your negotiating style?

February 12, 2010

We all have a personal approach to negotiation. Individual differences in how we prefer outcomes when interacting with others strongly affect how we approach negotiation, according to Carnegie Mellon University professor Laurie Weingart, who with other psychologists has pinpointed four basic negotiating personalities:

Are you a strong negotiator? 3 strategies for closing the deal

December 11, 2009

Few things are more frustrating than having a negotiation crumble at the last moment. When you’re at an impasse, these three techniques can help you close the deal: 1. Manipulate time to your advantage through delays or deadlines. 2. Say “no” in a way that clarifies your limits and opens up new possibilities. 3. Shut down the competition by making an attractive pre-emptive offer.