Sharpen Your Negotiation Skills

Everyone negotiates, but few negotiate well. Here is a collection of Working Knowledge articles and faculty working papers that detail some of the the skills needed to negotiate successfully.
by Sean Silverthorne

No business skill may be as important to success as negotiation. We negotiate everything: agreements with partners and vendors, in-scope/out-of-scope parameters around important projects, and our own compensation and job responsibilities, to name just a few. If we don't win (or at least draw) in business talks, our other career skills won't do us much good.

Many of us, however, approach these critical conversations woefully unprepared. Fortunately, a large number of Harvard Business School faculty research this area constantly, and their tips and strategies have been featured on Working Knowledge for a decade-and-a-half.

Here are a number of articles and working papers you might find beneficial in upping your negotiation game.

Negotiators Should Remain Cool And Collected. Right?

The Role of Emotions in Effective Negotiations

Andy Wasynczuk, a former negotiator for the New England Patriots, explores the sometimes intense role that emotions can play in negotiations and when passion is a positive at the table.

Send The Right Message before Talks Begin

Handshaking Promotes Cooperative Dealmaking

Handshakes before negotiations, or the lack thereof, serve as subtle but critical indicators of negotiators' social motives. Francesca Gino, Michael I. Norton, and colleagues.

Picking Up An Opponent's 'tell'

How to Spot a Liar

Key linguistic cues can help reveal dishonesty during business negotiations, whether it's a flat-out lie or a deliberate omission of key information. Deepak Malhotra and colleagues reveal how you can spot a dishonest negotiator.

Not Every Deal Needs To Be Equally Beneficial

The Art of Haggling

When teaching negotiation skills, many educators focus almost exclusively on an interest-based approach in which both parties openly collaborate to find a mutually satisfying solution. However, argues Mike Wheeler, it's important for students to know that there's still a time and place for old-school haggling.

To Read More:


Negotiating with Wal-Mart

What happens when you encounter the ultimate non-negotiable partner?

The New Deal: Negotiauctions

In today's complex financial environment, dealmaking is blending into a merger of negotiations and auctions.

The Potential Downside of Win-Win

What happens when a wonderful agreement ignores the needs of consumers?


Psychological Influence in Negotiation: An Introduction Long Overdue

Causes and consequences of the (surprisingly) limited extent to which social influence research has penetrated the field of negotiation.

Better Deals Through Level II Strategies: Advance Your Interests by Helping to Solve Their Internal Problems

Helping the other negotiator solve problems can win the day for you.

Gender in Job Negotiations: A Two-Level Game

How negotiation contributes to or diminishes gender differences in compensation.