course-icon-1 What is this course about?

Most people are uncomfortable negotiating. They are afraid of losing and being critically judged. They do not believe they will achieve a good result. They are easily intimidated. They are afraid to make demands, to reject a proposal, or to appear difficult in the eyes of the other party. This is understandable, because negotiation is widely seen as a serious business.

However, negotiation is also a game. It is a game of strategy and tactics, which you can learn and use to your advantage. There are elements of skill and chance, and the more skill you develop and the better you prepare the less you are affected by chance. And while negotiation is a game you can win or lose, it is also possible for both parties to win. In fact, because most people in business today negotiate repeatedly with the same partners, a win-win outcome is essential in maintaining positive relationships.

A successful negotiation requires thorough preparation: gathering information, identifying interests and currencies, and creating options. It also requires an understanding of negotiating power, timing, tactics, and counter-tactics. Finally, successful negotiators must know how to guarantee they will not lose by developing a strong Plan B.

This practical and interactive two-day workshop was designed for people who must negotiate in a variety of settings. Based on the “principled negotiation” approach developed at Harvard, it is facilitated by David Goldwich, a trained lawyer and mediator. This program focuses on understanding the negotiation process, preparing for negotiation, and developing a framework for negotiating win-win outcomes with customers, vendors, and partners as part of a long-term relationship.

Who is this course for?

Managers, supervisors, department heads, purchasing agents, contracts officers, lawyers, bankers, financial advisors, executives, sales and marketing staff, customer service representatives, administrative and technical staff, and anyone whose work requires them to negotiate with and influence others.

What will I learn?


The Process

Negotiation is a process, not just bargaining or give-and-take. Understanding the four stages of negotiation and the basic concepts behind it is essential to achieving a successful agreement. We also explore the keys to attaining the elusive win-win outcome, including how to create and leverage value.

  • What is negotiation?
  • How do you negotiate?
  • The four stages of a negotiation
    Deal or no deal
  • Keys to a win-win
  • Identifying and leveraging currencies to create value

The Basics

You will learn some fundamental negotiating techniques and truly understand how they make or break your performance. You will have an opportunity to apply them
in a simulated negotiation, and gain perspective into your baseline negotiating style.

  • Negotiating styles
  • Anchors
  • Offers and counteroffers — who goes first?
  • Offering and demanding concessions

The Power

We examine the major sources of negotiating power, how to use the power you have (even if you don’t think you have much!) and get more, and how to gauge your counterpart’s negotiating power. We also identify some common negotiating biases and psychological traps and how to avoid them.

  • Traditional types of negotiating power
  • Information
  • Timing and deadlines
  • Your guarantee: building a strong Plan B
  • The psychology of negotiation: Perception, framing and cognitive biases


The Template

Negotiations are largely won or lost in the preparation stage, before you even begin a discussion with your counterpart. You will learn how to use an eight step template to systematically prepare for any negotiation.

  • Interests vs. positions
  • Currencies
  • Options
  • Plan B
  • Rationale
  • Communication and Relationship
  • Implementation

The Tactics

While tactics may seem unnecessary to an enlightened negotiator, there are two reasons why you must understand how they work: your counterpart may use them and you will have to defend against them, and some tactics are expected as part of the game! We will use role plays to demonstrate some common negotiating tactics and the corresponding counter-tactics.

  • The flinch
  • The squeeze
  • Good guy / bad guy
  • Higher authority
  • The nibble
  • Bundling
  • Using emotions tactically

The Extras

The best negotiators have more than a basic level of skill. We will examine some more advanced negotiating concepts, behaviors and techniques to take you to the next level. You will have the chance to put it all together in a final negotiation simulation.

  • Asking questions
  • Listening and Empathy
  • The Yesable Proposition
  • Overcoming a No
  • Breaking a deadlock
  • The problem with compromise
  • The ultimatum conundrum
  • Negotiating with a monopoly

The Eleven Commandments of Negotiation

A review of some of the most critical topics covered, as well as a few new ones.

Quick Tip

Negotiation is about solving a problem together. Two or more parties working together to solve a problem yields better results than each competing for his or her own interest.