AI Coach: find and fix deal issues before they result in closed-lost using AI


The Harvard Principles of Negotiation

9 min
Average Score

Dr. Thomas R. Henschel

Trainer, Coach, Author & CEO

Watch Session

Are you seeking a deeper understanding of effective negotiation tactics? In this session, we explore the Harvard Model of Negotiation, a principle-based approach emphasizing flexibility and creativity over rigid rules. Ideal for sales reps, account executives, and anyone keen on honing their negotiation skills, this session provides valuable insights into transforming negotiations into successful agreements.

Understanding the Essence of Principle-Based Negotiation

Unlike rules, principles in negotiation offer a broader, more organic scope. This flexibility is crucial because it allows for creativity and freedom in the negotiation process. The Harvard Model chooses principles over rules to foster cooperation and adaptability in various negotiation scenarios.

Principle 1: Separating the Person from the Issue

The first principle advocates for a clear distinction between the person and the issue at hand. This means negotiating firmly on the issue while maintaining respect and friendliness towards the person. Understanding the interests of your negotiation partner is key, as it helps in creating solutions that benefit both parties.

Principle 2: Focus on Interests, Not Positions

The second principle emphasizes focusing on interests rather than positions. An interest-oriented approach allows for more flexible and mutually beneficial solutions. By understanding the underlying interests of all parties, negotiators can find common ground and create win-win scenarios.

Principle 3: Developing Criteria for Solutions

Before jumping to solutions, the third principle suggests establishing criteria that a good solution must meet. This approach encourages the exploration of multiple options, leading to more creative and agreeable solutions. It's about defining what a successful outcome looks like for all parties involved.

Principle 4: Offering Multiple Options

The final principle advises developing several solution options to choose from. This creates a sense of choice and control, enhancing the sustainability of the negotiated agreement. Evaluating these options against the established criteria helps in identifying the most suitable solution.

Applying the Harvard Model in Real-Life Negotiations

Imagine you're negotiating with a client over a project timeline. By applying these principles, you'd first separate your personal feelings about the client from the negotiation issue. Then, focus on understanding both your and the client's interests regarding the timeline. Next, establish criteria for a successful project completion timeline. Finally, propose multiple timeline options and collaboratively choose the best one.

The Role of Flexibility and Creativity

The Harvard Model's strength lies in its flexibility and creativity. It encourages negotiators to think beyond standard solutions, fostering a cooperative environment where all parties feel their interests are understood and valued.

By following the Harvard Model's principles, you're more likely to engage in cooperative negotiations, avoiding the pitfalls of competition. This approach not only leads to more successful outcomes but also fosters long-term relationships built on mutual respect and understanding.

For more insights into this effective negotiation model, watch this session. It delves deeper into each principle, providing practical examples and strategies to apply in your negotiations, ensuring you're well-equipped for your next high-stakes discussion.

How Triple Session works

Training, Testing, & Feedback

Triple Session's proven formula accelerates your sales performance through consistent, organized practice, backed by measurable results.

Watch a session

Bite-Sized Knowledge

Our expert-led video sessions simplify complex sales concepts into easy-to-digest 5-15 minute videos for better retention.

Test your understanding

Test Your Understanding

After each session, there will be a quiz to test your understanding and help you improve on any areas that need more attention.

Evaluate and Grow

Evaluate and Grow

Get progress snapshots after each quiz to track your improvements and achieve your sales mastery goals.