Harvard Principles of Negotiation

Harvard's Principles of Negotiation
Harvard’s Principles of Negotiation


Unlock the secrets to successful negotiation using the renowned Harvard Principles of Negotiation. This model is based on four key principles. These principles are designed to foster cooperation and achieve win-win outcomes.

Why Principles Instead of Rules

Harvard’s negotiation model is centered around principles rather than rules to encourage flexibility, creativity, and adaptability. Principles allow for a more organic and versatile approach, ensuring the negotiator’s freedom to explore different ways to satisfy each principle.

Four Core Principles

  1. Separate the Person from the Issue: It’s essential to distinguish between the relationship and the topic being negotiated. By doing so, you can prevent the quality of the relationship from interfering with your interest in the issue. Maintain a respectful and friendly attitude towards the other party, who should be seen as a partner rather than an enemy.
  2. Focus on Interests, Not Positions: Negotiations should be centered around the interests of the parties involved instead of their initial positions. This approach allows for the discovery of win-win solutions that satisfy everyone’s needs, as illustrated by the pumpkin example in the video.
  3. Develop Criteria for Solutions: To reach win-win outcomes, it’s crucial to establish criteria that a solution must meet before proposing it. By doing so, you ensure that the final decision is based on objective standards and not just on positions. This method also opens up more possibilities and choices for solutions.
  4. Generate Multiple Options: To make the chosen solution more sustainable, it’s important to develop several alternatives and then evaluate them using the agreed-upon criteria. This approach enables the parties involved to feel that they had a choice, making the final decision more satisfying and enduring.

Benefits and Takeaways

By adhering to these four principles, you increase the likelihood of achieving cooperation, avoiding competition, and attaining win-win outcomes. The Harvard model of negotiation encourages us to separate personal feelings from the issue, concentrate on interests, develop criteria for solutions, and consider multiple options. By applying these principles, you can navigate conflicts more effectively and achieve mutually beneficial results.


I highly recommend this video for anyone looking to enhance their negotiation skills, foster cooperation, and achieve more satisfying outcomes. Understanding and applying the Harvard Principles of Negotiation can be a game-changer in both professional and personal situations.


YouTube Video – Dr. Thomas Henschel: The Harvard Principles of Negotiation

Harvard’s Principles of Negotiation

Other Stories

Career Management: The Quintessential Guide
Career Management: Promotion Strategies
Career Management: Salary Negotiation

Leave a Reply