Negotiations for Project Managers


Negotiation is often the best — and sometimes the only — way to develop effective, lasting solutions to many kinds of project problems. This two-day program builds the skills you need to craft constructive agreements between the project team and the other stakeholders. Participative exercises will help you master basic concepts: getting agreement vs. eliminating differences and positions vs. interests. You will also learn when to negotiate, how to prepare for a negotiation, and how to manage the aggressive negotiator.

This program is based on Bargaining for Advantage by G. Richard Shell who heads the Executive Negotiations program at Wharton. Approximately 70% of class time is devoted to casework and experiential learning. During hands-on exercises, you will work as part of a team to apply the techniques of win-win negotiating to a series of increasingly challenging project negotiations.

Key Learning Objectives

Upon completion, you will be better able to:

  • Describe four types of negotiations
  • Identify five negotiating styles
  • Differentiate interests and positions
  • Prepare for a negotiation
  • Manage the negotiations process

Detailed Topical Outline

Core Concepts
Who do we negotiate with?
What do we negotiate for?
Counterpart or opponent?
Four negotiating situations
Understanding win-win negotiations

Your Negotiating Style
Accommodators, Defeaters, and Withdrawers
Compromisers and Collaborators
Matching style to situation
What styles do the most effective negotiators use?

Positions and Interests
The importance of identifying interests
Searching out higher level interests
Hidden interests

Targets and Baselines
Using targets and baselines to improve your results
Identifying your best alternative to a negotiated agreement

Developing Options
More options means better agreements
Using the Currently Perceived Choice Chart
Developing an Issues Matrix

Social Norms
The role of “authority” in negotiations
Defending against the Consistency Principle

Face-to-Face Behavior
“Tactics” is not a four-letter word
Probe first, speak second
When to open, when not to
Why logic so seldom works
Why concessions are an absolute necessity
Responding to their offers … and their threats
Four techniques for breaking deadlocks

Leverage vs. power
Sources of leverage
Techniques for gaining leverage

Case Study
The Beta Project: Multiple Issue Negotiations