Negotiation Strategies and Techniques: Becoming a Better Negotiator and Leader

Negotiation is a back-and-forth communication designed to reach an agreement when you and the other side have some interests that are shared and others that are opposed.

Negotiations become closely associated with a business transaction, but we “negotiate” every day, and those “negotiations” take place in situations that require the skills and attributes of a good negotiator – often to the benefit of both sides.

Through years of research in observing and working with our students and Alumni, we have come to the conclusion that the skills and attributes defining a good negotiator are not only applicable but are integral, to a wide variety of important situations in both our personal and professional lives. Because we engage in negotiations on a daily, some would argue hourly, basis, — in our professional and personal lives – our ability to “negotiate” can have a significant impact on the quality of our lives. Few workshops provide a learning environment to explore skills and attributes with such a broad range of important applications.

And what are those skills and attributes? As we will explore in the Workshop, while it is certainly important to understand the content of negotiations, the major difference between success and unsuccessful negotiators is the ability to effectively manage their mental, emotional, and physiological processes: the ability to stay cool under pressure

Through the lens of neuroscience, our Negotiation Strategies and Techniques Workshop begins with an overview of the key cognitive and emotional mental processes that influence our action and behavior choices. Specifically:

  • How our brain’s limited working memory makes it difficult to both listen and formulate a response at the same time and how we can manage it.
  • How absent the courage to ask the hard question “why”, the brain makes use of available information to build a narrative explanation that can vary wildly from reality, leading us to make inappropriate and unproductive action and behavior choices.
  • How our fear of asking difficult but important questions is driven by our brain’s fight or flight reaction and what we can do to control it.
  • How our brains use of mental shortcuts can lead us (or allow us to be manipulated) toward psychological traps.
  • How, when we are faced with ambiguity, pressure, and anxiety, those same mental shortcuts can lead us away from flexible and adaptable thinking toward rigid patterns of thinking influenced to our detriment by our non-conscious biases, prejudices, stereotypes, and preconceived ideas.
  • How our brain’s preference for habits can lead us to use the same tactics over and over again, particularly when we are under pressure, perpetuating an unproductive negotiation strategy, and how, through a better understanding of the process of negotiation, we can build better, more productive, negotiation habits.

Building from this neuroscience-based foundation, the course will then explore the key components of a successful negotiation:

  1. Planning your Negotiation Strategy (Should you Negotiate; Position vs Interests; Dispute Resolution or Deal-Making; Cross-Cultural Influences; Ethical Considerations; Use of Agents; Use of a Negotiation Planning Checklist).
  2. Using Key Tactics for Success (Developing Relationships; Power; Psychological Tools and Traps; Assessing your Negotiating Style).
  3. Creating an Enforceable Contract Upon the Close of Negotiations (Basics of Contract Law; Sources of Contract Law; Use of a Contract Law Checklist; Contract Strategy).
  4. Performing and Evaluating your Agreement (Resolving Disputes; Making Use of Alternative Dispute Resolution Processes; Making Use of Corporate Pledges, Screens, Contract Clauses, and Online Resources).
  5. In Class Negotiation Simulation and Exercises (Making Use of Cases, Videos, and Peer Feedback to Build Skill Competence).


Dr. Al H. Ringleb is founder and president of CIMBA ITALY and of NeuroLeadership Lab. He holds a PhD and a JD and has more than 15 years of experience in the application of neuroscience to leadership and personal development. He’s a leader in developing and utilizing personal measurement technology to make use of data and not just theoretical concepts in the area of neuroscience.

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