Online course: Introduction to Negotiation: A Strategic Playbook for Becoming a Principled and Persuasive Negotiator

Dates: any time

Duration: 32 hours

Rating: 4.9 / 5.0 out of 3304 ratings (see total ranking of online courses here)

Participating countries: any country

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Organizer: Yale University at Coursera


  • FREE
  • $49 with sharable certificate

Introduction to Negotiation: A Strategic Playbook for Becoming a Principled and Persuasive Negotiator

This course will help you be a better negotiator. Unlike many negotiation courses, we develop a framework for analyzing and shaping negotiations. This framework will allow you to make principled arguments that persuade others. It will allow you to see beneath the surface of apparent conflicts to uncover the underlying interests. You will leave the course better able to predict, interpret, and shape the behavior of those you face in competitive situations.

In this course, you will have several opportunities to negotiate with other students using case studies based on common situations in business and in life. You can get feedback on your performance and compare what you did to how others approached the same scenario. The cases also provide a setting to discuss a wide-ranging set of topics including preparing for a negotiation, making ultimatums, avoiding regret, expanding the pie, and dealing with someone who has a very different perspective on the world. Advanced topics include negotiating when you have no power, negotiating over email, and the role of gender differences in negotiation. To close out the course, we will hear insights from three negotiation experts: Linda Babcock, Herb Cohen, and John McCall MacBain. Enjoy.




WEEK 1: 3 hours to complete

Introduction / What is the Pie?

I’ve promised that this course will help you be a better, smarter, more strategic negotiator. To do that, we begin by laying a foundation for negotiation, a theory of the “pie.” Over the years, I’ve discovered even the most experienced negotiators tend to lack a framework that grounds their approach to negotiation. While some folks try to bully their way to a larger share, most people make arguments that sound fair to them. But what sounds fair to them often doesn’t sound fair to the other side. Their criteria for what’s fair may be biased in their favor. The theory of the pie is useful because it doesn’t depend on which side you are taking. It provides principles that will change the way you approach negotiations—in this course and in life. It will allow you to make arguments that persuade others. That’s why I am teaching you about it first.

Introduction to the Course 4m
What is the Pie? 5m
Airline Cost Sharing 10m
Limo Ride 5m
The Principle of the Divided Cloth (a historical context for how to divide the pie) 4m
Sea Corp 11m
The Shapley Value (solving the runway problem) 15m

WEEK 2: 3 hours to complete

Negotiation Caselets

You’ve got the theory. Now let’s use it. I’ll show how the pie framework applies to some mini cases, or caselets. The Merger Case considers how the synergy gains from a merger will be shared by the two parties. While this is still a stylized case, you’ll see how it directly applies to some very real merger negotiations. “Start By Asking” shares a salary negotiation done by one of my students and provides a chance to introduce the idea of one’s reservation value, or BATNA. You’ll also learn why it’s best to never say no. We end the week with our first interactive exercise—the Ultimatum Game. Here you have an opportunity to negotiate with your fellow classmates and with me. You also have the first mastery quiz for the course. I’ve tried to make it as much a learning opportunity as it is a test of your ability to apply the concepts presented.

Planet–Gazette Results and Analysis 5m
Things Go Better with Coke 6m
Rio Tinto–BHP 2m
Start by Asking 9m
Never Say No 4m
Ultimatum Game 16m

WEEK 3: 5 hours to complete

Zincit Case

The Zincit case provides an opportunity to discuss a wide-ranging set of topics including how to prepare for a negotiation, making ultimatums, alternating removals, avoiding regret, expanding the pie, and dealing with someone who has a very different perspective on the world.

Stop! In the Name of Learning 50s
Lights, Camera, Action 1m
Zincit Numbers 5m
Pareto Optimality 7m
Using Fairness to Choose Among Existing Options 2m
I Need to Make Copies 1m
About the Videos 1m
Beating by $1 / Failed Ultimatum 3m
Going Around in Circles 5m
Alternating Removals 3m
What Have You Given Me? 1m
Ultimatum 3m
Don’t Fight Fire with Fire 4m
Creating New Options 1m
Beets versus Broccoli 3m
50/50 Then More Pie 3m
A Really Big Pie 8m
Post-Settlements / A Deal Better than C? 4m
Slow Down and Understand the Logic 45s
Need to Make Both Happier 45s
Lawyer Fee 2m

WEEK 4: 5 hours to complete

Outpsider Case

Our second case study is more difficult. Here each party has some hidden information to which the other is not privy. Much like real life, neither party has enough information to figure out a solution on his or her own. Sharing and revealing information thus becomes a critical part of the negotiation. What should each party share? What should they keep to themselves? This case provides an opportunity to discuss critical questions around revealing information, along with some negotiation tactics: who should make the first offer, what the first offer should look like, and how you should respond to threats.

How to Prepare: The Dog Bite 4m
Step Zero: What Is Important to You? 52s
Cade’s BATNA 2m
Just Say No (Simpsons) 57s
Anchoring 8m
Good Cop, Bad Cop 2m
Great Place to Start 2m
Toilet 19s
Too Low 14s
Where Do I Sign? 1m
Out of Your Tree 2m
Losing Control 7m
Load of BS 28s
Lying Eyes 17s
Don’t Lie 2m
Herb Cohen on the Pay Stub 3m
We Will Crush You 4m
Giving an Inch 2m
Herb Cohen on The Nibble 4m
Awkward Silence 41s
Put out the Fire 1m
Suits 59s
The Boat Trip Case 1m
What Goes Wrong? 2m
Mistakes Were Made 4m
What Are Your Plans? 45s
White Lies? 43s
Ads at Cost 2m
Expanding the Pie as a First Resort 5m
Discover What They Want 2m
Contingent Deal 2m

WEEK 5: 4 hours to complete

Advanced Topics

This module is a collection of short lessons. We cover everything from negotiating when you have no power to negotiating over email. There is a test-taking detour, showing how the game theory approach we use in negotiation can help you (or your kids) do better on standardized tests. I end with some key lessons I learned from a taxi ride that went the wrong way.

The Card Game 7m
Sweet Nothings 13m
Photo Op Results 2s
Photo Op Debrief 2m
Herb Cohen on Bachrach 3m
Herb Cohen on Hiding Mistakes 1m
Game Theory and the SAT 12m
What Does Winning Mean? A Classroom Experiment 16m
Rubinstein Bargaining 14m
Settlement Escrows 3m
Virtual Strike 3m
Texas Shoot-Out 5m
Gringotts v. Agrabah: Mediation or Arbitration 6m
Getting Informed — A Rug Story 4m
Taxi Ride 3m

WEEK 6: 1 hour to complete

Linda Babcock: Ask for It

In this module, we are joined by Professor Linda Babcock, the James M. Walton Professor of Economics at Carnegie-Mellon University and a world-renowned expert on negotiation. Her specialty is the role of gender differences in negotiation. She is the coauthor of many well-cited journal articles and two award-winning books: Women Don’t Ask and Ask for It. In a series of presentations, Linda puts some dollars and cents on the value of asking, shows you how to prepare and then how to ask. The value of this material isn’t just for women. We can all learn how to better prepare for a negotiation, be soft in style and hard in substance, and aim high without crashing. As a bonus section, Ayana Ledford, the Founding Executive Director of PROGRESS at Carnegie-Mellon University, explains how they are teaching negotiation to teens as a life skill.

The Value of Negotiating 4m
Men Negotiate More 1m
Listen to Noise 5m
When Women Negotiate 2m
How Women Can Become Better Negotiators 1m
Change Your Thinking 58s
Negotiation Gym 1m
Step Zero: What is Important to You? 52s
Soft in Style, Hard in Substance 2m
Activating a Joint Problem Solving Frame 1m
Justifying Your Value 46s
Dealing with a No 1m
Lying 1m
Thanks 11s
Introduction (Ayana Ledford) 1m
Win-Win Patch 2m
Explain Your No 3m
Helping Kids Negotiate with Adults 4m
Joint Problem Solving 2m
Not Just Win-Win 4m
Advice for Teens: Negotiating Jobs and Dating 2m

WEEK 7: 1 hour to complete

Herb Cohen: You Can Negotiate Anything

In this module, we are joined by Herb Cohen. Herb is a negotiation sensei, and we are fortunate to have his insights. He is the author of two classics in negotiation: You Can Negotiate Anything and Negotiate This!

Everything is Negotiable (almost) 2m
Care, Really Care, but not THAT Much 1m
It’s a Game 1m
Power 4m
Time 2m
Information 6m
Deadlines 3m
Negotiating Style 4m
Smartest Guy in the Room? 2m
Negotiating Online 4m
Negotiating a Salary 2m
Buying a House 4m
First Offer / Last Offer 2m
Embarrassment 1m
Responding to Liars 4m
Lowball 5m
Aim High 1m
What Really Matters 1m
Moppo 4m
Two Watches 52s
The Nibble 4m

WEEK 8: 1 hour to complete

John McCall MacBain: The Consummate Dealmaker

In 1987, John purchased a classified advertising magazine in Montreal called Auto Hebdo, the first of what would become a worldwide portfolio of Auto Trader, Buy and Sell and other classified ad papers. Over the next twenty years, he purchased some 500 papers and websites literally all around the world — China, Russia, Poland, Australia, Columbia, Sweden, Hungary, Italy, Canada, Argentina, Brazil. He sold the business, bought it back, took it public, and then ultimately maximized shareholder value by selling off the whole business in five pieces. He is now a philanthropist focused on education. I’ve known John for 35 years, ever since we were classmates at Oxford. And I had a front row seat to his dealmaking as I served on the board of his company, Trader Classified Media. His papers were all about buying and selling, but when it comes to buying and selling, there’s no one better. He exemplifies principled negotiation. You are in for a special treat.

Listening 6m
Taking Items Off the Table 5m
Have the Champagne Ready 2m
Negotiating in Good Faith 2m
Put Your Foot Down 4m
Speed 7m
Thanks 1m

WEEK 9: 8 hours to complete

Acknowledgments and Further Readings

Zoom webinar on April 11, 2020 1h 38m
Zoom webinar on Job Negotiation on April 20, 2020 1h 22m
The Ground Rules 1m
Maker Oats 15m
Ask with a Reason, Part I 5m
Ask with a Reason, Part II 3m
An Unfair Split m
Lecture Version of “What is the Pie?” 2m
Lecture Version of Week 1 41m