Getting (More of) What You Want: Negotiating, Collaborative Problem Solving, and Value Claiming

One of the most common associations that executives have when they think about negotiations is a battle. Almost as soon as the thought of negotiating arises, they are already starting to put on their armor, ready to do battle with their counterparts. The goal is to take resources that the other parties do not wish to share, and to keep them from taking resources that you do not wish to share. While there are negotiations that fit this description, most of our negotiations are not battles — unless we create battles by expecting them.

Negotiation is all about influence. In our daily lives, we rarely have the opportunity to exercise successful command and control. When negotiating, you cannot command a solution. Negotiating is an interdependent process; you cannot force the other side to agree. Rather, you need to create proposals that engage the other party as a willing partner in your solution.

Course Introduction


In this course, the objective is to develop negotiating fluency: knowing when to prepare for battle and when to engage in collaborative problem-solving. However, not just any problem-solving solution will do. Rather, to get (more of) what you want, you are looking for a particular type of solution: one that makes you better off than you would be with the status quo or with your alternatives, while keeping your counterparts whole or making them better off.

The purpose of this course, which relies on decades of empirical research, is to provide you with a set of tools and a theoretical understanding of the strategies and tactics that can improve the quality of your negotiating outcomes and your ability to get (more of) what you want. The course combines experiential, hands-on negotiations with the development of empirically derived frameworks that can improve the quality of your negotiations — whether you are negotiating with your colleagues, your boss, your subordinates, friends, family members, or even strangers.

Key Topics

  • Making the choice to negotiate
  • The infrastructure of negotiation
  • Creating value vs claiming value
  • Steps to effective preparation for negotiation
  • How and when to walk away
  • Power — how to get more when you have it, and when you don’t
  • When there is more than one person across the table: teams and coalitions in negotiation

In the course, we will employ both self-paced video and hands-on negotiation exercises to help you gain mastery of various negotiating tools and to develop a strategic framework for getting (more of) what you want in your negotiations.

Course Faculty


Marineh Lalikian
Director, Stanford LEAD Online Business Program Executive Education