The Negotiation Circle

‘Open negotiation based on the Harvard-Concept®’

Our Negotiation Circle, ‘Open negotiation based on the Harvard-Concept®’, forms the conceptual foundation of every negotiation. Indeed, the core elements of the model are to be found in every kind of bilateral or multilateral communication. They are highly varied, but can always be applied in a precise and reliable way.

Feedback from participants has confirmed to us a thousand times over that The Negotiation Circle is a valuable aid for negotiations at all levels and in the most varied of cultures.

This Circle is the result of our continuous and ongoing engagement with the whole subject of negotiation. The founding godparents of this proven model are – setting Harvard wisdom aside for a minute – Dutch creativity, German thoroughness and Swiss pragmatism.

Just like its inspiration – the book ‘Getting to Yes’ – our Negotiation Circle wasn’t just developed by any one individual, but rather arose out of teamwork between many different researchers and practitioners. And we’ve integrated approaches and considerations born out of the most varied publications issuing from the Program on Negotiation, including, for example

  • Good relationships (Fisher/Brown)
  • Conflict management (Ury/Brett/Goldberg)
  • Difficult negotiations (Ury)
  • Beyond Machiavelli (Fisher/Kopelman/Schneider)
  • Leading without mandate (Fisher/Sharp)
  • The Third Side (Ury)
  • Speaking frankly (Stone/Patton/Heen)
  • Successful Negotiation with Head and Heart (Fisher/Shapiro)
  • Saying no and still negotiating successfully (Ury)
  • 3 D - Negotiations (Sebenius/Lax)
  • Negotiating with the devil (Mnookin)
  • Countless articles from subject-specific literature

We’re particularly proud of the fact that The Negotiation Circle was conceived, at the end of the day, after a process of negotiation. Bearing in mind the sheer variety of sources and the modifications that we judged to be necessary, for culturally specific reasons, or to accommodate the findings of negotiation in practice, this was no easy task. We certainly did not want the result to turn into a lazy compromise, or an overly complex and therefore impracticable model.

So we too stuck to Professor Roger Fisher’s rallying-cry: "Clarify, clarify, clarify! Simplify, simplify, simplify! Spread!"

Linguistic precision and an attractive visual presentation provide, we hope, the finishing touch for successful use in negotiating practice.