The Negotiation Circle

‘Open negotiation based on the Harvard-Concept®'

Our Negotiation Circle, “Open negotiation based on the Harvard-Concept®”,  is designed to provide the conceptual foundation under any negotiation. Its core elements, to be applied flexibly on a case by case basis, are always relevant, whether the situation is bilateral or multilateral, political, commercial or personal.   

Feedback from participants consistently confirms this model to a valuable aid for negotiations at all levels of interaction and in the most varied of cultures.

The Negotiation Circle is a graphic representation of many years of continuous engagement with the subject of negotiation. The founding “godparents” of this model are – setting Harvard wisdom aside for a minute – Dutch creativity, German thoroughness and Swiss pragmatism.

Just as the book that inspired it, ‘Getting to Yes’ , was a collaborative effort, our Negotiation Circle wasn’t just developed by one individual, but rather arose from intensive teamwork between researchers and practitioners. In addition, it integrates approaches and insights offered by and documented in a wide variety of of publications from the Program on Negotiation, including,

  • The power of good relationships (Fisher/Brown)
  • Effective conflict management (Ury/Brett/Goldberg)
  • Difficult partners (Ury)
  • Beyond Machiavelli (Fisher/Kopelman/Schneider)
  • Leading without amandate (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 further articles from expert literature

We’re particularly proud of the fact that The Negotiation Circle was conceived, at the end of the day, as itself the result of a process of negotiation. Considering the wide variety of sources from which it springs and the many modifications, not only cultural, that we judged to do justice to the lessons of practical experience, , this was no easy task. In any case, we wanted to avoid the temptation of a “lazy compromise”, or the danger of ending with an overly complex and therefore impracticable model.

Always we were guided by Roger Fisher’s rallying-cry: “Clarify, clarify, clarify!” “Simplify, simplify, simplify!” “Spread!”

Finally, we made an all-out effort to achieve linguistic precision and also to produce an attractive visual presentation, thus providing the finishing touches for successful use of our model in negotiating practice.