What you'll learn

  • Learn to tackle situations in which no one is willing to back down.
  • Find out how to negotiate effectively even when you find yourself in a position of weakness.
  • Gain the skills to deal with people who are acting aggressively or negotiating in bad faith. 
  • Think differently about how protracted or escalating conflicts should be handled. 
  • Discover how to negotiate in the face of resistance, when dealing with people in your work or daily life.

Course description

Some negotiations are easy. Others are more difficult. And then there are situations that seem completely hopeless, with escalating conflict, increasingly aggressive behavior, and neither side willing to back down. Yet, no matter how high the stakes or how protracted the dispute, even the most difficult situations have potential solutions, argues Harvard Business School professor and renowned author, Deepak Malhotra.

In this one-day program, based on his acclaimed book, Negotiating the Impossible: How to Break Deadlocks and Resolve Ugly Conflicts (Without Money or Muscle), Malhotra identifies principles for breaking impasses and resolving conflicts when things seem impossible, and provides scores of actionable lessons from behind-the-scenes stories of fascinating negotiations from history, business, sports and other domains. He then demonstrates how these same principles and tactics can be applied in everyday life, whether you are making corporate deals, negotiating job offers, resolving business disputes, tackling obstacles in personal relationships, or even negotiating with children.

As Malhotra reminds us, regardless of the context or which issues are on the table, the object of negotiation is always to engage with other human beings in a way that fosters deeper understandings and more valuable and sustainable agreements. By the end of the day, you will leave with both the confidence and the tools to do this more effectively—even in the most challenging environments.


  • Eli Goldston Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

Associated Schools

  • Harvard Law School

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