About this Course
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.

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Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.

Approx. 25 hours to complete

Suggested: 5 hours/week
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Subtitles: English

Skills you will gain

NegotiationStrategic ThinkingSalesPricing

100% online courses

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.

Approx. 25 hours to complete

Suggested: 5 hours/week
Comment Dots


Subtitles: English

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course


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. ...
7 videos (Total 58 min), 9 readings, 2 quizzes
Video7 videos
What is the Pie?5m
Airline Cost Sharing10m
Limo Ride5m
The Principle of the Divided Cloth (a historical context for how to divide the pie)4m
Sea Corp11m
The Shapley Value (solving the runway problem)15m
Reading9 readings
Course Outline10m
Requirements and Grading10m
Recommended Books10m
Pre-Course Survey10m
Looking Ahead10m
Caution: Math Ahead10m
Nucleolus (advanced and very much optional)10m
Quiz2 practice exercises


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....
7 videos (Total 52 min), 7 readings, 2 quizzes
Video7 videos
Things Go Better with Coke6m
Rio Tinto–BHP2m
Start by Asking9m
Never Say No4m
Ultimatum Game16m
Reading7 readings
Planet–Gazette Case10m
More Examples of Never Say No10m
Back and Forth Bargaining10m
Preview of Mastery Quiz10m
Quiz2 practice exercises
Adding a Second Buyer2m
Mastery Quiz 1 – 228m


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....
21 videos (Total 68 min), 7 readings, 3 quizzes
Video21 videos
Lights, Camera, Action1m
Zincit Numbers5m
Pareto Optimality7m
Using Fairness to Choose Among Existing Options2m
I Need to Make Copies1m
About the Videos1m
Beating by $1 / Failed Ultimatum3m
Going Around in Circles5m
Alternating Removals2m
What Have You Given Me?1m
Don't Fight Fire with Fire4m
Creating New Options1m
Beets versus Broccoli3m
50/50 Then More Pie3m
A Really Big Pie8m
Post-Settlements / A Deal Better than C?4m
Slow Down and Understand the Logic0m
Need to Make Both Happier0m
Lawyer Fee2m
Reading7 readings
Zincit Case10m
Negotiation Logistics (or how do I find a partner anyway?)10m
How to Record Your Negotiation10m
Report Your Results10m
Unpacking Zincit10m
Zincit FAQ10m
Preview of Mastery Quiz10m
Quiz2 practice exercises
Zincit Code2m
Mastery Quiz 322m


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....
31 videos (Total 78 min), 10 readings, 3 quizzes
Video31 videos
Step Zero: What Is Important to You?0m
Cade's BATNA2m
Just Say No (Simpsons)0m
Good Cop, Bad Cop2m
Great Place to Start2m
Too Low0m
Where Do I Sign?1m
Out of Your Tree2m
Losing Control7m
Load of BS0m
Lying Eyes0m
Don't Lie2m
Herb Cohen on the Pay Stub3m
We Will Crush You4m
Giving an Inch2m
Herb Cohen on The Nibble4m
Awkward Silence0m
Put out the Fire1m
The Boat Trip Case1m
What Goes Wrong?2m
Mistakes Were Made4m
What Are Your Plans?0m
White Lies?0m
Ads at Cost2m
Expanding the Pie as a First Resort5m
Discover What They Want2m
Contingent Deal2m
Reading10 readings
Outpsider Case: Instructions and Common Information10m
Outpsider Case: Next Steps10m
Outpsider Case: Confidential Information for Cade and Helen (Sellers)10m
Report Your Results: Cade and Helen10m
Outpsider Case: Confidential Information for Pat Bennett (Buyer)10m
Report Your Results: Pat10m
Lying Eyes: Commentary10m
Outpsider FAQ10m
Preview of Mastery Quiz10m
Quiz2 practice exercises
Outpsider Code2m
Mastery Quiz 420m


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....
15 videos (Total 100 min), 8 readings, 3 quizzes
Video15 videos
Sweet Nothings13m
Photo Op Results0m
Photo Op Debrief2m
Herb Cohen on Bachrach3m
Herb Cohen on Hiding Mistakes1m
Game Theory and the SAT12m
What Does Winning Mean? A Classroom Experiment16m
Rubinstein Bargaining14m
Settlement Escrows3m
Virtual Strike3m
Texas Shoot-Out5m
Gringotts v. Agrabah: Mediation or Arbitration6m
Getting Informed — A Rug Story4m
Taxi Ride3m
Reading8 readings
Photo Op Case: Instructions10m
Photo Op Case: Confidential Information for Willcox10m
Photo Op Case: Confidential Information for Bachrach10m
More Advanced Rubinstein Bargaining (Optional)10m
Preview of Mastery Quiz10m
Quiz3 practice exercises
Planet-Gazette-Sun: Adding a Second Buyer II6m
Case Study: Gringotts v. Agrabah2m
Mastery Quiz 526m


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....
21 videos (Total 48 min), 1 reading
Video21 videos
Men Negotiate More1m
Listen to Noise5m
When Women Negotiate2m
How Women Can Become Better Negotiators1m
Change Your Thinking0m
Negotiation Gym1m
Step Zero: What is Important to You?0m
Soft in Style, Hard in Substance2m
Activating a Joint Problem Solving Frame1m
Justifying Your Value0m
Dealing with a No1m
Introduction (Ayana Ledford)1m
Win-Win Patch2m
Explain Your No3m
Helping Kids Negotiate with Adults4m
Joint Problem Solving2m
Not Just Win-Win4m
Advice for Teens: Negotiating Jobs and Dating2m
Reading1 readings
The Cost of Not Asking slides10m


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!...
21 videos (Total 67 min)
Video21 videos
Care, Really Care, but not THAT Much1m
It's a Game1m
Negotiating Style4m
Smartest Guy in the Room?2m
Negotiating Online4m
Negotiating a Salary2m
Buying a House4m
First Offer / Last Offer2m
Responding to Liars4m
Aim High1m
What Really Matters1m
Two Watches0m
The Nibble4m


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....
7 videos (Total 31 min), 1 reading
Video7 videos
Taking Items Off the Table5m
Have the Champagne Ready2m
Negotiating in Good Faith2m
Put Your Foot Down4m
Reading1 readings
Post-Course Survey10m


2 hours to complete

Acknowledgments and Further Readings

2 videos (Total 45 min), 5 readings
Video2 videos
Lecture Version of Week 141m
Reading5 readings
Checklist of Key Negotiation Principles10m
Exit Survey10m
Actor Credits10m
Thank Yous10m
Further Readings10m
Direction Signs


started a new career after completing these courses


got a tangible career benefit from this course


got a pay increase or promotion

Top Reviews

By MNJun 12th 2017

I have completed over 12 courses on Coursera and this one is the best presented of them all. You can learn a lot of un-intuitive things about negotiation that will serve you well in life and business.

By OOJun 27th 2016

Really a very helpfull and easy to understand course.\n\nThe infrmation stays with you and you keep thinking and practiceing it later on.\n\nHappy i could be a part of it!\n\nThanks coursera!!!!!!!!



Barry Nalebuff

Milton Steinbach Professor

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