Dealing with Hard Bargainers

Applying the Mutual Gains Approach in Difficult Environments

Created in partnership with: Lawrence SusskindHal Movius

Dealing With Hard Bargainers

What You Will Learn

  • Increase understanding of hard bargainers and how to respond to their approach.
  • Preserve interest-based negotiating style in the face of resistance.

What You Will Do

Explore frameworks, preparation techniques, and proven tactics for responding to hard bargainers during negotiation.
Share best practices with colleagues on negotiating with hard bargainers.


Regardless of your negotiation experience or the role you play in your organization, it is very likely that you have found yourself face to face with a hard bargainer. It is also likely that your interactions with that individual were uncomfortable and less productive than you might have wished. These situations are always difficult and often lead to disappointing outcomes. This doesn’t mean, however, that all is lost when a hard bargainer appears across the table.

Armed with a thoughtful strategy and knowledge of some proven techniques for dealing with negotiators employing hard bargaining tactics, you can still generate exceptional results. This sprint is designed to help you begin to develop such a strategy.

Dealing With Hard Bargainers draws from a much broader collection of sprints in the CorpU series on negotiation, where the focus is learning how to employ the Mutual Gains Approach to Negotiation. The MGA, as it is known, is one of the world’s most recognized and respected approaches to negotiation, developed and taught for the last thirty-five years in the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School and through the Consensus Building Institute.

While you will not have the opportunity to become an expert in the MGA during this one-week sprint, you will learn how to use some elements of it to deal more effectively with hard bargainers.

Course Outline

Expert Faculty

Lawrence Susskind
Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Hal Movius
Founder & President, Movius Consulting

Additional Material