De Harvard Methode

The Harvard Method

The Harvard Method of Negotiation  was developed by researchers at MIT, Tufts and Harvard. An integrated approach has emerged from legal, psychological, anthropological and substantive aspects, the basis of which is described in 'Getting to Yes ' , the worldwide bestseller that can be seen as the bible of the constructive negotiator.

The Origins of Harvard Negotiation


Roger Fisher is de grondlegger van de Harvard Methode die hij samen met William Ury en Bruce Patton beschreven heeft in ‘Getting to Yes’. Terugkomend van de Vietnam oorlog is Roger Fisher aan het werk gegaan om -mede gestimuleerd door vragen van de Amerikaanse overheid- onderzoek te gaan doen naar de oorzaak van het ontstaan van conflicten. "Nooit meer Vietnam" zou je kunnen zeggen. Op basis van dit onderzoek hebben Fisher en Ury samen met anderen een methode ontwikkeld die de Harvard methode van onderhandelen is gaan heten.

Je bent wellicht bekend met de oorspronkelijke principes van de methode zoals: scheid de mensen van het probleem, richt je op op belangen, zoek naar win-win oplossingen en gebruik objectieve criteria bij de verdeling. John Routs en Joep Laeven hebben deze aanpak mede in Nederland geïntroduceerd en wij hebben de aanpak uitgebouwd en verdiept. Onze aanpak lees je terug in het boek Alles is Onderhandelen (Geurt Jan de Heus).


Onderhandelen is een gestructureerde manier van samen tot besluiten komen. Samen oplossingen bedenken, ook bij verschil van mening. Je kan er conflicten mee voorkomen en oplossen. Je doet het dagelijks! Mediation (een onderhandeling ondersteund door een derde partij), de Mutual Gains Approach (MGA), Constructief Onderhandelen zijn terug te voeren tot de bron: de Harvard methode van onderhandelen.

Collaboration is becoming more important; different leadership is needed

What makes


Training Unique?

Right now it is important to be able to negotiate.  Now that we always want and have to work together in a VUCA environment, the complexity increases in all kinds of situations in which many parties, many interests and many risks play a role. We want 'together', the call for 'transparency' is increasing, new business models are being sought. Boundaries are not only blurred between countries, but also between organizations and within organizations themselves (decompartments). 'Social innovation', 'knowledge circulation', 'hybrid partnerships', 'co-creation', 'the WEconomy', 'eco-systems' are a sign of this.


Society and organizations are becoming 'flatter' and less hierarchical. And if we then want to work more 'together', in a broader context, with multiple parties; how do we divide the profits and losses, the benefits and the burdens? Who pays decides? Is the customer (always) king? Does the might of the strongest, the biggest mouth rule? Personal leadership is also given a different color if you want to arrive at good decisions together with others on the basis of negotiation principles.  Harvard negotiating is relevant right now, and sharpening your negotiating techniques is vital.


When William Ury was recently interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, this question was asked: "What's changed since that book came out in 1981"? Ury said: "I recently asked a group of business executives, take the ten most important decisions you made in the last year. How many came out of negotiations? They said nine to ten were acts of negotiation. It has become the pre-eminent process for making decisions at work as well as at home and in the community.  The basic form of organization has shifted from very hierarchical, where people on top give orders and those below carry them out, to flatter organizations that resemble networks. The form of decision-making has shifted from vertical to horizontal, and that's essentially another name for negotiation".