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The Art of Negotiating the Best Deal

Master key strategies and practical techniques for achieving your goals at the bargaining table in this powerful course taught by an acclaimed negotiator.
The Art of Negotiating the Best Deal is rated 4.8 out of 5 by 53.
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Rated 3 out of 5 by from Underwhelming I'm over halfway through this but I'm not sure I can finish. I was excited to begin this as the topic is one that I am interested in, but I find that this lecture series is lacking in "meat". I am a fan of the approach taken by many other GC professors who start with the basics of their topic and then systematically introducing more and more complex topics. With "The Art of Negotiating the Best Deal", though, there was never any instruction on any of the basic concepts up front. What constitutes a "deal"? Who are the parties to any negotiation? Are there any categories of negotiations? Instead of providing instructions on these fundamentals of the topic, the professor slowly moves through other negotiation topics accompanied by a lot of stories and moments of reminiscing over past experiences with students. This madkes it seem more like a series of inspirational TED Talks instead of course instruction. Dedicating an entire lecture to topics like "skilled listening" or "credibility" is just too much. These should have been smaller sub-topics within other lectures. Also, this lecture series seems to be aimed at a white collar/business-oriented audience. I had been hoping that instead, it would be directed more toward general public/consumer audiences. For some reason, I assumed I would learn practical information about different types of deals, common tactics/traps to watch out for, and so forth. I would have loved it, for example, if this course included information about how to avoid pitfalls when going in to a car dealership. Instead, much of the information presented is more abstract and inspirational, which to me is not as helpful. With all this said, I did find some value in certain lectures of this course. The problem was just that the value was hidden under extraneous stuff, or was far and few between. I suppose I might still finish the lecture series since I've already gotten past the mid-point, but I might need to force myself to do it.
Date published: 2024-04-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Engaging learning Professor Seth Freeman explains negotiation in an engaging way providing easy to learn knowledge and interesting examples. I recommend this course because I found new concepts and ideas. Specially the idea that negotiating successfully with a more powerful counterpart is possible.
Date published: 2023-12-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best course This is easily the best negotiation course I have ever taken. Professor Freeman covers many different aspects of the negotiation process and gives real-world examples. He takes a very methodical approach, which is easy to follow and employ practically. This lecture series WILL make you a better negotiator, and his emphasis on respect and empathy will make it easier to work with your “opponent” afterward, and easier to sit across from them the next time. I recommend the guidebook for highlighting and notes.
Date published: 2022-10-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Useful, Informative This was most educational for me. Presented in an easy to absorb manner, I was never bored or distracted.
Date published: 2021-10-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Iconic I've been casually listening to this course while remotely working, and it's been monumentally helpful. As a big fan of the Socratic method myself, I was craving more ways to communicate negotiation successfully. He not only expanded on the method, but introduced to us numerous classy and stern tactics. I recommend it to everyone, and what pushed me to review without completing the course just yet was the dedication he had to getting the point across in lecture 17 with the salsa example, I laughed real hard. Also, I agree with one of the reviews in saying this is a course you'll understand via audio or video equally.
Date published: 2021-05-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good I suspect that this is a course that I ought to review every few months because its material is so useful and so commonly needed. Do I need to buy a car? Listen to this course first. Do I need to find a company to do some home repairs? Listen to this course first. Do I want to make some financial investments? Listen to this course first. Dr. Freeman presents this material on an accessible level (although he has the academic chops to address it on a far more advanced level). He provides useful examples to illustrate his points. Unfortunately, there is so much material here that it is difficult to absorb all that I want to know just one time through the course. I used the audio version. I don’t think that visuals would have added much to the course.
Date published: 2021-04-20
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Returned Disks This professor does not offer information and advice suitable for women. If I tried any of his ideas, I would lose my job. His attempt to play volleyball with "his" and "hers" is distracting in the extreme. Someone should tell him that we now use "theirs" because it includes everybody.
Date published: 2020-08-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Let's Be Hard on the Problem & Soft on the Person I've listened to many Great Courses, and this course is top-notch. I'm not sure what drove me to pick this one up and listen because I'm not usually interested in anything sales related. However, I am so glad I gave this course a chance. Professor Freeman has completely changed my perspective on negotiating. He has such a humble and caring attitude, and it informs the entire course: "Let's be hard on the problem and soft on the person." Negotiating is not about getting the best deal for me, but finding the best possible deal for all involved. I especially appreciate his tips for dealing with intimidating or irrational people and the concept of compassionate confrontation. Everyone negotiates in life, not just sales people, so this course is applicable to anyone who wants to get along better with their fellow humans. My only complaint about the course is the title. It seems mismatched to the content. The focus of the course is on getting along with other people so that you can all get ahead.
Date published: 2019-12-10
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Negotiating skills are crucial for solving conflicts of all types, getting fractious groups to work together, counseling friends in distress, and generally getting anyone to accept your point of view-and they enable you to do it in ways that enhance rather than strain relationships. Now you can acquire these essential skills in The Art of Negotiating the Best Deal, taught by Seth Freeman, who teaches at New York University Stern School of Business and at Columbia University. In 24 engaging and practical lectures, Professor Freeman teaches you how to negotiate effectively in both competitive and collaborative situations, always being hard on the problem and soft on the person"-which is the key to achieving a mutually beneficial outcome."


Seth Freeman

I love teaching negotiation because it's a surprisingly learnable way to create more justice, prosperity, and peace. Also, I teach what I want to learn, and I love sharing what I've found with my fellow negotiators-in-training.


New York University

Professor Seth Freeman is an adjunct professor at New York University Stern School of Business and at Columbia University. He has taught negotiation, conflict management, and related subjects there since the 1990s. He holds a B.A. in Economics from Cornell University and a J.D. from The University of Pennsylvania Law School.

A highly rated and popular teacher, Professor Freeman has taught negotiation around the world for many years, including at graduate schools in China and France. He also routinely trains business executives, engineers, law students, and United Nations diplomats.

Professor Freeman is an experienced corporate lawyer who practiced with major New York law firms for several years, and he is a trained mediator. His academic research focuses on ways to cope with trust problems in public and private life.

Professor Freeman's insights on negotiation have been featured on Bloomberg TV and in The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA TODAY, and other major media outlets. He is the author of The Ready and Able Negotiator: How to Get Set for Any Negotiation with I FORESAW IT, the Breakthrough Preparation Tool.

By This Professor

The Art of Negotiating the Best Deal
The Art of Negotiating the Best Deal


The Hopeful Power of Negotiation

01: The Hopeful Power of Negotiation

Hear how a few simple negotiating ideas can help you achieve remarkable results. Then learn how to use a powerful alternative to traditional win/lose negotiating called interest-based bargaining.

34 min
The Other Negotiator

02: The Other Negotiator

Learn how you can often do better for both sides by understanding the other negotiator's goals and concerns. Professor Freeman illustrates this principle with a widely studied exercise called the Ultimatum Game and the story of the Cuban missile crisis.

34 min
The Art of Skilled Listening

03: The Art of Skilled Listening

Listening may be the most important, powerful, and persuasive negotiating skill of all. Explore the difference between how people normally listen and the kind of listening that can make a profound difference when you're involved in a negotiation. Learn specific techniques that will turn you into a skilled listener.

32 min
Knowledge Is Power

04: Knowledge Is Power

There's no substitute for knowing the facts. Discover how you can harness the power of information in different ways-for example, by tracking down independent criteria that bolster your negotiating position. The good news is that you probably already research well; here you'll discover nonobvious ways to do even better.

28 min
Negotiating Creatively

05: Negotiating Creatively

Many people believe that the answer "no" is the end of the negotiation. In this lecture, learn how skilled negotiators turn "no" into "yes" by drawing on a secret weapon: creative options-a strategy that businesses also use to build markets, create product lines, and enhance customer relations.

30 min
Credibility and Rapport

06: Credibility and Rapport

People's natural wariness in negotiations makes it crucial to establish credibility and rapport from the start of a negotiation. Learn the three Cs-concern, competence, and candor-and the importance of displaying genuine personal warmth and appealing to common interests.

32 min
Can You Negotiate When Trust Is Low?

07: Can You Negotiate When Trust Is Low?

Is a deal hopeless when trust is low between negotiators? Not at all. Investigate the wealth of solutions that are available through trust mechanisms. See how the U.S. Constitution is full of such safeguards, designed to overcome nearly ruinous infighting among the states of the young republic-and see how you can put trust mechanisms to use in your own life.

33 min
Building Leverage

08: Building Leverage

Leverage is a rich and subtle part of any negotiation. Even when you feel your leverage is minimal, you can develop your best alternative to a negotiated agreement, or BATNA. Discover the advantages of using it to decide ahead of time what you will do if a deal falls through.

30 min
Basics of Distributive Negotiation

09: Basics of Distributive Negotiation

Bargaining over a salary, the price of an asset, or some other fixed resource in which you try to win at the other's expense is known as distributive negotiation. In the first of two lectures on this challenging art, discover ways to handle such negotiations with wisdom and grace, and learn how to set your first offer.

33 min
Distributive Negotiation-Twists and Turns

10: Distributive Negotiation-Twists and Turns

Sharpen your strategy for distributive negotiating by focusing on who should make the first offer, what to do if you can't determine your best target, and how to handle special situations such as litigation, auctions, and talks involving agents. Learn how to overcome the psychological phenomena that can hurt your ability to negotiate.

32 min
Measuring Success and Walking Away

11: Measuring Success and Walking Away

Probe two questions that are fundamental to any negotiation: What are the measures of success? And when do you say "no"? Develop specific, practical ways to answer these questions, and learn to be wary of pitfalls such as "time bombs"-foreseeable flaws that will cause problems later on.

32 min
Creative, Distributive, or Both?

12: Creative, Distributive, or Both?

Now that you have learned tests for assessing any offer, how do you do well both creatively and distributively? Explore ways to combine the two approaches, including a valuable tool that you should bring to any negotiation: the Topics, Targets, and Tradeoffs grid.

32 min
Hidden Factors That Shape Negotiation

13: Hidden Factors That Shape Negotiation

Hear how a nightmarish airline delay sparked a creative solution by one of the passengers, illustrating the hidden features to a negotiation that can profoundly shape the outcome. Explore a wide range of these often-overlooked factors, which you can use to rescue your next negotiation.

33 min
The Power of Preparation-

14: The Power of Preparation-"I FORESAW IT"

Contrast two actual cases that show the startling difference between mediocre and expert preparation for a negotiation. See how a 10-letter mnemonic-I FORESAW IT-sums up what skilled negotiators do to systematically prepare for important talks.

33 min
Handling Sharp Tactics and Ethical Issues

15: Handling Sharp Tactics and Ethical Issues

How do you handle a negotiator who uses sharp bargaining practices? Learn typical gambits employed by such counterparts-for example, intimidation, rushing, and doubletalk. Examine techniques to counteract these tactics, and look at the ethical dimension of negotiations.

33 min
Using Persuasion Tools and Winning Buy-In

16: Using Persuasion Tools and Winning Buy-In

Discover surprisingly powerful ways to make your case in a negotiation with integrity. Among them: appealing to the other person's interests, showing the disadvantages of saying "no," building an argument through a series of probing but respectful questions, and illustrating important points with a story or anecdote.

32 min
Managing Emotions and Psychological Traps

17: Managing Emotions and Psychological Traps

Negotiating can be a stressful experience. How do you keep your emotions from overriding your better judgment? Explore effective ways to cope with the psychological dynamics in difficult situations, thereby improving the odds of avoiding a blowup or breakdown-either by you or your counterpart.

33 min
Negotiating with Godzilla and the Devil

18: Negotiating with Godzilla and the Devil

How do you negotiate with someone who seems overwhelmingly powerful or corrupt to the point of villainy? Discover surprising ways to level the playing field when you deal with a "Godzilla," and wise ways to decide whether to negotiate with a "devil," drawing on the experiences of small entrepreneurs, statesmen, and hostage negotiators.

33 min
Cross-Cultural Negotiation

19: Cross-Cultural Negotiation

Cross-cultural negotiations can be rife with misunderstood signals and missed opportunities. Probe three major problems that often arise in cross-cultural bargaining and explore how to understand and overcome them. Then hear Professor Freeman's advice based on his and others' negotiating experience with international companies and organizations.

34 min
Negotiating with Children

20: Negotiating with Children

Dealing with children has features in common with cross-cultural negotiating, and offers valuable perspective on negotiating with adults generally. Discover when and how to apply an interest-based negotiation approach to bedtimes, homework, behavioral issues, and other challenges of parenthood. Like grown-ups, the young respond surprisingly well when they feel they have a voice in the outcome.

31 min
Negotiating Work and the Workplace

21: Negotiating Work and the Workplace

In the increasingly volatile world of work, negotiating skills can reveal hidden, career-building opportunities that can help you start a business, find a job, or discover new possibilities in your current position. Probe remarkable negotiation strategies for building your career, including information interviewing, negotiation marketing, and even creating a job for yourself.

32 min
Healing the Troubled Deal

22: Healing the Troubled Deal

Not every deal turns out well. How do you make sure serious flaws aren't lurking in an agreement-whether it's a cell phone plan, a summer rental, or a contract with a business partner? Learn how to spot and correct hidden traps by using a powerful mnemonic device called WINLOSE and other powerful ideas.

33 min
Why the Trust Problem Is Fundamental

23: Why the Trust Problem Is Fundamental

A single question haunts every negotiation and, surprisingly, most other academic subjects: How do you know it's safe to deal with your counterparts and that their assurances are reliable? Look deeply into this problem of trust. Then distill the lessons of the course into just five words.

34 min
Confrontation, Love, and Negotiation

24: Confrontation, Love, and Negotiation

Finish by exploring two final problems: How do you challenge someone without destroying the relationship? And what is the connection between negotiation and love? No less a negotiator than Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had very insightful advice on this latter question.

35 min