Have you ever heard the French idiom “L’esprit de l’escalier“?
Translated to English, it means “the staircase mind”, and it refers to those moments when you think of the perfect witty comeback in a debate situation way too late. At the end of the staircase, one might say.
I know I’ve been in this situation, where I think of the perfect response minutes, hours, or even years after the dialogue finished. It’s frustrating, it’s irritating, but in reality – it’s totally avoidable.
Learning some core negotiation strategies can help you avoid these types of situations. But, good negotiation skills go far beyond avoiding embarrassment. Being able to give strong arguments instantly on the bargaining table can have a profound effect on your whole life. Obviously, having good negotiation skills is extremely beneficial in business and work situations. Settling on a pay raise, nailing job interviews, dealing with colleagues are some of the most common examples of situations where good negotiation skills will be beneficial.
However, have you ever thought of negotiation in a much wider context? Negotiation is a part of your daily life. You negotiate daily with your partner, with your children, and even with yourself. This means that by advancing your negotiation skills, you will make improvements in almost all areas of your life. You will learn to clearly formulate your ideas and goals. You will learn to have more empathy. And perhaps most importantly, you will learn how to communicate effectively.
Before we start with the best negotiation course picks, allow me to present you with a TEDx talk from one of the most renowned negotiators in the world, Mr. Chris Voss. Chris specializes in business negotiations and he’s also the author of the best overall negotiation course on this list.
Now, let’s not waste any more time on introductions. Time for reviewing the list you came here for: our favorite online negotiation training programs.
These are our picks for the best negotiation course:
- Best Overall: “Chris Voss Teaches the Art of Negotiation” (Masterclass)
- Best for Certification: “Introduction to Negotiation” (Coursera x Yale)
- Best for Experts: “Negotiation, Mediation, and Conflict Resolution” (Coursera x ESSEC)
- Best Crash Course: “Negotiation skills” (LinkedIn Learning)
- Best for Bargaining: “Successful Negotiation: Master Your Negotiation Skills” (Udemy)
Best Overall: “Chris Voss Teaches the Art of Negotiation” (Masterclass)
A beginner-friendly masterclass in communication and negotiation.
For those paying attention, Mr. Chris Voss does not need an introduction. He is a legend in the business negotiation industry, he worked as the lead international kidnapping negotiator for the FBI, and his approaches to negotiation are truly innovative. Instead of an “at all costs” mentality, Mr. Voss uses empathy as a key to negotiation techniques he teaches. This approach is refreshing and makes the course a very good suit for both beginners and experienced negotiators as it does not involve you ramming your pitch down the throat of anyone.
The course includes a total of 18 video lectures covering a total of three hours. In addition, there is a workbook included for all the attendees. The lectures cover a wide array of topics related to negotiation and the syllabus is very well put together.
Here’s a sneak-peek at what you will learn during this class:
- Basic foundational knowledge of negotiation theory
- Importance of selectively choosing the tone and delivery according to the situation
- How speech patterns and body language greatly affect everyday interactions
- Practicing mock negotiations that mimic real-life situations
Mr. Voss has put together one of the most engaging and interesting lectures on negotiation and it’s easily the best negotiation class for application in business and personal life. The wide array of techniques and approaches covered to make this the top negotiation course currently available. Other reviewers have highly rated the unique approach of Mr. Voss and the accessibility of the course. Whether you have a background in negotiations or not, this course will benefit people from all walks of life. You can easily attend even if you are just looking to improve your relationships with your close ones.
Best for Certification: “Introduction to Negotiation” (Coursera x Yale)
A highly practical entry-level course to negotiation that provides a Yale certificate.
This negotiation certification course is brought to you by Coursera in collaboration with Yale School of Management. While the course is intended for beginners, it is also a fantastic extra resource for advanced negotiators. This is a hands-on course full of practical examples to support the theories presented. In addition to video lectures, you are also presented with:
- Reading materials to support your negotiating training
- Various quizzes to test your skills and cement knowledge
- A recognized negotiation certificate from a respected university
- Additional resources to help you learn independently after graduating
- A separate lecture on negotiating through e-mail.
The syllabus is structured into nine weeks for a total of 30 hours of material. During this time, you will get a fantastic introduction to negotiation from one of the world’s best business schools. During the first weeks, charismatic professor Barry Nalebuff briefs us on the importance of setting a good foundation for conversations. You will learn how to get yourself into the right mindset for conflict solving.
After establishing the key negotiation techniques, attendees will be presented to a variety of less-than-ideal scenarios of negations. As far as practical examples go, this is the most extensive course currently available. This makes it suitable for experienced negotiators as well.
By the end of this course, you can expect to have all the mental tools to master common negotiation techniques. The number of real-life examples in this course will give you the ability to negotiate “out of the box”. You will learn to apply the studied negotiation techniques in conflicts unique to your situation. Attendees of the course have highlighted the number of negotiation techniques presented. Having a total of four different lecturers was also appreciated by students, who found the different perspectives helpful in mastering their skills.
This is the best negotiation certification course one can take. Despite being beginner-oriented, the material is rather difficult, though, so you better be prepared to work hard if you want to pass this course.
Best for Experts: “Negotiation, Mediation, and Conflict Resolution” (Coursera x ESSEC)
An advanced masterclass in handling organizational conflicts.
Compared to the previous Coursera course on this list, this negotiation class is more focused on negotiating in the business environment. It is an intermediate level course that assumes the attendee to have some sort of background theory on communication. However, you do not have to be a leader of a huge international team to make good use of this course. Being great at handling conflict is one of the best personality traits for advancing your career.
This is a short and well-focused course that takes approximately 12 hours to complete. It is neatly spread into separate weekly two-hour sections. As with the previous Coursera online course in this list, this negotiation class is a well-developed mix of theory and practical exercises. During the first week, attendees will be given an introduction to the theory of good mediation. You will learn of contexts where mediation skills will come handy and how to use negotiation to benefit the situation of conflict. The second week is all about mediation in practice. Attendees will learn how to choose and apply specific negotiation techniques in different scenarios. You will also learn of the common challenges faced by mediators and how to solve them.
The last two weeks are even more practical and show us exactly how to put our acquired skills to use in our organizations. Attendees will be lectured on the diversity of possible conflict situations in organizations. The last two sections also tackle some difficult yet common subjects such as workplace harassment.
Online reviewers have praised this course as great for developing skills in organizational conflict handling. Even if you are currently not in a conflict situation at your workplace, having good mediation skills will certainly be beneficial to your career.
Best Crash Course: “Negotiation skills” (LinkedIn Learning)
A well-structured guide to improving negotiation skills instantly.
This beginner-friendly negotiation course is hosted on LinkedIn Learning and it’s instructed by Mr. Christ Croft, a thought leader with an extensive background in teaching negotiation. Mr. Croft has put together an accessible and informative course to awaken the communication specialist in you. If you feel as if you could use a quick touch-up in your communication skills, this course is a great place to start.
The lectures take approximately two hours to complete, making this the shortest course on this list. The sections are split chronologically to give attendees a theory on how the negotiation process should take place. The chronological structure is also the major strong point of this course. It makes the material easy and logical to absorb. In the first section, attendees will be given insights into how to formulate the decision to negotiate. The course shows you how to prime your mind for the coming negotiation. Mr. Croft debates on the ethics behind good negotiation. In addition, common obstacles to good communication are also covered. Once attendees are aware of the necessary mindset, the second section covers planning.
In this negotiation training program, we are given tools to prepare concrete negotiation techniques necessary for our situation. After priming our mind and planning the negotiation, we are then led to the so-called battleground. Through theory and practical examples, we will be taught on how to seamlessly move from the opening phase to closing the negotiation. If you know that your negotiation skills are not up to par and need a so-called quick-fix solution, this is the best negotiation course you can take. Online reviewers have highlighted the structure of the course. The skills taught can easily be applied instantly. While this two-hour course will not make you the Wolf of Wall Street instantly, training negotiation skills will still benefit both your career and personal life.
Best for Bargaining: “Successful Negotiation: Master Your Negotiation Skills” (Udemy)
A great course for profit-oriented bargaining.
This negotiation class by Udemy specializes in bargaining for monetary purposes, but it also covers communication. So, if you feel as if you are long overdue for a pay rise, this is your course. Our instructor, Mr. Chris Croft has been teaching negotiation for over 20 years. During this time, he has worked with a wide array of people and organizations. Mr. Croft has developed a unique light-hearted manner of teaching. He uses plenty of humorous real-life examples to make his materials understandable. The course itself consists of two hours of video materials and additional downloadable materials.
If you take advantage of Udemy’s discounts, this becomes one of the best value-for-money courses on negotiation. The material itself is designed to develop the mental and emotional strength of the attendees. Mr. Croft does this by giving students an introduction (along with real-life examples) to common negotiation techniques. We are then given several informative lectures on how to apply the techniques in real-life. You will learn how to relentlessly push for your desired outcome by using the right mindset and phrases. To get the most out of this online course, I would advise you to pre-select an area at which you would benefit from having good negotiation skills.
Reviewers of the course have noted that the lectures have given them the mental tools to bargain from a place of confidence. The possibility of getting lifetime access was also praised by the students, who were very satisfied with the value-for-money aspect of the course.