Workshop Description

Negotiation is a critical skill for any museum technology professional. Whether lobbying for funds to upgrade for your CMS, bargaining with a vendor for the best price on color management software, or keeping internal stakeholders’ expectations about the new website in check, there are numerous opportunities to create value and advance your interests through strategic negotiations.

Negotiation presents one of the best opportunities to maximize the impact of your limited resources. Even if you’re limited in staff, funding, or infrastructure (or all three), as a smart negotiator, you can find creative ways to leverage your strengths and build powerful relationships that produce results.

Frequently, museum technologists find themselves positioned as intermediaries, negotiating on behalf of their nonprofit organization with for-profit vendors and contractors. And the unique culture, personalities, interests, and mission of museums can provide an extra layer of complexity that makes these negotiations challenging.

This workshop will introduce museum professionals to fundamental negotiation concepts and tools for structuring deals that maximize value for both parties (win-win negotiation). Through interactive activities, mock negotiations, and peer feedback, participants in this workshop will learn effective strategies for negotiating with vendors, contractors, and even their colleagues.

Participants will walk away from the workshop with:

  • a broad, understanding of central concepts in negotiation as they apply in a museum technology context
  • a systematic framework for preparing for any type of negotiation
  • problem-solving techniques and practical skills for each step of the negotiation process
  • tools for mitigating aggressive negotiators and methods for resolving seemingly intractable negotiations.


Recommended Resources


Babcock, Linda, and Sara Laschever. Women Don’t Ask: The High Cost of Avoiding Negotiation–and Positive Strategies for Change. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 2003.

Brett, Jeanne.  Negotiating Globally: How to Negotiate Deals, Resolve Disputes, and Make Decisions Across Cultural Boundaries (Jossey-Bass Business & Management). San Francisco, CA: Wiley, 2007.

Fisher, Roger, William Ury, and Bruce Patton. Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In. New York, NY: Penguin, 1991.

Lax, David and Jim Sebenius. 3-d Negotiation: Powerful Tools to Change the Game in Your Most Important Deals. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 2006.

Mnookin, Robert H., Scott R. Peppet, and Andrew S. Tulumello. Beyond Winning: Negotiating to Create Value in Deals and Disputes. Cambridge, MA: Belknap of Harvard UP, 2000.

Mnookin, Robert H. Bargaining with the Devil: When to Negotiate, When to Fight. When to Fight. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2011.

Molinsky, Andy. Global Dexterity: How to Adapt Your Behavior Across Cultures without Losing Yourself in the Process. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press, 2013.

Shell, G. Richard. Bargaining for Advantage: Negotiation Strategies for Reasonable People 2nd Edition. New York: Viking, 1999.

Ury, William. Getting Past No: Negotiating in Difficult Situations. New York: Bantam, 1991.


Camp, Jim. Business Schools Teach Negotiating Tactics That Don’t Work, Bloomberg. August 4, 2014

Patel, Neil. The Art And Science Of A Successful Negotiation. Forbes, June 22, 2015

Richard Harroch, 15 Tactics For Successful Business Negotiations, Forbes, September 16, 2016

Salacuse, Jeswald W. Negotiating: The Top Ten Ways that Culture Can Affect Your Negotiation, Ivey Business Journal. September / October 2004.

Weiss, Jeff; Donigian, Aram; Hughes, Jonathan. Extreme Negotiations,Harvard Business Review 2010

Wheeler, Michael. Get in the Right State of Mind for Any Negotiation, Harvard Business Review, May 05, 2015