Course Highlights

This storytelling course for negotiators will: 

  • Outline the value of stories in negotiation.
  • Explain when and when not to use stories in negotiation.
  • Suggest frameworks for crafting narratives.
  • Provide processes for analyzing audiences and isolating key messages.
  • Share best practices for transitioning in and out of stories during negotiations.
  • Suggest strategies for addressing counternarratives.

Course Overview

Participants in this hands-on workshop will explore the strategic use of storytelling in negotiation, a skill that separates exceptional negotiators from the rest. Skilled negotiators understand the power of a well-crafted story—it’s not just about the numbers and facts but also about connecting on a human level, influencing perceptions, and swaying decisions. This specialized workshop is designed to equip those who attend with the art and science of narrative negotiation, focusing solely on the use of storytelling as a potent tool in the negotiator’s arsenal.

Program Objectives

At this program’s conclusion, participants should be able to:

  • Define narrative negotiation.
  • Describe how negotiators have used narratives throughout history to influence and persuade.
  • Explain the psychology of narrative influence.
  • Identify the characteristics of an effective narrative.
  • Discuss situations where narratives are not an effective tool for negotiating.
  • Explain the classic narrative arc and other frameworks negotiators can use to craft stories.
  • Differentiate between emotional appeal and rational persuasion.
  • Describe authenticity and credibility in storytelling.
  • Analyze an audience.
  • Identify a core message.
  • Build a narrative.
  • Follow best practices when telling stories during a negotiation.
  • Prepare for counternarratives.

The following outline highlights some of the course’s key learning points. As part of your training program, we will modify content as needed to meet your business objectives. Upon request, we will provide you with a copy of the participant materials prior to the session(s).

Workshop Outline

A Little Background: Understanding Narrative Negotiation

This workshop opens with an explanation of narrative negotiation and why stories can be a powerful tool to influence and persuade. We will look at the characteristics of effective storytelling as well as situations when stories are not a good option for negotiations. Additionally, we will explore storytelling frameworks suitable for use in negotiation and how to balance emotional appeal and rational persuasion.

Preparing the Narrative: Connecting Audience and Message

In this seminar segment, participants will explore audience analysis and why it’s a critical step in crafting stories to use during negotiations. Following that discussion, we will talk about core messages and the steps for identifying them.

Beyond the Core: Fleshing Out Stories

Once we’ve developed our audience profiles and identified the core message(s) important to the negotiation, we will look at best practices for fleshing out narratives: adding emotional elements, showcasing credibility, presenting a future vision, highlighting mutual benefits, and using a problem-solution structure.

Different Context, Different Strategy: Reviewing Options

This portion of the program looks at negotiation contexts and the types of stories appropriate for business negotiations, diplomatic and international relations, and everyday negotiation scenarios.

Let Me Tell You: Delivery Tips

In this program segment, we will look at language for transitioning in and out of stories and best practices for delivering compelling narratives in a negotiation. Next, participants will practice delivering the narratives we developed earlier in the session.

Handling Resistance: Combating Counternarratives

In this final portion of the course, we will explore counternarratives and actions negotiators can take to address resistance and objections.

By this program’s conclusion, participants should have a firm understanding of storytelling’s use in negotiation and the fundamental skills to craft and use narratives in their effort to influence others.