How Teaching at HHL Inspired The Negotiation Challenge 

A few quotes from my interview for HHL blog:

Negotiation intelligence is a combination of the relevant knowledge with the ability to use it in appropriate settings.

My passion for negotiation has probably developed out of these two factors: the willingness to understand others and to solve complex decision problems.

During The Negotiation Challenge we are surrounded by smart and ambitious young people, who share the same passion and come together to compete but end up becoming friends.

It’s been a great privilege and honor to interact with so many smart and highly motivated students and observe the development of their further careers.

Source: How Teaching at HHL Inspired The Negotiation Challenge

Why You Need to Develop Negotiation Intelligence and Skills | HHL Blog

The concept of negotiation intelligence is industry agnostic and can be applied also in law, diplomacy and politics. The starting point for building negotiation intelligence is knowledge acquisition. First, we need to get to know the methods and techniques together with their suitability. Second, we need to learn to retrieve and apply them in the right moment. That’s why all my negotiation courses are based on the concept of experiential learning combining a healthy blend of theory and practice.

HHL negotiation course with expert Prof.Dr. Remigiusz Smolinski I The Negotiation Challenge for students and professionals

Source: Why You Need to Develop Negotiation Intelligence and Skills | HHL Blog

International Negotiation Competition for Professionals

We are delighted to announce that we are launching our new TNC initiative: an international negotiation competition for professionals!

If you work in sales or procurement, grow business for a large corporation or build your own startup, advise your clients on M&A transactions, consult them on strategy, operations, or help them resolve legal disputes, register on our website and compete with some of the world’s best negotiators for the title of The Great Negotiator 2020!

The Negotiation Challenge is open to all participants around the world, their negotiation performance is judged based on scientifically derived criteria, which are transparent and clearly communicated in advance. These factors in combination with the competitive character of the event, make it a prototype of the World Championship in Negotiation.

For more details, please visit:

HHL Expert Talk: How to Become a Great Negotiator – Intuition, Research and Practice

In the modern, interconnected network economy, negotiation has become one of the most important skills of successful managers and entrepreneurs. HHL has been one of the pioneers in this field in Germany, offering negotiation courses for almost 20 years of its modern history.

Our passion for theory and practice of negotiation culminated in launching The Negotiation Challenge, which has become a major international negotiation competition for students and practitioners in the world.

Yet, despite four decades of extensive research, the most fundamental questions in the field remain largely open. How can we systematically capture and compare the negotiators’ performance? What are the characteristics of great negotiators? Finally, and most importantly: How can we become great negotiators ourselves? The answers to these questions can help us design better negotiation courses and offer fairer negotiation competitions.

In our expert talk on Wednesday, June 24, 2020 at 6:30–7:30 PM, we will contrast our intuitive answer to these questions with the first research results and discuss how to apply these insights in practice.

Register now


Source: HHL Expert Talk: How to Become a Great Negotiator – Intuition, Research and Practice – HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management

The Negotiation Challenge 2017

Our this year’s negotiation competition took place on April 21-22 in Bogota, Colombia.  18 teams representing world’s best business and law schools traveled long ways to live their passion, meet other students, professionals and academics who share it and to compare their negotiation skills and become The Great Negotiators and World Champions 2017.

The Trophy

Why are we doing this?  Organizing TNC is a lot of work so why after so many years, we still extend our working hours, invest lots of our time and resources, write cases, help out with the logistics, and constantly ask ourselves what else can we do to make it better.  Money?  Definitely not!  Participating in The Negotiation Challenge has always been free of charge.  We even try to arrange free accommodation and meals for the participating students.  Fame?  Not really.  Organizing negotiation competitions is not an evaluation criterion for academics and even less will it help us during our performance reviews.  So why?

I tried to explain our reasons during my opening address at University of Los Andes our hosting institution in Bogota.  It is a dream of every teacher, instructor, professor to see the shining eyes in front of them and we have been very privileged to see lots of them every year.  Yes, we are idealists.  Teaching students how to negotiate better, inspire them to search from wise and sustainable agreements and resolve disputes, showing them that there is a viable alternative to competition is what keeps us going.  It is our tiny contribution to making this world a better place.

The first round of The Negotiation Challenge took place online.  The participants negotiated the details of an M&A deal between a Colombian producer of high-end chocolate products and an US chain of luxury supermarkets.

During the second round hosted at the University of Los Andes, the participants found the lost treasures of El Dorado and had to agree on how to distribute them.

University of Los Andes – great view on surrounding mountains

The third round took place at a beautiful Hotel de la Opera in the center of Bogota and focused on the Colombian peace process between the representatives of the government and the FARC leaders.

Round 3 at Hotel de la Opera

The last qualification round and the final were conducted at the beautiful Hacienda El Noviciado right outside of Bogota.  The topic of the fourth round was the division of costs and revenues from the extension of the Panama Canal whereas in the final the teams from American University and IPADE Business School re-engineered the Colombian peace process after the recent rejection of its results in a referendum.  

The final rounds at the Hacienda

The jury decided to award the title of the Great Negotiators to Alex, Luis and Hector from IPADE Business School.  The third place went to the Amy, Benjamin and Jonathan representing Harvard’s Kennedy School.

TNC 2017 – The Winners

The Negotiation Challenge 2017 is history now so it is time for conclusions.  First and the foremost, having The Gap Partnership as our strategic partner has helped us finance the competition but also improved its quality.  Having such a strong partner who is just as passionate about negotiation as we are, helped us elevate the competition to a completely new level.  Offering the participants a blend of solid scientific and pedagogical foundation with commercial acumen of international experts, makes The Negotiation Challenge one of the world’s best negotiation competitions and an unforgettable educational experience for students.  We are very happy to have gained such a strong partner.

The Gap Partnership – strategic sponsor of The Negotiation Challenge

Second, Colombia and the Colombians.  Prior to the competition many students and colleagues raised their doubts about organizing TNC outside of Europe.  Yes, for many teams travel expenses doubled, for some they quadrupled, for others they turned out prohibitive.  We were aware of this issue and did expect it to have an impact on the mix of participating teams and it probably did.  We decided to try it anyway and very pleased with the result.  Ultimately, in Colombia we found our new Negotiation Champions, the team from IPADE Business School from Mexico.

Interestingly enough during our stay in Colombia, one of German magazines published the list of the safest tourist destinations and ranked Colombia together with Jemen as the most dangerous countries in the world.  We read it on the beach of La Isla Rosario and could not resist laughing in disbelief.  Whoever came up with this ranking had absolutely no idea.  Not for a single minute or event a second were we in danger or at risk but during our whole stay in Colombia we felt very welcome, surrounded by kind, helpful and warm-hearted Colombians.

I wish we had more time to travel during our stay in Colombia.  The country has a lot to offer, even for the most demanding visitors and a week is certainly not enough to see all its treasures.  We barely got a taste of them and we absolutely loved it!  The combination of colors, warm and life enjoying people, fresh fruits and the sun was close to perfection.  It would be great to come back one day…

La Isla Rosario


World Championship in Negotiation

The Negotiation Challenge is major global negotiation competition for graduate students.  In 2017, 18 teams of world’s best students will compete in Bogota, Colombia.  This is the first time the competition takes place outside Europe and we are all excited and looking forward to meeting the participants soon.

18 international teams will compete in the World Championship in Negotiation in Bogotá on April 21 and 22, 2017

Source: News & Events Details | HHL Europe, Germany

Brexit: Negotiation Expert Warns About Lose-Lose Solution

The hard Brexit is presumably just an opening position which might evolve during the course of the negotiations. Both parties need wise negotiators who can put away their pride and focus on what’s really important.

Prof. Dr. Remigiusz Smolinski, Professor of Negotiation at HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management: “Hard Brexit could be revised over the course of the negotiations”

Source: News & Events Details | HHL Europe, Germany