Leadership lesson from 2023 – a story of a servant leader

2023 is over now, but I would like to share the second powerful leadership lesson I’ve learned that year while working on The Negotiation Challenge for Students.

TNC 2023 took place Luiss Guido Carli University in Rome and it’s organization was coordinated by Angelo Monoriti, whom I’m priviledged to call a friend now. Organizing a 3-4 days event for over 100 participants is a complex task, which requires a significant effort and a strong team.

All throughout the preparations and the intensity of the finals in Rome, we’ve met many dedicated and highly successful professionals from various disciplines who offered their time and resources to support TNC 2023. Not because of TNC, which they had not known before, but because they were asked by their friend, Angelo! Their involvement exceeded mere attendance. They got involved in TNC as if it was their own project, offering their support, resources, and advice, whenever needed!

For many years, Angelo has been inspring students of Luiss Guido Carli University helping them to become better negotiators. His motivation is not rooted in the pursuit of wealth or fame but in the belief that these students need these skills to evolve into better versions of themselves and, ultimately, better leaders. When I spoke to some of them during the TNC finals in Rome, they emphasized that their relationship with Angelo has evolved from beining students of his class, through becoming Angelo’s mentees, and ending up as his friends. They learned together, grew together, celebrated together, and cried together. He was always there for them and I’m sure that they will be there for him, should he ever need their help.

On behalf of all your friends, thank you, Angelo, for helping us understand, the meaning of true leadership. Thank you for being there for us! Luiss Guido Carli University is lucky to have you on their faculty! I look forward to working with you!

A Practical Guide to Negotiation Simulation Writing

Delighted to share that our paper: A Practical Guide to Negotiation Simulation Writing is available in open access on the website of Harvard’s Negotiation Journal!

Running negotiation competitions for students and professionals requires producing new negotiation simulations. Over the years, we’ve designed, written, tested, and assessed hundreds of negotiation simulations and our paper shares the lessons we’ve learned along the way. It includes also a step-by-step practical guide how to write effective negotiation simulations.

Many thanks to my partner in crime Peter Kesting for this excellent idea and Silvia P. Glick, Melissa Manwaring and other anonymous reviewers for their suggestions and feedback.

We are super excited and couldn’t wait to share it with you and look forward to receiving your feedback!

Source: A Practical Guide to Negotiation Simulation Writing – Kesting – 2023 – Negotiation Journal – Wiley Online Library

The Negotiation Challenge for Professionals

Negotiation is an art we all practice, whether we realize it or not. It permeates various aspects of our lives, from deciding where to eat with friends to securing business deals that impact our economic well-being. Some of us even negotiate professionally, making negotiation skills a crucial asset for success in our careers. Given its ubiquity and significance, it becomes vital to introspect and ask ourselves: Are we good negotiators? Can we negotiate effectively when it truly matters?

As founders of one of the first international negotiation competitions, The Negotiation Challenge, we once struggled to pinpoint the exact factors contributing to negotiators’ performance. The journey began with intuition, but we knew we needed more. Over time, we crafted a comprehensive evaluation system grounded in solid academic research, which has since proven to be a reliable benchmark for assessing and comparing negotiators’ abilities.

Throughout human history, we have relentlessly pursued mastery and excellence in various fields. Whether it’s determining the fastest runner, the strongest warrior, or the most skilled musician, competitions have been our means of comparison and a catalyst for greatness. In the spirit of this quest, we established The Negotiation Challenge for Professionals, a fair and transparent competition designed to put your negotiation skills to the test and measure them against others in your domain.

No matter your professional background—be it sales, procurement, entrepreneurship, M&A advisory, strategy consulting, or legal practice—The Negotiation Challenge invites you to participate and systematically assess your negotiation prowess alongside passionate negotiators from diverse countries and cultures.

Why should you seize this unique opportunity to develop your negotiation skills?

  1. Negotiate with the Best – The Negotiation Challenge attracts top-notch negotiators from around the world. Facing off against them demands the utilization of a wide array of negotiation tools and methods to engineer value and strike astute agreements. This challenge is your gateway to becoming an even better negotiator.
  2. Network with Passionate Negotiators – Engaging in The Negotiation Challenge allows you to connect with fellow passionate negotiators from various companies and nations. Through these interactions, you can exchange experiences, broaden your network, and learn from different perspectives.
  3. Feedback from Negotiation Experts – The founders and judges of The Negotiation Challenge are not just thought leaders and experts in the field; they are seasoned negotiators themselves. Their invaluable feedback has helped countless participants diagnose weaknesses and optimize their negotiation styles for success.
  4. Develop Your Negotiation Skills – Confronted with intricate negotiation scenarios and competing against well-trained and experienced counterparts, participants receive an excellent opportunity to elevate their negotiation skills. The guidance and coaching provided by judges further aid in their development.

The ability to navigate conflicts and negotiate wise agreements profoundly impacts the quality of our lives. Whether you are a seasoned negotiator or aspire to hone your negotiation craft, we extend our invitation to join The Negotiation Challenge. Together, we will shape a world where effective negotiation becomes a cornerstone of personal and professional success.

Unlock your negotiation potential and register for The Negotiation Challenge today! Embrace the opportunity to excel, grow, and become an extraordinary negotiator.

What Does It Mean To Negotiate Well?

What does it mean to negotiate well and what is the panda bear effect?

In our chat with Kwame Christian from American Negotiation Institute, we talk about a topic that has been very important to me ever since we’ve launched our negotiation competition, The Negotiation Challenge. It is quite surprising that after four decades of research, we still do not have widely recognized standards for evaluating negotiators’ performance. This was mainly the reason behind our work on the Negotiation Competency Model.

While organizing and judging various negotiation competitions, we’ve also observed that the teams that usually do well display something, we called the panda bear effect. To find out what it is, tune in to our episode of Negotiate Anything!


In Search of Master Negotiators: A Negotiation Competency Model (PDF)

This paper systematically derives and summarizes the evaluation criteria we use in our international negotiation competitions for students and professionals. They are based on a systematic literature review connecting observable negotiation behavior with their impact on negotiation outcomes and summarized in a negotiation competency model. The model includes a set of selected negotiation competencies together with proficiency levels and their behavioral indicators. Our goal is to help scholars design more effective negotiation courses and fairer negotiation competitions, improve negotiation pedagogy, and train negotiators who are well prepared to handle conflicts in our increasingly complex society.

Source: (PDF) In Search of Master Negotiators: A Negotiation Competency Model


Today, I was honored to speak to 86 teams and almost 300 students participating in the national negotiation competition organized by the association of negotiation and communication professors in China.

I’m so glad to see that negotiation competitions have become a part of students’ learning experience around the world. Good luck to all participants and may the best team win!

Source: 2020年“商谈赢家杯”全国大学生商务谈判大赛网络赛开幕式顺利召开

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: https://professionals.thenegotiationchallenge.org.