Engineers are master problem solvers; however, many struggle to navigate the complicated, interpersonal dilemmas presented by high-stakes negotiations. To help address this unique need, MIT Professional Education recently introduced a new digital course, Entrepreneurial Negotiations: The MIT Way.
“Negotiations in the entrepreneurial arena are critical, but incredibly complex,” says Bhaskar Pant, executive director of MIT Professional Education. “We are fortunate to be able to offer a course on the subject from a world-renowned authority at MIT.”
Led by Professor Lawrence Susskind — the Ford Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning at MIT, cofounder of the inter-university Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, author of more than 20 books, and advisor to Fortune 100 companies — this six-week course teaches engineers, entrepreneurs, and corporate innovators the skills they need to succeed at the bargaining table.
“Many engineers can dream up promising inventions; they can even produce a business plan and find interested investors. What they don’t know how to do, though, is negotiate on their own behalf,” Susskind says. “By taking the course, engineers will gain the skills and strategies they need to get buy-in, sell their ideas, and achieve success.”
Stereotypical "engineering logic" — such as putting emotion aside and focusing on the evidence — can lead to serious negotiation mistakes, according to Susskind. To help participants overcome these issues, Entrepreneurial Negotiations focuses on building trust and solidifying relationships.
In the spirit of MIT’s motto, “mens et manus” or “mind and hand,” the course combines negotiation theory and hands-on practice. For example, participants practice negotiation skills via role-play simulations, case studies, and peer-provided feedback.
“The exercises we use cover new ventures in biomedicine, aerospace, and real estate,” Susskind explains. “Some of MIT’s own entrepreneurs who have launched successful businesses will also provide their insights on their most difficult negotiation challenges.”
Over the course of six weeks, participants will discover how to cultivate their entrepreneurial mindset to increase the value of their ideas, negotiate for budget approval, and spearhead innovative initiatives. Equipped with a toolkit of proven techniques and strategies, participants will be prepared to find the sweet spot in any entrepreneurial negotiation.
A recent report from MIT found that companies that have spun off from the Institute generate annual revenues of $2 trillion a year. “Through this course, professionals will emerge with a toolkit of negotiation techniques so they, too, can join the ranks of successful MIT entrepreneurs,” Susskind says.
Delivered globally via the open-sourced online education platform, edX, Entrepreneurial Negotiations will focus on the four key elements of all entrepreneurial negotiations: creating value, building trust, dealing with emotions and perceptions, and protecting long-term relationships. This course is well suited for anyone seeking to advance an idea or a product but who does not currently control the resources needed to develop or market what they have in mind and, as such, needs to convince others to support or join them.
Upon successful completion of the course, participants will receive an MIT Professional Education certificate of completion, continuing education units (CEUs), and access to MIT Professional Education’s expansive, global professional alumni network. The course is being offered at the introductory price of $475. However, with the MITPE30 discount code, you’ll receive 30 percent off.
For more information and to register for Entrepreneurial Negotiations: The MIT Way, please visit the course page.