Mike Wheeler

Mike Wheeler is an authority on negotiation theory and practice. Since joining the Harvard Business School faculty in 1993, he has taught negotiation and leadership to thousands of MBA and Executive Program students. He continues to teach executive courses at HBS and his eight-week Negotiation Mastery course launched on HBS Online in 2017. It has now been taken by leaders, managers, and students from 142 countries around the globe. Wheeler was recently named Senior Fellow at the renowned Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.

He admits that over the years he has become a something of a contrarian. Specifically, he’s skeptical about popular one-size-fits-all negotiation approaches, whether they’re of the “win-win” or “take no prisoners” variety.

Instead, his view is that great negotiators are also great improvisors. They are agile strategically and quick on their feet moment-to-moment. After all, the other people you deal with have their own hands on the steering wheel, too. You can’t script what they choose to say and do, any more than you’d let them dominate you. Adaptability is key for negotiation success from start to finish.

For more about this approach, see his Jazz of Negotiation newsletter, which launched in January, 2021. Much of the content is free.

Wheeler also has created the Negotiating with Agility course on LinkedIn Learning, and developed the Negotiation 360 self-assessment/best practice app for iOS and Android devices. He cohosts the Agility at Work podcast with Dr. Kimberlyn Leary. His research interests include computer-based technologies for teaching, managing, and studying negotiation; emotion and inter-personal dynamics; and negotiation ethics.

Wheeler is the author or co-author of eleven books, including the CPR award-winning Environmental Dispute Resolution with Lawrence Bacow. His most recent book, The Art of Negotiation: How to Improvise Agreement in a Chaotic World, is available in ten languages. It draws on best practices in other fields where improvisation is essential, including jazz, medical diagnosis, and even military doctrine. Here is a full profile and a list of his publications.

You can reach Mike via his private email address: mw.negotiate [at] gmail.com.