What is TNC?

The Negotiation Challenge (TNC) is one of the most recognized international negotiation competitions. Established in 2007, TNC has hosted the world’s best student negotiators from leading universities, allowing them to share their passion and compete against each other in realistic negotiation situations. 

Based on the extensive experience in designing and organizing negotiation competitions, in 2020, The Negotiation Challenge launched also an international competition for business professionals. 

TNC for professionals rests on solid academic foundations of its founders and operates in the same proven format. It gathers world’s best professional and passionate negotiators and offer them an opportunity to demonstrate their negotiation mastery and compare their skills with their like-minded counterparts from around the world.


The Format

Through compelling negotiation methods and strategies, the participating teams must prove their skills and compete successfully through the negotiation rounds.  In some of them, the teams negotiate in front of international judges, typically, negotiation professors. The best team wins a trophy and a title of The Great Negotiator.  Due to its highly competitive character combined with rigorous scientific approach, winning The Negotiation Challenge can be compared with winning the World Championship in Negotiation.  All negotiation simulations used during The Negotiation Challenge are exclusively prepared for this purpose and tested by senior academic faculty affiliated with International Negotiation Teaching and Research Association.  The scientific and pedagogical value of the competition is guaranteed by their personal involvement in the preparation phase as well as together with seasoned practitioners as judges during the negotiation rounds. 


The Evaluation Criteria

The Negotiation Challenge has been developed to identify and recognize world’s best negotiators who can prevail in diverse negotiation situations.  To successfully master this challenge, the participants must be able to apply the appropriate methods from the whole spectrum of their negotiation skills in the right negotiation situations or in other words demonstrate their negotiation intelligence.  Next to formal negotiation skills, the judges evaluate also the participants’ communication skills (e.g. active listening, convincing argumentation, communication within the team), their contribution to understanding the interests and identifying issues as well as their ability to create AND to claim value.  In some negotiation rounds, the students are evaluated based on the instrumental and/or relational outcome of their negotiations.


The Book

To help potential participants, their negotiation professors and coaches prepare for and prevail in negotiation competitions, we published a book: The Negotiation Challenge: How to Win Negotiation Competitions including 16 ready-to-use, competition-tested negotiation roleplay simulations with thorough instructional debriefs that suggest both optimal strategies and discuss potential results. In the book, we describe various types of negotiations we use during The Negotiation Challenge and discuss the evaluation criteria we use to capture the participants’ negotiation intelligence and select the best student negotiators. The book is not only a must-read for anyone planning to apply and participate in a negotiation competition, it is also well suited for negotiation instructors looking for new and proven teaching material or for anyone interested in practicing and improving their negotiation skills. Read more… 


The Founders

The Negotiation Challenge was founded by Dr. Remigiusz Smolinski and Dr. Peter Kesting and started as a joint initiative of their students at HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management and Harvard Negotiators.  Dr. Smolinski and Dr. Kesting share the passion for theory and practice of negotiation.  They have researched and taught negotiation courses at various institutions in Germany, Austria, Denmark, Poland, USA, UAE and China. They regularly conduct executive training and advise top managers on negotiation and conflict resolution. Dr. Kesting works as Associate Professor at the Department of Business Administration at Aarhus University.  Dr. Smolinski is professor at HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management.