Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In

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We're constantly negotiating in our lives, whether it's convincing the kids to do their homework or settling million-dollar lawsuits. For those who need help winning these battles, Roger Fisher has developed a simple and straightforward five-step system for how to behave in negotiations. Narrated soothingly by NPR announcer Bob Edwards, Fisher adds the meaty portions of the material with a sense of playfulness. The blend of voices makes this tape easy to listen to, especially the real-life negotiating scenarios, in which negotiating examples are given. This is a must-have tape for every businessperson's car. (Running time: one hour, one cassette) --Sharon Griggins

This is by far the best thing I've ever read about negotiation. It is equally relevant for the individual who would like to keep his friends, property, and income and the statesman who would like to keep the peace. --John Kenneth Galbraith.

Customer Reviews:

  • Negotiation Classic
    This book on Negotiation is a great resource for those seeking to understand the negotiation process. It covers many of the fundamental skills and topics of negotiation. A must have for those who are exploring the topics for the frist time. ...more info
  • Don't cower to power!
    Fisher & Ury's book, Getting to Yes focuses on integrative bargaining and mutual gains bargaining--a positive correlation between goal attainment of the parties, wherein many people achieve their goals and objectives.

    I read this book while in a graduate course in Bargaining and Negotiation, in the pursuit that I will work as an administrator in college student services. As college student personnel, we will be in negotiations, whether or not we think we will be. Often, encountering power and exhibiting it. In Getting to Yes, power is addressed and helps those in positions of leadership by leading from a point of collaboration. First, it offers tips on how to increase personal power--by first, setting out optimistically as you mentally prepare to negotiate. Second, by developing a good working relationship with those with whom you are bargaining gives power to both parties. Establishing good communication, listening to the other side, and showing that you have heard are all ways to increase mutual gains bargaining in Getting to Yes. Also important, having a better alternative and being positive about it as a solution can impact interests in bargaining and negotiation. As you move forward in an attempt to come to agreement, listening to and understanding others' interests bears relevant in achieving your best gain through bargaining and negotiation. It is common sense that clear, direct, thoughtful communication is the key to success (and personal empowerment, more than power) with integrative/mutual gains bargaining.

    Just in speaking practically, in how this book will benefit us in our future career pursuits, we'll often be salaried positions, rarely in collective bargaining units, so our right to negotiate salary and benefits will be within our grasp. Getting to Yes focuses on empowering individuals to ask for what they are entitled to, and to bravely face negotiation situations, knowing that they can reach arbitrary decisions fairly and amicably while achieving maximum results and agreement for both parties. If the focus remains optimistically on creating the best alternative with the goal to seek closure in the negotiation, then both sides may get to the heart of each other's motivations to reach a settlement without force or wielding power plays. And as student affairs professionals, charged with budgetary restraints, of course, being aware of your limits and bottom line will help keep you measured in the negotiation process too.

    In Getting to Yes, they talk about collaborative bargaining, but yet, there are those (often women) who cower to power and accept soft negotiated terms, for the sake of maintaining amicable relations but then may leave negotiations feeling embittered and powerless, Fisher & Ury set up their method in an accessible, replicable format that helps people get to yes feeling principled in their endeavor.

    As it is inevitable that we will be in positions of leadership or management seeking negotiation, conflicts may emerge and we will want to present positive leadership attributes even as we are weathering conflict.
    ...more info
  • One of the best books, if not the best book, on negotiation humanity has to offer.
    I'll start from a different tack to the other reviewers. I researched Roger Fisher's life. Here is my "biography". Born in the USA in 1922, he was 19 when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and off he was sent to the killing fields. After the war, he studied law and practised litigation for about a decade. To this point in his life, he had seen very little apart from people beating each other over the head either physically or emotionally/psychologically to gain an advantage and a victory. A turning point came when he asked, "is there another way?". For the next two decades, he spent his time with high-class negotiators. The best in the business. He asked, observed and practised. Today, it is called Alternative Dispute Resolution. I'm not sure it had a name back then but I've heard mediators who have been in the field for a long time say that they witness the counter-parties grow as people. In the late 70s, Fisher started writing the book and in 1981, it was published. The second edition has the ten most commonly asked questions readers of the book had over the next decade along with Fisher's, Ury's and Patton's responses.

    I have started to apply the principles of the book in the six months since I first read it and I feel that *both* the outcomes I achieve in negotiations and the depth of my relationship with others have improved. I still have a long way to go but I feel I am on a track which is healthy. If people want to obtain what they want and have good relationships, this is required reading. I want to make one point so that it is not lost on anyone. Applying the principles in this book does not mean becoming a softie or pushover in negotiations. If that is what is happening, the book is not being applied correctly.

    If people want to "win", I put it to you that it will show over the long term and your actions will not be sustainable in your own life and the life of others. In which case, what is the point?

    In terms of results which Roger Fisher himself has achieved, he recently was able to settle a decades long territorial dispute between two Sth American nations.

    I believe that the principles illuminated in this book are the way of the future.

    All the best.
    tom(dot)369(at)hotmail(dot) com...more info
  • Getting to Yes
    I found this book very useful in how to understand that interests of parties involved in a dispute can be resolved using the art of negotiation rather than digging one's heels into taking a position on the subject. Excellent resource here. ...more info
  • Great Introduction, Framework, and Strategies
    I originally read this for a class in Negotiation Skills, but I have since found it useful in many aspects of life. It is a quick read, but it is a book that you earmark, highlight, annotate, and return to many times. The case studies are perfectly chosen, the layout is logical, and the writing is simple but not dull.

    Getting to Yes introduces the art of negotiation to those who have never had to think about it. It contains a philosophy that is wise and practical. It reveals the tactics that your opponent may use and how to disarm them. It also provides several strategies for preparing for, engaging in, and closing negotiations.

    The ideas in this book can be used to buy a car, or to sell a car. They could be used by a State Department official negotiating a peace agreement, or a married couple negotiating who does which chores. I would find it useful in a job interview or a contract negotiation. This is a book to re-read, to reference, and to recommend to others....more info
  • Fast Delivery
    The book came in the mail within a couple of days. In good condition, no stray marks. Definitely would buy from seller again. ...more info
  • Yes, this is a "must read"
    Reviewing a book 15 years after its publication might seem a bit pointless. But that depends on the book. In this case, we're talking about a book that has near cult status in the business community.

    Over the past 15 years, this book has been referred to and revered in thousands--if not millions--of articles, seminars, college course, and training programs. In fact, as of the date of this review over 100 published books cite Getting to Yes.

    If you're in business and haven't read this book, you are operating with less than full power. But the book has value well beyond the business world. If you've ever had a disagreement end in a way that left you or the other party feeling cheated or manipulated, that ending probably came about because you were either bargaining about position or confusing the people with the problem. Either strategy guarantees at least one loser. Unfortunately, most disagreements follow one or both of these losing strategies.

    With discipline and practice, you can apply the knowledge in this book so that you:

    * Preserve relationships without giving in (go along to get along).
    * Can satisfy the interests of both parties.
    * Ensure both parties are motivated to uphold their end of the bargain.
    * Feel good about the agreement reached and the people who reached it.

    The strategies have nothing to do with tricking other people or playing games. The strategies have everything to do with respecting other people and refusing to play games.

    In the publishing world, "thud factor" is a major consideration. Many readers expect filler, in the form of anecdotes and stories (as if they want the author to assume they are too daft to understand assertions made directly in plain English). Getting to Yes is 200 pages long, with the last 50 pages or so being basically a review and a "Cliff Notes" of the first 150. So, you have the book followed by a summary of the book. What you don't have is 150 pages stretched to 300 pages with stories that a busy executive would rather skip.

    The concise writing is a huge plus to many people, but some reviewers see it as a minus. So, you may also read reviews saying that other books are "better" because they are thicker.

    I have two proposed solutions to that:

    1. Read the first 150 pages of Getting to Yes twice. This will equal 300 pages.
    2. Read the book, then practice it. Take 150 pages of notes regarding your experiences. You now have the stories and filler you wanted.

    The authors wrote this book not to entertain, but to educate. It gets to the point. There is no obfuscation, meandering, or distraction. That same communication style is required in a negotiation. The occasional anecdote may be helpful, but to lead a negotiation to a successful conclusion you must focus on the real issues. That is what this book does. And that's why it's a classic in the classroom and in the boardroom, and in executive suites and staterooms throughout the world.

    Be sure to read Getting Past No and The Power of a Positive No, as well....more info
  • The ultimate negotiator
    "Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In"
    by Roger Fisher, Bruce M. Patton, William L. Ury

    "Getting to Yes" is the benchmark by which all other books on negotiating should be judged. Authors Fisher, Patton and Ury have penned a book that has become a classic in its class as their negotiating principles have been used and quoted again and again the world over.

    "Getting to Yes" is quite deceptive at first - it seems a little light weight as it is so easy to read. In fact one could read it from cover to cover in half a day quite easily. Yet, the four principles outlined in their negotiating method whilst simple in nature are comprehensive and effective. This is one of the first books on negotiating to break away from the "hard v's soft" negotiating paradigm by introducing "principled" negotiating - ie. negotiating on the basis of both party's needs, not positions. Fisher et al, also cover very well the "What if" situations where the other party maybe more powerful, uses dirty tricks or won't play the game.

    This book should be essential reading for everyone who has to negotiate with someone else over reaching a decision - and isn't that all of us?

    Bob Selden, author of What To Do When You Become The Boss: How new managers become successful managers
    ...more info
  • One of the best books I have ever read on negotiation.
    If you want to improve your negoation skills, this book is is one of the best....more info
  • Basic literature
    A very basic and even naive book about negotiation. The authors describe a basic approach and probably a very american way to negotiation. Very easy reading....but you pay the price for it. The book lacks insighful and meaningful thoughts on the subject. ...more info
  • Qualified Outline of Negotiation Tactics
    Getting to Yes is a collection of practical negotiation tactics presented in a straightforward and effectual manner. The authors encompass many of the key factors required for any successful negotiation. Much of the advice stems from the notion that understanding the interests of all parties is decisive; and the book focuses primarily on the various aspects of this methodology.

    There are other books on the topic that incorporate a far more comprehensive examination, provide more samples, or even delve deeper into the psychology of persuasion; however, I have no doubt that if you are seeking to improve your negotiation abilities that this book will be a benefit to you.
    ...more info
  • Robust Recipe for Agreement
    I read this book a few years ago, integrated it into my daily relations and field tested it across a range of situations. The theory is detailed, with example dialogues and tactical advise, but for me this has only been illustration. The best about this book is the changed attitudes to negotiation as a consequence of understanding it.

    This is a general prescriptive theory of negotiation, which means it goes for any relationship where different interests touch. The four key points are:

    1. Separate the people from the problem
    2. Focus on interests, not positions
    3. Invent options for mutual gain
    4. Insist on objective criteria

    After you understand the examples, this is all you need to remember to be an effective negotiator. The challenge in practice is to steer the negotiation along these lines, and when successful, you get a friendly discussion about what you can easily do for the other person, with measurable results.

    ...more info
  • A little book with one gem
    I read this book many years ago, and although most of the information is common sense, I took to heart one strategy, "Soft on people, tough on issues." In my negotiations with others over the years, I have employed this strategy religiously to great advantage. I recommend this book to employees who take issues personally....more info
  • honest and fast
    I received this book 2 days after I place my order. The person was pretty fast because school had already started and I needed the bood asap....more info
  • Simple negotiation tips for Win-Win outcomes
    If you have been wondering where to start, to develop skills on negotiations, this is a nice book to read.

    The authors bring out the merits of the principled negotiations over the traditional hard/soft negotiation techniques. The book recommends to focus on the people, their interests, available options and the standards in any negotiation. I liked the BATNA (Best Alternative To Negotiated Agreement) concept which can be applied to many real life negotiation situations.

    The content is short & sweet. This book is focussed on principled negotiations and doesn't deal with all the negotiation paradigms. I would consider this as a primer for negotiations. At the end, there are a few techniques suggested to handle people who play dirty tricks.

    You cannot learn to swim by reading a book. Similarly, you cannot be a negotiation expert overnight by just reading this book. You should perpetually apply the ideas. ...more info
  • good book
    the book was assigned for my counseling and negotiations class. A lot of the things covered in the book were common sense things but the book was still helpful...more info
  • Getting To Yes
    I had to listen to this for a class, pretty boring, said the same thing over and over. I guess I was waiting for something new and fresh, this was not it....more info
  • Good book
    I have also read (next to "you can negotiate anything') the second version of the above book written by Roger Fisher and William Ury. The ideas in this book are meant to show ?how to get what you are entitled to while still getting along with the other side.?
    The author focuses on four points. 1/ separate the people from the problem, then 2/ focus on interest and 3/ invent options and lastly 4/ insist on using objective criteria.
    In focusing on separating the people from the problem you should ask yourself ?Am I paying enough attention to the people problem?? The way through is thinking in three categories { perception, emotion and communication. Substantive issues and relationship are listed by the author .
    A working relationship where trust, understanding, respect and friendship are built up over time can make each new negotiation smoother and more efficient (as I experienced myself, with Schoenwald being the third hotel from which I have purchased china).
    To focus on the interest, you should focus on the human needs. ?If you want the other side to stimulate your interests, begin by demonstrating that you appreciate theirs? declare the authors, and suggest making a list of specifics interests.
    Identify interest by asking why and why not, and especially look for share interest.
    In understanding the interests of the other side well, you may invent ways of reconciling interests on the value of an ongoing relationship. However, you will always face the harsh reality of a conflict of interests.
    The key action for inventing options is brainstorming. The authors propose three steps fro creative options - brainstorming, during brainstorming and after brainstorming .You should generate many options before selecting among them. ?Invent first, decide later.?
    The other side is more likely to accept a solution if it seems the right thing to do in terms of being fair, legal, honorable and so forth (principled standards). Principled negotiations (based on objective criteria such as market value, precedent, efficiency, cost or tradition) produce wise agreements amicably and efficiently.
    On page thirteen the authors suggest how to switch from positional bargaining to principled negotiation in five steps.
    BATNA (Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement) is the only standard that protects you from accepting terms that are too unfavorable and from rejecting terms that would be in your interest. The BATNA has to be prepared carefully because the better the BATNA, the greater your power. Negotiations only make sense if you are likely to achieve better than your BATNA.
    The three-step process to develop the BATNA is: 1/ invent a list of actions to take if no agreement is reached, 2/ improve some of the most promising ideas and 3/ select the one alternative that seems best. This will not only enable you to decide the minimally acceptable agreement but will help you to raise the maximum.
    In the "ten questions people ask about Getting to Yes" (which are the main part of the review) the author provides answers about dealing with people, tactics, power and fairness and principled negotiation.
    The author's last suggestion is how to make best use of your potential power by using each source of power in harmony with others sources and not using the strongest power alone. To be more efficient as a negotiator you should believe in what you are saying and doing, so you are comfortable.

    ...more info
  • A positive-sum game
    Despite the common perception, negotiation is not about winning, it's about coming up with a resolution which benefits both sides. In order to develop such an agreement you have to be willing to listen, and to understand the opposing side on both the personal and business levels. 'Getting to Yes' teaches us how to develop these skills. From personal issues, to tactics, to psychological tricks, to best alternative (BATNA) analysis, Roger Fisher covers a lot of ground in this classic. The book is short and to the point, and serves as a great launchpad for further research in the area....more info
  • getting to the goal
    Im most circumstances in life, there are issues they demand negotition and the players involved settle those disputes based on how thye are able to navigate the deal making. This book goes thru all of those machinations and specifics....more info
  • Classic reference for negotiation
    Although it is the require reference of for the course I registered, it is a helpful handbook for negotiation....more info
  • How to Improve your Negotiation Skills Dramatically?
    This book is a straightforward, universally applicable method for negotiating personal and professional disputes without getting taken-and without getting angry. It offers a concise, step-by-step, proven strategy for coming to mutually acceptable agreements in every sort of conflict-whether it involves parents and children, neighbors, bosses and employees, customers or corporations, tenants or diplomats. Based on the work of the Harvard Negotiation Project, a group that deals continually with all levels of negotiation and conflict resolution from domestic to business to international. This book tells you how to: (1). Separate the people from the problem; (2). Focus on interests, not positions; (3). Work together to create options that will satisfy both parties; and (4). Negotiate successfully with people who are more powerful, refuse to play by the rules, or resorts to "dirty tricks". Digest this book and you will improve your negotiation skills dramatically....more info
  • Good introduction on negotiation

    Since there are already 140 reviews, I'll keep it short.

    "Getting to yes" has been recommended to me for many years and used as a basis of several trainings and discussions I had in the past. I finally decided to read the book to see if there is anything more than what I heard earlier. From that perspective, I was disappointed. Though, looking at the book without previous knowledge, I'd say that it's a great introduction to principled negotiation, probably the best there is.

    The core of the book tries to explain the reader that negotiating about fixes positions is most of the time a lose-lose scenario. Therefore it's better to try to look at what both negotiators interests are and then try to work from there. Then by using these interests, the negotiators will be able to find a solutions with is mutual beneficial for both parties. That way a negotiations turns into a win-win situation and also does not have any personal impacts on the people doing the negotiation.

    From this core perspectives, the authors approach different topics related to negotiation. When to negotiate (having you're alternative). Ways to brainstorm solutions. Ways to negotiate with many parties. Working in a principled way if the person with whom you are negotiating is not, etc etc.

    The second edition ends with a section on answers to common questions, which almost summarizes the book itself.

    "Getting to Yes" is a small book (though it could have been smaller!) and is definitively worth reading. It wasn't as good as I expected, but have not seem a better book on this topic. Recommended....more info
  • A book you should own even if you aren't a professional negotiator
    This book is recommended reading for a Negotiation Course I took some time ago and was developed by members of the Harvard Negotiation Project. It provides the fundamentals of negotiation tactics and techniques that can be used in almost any situation.

    Whether you are a parent with trouble convincing your children to do things, or you're buying a house or a car, this is an excellent book for learning how to effectively deal with others.

    The book covers topics such as inventing options that will benefit both parties, or focusing on your interests and not your positions and understanding the importance of controlling emotions.

    This book doesn't cover more advanced techniques and doesn't signiifcantly touch upon the various cultural aspects of negotiation, but it is an excellent introduction and a valuable addition to any library....more info
  • Concerned Objectivity vs. Positional Negotiations, and Ask "Because Why" & "Because Why"
    The very good point and theme of "Getting To Yes" is that it is better to start a negotiation objectively than to start one positionally. Anyone can negotiate positionally by just naming a price or stance and then hold a "take it, or leave it" posture. However, to have real meaningful negotiations and subsequent strong agreements/contracts, one needs to go the extra mile or put in the extra effort to discuss things objectively.

    While others report that there were not enough examples in the book or any psychological reasons why objective negotiation works over other techniques, I propose they missed the point in that objective review identifies the real issues that are to be or need to be overcome in the negotiation process. This is due to the fact that objective negotiations focus on the basic interests, mutually satisfying options, and most importantly the fair standards which to judge the ultimate strong agreement.

    With the objective approach, one is always asking "because why" to determine the standards and fairness behind what the other party is judging the negotiation from. Without the standard from which each party starts, it may be difficult to reach a strong agreement that will last over bumps in the road that may occur in the future. In addition, questions will tend to generate answers, whereas, statements tend to generate resistance of which you do not want.

    Other topics and techniques are discussed like, separate the people from the problem, focus on interests, create options, and others, but the big takeaway is objectivity should come from both sides. If done so, your agreements/contracts may have a better chance of lasting longer and repeat business may keep coming back....more info
  • Critical & Fundamental Book on Negotiation
    The book, GETTING TO YES, by Roger Fisher and William Ury is perhaps the most important book on negotiation I have ever read. I have personally benefitted from this book simply because I am even more aware of the importance of preparation and identifying shared interests and taking advantage of them. Respect, always respect, the other person's interests. More importantly, know them well.

    The book is on principled negotiation, which is essentially negotiation on merits. The aim is to reach a wise agreement, defined as meeting the legitimate interests of all parties to the extent possible, resolving conflicting interests fairly, and ensuring the agreement is durable and takes community interests in account.

    The factors of principled negotiation include:

    PEOPLE: separting people from the issues/problems.
    INTERESTS: focus on them, particularly mutual interests, and not on "positions." E.g., the expression of "you are in no position to negotiation" is absolutely absurd. One, it is an assumption unless the person stating that carefully prepared. Two, it can generally only hurt the person stating that, generating hostility and conflict. A principled negotiator probes interests, raises questions. The question, then, is "what are your interests in this deal?" and "Why do you suppose that is a fair proposal?"
    PLANNING: a skilled negotiator will gather, organize, and weigh all information carefully relating to a negotiation. If there is one concept I could share with you, it is "prepare."
    CRITERIA: prior to reaching an agreement, the parties should agree to using objective criteria to measure an agreement; these include market value, precedent, and so forth.
    OPTIONS: generate a variety of options to reach an agreement. Envision what a successful outcome would be from the negotiation prior to negotiation, then generate several possibilities of satisfying everyone's interests to obtain the goal.

    Specific Questions I had that were answered:
    a) When personally attacked, what to do?
    Control yourself, let the other side vent, then remain silent. Do not embarrass them, do not attack back.

    b) More on this concept of "interests?"
    First, find shared interests. Two, acknolwedge the other side's interests as a part of the whole system of negotiation. Share what your interests are pointedly, then provide your reasoning for reaching your proposal.

    c) If the other side is way more powerful?
    One must know her/his BATNA well. It is your Best Alternative to Negotiated Agreement (I think that is the correct acroynm). The better your BATNA is, the more power you have. If you have a very bad BATNA, you must realize that "how" you negotiate is extremely important. Your BATNA should be your measure against any proposal made by the other side. If your BATNA is better, then you obviously reject the proposal.

    d) What if the other side is choleric, tricky, and applies pressures to force me into agreement?
    You should first recognize the tactics being used. "Oh, this is the old good and bad cop routine." Then, expose it. Say, "excuse me, unless I am mistaken, you two are playing good cop and bad cop with me. Now, let's just focus on interests and reach a mutually satisfying agreement." If they put sun in your eyes, request to move. If your enviroment is hostile or discomforting, you have a right to request a change in setting. Most importantly, recognize them... do not be phased by them.

    e) I am powerful, they are weak. How should/can I exploit them?
    Resources do not make you a powerful negotiator. All the king's soldiers and all the king's men cannot make you a powerful negotiator, particularly if your socalled "power" will not impact the other side. It is best to focus on mutual interests and attempt to reach an agreement to satisfying them. Threating a person, mentioning your power will most-likely undermine your ability to reach agreement.

    In conclusion, this book can be a benefit for all people. Why? It shows you how to take into account other people's interests to satisfy your own. It is crucial for individuals to terminate the concept that to "win" in negotiations is to take advantage of other people. To succeed in negotiation, it is not about exploiting people but getting what you want. Essentially, satisfying your interests; this book can show you how.

    I hope the above was helpful,
    Clovis...more info
  • Okay
    I was better off buying the book from the regualr store. The book cost me more due to S/H. ...more info
  • Easy to read book on negotiations
    This is a great book, clear and easy to read. It provides quick hints to improve your negotiations skills. It is an easy and enjoyable reading, and I read it every day on the metro to work....more info
  • I'm glad we could swap the blue and red ones.
    Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In This book certainly shows how to save face - showing how to accomlish an objective without giving in. It also is easy to read and an excellent start for the 'beginner' stepping into this area of reading, with a view to acting on the information provided. I recommend this as well as "Getting Past No" by the same author, for the beginner and the novice negotiator....more info
  • A great place to start
    I have really enjoyed this book. It offers practical ways to find out what other people want. I like the advice of being hard on problems and easy on the people. This book is a great place to start....more info
  • Get to yes without going to war
    1991 second edition, Penguin Books, 229 pages (of which 187 pages form the main body of the book).

    If you've read any of my other reviews, you won't be surprised to discover this is another of the twenty books recommended by Charlie Munger in the second edition of Poor Charlie's Almanack (the most useful book I've read).

    I have wanted to learn more about negotiation since last year, when I had particularly protracted and unpleasant negotiations over leaving my previous full time job. It was probably the most unpleasant time of my life, it went on for months and the return for that huge personal cost was very poor (for everyone except my lawyer, that is). My relations with all of the people at the firm were also destroyed by the time the mess finally ended. I figured there had to be a better way - and the sooner I learned it the better.

    Having a single book on the subject recommended by a very well read and extremely effective individual in his eighties like Munger was ideal. If there is a single, most useful text on negotiation, this should be it. Fortunately, even with such high expectations, I wasn't disappointed. I would include Getting to Yes amongst the top ten most useful books I have read.

    It makes an excellent companion volume to Karen Pryor's Don't Shoot the Dog, which I have just re-read. Getting to Yes tells you how to approach forming agreements between people (whether a divorce or simply which film to watch at the cinema this week). Don't Shoot the Dog shows you how to teach (whether animals, people or yourself) and learn. Between them they cover most of the important situations in which conflict is likely to occur.

    Their general approach is the same: that efforts to dominate or be combative are unnecessary and usually counter-productive. The most obvious specific similarity is their suggestion that one always try to look at the situation from the other side:

    "The ability to see the situation as the other side sees it, as difficult as it may be, is one of the most important skills a negotiator can possess."

    Many people (previously including myself) think that if one is not being `tough' then one is being weak. Both of these wonderfully humane books show clearly that this is not the case. You can be pleasant and understanding whilst still being tough (in the principled sense) and unyieldingly fair. What a relief to know that you can be both - and be more effective.

    I found Getting to Yes rather painful to read at times, as I kept comparing the advice and examples in the book with my own experiences of the previous year. Many times the authors advise acting in a certain way and warn what is likely to happen with other (more common) approaches. My book is littered with scribbled comments saying things like `oh dear - this is exactly what happened in my situation'.

    Most people view negotiation (I certainly did) as simply a choice between hard and soft positional bargaining. Fortunately it turns out that this view is wrong:

    "If you do not like the choice between hard and soft positional bargaining, you can change the game.
    The game of negotiation takes place at two levels. At one level, negotiation addresses the substance; at another it focuses - usually implicitly - on the procedure for dealing with the substance."

    This whole book is about how one changes the procedural game from positional bargaining to what the authors call `principled negotiation'. Principled negotiation involves attacking the problem independent of the people by focussing on interests rather than positions. By focussing on the interests - that literally must underlie all positions - the authors show that it is often possible to invent additional options that fulfil those interests better than the obvious initial positions. By insisting on the use of objective criteria, the authors also show how one can form wiser agreements and cope with intransigent positional bargainers (it becomes difficult to sustain arbitrary positions in the face of a negotiator who brings in objective, external standards to justify all of his suggestions).

    It is welcome to see that the authors realise their methods are no panacea. They understand that the best a method of negotiation can achieve is the wisest result possible for all parties, bearing in mind the situation and the people involved.

    I particularly liked the brevity and clear structure of Getting to Yes. There is a danger in `how to' books like this of being presented with so many individual pieces of advice that, whilst individually sensible, we find ourselves overwhelmed when we try to put them into practice. All the advice forms a sort of mental sludge from which little stands out.

    I noted with interest the authors mention in the preface that their editor reorganised the book and cut it in half: "To spare our readers, he had the good sense not to spare our feelings." I couldn't agree more and I`m very grateful to their (clearly first rate) editor. It reminds me of a comment Elmore Leonard made about his own books: "if it reads easy, it was because it was written hard". That's the way books should be. ...more info
  • better than expected
    this book was boring at first but the real meat is close to the end. I think this book not only be used on business but also with friends. I've tried using it to talk w/ people and it works. A good read and good asset!...more info
  • Refuse to react, instead sidestep their attack, deflect it against the problem
    Look behind their position on the problem at hand and address it. "why are you... Why do you feel a need to... What exactly are..." Don't defend, invite criticism abd advice. Ask what's wrong with... What concerns them. Recast personal attacks as an attack on the problem. What can we do now to reach an agreement as quickly as possible? Ask questions and pause. Use questions instead of statements. Statements generate resistance. Q's generate A's. Q's educate. SILENCE IS A GREAT WEAPON. Use it! If unreasonable propsal or an attack- the BEST THING is to sit and not say a thing. If Q'ed wait to answer people are uncomfortable in silence or ask for clarification, then wait. When you ask Q. pause. Silence is the best negotiating. ...more info
  • Great everyone should read it
    Have used this book many times to help people gain effectiveness and avoid unnecesary conflict at work and home. Highly recommend it....more info
  • Fast
    This book arrived in less than a week and was in the condition advertised. I was satisfied with the transaction and would purchase from this seller again....more info
  • Excellent Book on Negotiation
    This is an excellent book on negotiation -- for beginners and professionals alike. The book covers a number of important negotiating principles and highlights the interesting perspective of the authors that the more each side of a negotiation knows about the principles covered in the book, the better the negotiation process and outcome are likely to be.

    I recommend this book to all readers....more info
  • A helpful classic in constructive negotiation
    Clearly this is a top notch book well worthwhile to be read by professional negotiators and also by the rest of us. It has a clear style. It is a short, entertaining and fast read, maybe a bit theoretical.

    The basic idea of this book is to find win-win scenarios that give both sides of the negations more than without a Harvard negotiation. Do not leave value on the table.

    Arguments against this method are dealt with in the last chapter. The authors always win (at least in this book).

    I can recommend "Getting to Yes" to everyone living in our world.
    ...more info
  • The Godfather of all Negotiation
    I have purchased the unabridged audio versions to save time. Harvard developed principled negotiation which causes an unsurpassable system for negotiation. This is the book everyone should read if there's only one book in the world on negotiation! Nearly one hundred raving five star reviews from readers, lawyers, business people, professionals, students, teachers, and negotiators can't be wrong....more info
  • For the Person Who Wants to Expand The Pie of Negotiation Skills
    In the fields of negotiation and mediation, one small book has had a tremendous impact. Published in 1981, Roger Fisher and William Ury's book, Getting to Yes, introduced the concept of "principled" or "interest-based" bargaining. It is difficult to find a negotiation or mediation course that does not reference this landmark text. It is one of the most well-known works in negotiation literature and has been the focus of considerable commentary by legal scholars. Some of the book's strengths are its discussions on separating the people from the problem and focusing on interests, rather than positions. This book introduced the term BATNA, your Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement, the standard against which Fisher and Ury claim any proposed agreement should be measured. It make sense, because using your BATNA as a standard, you can protect yourself or your clients from accepting terms that are too unfavorable and from rejecting terms it would be in your interest to accept. The lessons on principled negotiation are well worth the short amount of time it will take to read this book.

    Principled negotiation, as espoused by Fisher and Ury, is an approach to bargaining that expands "the pie" rather than just dividing it as with distributive bargaining. Principled negotiation is the win-win approach that is also referred to as integrative bargaining. In contrast, distributive bargaining generally assumes a zero-sum position where plus one for me equals minus one for you. Both approaches, distributive and integrative have a place on the bargaining table. Having a clear understanding of both approaches enables an attorney to be more flexible when representing clients' interests in negotiations and mediations. It is not uncommon for a party to take an integrative approach at the outset of a negotiation and switch to distributive bargaining sometime during the process. This is usually when the interests are being explored early on, and then actual negotiations regarding money become the focus at the end. When dollars are being discussed, distributive bargaining is most common. Sometimes a party will take the distributive approach when the negotiations commence and then become more integrative when a deal or settlement is not reached with the competitive method. The successful attorney prepares for negotiations and considers which approach, or what combination of approaches, makes the most sense for the matter at hand.

    The classic example many mediation and negotiation trainers use to illustrate the differences between distributive and integrative bargaining comes from Getting to Yes and involves two sisters quarreling over a single orange. Each sister's position is she needs 100% of the orange. Using a distributive approach, for one sister to gain some of the orange, the other must lose. The mediator or negotiator using a distributive approach may come up with a solution as mom did when she entered the kitchen and found the two sisters arguing over who should have the orange. Wanting to be fair to both of her daughters, mom the mediator proposed this solution. One daughter would cut the orange in half and the other daughter would choose which half she would receive. Over all, this seems like a fair and reasonable solution, and in fact, this is how many disputes are resolved and how many negotiations play out. Each sister gets 50% of what they wanted. The result achieves fairness and arguably a win-win solution. But can we do better?

    Using Fisher and Ury's principled approach, the focus is shifted to the sisters' interests rather than their positions. This time, rather than just proposing a solution, mom the mediator seeks to understand and find out why each sister wants the orange. Mom discovers that one sister does not really even like oranges, but she wants to bake a Christmas cake which calls for the peels of one orange. The other girl wants to eat the fruit and plans to toss the peels into the garbage. Learning the interests of each person, rather than just knowing their positions, allows for creative and often much more satisfying results. By giving the peel to the first girl, and the fruit to her sister, each girl receives 100% of what she wanted for a truly win-win solution.

    If only all problems were that easy to solve! If they were, many of us would be out of jobs. Real problems are often much more complex, and very rarely can you get 100% for each party, but many times you can do better than 50/50. It takes some effort learning interest based principles and incorporating them into negotiations and a willingness to look beyond the distributive solutions and expand "the pie" based on parties' interests rather than positions, but the solutions and results obtained are well worth the time and effort.

    For the person who wants to expand "the pie" of negotiation skills to better serve clients, Getting to Yes is a quick read with useful insights and techniques. The book has been criticized as neglecting a significant part of the negotiation process (distributive bargaining) and oversimplifying many of the troublesome problems inherent in the art and practice of negotiation. Nonetheless, it contains useful techniques and valid criticism regarding negotiation and should be read by every practicing attorney, especially those involved with mediation. It is especially useful for those who tend to only negotiate with a distributional or distributive approach. I encourage everyone to read this small negotiating gem and incorporate the problem solving techniques in their negotiations and explore mutual profitable resolutions in their mediations.

    Reviewed by Alain Burrese, J.D., author, speaker
    Hard-Won Wisdom From The School of Hard Knocks, Hapkido Hoshinsul, Streetfighting Essentials, Hapkido Cane, and The Lock On Joint Locking series. Alain has also written numerous articles, including a column on Negotiation for The Montana Lawyer magazine.

    ...more info
  • A perennial favorite that has lost none of its relevance
    As other reviews provide a summary, I would like to concentrate on what the book means to me personally. By focusing attention on interests and away from egos, I find the methods it introduces border on the therapeutic. This is not a bad thing, since every negotiation is the product of personal interaction. Addressing the confounding effects of personality and ego directly simply makes sense.

    Getting To Yes is the only book I consistently wish I had read sooner. It was first recommended to me in an undergraduate political science class. Since then I have re-read it every few years, and gifted it on numerous occasions -- including 3x this year alone. The last occasion was my extremely gifted niece's 10th birthday.

    The clarity of expression and the usefulness of the principles described make it suitable for any high school student. It is simply one of the most "hands-on" books I have ever encountered -- in any field. A strong buy recommendation for anyone interested in being a better advocate for themselves....more info
  • Perfect Condition
    The book was in perfect condition and is a great addition to my library....more info
  • I found the book easy to read and the suggestions useful
    I read this book this weekend. Although I agree with a previous reviewer who commented that the author could have written the book using fewer words, I still found it easy to read. The suggestions offered make sense. As the author points out, most of them are "common sense" ideas we'd have anyway, but the book helps lay them out in a logical way. I did get the impression toward the end that the author was trying to fill space by repeating previously-discussed suggestions. Then again, repetition is the key to learning, so maybe that was his intent :-).

    One thing I liked about the writing style used in this book is that there were examples illustrating the major points, but they were kept simple. I've read other books where just understanding the details of the examples was an exercise in and of itself. The simple and to-the-point examples really helped make this book easy to read and understand quickly.

    I'd recommend the book to others looking for advice on negotiating.
    ...more info
  • Getting to Yes
    An very good book detailing steps to take to effectively use interest-based bargaining strategies for your organization. This book is from the leading experts on this topic....more info
  • The "classical of negotiation"
    When I first used the principle based negotiation I used it in B2B environment. Nowdays I use in internal negotiations. As companies devide themself for smaller bussines units the need for principle based negotiation is a must. So "Getting to Yes" is my favourite "classical" book on negotiation.

    Sandor Hder
    Hungary...more info
  • Interesting for everyone
    I am studying Negotiation at NYU, and the teacher told all of us to read this book. I had a good time. It's negotiation tactics apply to every situation in life, business and personal. Go for it!...more info
  • Great Negotiation Read
    This book is great at explaining how to be an effective negotiatior. A must for anyone wanting to broaden their sales skills. Well written....more info
  • A great introduction
    An engaging introduction to some basic principles of interest-based negotiation. Readers who are not familiar with this type of negotiation will appreciate the authors' ability to explain it in an easy to understand manner. Those readers who want more details on how to actually identify people's interests will have to look elsewhere. ...more info


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