Book Review – Getting to Yes, negotiating an agreement without giving in.

Whenever we hear the word ‘negotiation’, we directly think of foreign policy or agreements or businesses. Fisher, Ury and Patton however delve us into a different aspect of how negotiation is an everyday experience. For instance, they begin the book with incidences of how people negotiate on a daily basis from choosing a restaurant for dinner with your spouse to buying a merchandise when you go shopping.

A classic into influencing and winning negotiations, ‘Getting to Yes’ is based on the researches of the Harvard Negotiation Project. The authors categorise people into two kind of negotiators – soft on people and hard on people. They then present a clear facet of how both negotiators are good in their own way. A hard negotiator is assertive, aggressive and intends to win while the soft negotiator cares about relationship and has difficulty in saying no. While the soft negotiator should be the ideal choice, they also have their flaws as their decision would be emotionally driven and may not be logical at times.

The authors then present the style of ‘Principled negotiation’. The concept of principled negotiation is a four-step method motivates us to separate people from the problem; focus on interest and not positions; generate options for mutual gains; and insist on using objective criteria.

This concept is very beneficial because often times our personal ideals and belief that we are always right clouds our mind and that is when decision making deters. The authors share how we should keep aside our personal differences for people and focus on the real crust of the problem. They then remind us that we must value the other person with whom we are negotiating and take into account their considerations also.

The best part of the book was learning about the BATNA (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement). BATNA explains the need to create and develop alternate options and back up plans when your desired agreement is not achieved.

Overall, the whole book is a refresher on how we should listen carefully, speak wisely and behave correctly. I would recommend this book to everyone because “Like it or not, you are a negotiator”.

October 9th, 2019 by