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Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher & William Ury

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One of the classic books about negotiation. Includes the concept of the best alternative to a negotiated agreement, know this and when you will be willing to walk away. Stick to your underlying interests but be willing to be flexible in the proposal to secure an agreement. Be well prepared, think about potential options. Nothing can be lost as a direct consequence of being well prepared, other than time spent preparing. If a party is much more or much less powerful they may not bother preparing properly, so being well prepared could be very advantageous.

Traditional negotiations are hard versus soft. A soft negotiator wants to get along with people and but then makes concessions too readily. A hard negotiator sees the negotiation as a contest of wills and thinks that the more extreme position and holding out longer fairs better, however this often induces a hard response back and damages the relationship.

The good cop bad cop routine is type of psychological manipulation. Some people will try to undermine and deliberately throw you off your game. They may try to make you feel uncomfortable, examples could be asking if you been up all night and stating it looks like things aren’t going well in the office.

Realise the other party is a unique individual, you can’t assume you know what they want or how they will behave based on their background, gender or ethnicity. Therefore key is to talk to them to find out what they value.

Make initially suggestions, rather than proposals, which are based on objective criteria such as previous sales or previous judgments that are relevant. This helps obtain the other party’s thoughts then seek to move to an agreement.

Explains the concept of a stamped auction in which the winner pays second maximum bid price, can be fairer to the buyers. It is harder to listen to things you disagree with as opposed to things you agree with. It is however more important to listen to these things at least the other party won’t say that you don’t understand. In summary put yourself in the other person’s shoes.

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