Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In

Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In

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by Roger Fisher, William Ury, Bob Edwards
     
 

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Getting to Yes 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…  See more details below

Overview

Getting to Yes 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, Getting to Yes tells you how to:

  • Separate the people from the problem;
  • Focus on interests, not positions;
  • Work together to create options that will satisfy both parties; and
  • Negotiate successfully with people who are more powerful, refuse to play by the rules, or resort to "dirty tricks."

Editorial Reviews

bn.com
If you're searching for a book to help you with conflict resolution, look no further: This universally praised volume, known for its effective "separate the people from the problem" philosophy, is the definitive guide for would-be negotiators who want to turn antagonism into collaboration. Although countless workshops and corporate seminars have been based on this book, it's worth noting that its principles are equally effective in managing domestic and personal clashes. So, if there's a relationship that's not working for you, pick up a copy of Getting to Yes and start making it better.
From the Publisher

"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

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780671634063
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster Audio
Publication date:
01/01/1987
Edition description:
Abridged, 1 cassette, 1 hr.
Product dimensions:
4.53(w) x 7.11(h) x 0.78(d)

Read an Excerpt


Chapter 4: Invent Options for Mutual Gain

The case of Israel and Egypt negotiating over who should keep how much of the Sinai Peninsula illustrates both a major problem in negotiation and a key opportunity.

the pie that leaves both parties satisfied. Often you are negotiating along a single dimension, such as the amount of territory, the price of a car, the length of a lease on an apartment, or the size of a commission on a sale. At other times you face what appears to be an either/or choice that is either markedly favorable to you or to the other side. In a divorce settlement, who gets the house? Who gets custody of the children? You may see the choice as one between winning and losing- and neither side will agree to lose. Even if you do win and get the car for $12,000, the lease for five years, or the house and kids, you have a sinking feeling that they will not let you forget it. Whatever the situation, your choices seem limited.

option like a demilitarized Sinai can often make the difference between deadlock and agreement. One lawyer we know attributes his success directly to his ability to invent solutions advantageous to both his client and the other side. He expands the pie before dividing it. Skill at inventing options is one of the most useful assets a negotiator can have.

Yet all too often negotiators end up like the proverbial children who quarreled over an orange. After they finally agreed to divide the orange in half, the first child took one half, ate the fruit, and threw away the peel, while the other threw away. the fruit and used the peel from the second half in baking a cake. All too often negotiators "leave money on the table" - they fail to reach agreement when they might have, or the agreement they do reach could have been better for each side. Too many negotiations end up with half an orange for each side instead of the whole fruit for one and the whole peel for the other. Why?

DIAGNOSIS

As valuable as it is to have many options, people involved in a negotiation rarely sense a need for them. In a dispute, people usually believe that they know the right answer - their view should prevail. In a contract negotiation they are equally likely to believe that their offer is reasonable and should be adopted, perhaps with some adjustment in the price. All available answers appear to lie along a straight line between their position and yours. Often the only creative thinking shown is to suggest splitting the difference.

inventing of an abundance of options: (1) premature judgment; (2) searching for the single answer; (3) the assumption of a fixed pie; and (4) thinking that "solving their problem is their problem." In order to overcome these constraints, you need to understand them.

Premature judgment

Inventing options does not come naturally. Not inventing is the normal state of affairs, even when you are outside a stressful negotiation. If you were asked to name the one person in the world most deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize, any answer you might start to propose would immediately encounter your reservations and doubts. How could you be sure that that person was the most deserving? Your mind might well go blank, or you might throw out a few answers that would reflect conventional thinking: "Well, maybe the Pope, or the President."

pounce on the drawbacks of any new idea. Judgment hinders imagination.

sense is likely to be sharper. Practical negotiation appears to call for practical thinking, not wild ideas.

on the other side. Suppose you are negotiating with your boss over your salary for the coming year. You have asked for a $4,000 raise; your boss has offered you $1,500, a figure that you have indicated is unsatisfactory. In a tense situation like this you are not likely to start inventing imaginative solutions. You may fear that if you suggest some bright half-baked idea like taking half the increase in a raise and half in additional benefits, you might look foolish. Your boss might say, "Be serious. You know better than that. It would upset company policy. I am surprised. that you even suggested it." If on the spur of the moment you invent a possible option of spreading out the raise over time, he may take it as an offer: "I'm prepared to start negotiating on that basis." Since he may take whatever you say as a commitment, you will think twice before saying anything.

piece of information that will jeopardize your bargaining position. If you should suggest, for example, that the company help finance the house you are about to buy, your boss may conclude that you intend to stay and that you will in the end accept any raise in salary he is prepared to offer.

Searching for the single answer

In most people's minds, inventing simply is not part of the negotiating process. People see their job as narrowing the gap between positions, not broadening the options available. They tend to think, "We're having a hard enough time agreeing as it is. The last thing we need is a bunch of different ideas." Since the end product of negotiation is a single decision, they fear that freefloating discussion will only delay and confuse the process.

the second is premature closure. By looking from the outset for the single best answer, you are likely to short-circuit a wiser decision-making process in which you select from a large number of possible answers.

The assumption of a fixed pie

A third explanation for why there may be so few good options on the table is that each side sees the situation as essentially either/or - either I get what is in dispute or you do. A negotiation often appears to be a "fixed-sum" game; $100 more for you on the price of a car means $100 less for me. Why bother to invent if all the options are obvious and I can satisfy you only at my own expense?

Thinking that "solving their problem Is their problem"

A final obstacle to inventing realistic options lies in each side's concern with only its own immediate interests. For a negotiator to reach an agreement that meets his own self-interest he needs to develop a solution which also appeals to the self-interest of the other. Yet emotional involvement on one side of an issue makes it difficult to achieve the detachment necessary to think up wise ways of meeting the interests of both sides: "We've got enough problems of our own; they can look after theirs." There also frequently exists a psychological reluctance to accord any legitimacy to the views of the other side; it seems disloyal to think up ways to satisfy them. Shortsighted self- concern thus leads a negotiator to develop only partisan positions, partisan arguments, and one-sided solutions....

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Meet the Author


The authors of this book have been working together since 1977.

Roger Fisher teaches negotiation at Harvard Law School, where he is Williston Professor of Law Emeritus and director of the Harvard Negotiation Project. Raised in Illinois, he served in World War II with the U.S. Army Air Force, in Paris with the Marshall Plan, and in Washington, D.C., with the Department of Justice. He has also practiced law in Washington and served as a consultant to the Department of Defense. He was the originator and executive editor of the award-winning television series The Advocates. He consults widely with governments, corporations, and individuals through Conflict Management, Inc., and the Conflict Management Group of Cambridge, Massachusetts.

William Ury co-founded Harvard's Program on Negotiation, where he directs the Negotiation Network. He has served as a mediator and advisor in negotiations and now serves as an advisor to the International Negotiation Network at the Carter Center of Emory University. Formerly on the faculty of Harvard Business School, Ury has taught negotiation to corporate executives, labor leaders, and government officials around the world. He has also served as a consultant to the White House on establishing nuclear risk reduction centers in Washington and Moscow. Ury's most recent book is Getting Past No: Negotiating with Difficult People. Raised in California and Switzerland, he received his undergraduate degree from Yale and his doctorate 'in anthropology from Harvard.

Bruce Patton, deputy director of the Harvard Negotiation Project, is the Thaddeus R. Beal Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School. A lawyer, he teachesnegotiation to diplomats and corporate executives around the world and works as a negotiation consultant and mediator in international, corporate, labor-management, and family settings. Associated with the Conflict Management organizations, which he cofounded in 1984, he has both graduate and under-graduate degrees from Harvard.

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Getting to Yes 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 79 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was recommended this book by a management consultant. Having read it I understand why, like most consultants it has little new to say, plenty of buzz words but no real execution guidelines. The book is not all bad, I liked the explanation for the win-win attitude. Over all the book does explain the attitude you should have to renegotiate successfully, but unlike some great managerial books, lack the real world examples and guild lines on how to get the job done.
CognitiveWealth More than 1 year ago
I attended a mediation course that follows the philosophy communicated in "Getting To Yes". If you read this book and follow the advice, you will never look at an issue the same again. You will consider the interests of all parties prior to responding to any question. As a mediator, the tools are critical to a "win-win" outcome. I consider this book and their follow-up book, "Beyond Reason", as books to keep within arms reach at all times.
Panchito More than 1 year ago
Getting to Yes is a book that it is simple to read yet it is full of recommendations on how to negotiate and get to yes - thus getting what you want. Although the concepts outlined on this book should be known by everyone, it is not until you read it that it dings on you on the steps you need to take to prepare for any negotiation. When you get to the middle of the book, you already know all the concepts, and the rest of the book is more of a mantra of what was said initially. This is a book that can be read during the weekend. The challenge is practicing the concepts on real life situations.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have used this book as a resource guide numerous times over the years. I have found it to be quite practical, detailed and explains the Negotiation Process in a very concise way. Highly recommended for anyone in the negotiation process or facing one in the near future.
M_L_Gooch_SPHR More than 1 year ago
As a corporate human resources director, I often find myself in the position of negotiator. This may be with unions, contractors, vendors or employees. After reading this book, I found that many of the `tips' actually work in the real world.

Combined with the book by Jerry Spence How to Argue & Win Every Time: At Home, At Work, In Court, Everywhere, Everyday this book will have a very positive impact on your negotiating skills. Michael L Gooch, SPHR
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best book on negotiation you will find. It is clear, and the insights are easy to put to use. Take the idea of looking underneath positions to interests. It is a simple idea. And it is the essence of whether a negotiation will turn sour or successful. My one big complaint is that this book doesn't go into too much depth on dealing with the people problem. (Separating the peopel from the problem is not helpful enough for me.) But Fisher just came out with a new book that goes to the heart of emotions and is a perfect sequel. (His new book is Beyond Reason: Using Emotions as You Negotiate.)
Guest More than 1 year ago
Authors Roger Fisher, William L. Ury and Bruce M. Patton offer a seminal step-by-step guide to negotiating effectively. The authors use anecdotal examples to illustrate both positive and negative negotiating techniques. They believe that, with principled negotiation, both parties can reach an agreement in an amicable and efficient manner. Principled negotiation is based on the belief that when each side comes to understand the interests of the other, they can jointly create options that are mutually advantageous, resulting in a wise settlement. Since this is the second edition, the authors take the opportunity to answer ten common questions from readers of the first edition. If you become skeptical about these fairly rosy negotiation techniques as you read, the Q and A section is very useful. This classic text is easy to understand and you can implement its techniques immediately. We can¿t ask for more than that.
Huaynapotosi More than 1 year ago
Nice easy read that I've found useful in my personal and professional life; I recommend it. Didn't give it 5 stars because I feel that it could go more in depth but don't regret having purchased it.
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NathanIves More than 1 year ago
Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher and William Ury recognizes that professionals are in a frequent state of negotiation and provides them with the tools needed to achieve a desirable outcome. This book probes many diverse negotiation circumstances from both sides of the debate and offers constructive, easy-to-follow methods to achieve one's desired outcomes by: - Disentangling the people from the problem - Focusing on interests, not positions - Working together to find creative and fair options - These methods help the reader negotiate with anyone at any level of their organization. I believe that negotiation is a key component to individual and organizational success. Getting to Yes breaks down these give and take situations; providing the immediately actionable tools needed to achieve a favorable outcome and making these situations less intimidating. If I had one criticism of the book, it would be that the authors seek to achieve a `fair' or `equitable' outcome for each side. While this appears admirable, it forfeits an upside gain that an effective negotiation might be able to otherwise achieve. Getting to Yes provides a thorough, actionable negotiation tool set that is critical to every professional and organization's success; making it a StrategyDriven recommended read. All the Best, Nathan Ives StrategyDriven Principal
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I borrowed this book from the library and decided it's a must have in the home library. It's great for people in consulting and business.
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All good.
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