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Beyond Reason: Using Emotions as You Negotiate Paperback – September 26, 2006


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Beyond Reason: Using Emotions as You Negotiate + Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In + Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; 1 edition (September 26, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143037781
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143037781
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.2 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,460 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Let's say you're trying to convince a new employer to sweeten its job offer to you. Or perhaps you're buying or selling a company. Or maybe you're even solving for peace in the Middle East. If any of these scenarios is yours, Roger Fisher, Daniel Shapiro, and their colleagues at the Harvard Negotiation Project have ideas that they would like to share. Fisher's previous book, Getting to Yes, stands today as a seminal work in negotiations theory. Businesspeople in a wide variety of industries have drawn from the book's tips for deal-making and its larger framework for "interest-based negotiation", which focuses on understanding each side's interests and working together to produce proverbial win-win outcomes. In Beyond Reason, Fisher and Shapiro go one step further.

To the authors' credit, they started this new book with a clear understanding of the previous one's chief shortcoming. Though Getting to Yes introduced a powerful paradigm for negotiations, it did not fully address a critical element of most deals: emotions, and the messy human details that can distract from purely rational decision-making. If both negotiators are consistently lucid, fair, and calm, the game has a certain set of rules, but if--as in most situations--the different parties get excited, angry, sad, insulted, and so on, then those rules change. That expanded focus forms the basis for Beyond Reason.

Fisher and Shapiro have structured this latest work around five key emotions which they identify as most critical to productive negotiations. Even though each situation has its own dynamics, they point to appreciation, affiliation, autonomy, status, and role as the most important for making each party comfortable enough to grasp the principles of rationality that maximize the chances for a win-win result.

Critics may deride this book as still too simplistic, too black-and-white, and unappreciative of life's shades of gray. The authors' pragmatic bent comes in the book's final two chapters. One takes readers through the overall process for negotiations--not just the parry-and-thrust of conversations with the other party, but also pre-conversation preparation. It's in this preparatory stage, the authors contend, where a thoughtful consideration of potential emotional dynamics can help prevent later problems. To synthesize many of the lessons they impart, Fisher and Shapiro then close their work by inviting guest commentary from the former President of Ecuador, Jamil Mahuad, who explains how he applied interest-based negotiations theory to highly charged negotiations between his country and Peru, on a border dispute in the late 1990s. It's this kind of real-life application of Fisher and Shapiro's theories that continue to give them relevance. --Peter Han --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Masters of diplomacy, Fisher and Shapiro, of the Harvard Negotiation Project, build on Fisher's bestseller (he co-authored Getting to YES) with this instructive, clearly written book that addresses the emotions and relationships inevitably involved in negotiation. Identifying five core concerns that stimulate emotion—appreciation, affiliation, autonomy, status and role—the authors explain how to control and leverage your own and others' emotions for better end-results. They enliven the book with detailed examples of commonly faced situations—from dealing with colleagues to understanding one's spouse—and with anecdotes of high-level negotiations regarding critical matters of state (e.g., Fisher's conversation with the head of Iran's Islamic Republican Party when U.S. embassy in Teheran was seized in 1979). Fisher and Shapiro play out each situation, often toward an unsatisfactory conclusion, and then carefully analyze the negotiation and rewind it according to their behavioral framework for more favorable resolutions. Take the initiative and understand the five core concerns, they suggest, offering practical advice on understanding another's point of view, building connections, joint brainstorming, tempering strong emotions and defining an empowering temporary role. Baffled spouses, struggling middle managers and heads of state might take a cue from the convincing strategy laid out by these savvy experts. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

I recently finished reading "Beyond Reason" by Roger Fisher and Daniel Shapiro.
Val Elbert
I will certainly use the things I have learnt from reading this book in my own negotiations.
Robert Selden
'Beyond Reason' is also packed with lucid examples which make it a truly enjoyable read.
Ingo Leung

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Val Elbert on November 8, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I recently finished reading "Beyond Reason" by Roger Fisher and Daniel Shapiro. The book is centered on an idea that emotions play an important role in negotiations and provided an analytical view on how to best manage the emotional side of negotiations. While I was aware that emotions can have a big impact on a negotiation, or even a conversation, I really enjoyed the perspective that the authors offered on dealing with people who "abuse" the power of emotions, ranging from coercion by threat to playing on sympathy.

Although the advice of the authors was generally helpful, I sometimes questioned practicality of following the guidelines in day-to-day affairs. For example, the authors encouraged the readers to document and discuss each of the negotiations as part of constant learning process, often spending sixty to ninety minutes in follow up discussions. As a manager of a development team with frequent meetings, such analysis would put a significant damper on my productivity. However, I realize that the book is not intended to be followed as a "manual" and each person may have to make practical adjustments.

Overall, the book is a "must read" for everyone, not just frequent negotiators. In the book, I found a lot of advice on how to respect the emotions that govern the meeting in many different settings. Since I learn best from seeing complex concepts in action, the case study that concluded the book put a neat "bow" on a very enjoyable and valuable read.
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Margaret Gold on December 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
As an attorney this book has altered the way I argue my cases. It has given me insight into the negotiation process in a different way than any other book I have read on negotiation. The five core concerns have helped me when I talk with my client, other attorneys and even when I interact with the judge. I also use the five core concerns in my personal life. You can grasp them in only a few minutes, yet they have a complexity to them. When you read the chapter about the ex-President of Equador you can understand how these core concerns can work on any level - personal, professional, or political. It is a must in everyone's library.
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful By John Matlock on November 23, 2005
Format: Hardcover
In MBA school we are taught to negeotiate with a lot of figures, charts, graphs, etc. Once all the facts are known, the decision is simple. The problem with that is two fold: 1. They are typically based on projections that may well not be true (remember the Edsel and the Convair 880). 2. They ignore the feelings of the other person involved, and feelings are very important. Sometimes (often) a decision is made that is not to the person's best interest simply because of feelings.

This book breaks down the five core emothions of feeling appreciated, alone, imposition, put down, trivialized. It covers business negeotion, but perhaps even more important is negeotiating with teens (but not two year olds), the mentally ill (ex-wives included), the drunk in a bar.

The techniques described here are given examples in buying a small item, presenting a case to the Supreme Court, to discussing border disagreements between a couple of nations. In short, we all negeotiate all the time, it works best when both parties feel that they got the best of the deal.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 2, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Anyone who has ever conducted a negotiation knows that everyone involved is tense. Some people become so tense that they are not able to operate effectively. Other negotiators seem to have the touch for relaxing everyone and quickly reaching an agreement that everyone likes.

Fans of Getting to Yes have probably run into attorneys and negotiators who didn't want to play ball. These people may have been hostile, manipulative and short-sighted. But it's hard to reason with these parties using the Getting to Yes principles if you do not have your own emotions under control.

Beyond Reason is a much needed and valuable resource for dealing with the emotional context for negotiations.

The process for taking the initiative (express appreciation, build affiliation, respect autonomy, acknowledge status, and choose a fulfilling role) is constructive, common sense methods that anyone will feel comfortable doing. As helpful as that process is, I found the most useful advice coming in chapters 8-10 which describe how to be ready for strong emotions, being prepared for negotiations and the case history of the border dispute resolution between Ecuador and Peru.

The examples in the book are well chosen to illustrate the principles and breathe life into those concepts. Roger Fisher and Daniel Shapiro have a light touch that defuses your apprehension as you address this subject.

I also recommend that you read Crucial Conversations, a good complementary book on how to address strong emotions in others and yourself when they arise unexpectedly and unpleasantly.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Coert Visser on August 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book by Roger Fisher and Daniel Shapiro has rightfully won a prize offered by the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution for the best book on negotiation. The book focuses on the important role emotions play in negotiations and offers a practical framework for dealing with them constructively. Throughout the book Fisher and Shapiro present recognizable examples, ranging for day to day situations we all encounter to political negotiations with huge impact for millions.

For me, the most interesting part of the book is were the authors explain five core concerns -- appreciation, affiliation, autonomy, status and role -- and their effect on decision making. They provide sensible advice on how to use these concerns as levers to keep negotiations constructive. Here is a quote from the book giving you an example: "Perhaps the most powerful way to soothe someone's emotions is to appreciate their concerns. There are three elements in appreciating someone. You want to UNDERSTAND the other's point of view; FIND MERIT in what they are thinking, feeling, or doing; and COMMUNICATE the merit you see." I think that is a terrific way to put it!

The content of this book is one thing that makes it worthwhile. Another reason why I like it is that it is exceptionally well-structured. I like it when authors do their very best to make it as easy as possible for readers to understand their core messages. Fisher and Shapiro succeed very well in this.
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