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63 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 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...
Published on June 14, 2006 by Clovis

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448 of 474 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars VERY BASIC INTRO TO NEGOTIATING
This is the first book I ever read on negotiating, and at the time I found it extremely good. However, since then, I have read both Shell's "Bargaining for Advantage" and Cialdini's "Influence", and found those two books immensely better than Getting to Yes, for a few different reasons.
Number of stories - in Getting to Yes, the authors do not...
Published on March 24, 2003 by Denis Benchimol Minev


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448 of 474 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars VERY BASIC INTRO TO NEGOTIATING, March 24, 2003
By 
This is the first book I ever read on negotiating, and at the time I found it extremely good. However, since then, I have read both Shell's "Bargaining for Advantage" and Cialdini's "Influence", and found those two books immensely better than Getting to Yes, for a few different reasons.
Number of stories - in Getting to Yes, the authors do not offer enough stories to burn the concepts into the reader's mind. I personally think stories are the best way to communicate something like negotiating.
Actual psychological concepts explained - Getting to Yes is a summary of findings, and it never explains why certain things work. Without a deep understanding, it is not clear when the concepts work and when they don't. Especially in Influence, you really get to understand how to persuade someone by remembering the core psych concepts.
If you are just looking for a quick intro to negotiating, this is a decent book. If you would like to actually understand people and how to influence them, this is too basic.
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63 of 65 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Critical & Fundamental Book on Negotiation, June 14, 2006
By 
Clovis (Chicago, Illinois United States) - See all my reviews
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.

Highlights:
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
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135 of 146 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars # 2 in my top ten list of Books on Negotiating, January 8, 1998
By 
eric@batna.com (Portola Valley, CA) - See all my reviews
The foundation of all great negotiation books, Getting to Yes gives you the real essence of mutual gains negotiation. It's a neat, concise, little paperback, and a fast read. It's so neat and concise, in fact, that you should buy multiple copies and hand them out to people you like - or to people you want to like you. I've read it a dozen or so times and I keep finding new insights. The main ideas of the book are that positional negotiation is pointless, and that our negotiations should focus on interests rather than positions. As far as I'm concerned, if that's the only thing you recall from reading this book, you'll have learned something indispensable. But, by the time you finish Getting to Yes, you'll be convinced that negotiation is a simple matter of figuring out what you really want, what the other side wants, and working out the space where those interests intersect -- despite the generalizations, deletions, and distortions the other side might use to confuse you. One of the leading fundamental constructs presented in Getting to Yes - which differs radically from my own number one tenet - is "separate the people from the problem." Getting to Yes proposes that problems exist objectively and can be analyzed on their own merits, independent of people's perceptions, attributions, and relationships. My contention is that a problem only exists to whatever extent it is perceived by the beholder. As such , there is no problem if you separate the people from it. In real life, it's impossible to disentangle people issues from discussions of "concrete substance." Regardless of the prescriptive in Getting to Yes, real problem solving negotiations require constant simultaneous attention to the problem and the people. The skills you really need to extract and understand others' perceived interests in the context of a relationship aren't taught in Getting to Yes. The book diagnoses the conditions that cause difficulty in negotiation, but doesn't offer all components of the cure. Nevertheless, one dose each of Sales Effectiveness Training and Getting to Yes should cure just about anything that ails any normal negotiation. As John Kenneth Galbraith says of Getting to Yes, "This is by far the best thing I've ever read about negotiation...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." What other endorsement do you need?
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47 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I tried it and it really worked!, December 22, 1999
Overall, I like this book a lot and I found it very useful.
Actually I didn't read through the whole book. Yet I did capture the key point of the book - 'Don't bargain over positions'. Then I used this principle-based negotiation in real life. For instance, when I am facing a challenge from my partner on my proposal, I won't fight back directly. I will first seek for the mutual interest, a common ground. Then I'll explain why I think my proposal can help achieve the mutual interest. Then I ask the opposing partner what he/she think and whether he/she wants to share any better proposal to achieve this mutual interest. If my/mutual interest can be satisfied, yet my partner has a better way to do it, then why not change my own proposal? I tried this approach several times and they all worked out pretty well. Most of the times I successfully convinced my partner without damaging relationship. A few times I changed my position yet I was still happy because I still had my interest satisfied.
Net, this book is really useful and recommend to BUY for everyone.
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114 of 129 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Way to Overcome Communications Stalls, January 24, 1999
By 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
In virtually all circumstances where people are working together, they come to agreement in ways that short-change the interests of everyone involved. This landmark book shows practical ways to find out what other people want, and to devise better alternatives that create a "win" for everyone. The authors do a great job of overcoming the preconception that many hold that working on problems means that you have to be unpleasant. The advice to be hard on the problems and easy on the people (building a relationship) is a key concept that everyone can use. I have found this book to be one of the most helpful that I have every read, and I cite its lessons in my own book. I recently had a chance to use these principles in a negotiating workshop with veteran negotiators, and I was struck by how few people apply the lessons of GETTING TO YES. You will vastly improve your life if you read and practice the ideas in GETTING TO YES.
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31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading, February 10, 2002
By 
Ms Diva "cycworker" (Nanaimo, B.C. Canada) - See all my reviews
This is the first book I've read on the issue of negotiation. The book is easy to read, and the authors use good, solid examples to illustrate the techniques they are teaching. The end of the book, with it's summary review, really pulls it all together. The writing style is clean, clear, and simple, without being so simplistic as to seem unbelieveable.
The authors try to show readers how to remain objective in negotiations, rather than letting their emotions take control. The speak of being "soft on people and hard on principles", the idea of staying focussed on the problem and not attacking or blaming people. The parts I found most useful are the notions of focussing on interests rather than positions, and finding alternatives that will allow both parties in the negotiation to gain something. The idea of moving away from positions to finding the common ground of shared interests is one that is particularly useful in that it can be applied to any situation, be it a parent/child conflict, a work situation, or any negotiation. This concept shows readers how to focus on their long term goals rather than on being "right" and winning in the short term.
I have used the techniques in this book to great success many times, in a variety of areas in my life. They are easy to use, and they work! I highly reccommend this classic text to everyone.
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44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is the foundation for successful negotiations, October 13, 2000
I read this book in an MBA course for Dispute Mediation. Although it was not a required reading, every text and article mentioned this book. You can easily read it in a weekend. Do not expect theory, paradigm, or lofty descriptions-this is cut to the chase stuff that lets you know many techniques for negotiating and helping the other side make a decision that is right for all involved. Some helpful key concepts include elimintating emotions from the process, or dealing with the emotional techniques that the other side may use against you. It also describes BATNA, or the best alternatives to a negotiated agreement-those agreements which may be the most realistic and beneficial terms for both sides. I think that the other book, getting past no, by the same author, is an additional reference that anyone considerring this book should also read as an excellent complementary text to the principles outlined in this classic.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An original and one of the very best on negotiation, January 2, 2003
By 
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Almost everyone can benefit from improved negotiating skills. This 1981 classic, updated in 1991 with new material responding to questions from readers, continues to provide practical guidelines for executives dealing with each other, with superiors and staff, with customers, partners, suppliers, and government regulators. If you have ignored this as a pop book, take a good look at it. This practical, non-academic, and well-illustrated book does not waste the reader's time with filler. The authors explain the problems that arise from bargaining over positions, presenting an alternative approach. Their method revolves around four elements: Separate the people from the problem; focus on interests, not positions; invent options for mutual gain; and insist on using objective criteria. They offer helpful approaches for situations where the other side is more powerful, refuses to play, or uses dirty tricks. The range of situations in which their approach can be applied is almost limitless. Keep this one close at hand to refer to repeatedly until "principled negotiation" becomes ingrained and natural.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Really Works!, February 22, 2000
I read this book as assigned reading for an International Relations course, and readily saw its relevance there. But I have also been able to apply the book's principles to everyday life -- with my coworkers, my wife, even my kids -- without damaging my relationships and still managing to keep everyone content. The central ideas about not digging in on positions and finding common ground, are key to this success. The book helped me open my eyes to realize that sometimes common ground is easier to find than I'd first thought, but it might not be what I'd first thought. I highly recommend this book!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The most popular book on negotiation, September 18, 2002
By 
Leo P. Reilly (Saratoga, California United States) - See all my reviews
Roger Fisher and William Ury are responsible for breaking new ground on the subject of negotiation with this best seller. They are also co-founders of the Harvard Program on Negotiation ([...] the pre-eminent think tank on negotiation based at Harvard University. Rather than focus on negotiation tactics, this book uses decision making skills and analytical skills to resolve conflict.
Also known as the "Harvard Approach" or the "Harvard Five Step Approach," Getting to Yes provides the reader with a five step approach to negotiation. Step one is to "separate the people from the problem." Put another way, don't get personal when you negotiate. Most books on "win-win" negotiation stress this point, so there is nothing new here. Steps 2 through 5 completely redefined negotiation strategy, however and deserve close attention. Step two is to determine the underlying needs or interests of the parties. The premise for this point is that negotiator's positions in negotiation are rarely consistent with their underlying needs. Step three is to develop options to address these needs. This "solution" section is where the rubber meets the road in negotiation. The goal here is to exploit the differences in each parties underlying needs so you can achieve a "win-win" result. Step four is to determine your BATNA (best alternative to a negotiated agreement.) Your BATNA is your deadlock or "walk-away" point. Put simply you will be able to determine when to deadlock if you can determine what your alternatives to negotiation are. If the other negotiator's offer is worse than your best alternative to negotiation, then you should turn down the offer and go with your alternative. This step provides you with an objective, non-emotional approach to making rational decisions during the negotiation process and justifies the price of the book. The last step to to develop "objective criteria" or independant standards to resolve conflict. An objective criteria is a solution that is independent from the control of both persons (such as using the CPI to determine the rate of inflation in a rental agreement, or using a property appraiser to determine the fair market value of property at some point in the future.)
Like all collaborative negotiation books, Getting to Yes is a valuable book IF there is a relatively free flow of information between the parties and if the parties are willing to collaborate. If these conditions exist, you can come up with "win-win" solutions that will stand the test of time. But I wouldn't take this book onto a car lot...or for that matter into any negotiation where the other party won't take a collaborative approach to the negotiation process.
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Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In
Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher (Hardcover - April 30, 1992)
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