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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great how-to-guide, August 11, 2007
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With this book, intended as a `working guide' and a `how-to-guide', the authors have reduced the huge volume of available information on the art of negotiation into an easily accessible resource for busy executives who need to prepare for everyday negotiations. But this book will also be useful for any person wanting to learn the art of negotiating.

Negotiating is a bit like breathing. Everybody negotiates constantly -- all day long. You negotiate with your family, friends, shop owners, customers, colleagues...and even with yourself! In fact, we negotiate with ourselves all the time.

Self-negotiation is usually a conversation between our more rational self and our impulsive, subconscious self. These are the "should I or shouldn't I" discussions in our heads. According to the authors, the most important thing to understand in negotiating with yourself is to continue to pay attention to both sides of your brain. Learning to listen to your inner voice--your intuition or your gut--may be the best thing you can do to avoid a negotiating disaster (p. 46-47).

Fundamentally, negotiation is all about each party's efforts to influence the other. Social interactions are all about influence. No person is an island. Yet most people never study influence in depth, and so they go through life, and negotiations, in constant ignorance of the forces of influence at work around and on them.

This book offers down-to-earth advice for learning to play the negotiation game. The authors walk the reader through every negotiating pitfall and opportunity. In the preface the authors tell the readers "we don't make this stuff up." This book is grounded in lots of solid research. I really enjoyed reading it.

The following are some notes I took while reading this book that you might find helpful:

According to the authors, individuals who master negotiations are rated high in emotional intelligence by their peers, tend to be promoted more rapidly, are more productive and emerge as natural leaders. Whether it's sales, customer service, engineering, management or any other area of business, negotiation skills play a surprisingly large role in career success. This, then, is the negotiation imperative: Recognize the many times each day you have to negotiate and influence others. In doing so, treat these as opportunities to advance your personal goals, help your business prosper, and build stronger supportive relationships in a widening business and professional network.

The authors' research shows that the business that negotiates better generally grows and prospers faster than others.

According to the authors, to choose the right negotiating strategy, you need to address these two important factors: the outcome and the relationship. When considering the outcome, you need to ask yourself what you will win or lose on the substantive issues in negotiation. When considering the relationship, you must ask how the negotiation process, and the specific outcome settlement, will affect your relations with the other player now and in the future (p. 22-23). Consider the following story: A comedian found a creative way to cope with a landlord's expectation for a bribe. Wanting to rent a five-room apartment in a new complex, he was told that he'd have to go on a waiting list, and wait about two years before getting an apartment. The comedian then ran his hand in his pocket and dropped a thousand dollars in the trashcan, and left. About a half hour later his phone rings, and the landlord tells him that he has one apartment left. The comedian immediately signs a five-year lease. About four days later, the landlord calls the comedian. "Mr. White, that money in the trashcan was counterfeit." The comedian replied, "I know, that's why I threw it away!" The comedian's style didn't do much for the relationship, but it got him what he wanted at a bargain price (p. 76).

In Lewis Carroll's `Alice in Wonderland', the Red Queen is a petty tyrant who fails to flex her style to the circumstances. "The Queen had only one way of settling all difficulties: "Off with his head!" she said without even looking around." The master business negotiator should not act like the Red Queen. There are multiple styles and strategies of negotiation, and the master negotiator should assess the situation before choosing which one to use (p. 38).

According to the authors, your mastery of the arts of power and influence not only puts you in control of your negotiations, but also inoculates you against a great many ploys and tactics that will be used against you. Some negotiators have won over and over by using just one or two of the more potent techniques. There are several major tactics you should be aware of and protect yourself against. These are (p. 239-244):

1. Watch out for cascading yeses. If you are being maneuvered into agreeing repeatedly, the other party is herding you in his or her desired direction. Never let yourself be herded.

2. Watch out for power plays. Do you always have to accommodate more powerful players? You can defend against power plays by recognizing that you do have control over the outcome in every negotiation or interaction. This isn't a hostage situation; you have a lot more choice than you think.

3. Watch out for strange requests. Research shows that an unexpected request has considerable persuasive power when used in certain ways. Defend against strange requests and unexpected behavior by focusing away from the behavior and evaluating the substance of the request or position instead.

4. Never let someone get you intoxicated during a negotiation. Don't try to negotiate over a lunch or dinner where alcohol is being served. Drinking and negotiating don't mix.

Goleman, a psychologist and author of the best-seller `Emotional Intelligence', provides the following insight to negotiators: "Just as the mode of the rational mind is words, the mode of the emotions is nonverbal. Indeed, when a person's words disagree with what is conveyed via his tone of voice, gesture, or other nonverbal channel, the emotional truth is in how he says something rather than in what he says." (p. 59).

There are some very practical and amusing stories and anecdotes throughout the book. Sometimes you try to negotiate, but the other party acts as if he doesn't care. A chronic borrower begged an old friend to lend him a hundred dollars. I'll pay it back the minute I return from Chicago," he promised. "Exactly what day are you returning?" the friend asked. The man shrugged. "Who's going?" (p. 197).

The authors warn about losing one's cool in negotiations. They cite as an example the exchange between Vice President Richard Nixon and Premier Nikita Khrushchev of the Soviet Union in 1959. Nixon initiates it by trying to explain that the United States and the Soviet Union shouldn't get engaged in angry threats and ultimatums. But Khrushchev's immediate angry response throws Nixon off balance, and soon they have exchanged threats--precisely what Nixon meant to avoid (p. 66).

Nixon: The moment we place either one of these powerful nations, through an ultimatum, in a position where it has no choice but to accept dictation or fight, then you are playing with the most destructive force in the world.

Khrushchev (flushed, wagging a finger near Nixon's face): We too are giants. If you want to threaten, we will answer threat with threat.

Nixon: we never engage in threats.

Khrushchev: You wanted indirectly to threaten me. But we have means at our disposal that can have very bad consequences.

Nixon: We have too.

The authors say that we need to be aware of the self-fulfilling prophecy: something we believe so strongly that we actually make it come true. It often happens in negotiation when one party expects the other to behave in a particular way, and, as a result, actually makes the party behave that way. This tends to happen if the other party is using competition because they think you are, or you are using competition because you think they will be. Anticipating that the other is going to be competitive, we prepare to be competitive ourselves. The cues we give off in this preparation--our language, tone of voice, gestures, and behaviors--let the others believe that we intend to be competitive. So they behave competitively, which confirms to us that our initial assumptions were right. In essence, we can make the other party competitive by behaving competitively. When we adopt this strategy, we need to understand that we may be making the other side more competitive than might otherwise be necessary or appropriate (p. 89-90).

This is really a great "how-to-guide" to negotiation, and you'll find yourself referring to it often before tough negotiations.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A comprehensive guide to negotiation, July 20, 2007
Authors Roy L. Lewicki and Alexander Hiam clearly are familiar with the academic research governing negotiation, but they don't let this direct, pragmatic guide get bogged down in it. In fact, they use many real life examples to clarify their advice. Lewicki and Hiam don't add that much new material to the study of negotiation; experienced negotiators will find much of what they say familiar. However, they deliver a strong, methodical, hard-headed approach. They break negotiation into specific skills, concepts and activities that anyone can study and learn to do more skillfully. At the same time, they are realistic about the challenges involved - and about the fact that sometimes other considerations (such as power or apathy) trump negotiation. They present all this with useful traces of humor. We recommend their book to everyone who is serious about learning the art of negotiation, especially novices.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Working Guide to Making Deals and Resolving Conflicts, February 19, 2007
The authors argue that style is one of the hallmarks of the master negotiator.

Roy J. Lewicki, a business professor at Ohio State University and Alexander Hiam, a consultant, argue to master every negotiating opportunity and resolve conflicts, you need to adjust your approach. By considering the importance of both outcome and relationship, you can adapt your tactics to the situation.

The following strategies can be adapted:

* Avoiding - otherwise known as Lose - Lose. The priorities for both the relationship and the result are low. Neither is important enough to pursue the conflict further.

* Accommodating - otherwise known as Lose to Win. Importance of relationship is high; importance of the result is low.

* Competing - otherwise known as Win to Lose. Importance of result is high; importance of relationship is low.

* Collaborating - otherwise known as Win - Win. Importance of result and relationship is high.

* Compromising - otherwise known as Split the Difference. A combination approach.

The authors state it is important to prepare for the negotiations. They offer an eight step method:

1. Define the issues and goals.

2. Order the issues and agenda.

3. Analyze the other party.

4. Define the underlying interests.

5. Consult with interested parties.

6. Set goals for the process and outcome.

7. Identify you own limits.

8. Develop supporting arguments.

As you interact with the other party, it is important to recognize that everything you do and every decision you make is part of the negotiation. The authors advise following these rules to pilot the middle ground in a competitive negotiation.

1. Stick to your planned target and walk-away points.

2. Do not reveal your target until you are close.

3. Never reveal your walk-away point.

4. Get the other party to make big concessions.

5. Keep your concessions few, slow and small.

6. Investigate the other party's level of concern for the outcome.

This book is an invaluable resource for anyone facing a negotiation. And who isn't? The skills and techniques discussed by the authors will prepare everyone, from the high-powered business executive to the person facing informal day-to-day challenges of selling, buying and getting along with colleagues.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Eliminate negotiating fears and gain the upper hand, February 26, 2009
Whether we know it or not, each of us engages in some type of negotiation virtually every day - yet we still dread the idea and activity of negotiating itself. And like so many things in life, the best way to get better at a skill is to consciously practice it. The authors of the book -Mastering Business Negotiation - have effectively compressed reams of research and years of negotiation experience into an accessible tool that will help experts and novice negotiators alike. Soundview recommends this book because it offers useful steps, principles and tips that can benefit complex arbitration, everyday negotiations as well as everything in between those diplomacy extremes. Some of the specific skills that the authors showcase include: when to divulge true intentions; how to spot deceptions; when to use collaboration versus compromise as well as a host of other tactics. The reality is that in this life, to get what you want for your vested stakeholders, your organization or for yourself requires polished negotiation skills, which this book can help you acquire - and that fact is not negotiable.
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