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44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid but nothing special
This is a good first book to buy if you want to understand the fundamentals of negotiation. I thought the first 40 pages were very thought provoking. The rest seems to be fillers. If you already know and understand what BATNA is, then don't bother buying this book. The the book's explanation of BATNA and its importance in all negotiation is worth its price and your time.
Published on June 22, 2004 by Jaewoo Kim

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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Negotiation
I think these types of books work better when they diagram and use modeling as a method to teach. Like many books I read, there was a sense of repetitiveness. I think overall it is a good introductory book for negotiation skills, but not what I was looking for.
Published on November 9, 2006 by Anthony Brown


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44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid but nothing special, June 22, 2004
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This review is from: Negotiation (Harvard Business Essentials Series) (Paperback)
This is a good first book to buy if you want to understand the fundamentals of negotiation. I thought the first 40 pages were very thought provoking. The rest seems to be fillers. If you already know and understand what BATNA is, then don't bother buying this book. The the book's explanation of BATNA and its importance in all negotiation is worth its price and your time.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Negotiating Fundamentals, December 21, 2006
This review is from: Negotiation (Harvard Business Essentials Series) (Paperback)
The "Harvard Business Essentials Guide to Negotiation" is an excellent introductory book for laying out the essential basic elements of successful negotiations. Step-by-step, the book explains the necessary skills that one requires to carry out effective negotiations.

The book explains the distinction between distributive and integrative negotiation. Distributive bargaining seeks to divide up a fixed amount of resources resulting in a win-lose situation whereas integrative bargaining seeks one or more settlements that can result in win-win outcomes. Integrative bargaining is preferable to distributive bargaining because integrative process builds long-term relationships and facilitates being future partners. It bonds negotiators and enables them to leave the negotiating process feeling that they have all won. The reason why distributive bargaining is prevalent in organizations is that parties are often not open with information and neither are they candid about their concerns. There is often lack of trust and empathy.

The book also describes the concept of BATNA, that is, the best alternative to a negotiated agreement or the lowest acceptable value to an individual for a negotiated agreement. Any offer that you receive that is higher than your BATNA is good and by the same token, you cannot expect the other party to accept an offer that is lower than their BATNA.

The book also highlights other essential elements to a successful negotiation including the need to prepare and plan, being clear about the ground rules, justifying issues on the negotiating table, bargaining and resolving conflicts as well as closure and implementation

The book is well written and is easy to understand and follow. Recommended reading for beginners to negotiation.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good introduction to negotiation, October 8, 2006
This review is from: Negotiation (Harvard Business Essentials Series) (Paperback)
I don't have much experience in negotiation. But in the last few months I realized that having good negotiation skills is major to be successfull in both professional and private life.

The book starts in the first chapter with a comparison of distributive and integrative negotiation. Distributive means that the parties just talk and fight about the price. Unfortunately, this is what is going on in negotiations most of the time. Instead you should aim for integrative negotiations where you discuss more than just the price. Often, one party can give something of little value to other, which is of great value for them. Sad enough, many negotiator are so much concerned about their own benefit, that they forget to think about the other party and their interests. But to have integrated negotations both paties need to thing of each other.

Another important concept this book elaborates on is the so called BATNA, that is the "Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement". Before you start negotiating you need to know what happens if you don't get the deal. If you are unable to gain something which is of greater value than the current situation, why should you agree on the deal ? During the negotiations always think of your BATNA and don't go below it.

The rest of the book emphasizes the importance of trust between parties, how to prepare a successful negotiation meeting and the different styles of communication.

A good reading of everyone new to negotiation.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Negotiation, November 9, 2006
This review is from: Negotiation (Harvard Business Essentials Series) (Paperback)
I think these types of books work better when they diagram and use modeling as a method to teach. Like many books I read, there was a sense of repetitiveness. I think overall it is a good introductory book for negotiation skills, but not what I was looking for.
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27 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Essential and Invaluable Introduction, July 20, 2005
This review is from: Negotiation (Harvard Business Essentials Series) (Paperback)
This is one of the volumes in the new Harvard Business Essentials Series. Each offers authoritative answers to the most important questions concerning its specific subject. The material in this book is drawn from a variety of sources which include the Harvard Business School Press and the Harvard Business Review as well as Harvard ManageMentor®, an online service. I strongly recommend the official Harvard Business Essentials Web site ([...]) which offers free interactive versions of tools, checklists, and worksheets cited in this book and other books in the Essentials series. Each volume is indeed "a highly practical resource for readers with all levels of experience." And each is by intent and in execution solution-oriented. Although I think those who have only recently embarked on a business career will derive the greatest benefit, the material is well-worth a periodic review by senior-level executives.

Richard Luecke is the author of several other books in the Essentials series. Once again, credit him with pulling together a wealth of information and counsel from various sources. In this instance, he was assisted by a subject advisor, Michael Watkins, who is an associate professor at the Harvard Business School who does research on negotiation and leadership. Together, they have carefully organized the material as follows.

First, they examine various types of negotiation (e.g. distributive and integrative) and then introduce four key concepts: BATNA (i.e. best alternative to a negotiated agreement), reservation price, ZOPA (i.e. zone of possible agreement), and value creation through trades. Next, they shift their attention to nine steps of preparation to consummate a deal; "table tactics" when engaged in negotiation; FAQs about price, process, and "people problems; barriers to agreement (e.g. negotiating with "die-hard bargainers"); mental errors (e.g. irrational expectations); the importance of establishing and then cultivating various relationships; negotiating for others (i.e. the functions of independent and non-independent agents); and finally, negotiation skills which build organizational competence (e.g. continuous improvement and using negotiation as an organizational opportunity). I especially appreciate the fact that, at the end of each of the ten chapters, a "Summing Up" section is provided which focuses on key points and, later, facilitates a review of the book's narrative. I am also grateful for "Useful Implementation Tools" in the Appendix.

Years ago, the eminent psychologist Carl Rogers recommended three separate but related steps when one is involved in a negotiation of any kind. First, identify the issues on which both "sides" agree and set them aside. Next, agree to concessions, compromises, etc. on other issues and then set them aside. Finally, isolate the issues which remain and focus on them. This approach usually (not always) achieves, eventually, a mutually acceptable and (preferably) mutually beneficial agreement. Experts suggest that negotiation should not be viewed as a Zero Sum Game. If at all possible, the ultimate agreement should be a Win-Win for everyone involved.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid coverage of the basics of negotiation, January 17, 2007
This review is from: Negotiation (Harvard Business Essentials Series) (Paperback)
As part of the 17-title Harvard Business Essentials series, launched in 2002, this book solidly covers the basics of negotiation. The clarity of the explanations, range of examples and methodical exposition make it a very useful reference for the beginner or mid-level negotiator. Don't let the very rationality of the book's approach make you think that negotiation is easy. It's just that these instructions make it understandable and accessible. Harvard's expert doesn't dwell on the pressures negotiators face and the resultant anxieties, or give a lot of space to the emotional complexity of dealing with money issues with family or friends. Instead, this is a solid, no-detours, nuts-and-bolts manual. We recommend this book as a primer for up-and-coming or partially experienced negotiators. Start here; when you master this solid base, you can polish your skills with something more advanced.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars good not great, May 9, 2007
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This review is from: Negotiation (Harvard Business Essentials Series) (Paperback)
fairly decent ideas on negotiation, nothing new here, but would be helpful for people new to negotiation.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Alternatives drive Fairness, November 5, 2006
This review is from: Negotiation (Harvard Business Essentials Series) (Paperback)
An excellent primer on negotiation. This text defines negotiation and then becomes an 'essential' 'how to' text with a wealth of information. From preparation to 'table tactics' through 'tips and traps', this book helps unfold the fundamental truth of negotiation - alternatives drive fairness.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Summary, December 2, 2012
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This book is great... little too much textbook like, however the concepts do work.I can recommend as a good summary read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Resource, Quick Read, March 3, 2014
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This review is from: Negotiation (Harvard Business Essentials Series) (Paperback)
This short book is a valuable reference resource for anyone seeking to improve their negotiation skills. The available document templates are a great way to capture one's thoughts before any negotiating session.
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Negotiation (Harvard Business Essentials Series)
Negotiation (Harvard Business Essentials Series) by Michael Wheeler (Paperback - July 1, 2003)
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