negotiation

Review From User :

This book made me wonder why I've wasted so much time reading article-length advice on negotiation. Lots of the truisms out there don't apply to every situation, and articles don't usually equip you with enough fundamental understanding to know when to make exceptions and why. Not only does this book explain the concepts so that you can see exceptions for yourself, it also tailors the advice to different personality dispositions.

The most valuable part of this book for me was the quadrant of high- and low-stakes negotiations where relationships do and don't matter -- which, yes, is a little cliched in a business-y way. But the chapter on ethics reassured me that I was reading the right book. The author explains ethics as a personal framework for articulating limits, and discloses that he falls firmly in the camp of idealism (as opposed to the "poker" end of the spectrum), but acknowledges that there are different legitimate conclusions that a reasonable person can draw and describes strategies that work well for both idealists and pragmatists.

This mission statement by the author sums up why I'm glad I read this book: "Many reasonable people have a nagging, uneasy feeling about negotiation. They are anxious about it. The interpersonal conflicts, the possibility of 'leaving money on the table,' the chance they could be 'taken,' and even the thought that they have done 'too well' are all unsettling. Knowledge about the negotiation process and bargaining strategy helps reduce this anxiety and puts you on the road to improved negotiation results."

In the preface, the author acknowledges that gender and race, among other things, can greatly affect how we approach negotiation and which strategies are most effective for each of us to use in the real world. I don't think that he does a very good job of addressing this, but I think the rest of the book is solid enough that I'm willing to look to other books for more socially conscious guidance on those topics.


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