Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In

Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher and William Ury

This is a classic text used in many university classes on negotiation. The authors help explain how to use principled negotiation rather than the traditional positional negotiation that many use. One story illustrates that illustrates this is of two children arguing over an orange then decide to compromise and split it in two. It turns out that one wanted to eat the fruit and the other wanted the peel to bake with. Principled negotiation would have born out the actual desires of each with the result of both getting exactly what they wanted. As people negotiate any variety of things, they should consider the motivations of the other party and what they might want out of it. Getting to the root want/need is key in truly understanding the other party and can help avoid adversarial positions. If approaching the negotiation as a sort of joint effort rather than this for that, a more positive outcome may result.

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