Getting to Yes is the classic guide to principled negotiation.
It has a very simple structure, and is built around the core thesis that there is a better way to approach negotiation than the simple positional style.
Positional bargaining is very easy to do, but often not effective. It may win the day in a single encounter, but is often a difficult experience, and considered harmful to building long-term relationships.
The authors outline this problem, covering the difficulties that can arise from both the hard and soft styles of positional bargaining. They put forwards the idea of principled negotiation being a better long-term solution to achieving the best outcomes.
After the introductory chapter, the main section of the book covers the four main pillars of the approach:
- Separate the people from the problem
- Focus on interests, not positions
- Invent options for mutual gain
- Insist on using objective criteria
It then moves on to cover some difficulties you may encounter in attempting to implement the method, before finally answering a series of more detailed questions.
The book is very good it’s very much worth the time to read. Some of the examples have started to show their age, but the ideas in the book are just as relevant and important as when they were first published, over 30 years ago.