Tag Archives: Negotiation

Never Split the Difference

If Getting to Yes is the book that teaches you how to negotiate with someone who’s looking for the best outcome in collaboration, the Never Split the Difference is the book you need to read to get better at negotiating in adversarial conditions.

The author has been involved in high stakes hostage negotiations, and uses this experience to distil a series of tactics and techniques you can use in daily life to get better negotiation outcomes.

Through each chapter we start with a scenario from the hostage negotiation world, and then translate that into usable advice, with examples of putting it into practice.

The book encourages you to build rapport quickly by mirroring, using empathy to label the pain of the other side and starting off looking for ‘no’ to gain real commitment to any later ‘yes’. It recommends you to seek “That’s right” to show agreement, and how to discuss what is or isn’t ‘fair’. Finally, it pushes on securing commitment, and also uncovering the ‘unknown unknowns’ that can transform a negotiation when discovered.

It ends with a guide on how to prepare for a negotiation, with steps and sample questions you can tune to your own needs.

This was an interesting read, with some new and updated techniques that are great to add to your toolbox. It very much benefits from familiarity with ‘Getting to Yes’ and other books that are referenced in the text, but it can still be read standalone.

I’d certainly recommend it.

 

 

Getting to Yes

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:

  1. Separate the people from the problem
  2. Focus on interests, not positions
  3. Invent options for mutual gain
  4. 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.┬áSome 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.