Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Book Review: Getting Past No by William Ury

Being recently introduced to the books related to negotiation, I feel more enlightened about how human mind works and how emotions play a role in its working. Negotiation is a game where human mind and emotions are at their peak and hence gives more insight into our behavior. What makes negotiation important is that at the end of this there is a decision which has to come out and that decision is going to determine who is going to get what! But a sharp person looks much beyond the simple how-much-I-get question. He knows that much more is at stake in a negotiation – your future relationship with the other party, your reputation/perception as a negotiator and the benchmark for any future negotiation. And what happens when the other party is not ready to listen at all and is hell-bent on getting what it wants?


Getting Past No is answer to this problem but first I will advise you to read Getting to Yes as it sets basic but very effective guidelines for all negotiations. You might very well be doing something wrong and that is why the other side is stubborn because of being genuinely concerned. The author has stated that there are five parts of the strategy of getting past no – going to the balcony, stepping to their side, reframing, building them a golden bridge and using power to educate. Out of that the first three are corollaries of the basic guidelines set in the amazing book “Getting to Yes” and that’s why didn’t impress me much. But the last two parts were uncovered in that book and amazingly clear in this one. Your opponent needs a respectable face to show to whomever he is going to answer about the negotiation. And if that is not the case then the person has high chances of not budging from his stance. So it will help if you can show your opponent how this deal will look good to his boss/coworkers/friends/wife. Also too often we try to use our power to threaten the opponent in accepting what we want. This might work or might not work but in either case your future relationship is spoiled already. There is a graceful way of showing your opponent what will be the consequence if they don’t agree and if he is clear and convinced about it then it is safe to walk out. If he is ready to face the consequences then your threat might not have worked also and this also gives him time to think and come back to you.

I do believe that everyone should be reading the two books mentioned above and also Difficult Conversations . These books will invariably help you in every aspect of your life and will make you a more mature human being. Difficult Conversations and Getting to Yes are the results of Harvard Negotiations Project and the quality of language and advice speaks for itself. Happy Reading!!

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