"Getting to Yes"
Getting to yes is a guide to negotiating using a method developed at the Harvard Negotiation Project called principled negotiations. The principled negotiations method can be used in virtually any negotiation. Issues are decided upon by their merits and the goal is a win-win for both sides. Below is a summary of some of the key concepts from the book.The four steps of a principled negotiation are:
  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
In principled negotiations, take the view that you and all the other participants are problem solvers rather than adversaries. The authors recommend that you think of your goal as being to reach an outcome "efficiently and amicably."Let's look at each step in more detail.

Step 1:
Separate the people from the problem

All negotiations involve people and people are not perfect. We have emotions, our own interests and goals and we tend to see the world from our point of view. We also are not always the best communicators; many of us are not good listeners.
Getting to Yes outlines a number of tools for dealing with the all too human problems of perception, emotion and communication. However, the authors stress that preventing people problems is the best option. The keys to prevention are: "building a working relationship" and "facing the problem, not the people."
Think of the people you negotiate with on a regular basis. Generally, the better we know someone, the easier it is to face a negotiation together. We tend to view people we don't know with more suspicion: just what is "Bob" up to? Take time to get to know the other party before the negotiation begins.
Think of the negotiation as a means to solving a problem and the people on the other side as partners helping to find a solution. Ideally both parties will come out of a negotiation feeling they have a fair agreement from which...