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Getting to Yes: Negotiating an Agreement Without Giving In
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Getting to Yes: Negotiating an Agreement Without Giving In

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  28,455 ratings  ·  764 reviews
Since its original publication nearly thirty years ago, Getting to Yes has helped millions of people learn a better way to negotiate. One of the primary business texts of the modern era, it is based on the work of the Harvard Negotiation Project, a group that deals with all levels of negotiation and conflict resolution. Getting to Yes offers a proven, step-by-step strategy ...more
Paperback, Second Edition, 224 pages
Published December 1st 1991 by Penguin Books (first published 1981)
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Community Reviews

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Bob Selden
“Getting to Yes” is the benchmark by which all other books on negotiating should be judged. Authors Fisher, Patton and Ury have penned a book that has become a classic in its class as their negotiating principles have been used and quoted again and again the world over.

“Getting to Yes” is quite deceptive at first – it seems a little light weight as it is so easy to read. In fact one could read it from cover to cover in half a day quite easily. Yet, the four principles outlined in their negotiat
I attended a class on International Negotiations at the Foreign Service Institute this week and we were assigned this book to read for the class. I thought the book was rather straightforward and I liked the anecdotes. Overall, I think it was a good selection for our class and helped to emphasize the points being taught. I doubt I will become a master negotiator, but I do see benefits from this book and class in my personal life.

Some of the lessons I learned in class include the following:

Roberto Suarez
After reading "Getting to Yes", I realized the "bottom line" to negotiation is not the most effective approach to get to what everyone wants and its not to see the negotiation game as a win/lose experience, but a way to develop relationships. Similar to playing frisbee and the relationship of marriage, there are scenarios that have no place for win/lose negotiations because ultimately they will all end with lose/lose results. Individuals should focus, "To be better, the process must, of course, ...more
The Young Urban Unprofessional
This book was recommended to me by about a dozen friends, colleagues, and professors before I finally decided to read it. Getting to Yes was a good mix between text book technique and anecdotal evidence in negotiations. It taught me to separate the people from the problem and to strive toward common interests to create a win-win relationship instead of playing a game of positioning for a win-lose scenario. I definitely recommend it to anyone who works for a living, anyone who pays rent or a mort ...more
Chad Warner
This book is a very useful and detailed guide to negotiating for mutual gain. It’s a mix of theory, application, and examples. The advice is realistic; it says to be optimistic but aware of your limits. As a freelance web designer (OptimWise), I negotiate in sales and client relations. I’ve seen this book mentioned in magazines like Inc. and Entrepreneur, and a few business and sales books. I finally decided to read it when it was recommended on This Week in Web Design.

Main ideas
• Understand em
Bad news, everybody: I've turned into a bore. You can tell, because on my first weekend of No Work At All in about six weeks, here I am, reading a guide to negotiation, cover to cover. It's official: I now do CPD for fun. Would you want to talk to me at a party? I wouldn't.

Which is kind of a shame, because this is pretty good. Full of excellent advice, useful scripts and contingency plans. Anecdotes from everything between lease negotiations and the preparatory talks for the Law of the Sea Conve
I read this book years and years ago and then, recently, I was helping to write an article on Asia literacy and how this is treated in the Australian media and one of the things that struck me was how much was written about how Australia would benefit economically from a booming Asia, but how little was written about how Asia might benefit from having a relationship with Australia. One of the things this book tells you over and over again is that to really negotiate you need to spend at least as ...more
Eye-opening. Now, how do I rewrite all of my bad habits to take advantage of the knowledge in this book...?

Could help provide a foundation for the upcoming website redesign discussions.

Favorite Tips

Separate the people from the problem.
Focus on interests, not positions.
Generate a variety of possibilities before deciding what to do.
Insist that the result be based on some objective standard.

Where perceptions are inaccurate, you can look for ways to educate. If emotions run high, you can find w
A excellent book about negotiation. There were 4 key rules of negotiaton that I remembered from this:
1. Separating People and Issues - Fisher and Ury's first principle is to separate the people from the issues. People tend to become personally involved with the issues and with their side's positions. And so they will tend to take responses to those issues and positions as personal attacks. Separating the people from the issues allows the parties to address the issues without damaging their relat
Excellent Framework--

The framework of what the authors call "principled negotiation" is pretty much the same as the framework of "crucial conversations." It also meshes well with Dale Carnegie's framework of winning friends and influencing people and to some extent, Manuel J. Smith's Here Be Dragons and Stephen Covey's The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

It lays out a practical approach to negotiation based on independent standards of fairness. And to do this, you need to separate the pe
Everything in life, can be a negotiation. This book gives a powerful lesson on staying focused on the issues rather than the positions.

Recommended for everyone. Easy to read.
Kenny Tang
Easy to read. Not the most exciting. But important enough to put on a must read list. I think the entire book is embodied in the example of two men in the library arguing over whether to open/close a window. One opens it and the other one would get upset, stand up and close it. They repeatedly go to the window every few minutes and open/close the window each time getting angrier and angrier. Then they argue about keeping the window open or shut. They hate each other at this point and thinks the ...more
India Braver
2.7 stars. So I had to read this book for my Negotiations class and while a lot of the information seems really intuitive and like stuff you already know, it is organized well and some of the anecdotes are interesting. At the end of the book, the author comes right out and says you probably already know this stuff based on personal experience, but it is nice to have it written down. I didn't particularly find the book riveting or shocking or even particularly good, but it was okay. I could see h ...more
Basically I would say that this book is normative and common knowledge book that put all the application methods into the theory. However I feel this book is very important as a handy book or guidebook for every negotiator while doing any negotiation. This book put all negotiation principles, techniques, and steps which sometime most negotiators forget to do during the negotiation process. The book is very easy to follow and the best point is we cannot disagree about the entire content of the bo ...more
Ash Moran
The book concludes: "You knew it all the time. There is probably nothing in this book that you did not already know at some level of your experience." To a large extent, this is true. The main concept behind "principled negotiation" is that the best, mutually beneficial agreements come from understanding why each side wants what they want, then looking for common goals and creative ways to satisfy both sides. This I know from the Conflict Resolution Diagram thinking tool from Theory of Constrain ...more
Mike Fox
I read this after my boss sent me a copy indicating that the strategies contained within the book were quite valuable. I was aware that the book existed and of the concept of soft positional bargaining so I thought I'd check it out. What a load of crap. The book might be useful for politicians or other criminal enterprises but their examples of people engaging in soft positional bargaining didn't even sound like human beings but more like robots on Prozac. On top of that there were strong intone ...more
I had to read this for a negotiations class I took, and it was a great read. The material is not difficult to get through, and they break down the process in an accessible way. It's information you can retain, and it sticks with you when you need it most. I recommend it for anyone looking to improve their negotiating skills in any situation - it's a great start.
Sangwon Kang
Fisher and Ury are considered advocates of the famous terms in negotiation, called BATNA (Best Alternative To the Negotiated Agreement) which is a walk-away alternative if the agreement cannot be reached.

The fundamentals in negotiation they argue are following: to get to yes, you need to keep in mind 7 elements.

1) Keep the relationship with the other party (distinguish the problem from the people)
2) Understand the other party's interests as well as mine
3) Create multiple options
4) Establish the
Reviewing this just makes me look like a well read intelectual. I mean, if I'm reading this than what other self-improved, hard-hitting, esoteric awesomeness have I read. Well check out my other reviews. Actually I haven't finished this one. It was an old copy to begin with but leaving it in the hot sun inside my car all last summer really screwed up the glue in the binding. Now it's a bunch of loose pages with no cover. What I read was pretty cool. It has some great ideas if you are trying to n ...more
David Hornik
I took a course in negotiation from Roger Fisher in law school and "Getting to Yes" was our text book. The course was largely made up of mock negotiations. And as much as I liked the course and the idea of "Getting to Yes," I have to admit that there were many times that I felt there was no great shared outcome -- no "yesable proposition." Which isn't to say that I don't think the construct is useful. I think it is a valuable way to think about negotiation. But I am not convinced that it is the ...more
Good for what it was designed for. Negotiation was something I had to learn growing up in a family of 7 siblings. I was surprised to find that I already regularly employ most of the suggested techniques though they were able to help me better understand them. Overall the book was helpful. I think the main push of the book is 1) separate people from issues 2)Don't limit your options there are always creative ways to compromise and still make a win win situation, if you haven't come up with one yo ...more
Dave Morris
You know the stereotype of a negotiation:
"I will give you five dirhams for this flea-bitten rug."
"For this magnificent carpet I require at least one hundred dirhams!"
"Would you have my children starve? I will give you ten dirhams."
And wearyingly on.

That might work fine when you're flogging carpets in the Baghdad souq. But in modern business we're usually dealing with much more complex deals that can't be resolved by the salesman's favourite tactic of quoting an extreme price and expecting the ot
Safe to say that business books are not my usual reading fare, but this was assigned for a class. Because I have no standard of comparison for the genre, I guess I'd say this book was okay, but given its popularity and staying power, I suspect it is probably better than that. The ideas are conveyed clearly and accessibly -- none of the tortured, impenetrable word thickets academics should be reviled for. And while the authors are Harvard academics, they are also seasoned practitioners, which no ...more
John Matsui
If I were stranded on a desert isle with a small group of people - think Lost or Lord of the Flies - I'd want matches, food, a knife and a copy of Roger Fisher's groundbreaking book on how to happily reach agreement with everybody on everything. There's no question which of those items would be the most important for my survival. It would be Getting To Yes.
There are lots of books on negotiation but this one by the Harvard Negotiation Project is definitely the one.
Other books talk about winning.
The title of this book was somewhat familiar to me but it was never one I would have considered reading only because I mistakenly assumed it was book with an emphasis on...I don't know-"negotiating" (or selling) primarily in the business world. It's not. It was suggested to me by a therapist when I was going through several very difficult years in getting help for my special needs son. I was a wreck trying to deal with his needs with our insurance company, the school system, his doctors and othe ...more
Livio Dinaj
The message of Getting to Yes is that the primary means of negotiation, called positional negotiation is inefficient, and that principled negotiation and looking for mutual value is the ideal way

The main message of the book is how principled negotiation works: the first step is separate people from the problem, which involves not making the issue personal, and separating the substance, the what, from the people involved in the negotiation. Second step is to make the focus of the negotiation inte
As a negotiator in compensation bargaining with my university on behalf of the Association of Academic Staff / University of Alberta, I read this book to familiarize myself with "interest-based" negotiations. The book is more or less the starting point for this method of negotiating that's supposed to be more appropriate for our "non-confrontational" society of today. Basically, old-fashioned "positional" negotiating has each side set out an initial position, which they defend against the attemp ...more
Graham Herrli
This is the kind of book where after you read it, you think, "bah, of course I knew that already," but then the next day you find yourself using some of its principles consciously in a discussion, and you wonder whether you would have thought to use them if you hadn't read it. At the very least, the book will prompt insightful reflections on how to negotiate; even if hindsight bias makes such reflections appear as things you already knew, simply bringing such principles into recent memory may ma ...more
Eine Pizza, ein Flugzeug und freies Geleit bis Turkmenistan
Da flanierten wir gemächlich über eine Strandpromenade in einem Ferienort in Tunesien. Alle naselang wurden wir von Händlern ziemlich aggressiv dazu aufgefordert, doch bitte die Waren in ihrem Kabuff zu inspizieren. Tut man das, geht es los - Preisverhandlung! Ich mag das nicht. Trotzdem muss ich nun aus anderen Gründen lernen, Verhandlungen anzunehmen und auszuführen. Als Bücherwurm sind Fachbücher natürlich meine erste Anlaufstelle, un
Writing from the Harvard Negotiation Project the authors distill common effective practices from large and small, documented negotiations from multi nation off sea oil drilling, to strikes, and rent increases are all filtered down to the bare parts of what makes a negotiation successful. This text is required for law students taking mediation.

The book is not about educating you to get your way, but an approach to deal with our differences. The basics are separating people from the problem, focu
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Roger Fisher is the Samuel Williston Professor of Law Emeritus, Director of the Harvard Negotiation Project, and the founder of two consulting organizations devoted to strategic advice and negotiation training.

See also: Roger Fisher (academic) on Wikipedia
More about Roger Fisher...
Beyond Reason: Using Emotions as You Negotiate Getting It Done: How to Lead When You're Not in Charge Getting Together: Building Relationships As We Negotiate Beyond Machiavelli: Tools for Coping with Conflict Getting Past No: Negotiating With Difficult People

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“People listen better if they feel that you have understood them. They tend to think that those who understand them are intelligent and sympathetic people whose own opinions may be worth listening to. So if you want the other side to appreciate your interests, begin by demonstrating that you appreciate theirs.” 2 likes
“Any method of negotiation may be fairly judged by three criteria: It should produce a wise agreement if agreement is possible. It should be efficient. And it should improve or at least not damage the relationship between the parties.” 1 likes
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