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Power of a Positive No

3.99  ·  Rating Details ·  1,164 Ratings  ·  117 Reviews
No is perhaps the most important and certainly the most powerful word in the language. Every day we find ourselves in situations where we need to say No-to people at work, at home, and in our communities-because No is the word we must use to protect ourselves and to stand up for everything and everyone that matters to us.
But as we all know, the wrong No can also destroy w
ebook, 250 pages
Published February 27th 2007 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2007)
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Feb 06, 2013 Payam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yes, I know you are here to read a review.
No. I won't write the review you want to read.
Yes, I will still capture my thoughts on the book, but it will not be a review you want to read.

Saying "No" can be nerve-racking. The disapproval and judgement we may receive in saying "No" can deter many people from properly expressing themselves. Why do we feel this? More importantly, is this a problem? It is a problem, in that by not saying "No", you do not stand up for your "Yes". You cannot say "Yes" to
Dr. Ruth Neustifter
I read this book after exiting a difficult situation as best I could, yet feeling that I somehow didn't do it as well as I should have. Although I tend to shy away from both business books and self-help books, unless I know the author well, this one just called out to me from the shelf. Thank goodness I snapped it up.

Basically, the book coaches the reader on socially advisable routes to keep yourself and your family well balanced. That's a huge undertaking, but it does it simply by advising on
Dec 18, 2009 Kipi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who finds it difficult to say "No"
Recommended to Kipi by: ACU
Can "no" actually mean "yes"? Yes, it can, according to William Ury in The Power of a Positive No: How to Say No and Still Get to Yes. I read his book Getting to Yes about a year ago and feel, as a mediator, this book is much more helpful and practical because it focuses on the importance of relationship over that of reaching a "deal."

This paragraph in the final chapter sums up the author's message:
The great problem today is that we have divorced our Yeses from our Nos. Yes without No is appeas
Sep 17, 2009 Ann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really like William Ury as an author. He founded the Harvard Negotiation Project and writes good negotiation books. His first book Getting to Yes, is a good book on negotiation theory. His second Getting past no, talks about difficult negotiations. His third, the power of the positive no could really be the first in the series with self analysis of what you really want before you negotiate.

I should have read this book years ago! I like his idea that no is really yes to what you really want. H
Aug 22, 2010 Holly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help
Heaven knows I needed the information from this book, however, it could and should have been covered in 4-5 chapters instead of 12. The author's main contribution is helping the individual recognize and feel good about a proper no with his yes, no, yes formula. Yes to my underlying need/value, no to the current proposition, and Yest to opening further dialogue.
Apr 15, 2008 Tami rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
No. Such a simple word yet it's so hard to use. Most of us take on far too much because we are afraid to say no and for good reason. We've all had experiences were we did actually muster the courage to say no and felt extremely guilty afterwards. Moreover, the person who we said no to often gets mad at us and that simple word starts a huge drama. In the end, it would have been much easier just to shut our mouths.

Evidentially, our problem wasn't saying the word but in how we go about saying No.
Mark Ruzomberka
Jul 13, 2014 Mark Ruzomberka rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yes. No. Yes.

That pretty much sums up this book. My entire grad school negotiation course was based on Ury's first book "Getting to Yes", so, I figured I'd give this one a try too. I was extremely pleased with the book. I did not realize how many times in a day this would come in handy. It is nice to be able to confidently say no to people without having it be confrontational. Or, even worse caving in just to try and keep the other party happy. The book uses the phrase "How can I stand on my fe
Mar 03, 2015 Ariah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
This was a great book, very practical and useful. I haven't read his more popular Getting to Yes book, but I think this was a better fit for the type of tools I was looking for. The approach, examples, and methodology where super solid, simple to understand and extremely practical. Honestly found myself using it in several instances already that hadn't been my original intention. Good stuff.
Ahmed Wali
Nov 10, 2011 Ahmed Wali rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
كتاب رااائع .. ومتأسف أنني أخذت وقتا طويلا في قراءته فهو فعلا يستحق القراءة المتتابعة
يفسر حقيقة رفض الإنسان لشيء ما، ويقترح الطرق المناسبة التي تجعل هذا الرفض مقبولا
أعجبتني استشهاداته برفض غاندي للظلم وتفسيره له
Lloyd Dalton
Aug 19, 2015 Lloyd Dalton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was shorter, more direct, and more valuable than the earlier two books in the trilogy (Getting to Yes and Getting past No).
Chris Schutte
Mar 13, 2016 Chris Schutte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lot of helpful advice on saying "no", especially relevant for leaders.
Henrik Warne
Jan 08, 2017 Henrik Warne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read “Getting to Yes” many years ago, and loved it. In the introduction, William Ury explains that this (newer) book can be seen as laying the foundation for Getting to Yes and the third book in the series, Getting Past No.

William Ury summarizes the main idea in this book as: Yes! No. Yes? When you say no to something, there is a reason. For example, you say no to working late, because you want to spend time with your family. The first yes is the yes you say to being with your family, and it i
Svetlana Kurilova
Absolute MUST for folks who wants to improve communication skills. The book contains tonnes of useful strategies for resolving conflicts, respecting the other point of view, and so much more. It also was a great overview of the active listening.

Time to practice Yes-No-Yes approach! =)
Jun 16, 2015 Perry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ash Ryan
As someone who's all about focusing on the positive, the title of this book intrigued me. Isn't saying "No" sort of inherently negative? On the other hand, you obviously can't say yes to everything, or your results will turn negative in pretty short order.[return][return]William Ury skillfully untangles this paradox by showing us how to dig deeper into our motivations. When we say no reactively out of anger, we damage our relationships. When we say yes reactively out of guilt or fear, we damage ...more
Aug 10, 2012 Debbie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
14 members of my non-fiction book club convened to discuss this book. The feedback from the group was exceptionally positive and there was vast agreement among the members that this was an extremely worthwhile read with practical application for both business and personal use. The group demographic included students and professionals, ranging in age from 28 to 58, both male and female.
William Ury’s writing style is conversational and straight forward. The text is interspersed with inspiring quo
Dec 27, 2011 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Amy by: Melissa Balkon
It was the concept that made me impressed with this book. It's kinda self-help-y but I like that sort of thing.

As a person who's pretty literal, and fights the urge to see things as black and white, I was excited to read about the skills and nuance to saying yes while saying no. The Positive No is about uncovering your bigger "yes", and making it clear what your "no" is. But it's also about preserving the relationship and acknowledging that the other party will have thoughts and feelings, and h
Aug 07, 2016 Ben rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: work-reference
A book to help you develop an ability to stick up for yourself and say no to things that aren't going to work for you and your values. Also helps in developing dialogue as a means of resolving conflict.

Things I liked:

Addition of BATNA/Plan B. to the an overall objective of dialogue and collaboration. I found this a very nice addition to the framework presented in 'Crucial Conversations' (which I use a lot and rate highly)

Things I didn't like:

A lot of his examples seemed contrived beca
Nov 06, 2007 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who want to ground their decisions in integrity.
Shelves: work-related
My supervisor recommended this book to me, and I am glad he did. This book contains valuable, practical lessons on negotiating in the workplace and in personal relationships. The author uses examples from the business world and politics (notably, drawing on the civil rights struggles led by Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi) to make a persuasive case laying out the components and sequence of delivering a powerful, respectful No to an intolerable situation. Following this book's advice will certa ...more
Jul 14, 2009 E rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How to say no, but nicely

Imagine that you are a police department’s hostage negotiator. An armed man who has just lost his job is holding his wife and children hostage in their barricaded home. He threatens to kill his family and himself unless the authorities turn over the boss who fired him so he can “administer fiery justice.” How do you tell this potential murderer no without jeopardizing everyone in the house? The professionals who negotiate during such extreme situations know how to refuse
Marian Deegan
An important client asks you to take on a project that is beyond your area of expertise. A valued colleague invites you to join a board in which they have a deep personal commitment. A demanding work schedule must be balanced with more social invitations than you have time to accept.

How do you say no without damaging the relationships hanging in the balance?

This terrific little book walks you through the process of evaluating the importance of your priorities, framing a response that is positive
Marcello Eduardo
Nov 03, 2012 Marcello Eduardo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: negociacao
William Ury could have made a single book to present his theory. That he divided it in three books, all best sellers, shows that he is very didatic and... a great negotiator. Indispensable as Urys previous books (Getting to Yes and Getting Past No), this one is better. A must read for anyone who wants to take the most out of any negotiation, in any realm. effectively proposes frames and methods on how to increase the odds that you get what you want/plan for, when you want to change something tha ...more
Apr 30, 2010 Jay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business, audiobook
The book tells how to change from just saying no to someone to figuring out what you really want and switching the topic to make the negative a positive. There's more to it than that, but that is a reasonable summary. There were plenty of anecdotes to illustrate concepts, and while the anecdotes were interesting and entertaining, I'm not sure they were unique to the concept being presented. In other words, the anecdotes could have been switched around and still would have served well. I listened ...more
Jan 22, 2014 Bart-Jan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: human-behavior
As Ury states, this book truly concludes the trilogy: Getting to Yes, Getting Past No and The Power of a Positive No. I'm a big fan of the Harvard Negotiation Project and this book adds an important element to negotiation: being able to say no (in a positive way). It all comes down to the Yes-No-Yes approach.

A powerful example is as followes: 'In order to accommodate the pleasure of all of our guests (Yes), this is a NON-smoking room (No). We ask that you smoke in our smoking room, the great out
My husband got this one from the library and we listened to it together, which is a great thing to do with your partner, by the way. I really enjoyed this book for several reasons. 1) It gives you practical advice that will help you stay true to yourself, maintain boundaries, and negotiate situations in ways that are respectful of — and beneficial for — both parties. Listening to the audiobook was especially nice, because I believe it was narrated by the author himself. It felt less like he was ...more
Aug 01, 2014 Jina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: negotiation
Fun, easy read. I find myself thinking that Ury is finally onto something: his first book was titled Getting to Yes, but the real difficulty for so many people is being able to say no. Otherwise you find yourself avoiding situations where you'll have to say no, and that closes down opportunities. But I do find myself disagreeing with one of the blurbs inside the front cover. It said that this book should be required reading for every woman, and I think most adult women are already experts in the ...more
Leader Summaries
Desde Leader Summaries recomendamos la lectura del libro El poder de un no positivo, de William Ury.
Las personas interesadas en las siguientes temáticas lo encontrarán práctico y útil: habilidades directivas, comunicación e influencia, negociar con eficacia.
En el siguiente enlace tienes el resumen del libro El poder de un no positivo, Cómo expresar nuestros argumentos con asertividad sin herir los sentimientos de los demás: El poder de un no positivo
Aug 22, 2007 Trishtator rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone, pushover or bully
I found this book to be incredibly "just what I was searching for." You would pay many hundreds of dollars if you had chosen the therapist route rather than the reading route on this concept of adult communication, and I feel like Ury's points are not only wisely spoken from years of experience, but are truly designed to benefit both parties of a disagreement or negotiation. For a chicken, this book gives me the power to say no, not just the guilt trip and exhaustion that come with never saying ...more
Insight into one of the trickier parts of life ... saying "no" without straining the relationship. It guides readers on setting boundaries that are rooted in core values, and how to calmly defend those boundaries in a way that encourages a better outcome for all.

I would give this five stars, but I thought there could have been more examples, and it could have been more concise.

Combined with the author's prior books, "Getting to Yes", and "Getting Past No" ... these books offer an excellent found
Jun 16, 2010 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-books
While upon reflection I would say most of this book is good common sense, I appreciated the reminders! I especially appreciated the idea that, in order to effectively say no, you need to know what your yes is. Once there is clarity on that score, it becomes easier to draw boundaries. There are lots of examples, anecdotes, and dialogues, which are effective and sometimes entertaining. I also liked the importance the author placed on saying no with respect for yourself and the other, as well as th ...more
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William L. Ury co-founded Harvard's Program on Negotiation where he currently directs the Global Negotiation Initiative. He is the author of The Power of a Positive No How to Say No Still Get to Yes (2007) and co-author (with Roger Fisher) of Getting to Yes Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In , a five-million-copy bestseller translated into over twenty languages. "No other book in the field ...more
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