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Getting Past No: Negotiating in Difficult Situations
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Getting Past No: Negotiating in Difficult Situations

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  4,662 ratings  ·  195 reviews
We all want to get to yes, but what happens when the other person keeps saying no?

How can you negotiate successfully with a stubborn boss, an irate customer, or a deceitful coworker?

In Getting Past No, William Ury of Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation offers a proven breakthrough strategy for turning adversaries into negotiating partners. You’ll learn how to:

• St
Paperback, 189 pages
Published January 1st 1993 by Bantam (first published August 1st 1991)
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Jun 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Nothing new or shocking here, but I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I do many of these things when faced with a difficult situation.

Ury also outlines the ways negotiations fall apart, which was helpful by highlighting to me that I'm likely to give in too easily, or look for an alternative to building what he calls "the golden bridge."

I think the most important lesson I learned from this book is in understanding the other person's perspective. You may see the benefits of doing something a
Jul 11, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This book is way better than the first in the series Getting to Yes. I like Ury's prose and his advices are concrete and helpful, it's no wonder this book is considered a negotiation primer.

Key takeaway:
• Obstacles to cooperative negotiation:
o your (emotional) reaction – don’t strike back, don’t give in, don’t break off – to fight this it’s important to recognize the OP’s tactic (stone wall, attack, trick go around, deflect, expose), know your hot buttons, and take time to reflect
o their emot
Miles De Grifter
Sep 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who has difficulty controlling themselves in difficult or heated discussions and negociations
Recommended to Miles by: Linguana
despite most of what is being said in this book kinda feeling obvious, just reading it and organizing ones thoughts is extremely helpful. in fact, just today (i finished this book on the train home today) i used techniques described in here (possibly unknowingly) to get 3 adversely positioned colleagues to change their stance on the issue in question by 180°. suffice to say i was baffled and quite proud of myself, because not only did i overcome my innate tendency to overreaction (the balcony th ...more
Suraj Krishnan
Sep 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
William Ury, co-founder of Harvard's program on Negotiation is just as good a writer as he is an academic. His experience lies not only within the confines of teaching but has been involved in a number of roles as an advisor, negotiator ranging from corporate mergers to wildcat strikes in a Kentucky coal mine to ethnic wars in the Middle East, the Balkans, and the former Soviet Union.

In his book "Getting Past No: Negotiating in Difficult Situations", William writes about how to negotiate with a
Morgan Lyons
Lots of useful information, and I absolutely believe this process works (I've even begun incorporating it into my negotiations at work with some success). The reason for the 3-star rating is because while the principles may be timeless, the examples used to illustrate them are very dated, and I just got tired of reading about the Cold War and the Cuban Missile Crisis when I'm guessing there may have been one or two successful negotiations in the last 40 years that would prove equally illustrativ ...more
May 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Take a May term class, they said. Get the most out of your tuition, they said.
Carrie Daws
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: leadership
This was an excellent book on the highlights of making progress in difficult negotiations. As I don't need in-depth knowledge, this overview was perfect for improving my skills without going deep into a topic I don't need that much information about.
Ayush Lakhotia
Oct 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
A good for people who want to understand why people do the random things after sitting on the negotiation table. Every tactic has been summarised pretty well but the most important thing is to remember that all your negotiation should be based on principle. All this is easy to read and understand but actually perfection will only come, once you start observing these negotiations and start implementing the tactics.
Feb 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Here it is in a nutshell. To get past “no” you must overcome the barriers to cooperation, which include: your opponent’s negative emotions, his skepticism about reaching an agreement, and your own reaction. You thus face five challenges:
1. Don’t react; stay focused on what you want
2. Disarm your opponent by defusing defensiveness, fears, and suspicions
3. Change the game from bargaining for positions to meeting both side’s interests
4. Make it easy to say “yes”; provide him the cover to save face
Oct 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
1. Don’t react: Go to the balcony. The first step is not to control the other person’s behavior. It is to control your own.

2. Step to Their Side. Listen to them, acknowledge their points, and agree with them wherever you can.

3. Reframe. Take whatever they say and reframe it as an attempt to deal with the problem. Ask problem-solving questions

4. Build them a Golden Bridge. Involve them in the process, incorporating their ideas. Try to identify and satisfy their unmet interests, particularly their
Nov 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Concise, practical book on negotiating

Best-selling author William Ury has the topic of negotiation down cold. Reading this classic book (originally released in 1991) is a pleasure and the reasons it became a bestseller are obvious: It is clear, concise and eminently readable. This book has such wide appeal that getAbstract recommends it to all businesspeople and to anyone who ever needs to negotiate about anything – from cops bargaining with hostage takers to consumers pushing for the best car
TEELOCK Mithilesh
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ury is the recipient of the Whitney North Seymour Award from the American Arbitration Association. He also received the Distinguished Service Medal from the Russian Parliament for his work on the resolution of ethnic conflicts. He received the 2012 Peacemakers Award from Mediators Beyond Borders.

Getting Past No is a reference book on collaborative negotiation in difficult situations, written by William L. Ury. First published in September 1991 and revised in 2007, this book is the sequel to Gett
Nada Obaid
Sep 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
I learnt a lot from the different negotiation strategies that I can apply not only in work but in my personal life to make my negotiations with others more effective :) The book had a very smooth structure that I liked because it gave me a sense of ideas' sequence.

I strongly recommend it for people who find it difficult to reach an agreement with others and often struggle in negotiations :)
C.B. Brooks
Oct 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
The world would be a better place if everyone negotiated nicely with the best common interest in mind. Unfortunately most people who consider themselves "good negotiators," hagglers, and hard-bargaining are really just bullies or other personality disorders. The author gives some good tricks for dealing with them, but in real life you're probably better off walking away.
Joe Crane
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book must be read in conjunction with "Getting to Yes" who was co-authored by William Ury, the author of this book. "Getting to Yes" is how to negotiate under ideal circumstances which are practices any negotiator must have in their tool box. "Getting Past No" is for the other 95% of negotiations when the other side refuses to talk, uses nefarious tricks and actively works against you.
Caleb West
Jun 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This book outlines a very good process by which to handle all negotiations in life. Very methodical without being overly specific. Quick read. I am going to read his others. eventually.
Jan 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good break down on the negotiation process for beginners.
Illia Kubasov
May 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Useful guide in business negotiations.
May 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Getting Past No contains many of the same ideas as Ury's earlier book, Getting To Yes, and is a little repetitive, but since it's been a little while since I read Getting To Yes, I found the refresher course to be helpful. Getting Past No digs deeper into how to deal with especially entrenched and difficult parties, and is packed with excellent quotes, anecdotes, and stories, many taken from history. Most of the basic ideas are similar to Getting To Yes, but there were many more examples and sto ...more
Dixit Nagpal
Negotiations are part and parcel of our everyday life , consciously or otherwise - we are doing it with every human being we interact almost every other hour , if not second. So , I think basic thing to become a good negotiator is to have high EQ and good amount of critical thinking. The techniques mentioned in this book are quite basic and it does set up the foundation for you to understand if you are really feeling hard to convince people for your point of view.
But if you really want to ace a
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is my top #1 book on negotiation. Light years ahead of "Getting to Yes". I've grown up surrounded by brilliant negotiators, and the book couldn't resonate more with the lessons those mentors have taught me. A lot of it is "common sense' and that's precisely the point. There are no shortcuts. For instance, I loved the point that if you want to negotiate well, you need to spend time preparing and doing your homework. Where you expecting a magic formula? There is none. Hard work, truly caring, ...more
He gives some life skills and wealthy nibbles to bite on and use for everyday situations. Negotiation is not debating or arguing, or even proving you're right. Listen. be Receptive. Otherwise, words will fall on deaf ears, or misconstrued. Ask questions, "Would you repeat that. What did you mean? Please rephrase it, so that it is clear to both of us." Do not feel stupid to ask them to explain. Emotions--pay attention.

I did like the Chinese proverb shared: "tell it, I may listen. Teach me, I may
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
The business self-help genre is heavy on aphorisms and quick chapters with bold titles and sub-titles. The saccharine recommendations and quick examples make for light reading though little of substance remains. Still, Ury makes good work of this limited real estate, providing some helpful ideas on how to mold tense negotiations and secure agreement. His optimistic tone and helpful contextualization make this a solid primer for thinking through difficult conversations and reaching a win-win solu ...more
Todd Cheng
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This book is insightful and helpful. My professor for conflict resolution and negotiation actually made it required reading. It paints a good mix between hopeful and realistic when it comes to difficult moments. The directions are succinct and even summarized at the end which is very helpful, after pouring over real life circumstances. I just wish now that there was a section for applying whats learned.
Michael Nazari
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
At first glance most people would think they wouldn't need to read this book, but it'll help anyone who deals with people (in other words, everyone). It's filled with examples of agreements between spouses, employees/bosses, police/criminals, and leaders of countries. Simply put, it'll change how you talk to others.

"Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret" - Ambrose Bierce

Nov 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book. Very well written; concise. It’s a fast read, and one that I will revisit many times. Real life, relatable examples help to clarify the concepts, and relevant quotes and anecdotes reinforce the main points. Each chapter includes a summary, and there is a book summary at the end as well. All in less than 200 pages. Bam!
Mary Ann
Jan 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Ury builds on previous works on this topic and does a good job in the first third of the book setting out the 'framework' for negotiating. The remainder of the book (like many business books), just continues to build on the original framework. Given the current political climate, I'd recommend this book to every member of Congress.
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice and practical

This book is well organized and easy to follow. It gives a lot of very practical and tangible advice, as well as a wide variety of examples. While I approached it as a “business book” it actually is applicable to many different relationships and situations in life.
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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 f ...more

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