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Negotiation is part of every human encounter, and most of us do it badly. In this revolutionary book, leading negotiation practitioner and Professor Stuart Diamond argues that the key to "getting more" is finding the right tools for each situation, being more flexible, and better understanding the other party. These strategies are invisible, until you learn them. Once you see them, they will always be there to help you get more.
This book is based on the fundamental premise that "negotiation is at the heart of human interaction… You can't get away from it. You can only do it well or badly.”
If the opening premise is accepted as true, the reader is forced to recognise that they must learn how to negotiate or pay severe consequences for their ignorance throughout their life course. The reader's choice is clear. The knowledge required for negotiating success is before them. Accepting this key proposition, the reader is alerted by the author that the work they are about to encounter presents a "different way of thinking about negotiation". In fact, the author explains, this view of negotiation holds that there is no difference between negotiation and three usually separated endeavours: persuasion, communication, and selling. All four fields are based on achieving goals, focus on people, and can be situational. All four enterprises share the fundamental aim of negotiation, simply as, the author states, "you negotiate to meet your goals".
In ‘Getting More’ Stuart shares the exact framework needed before going into any negotiation and the actions you must execute in order to achieve your desired results. People who are experts or new to negotiations all together will be able to use this book to help them become effective in having conversations with others regardless of their profession. Very early in the book Diamond outlines 12 principles that make his approach to negotiation more effective in the real world (and this is a man who persuaded 3,000 people in the jungles of Bolivia to stop growing illicit coca and to start growing bananas exported to Argentina).
Each of these points has a full paragraph explaining the points:
1. Goals Are Paramount. In a negotiation, you should not pursue relationships, interests, win-win, or anything else just because you think it’s an effective tool. Anything you do in a negotiation should explicitly bring you closer to your goals for that particular negotiation.
2. It’s About Them. You can’t persuade people of anything unless you know the pictures in their heads: their perceptions, sensibilities, needs, how they make commitments, whether they are trustworthy.
3. Make Emotional Payments. You need to tap into the other person’s emotional psyche with empathy, apologies if necessary, by valuing them or offering them other things that get them to think more clearly.
4. Every Situation Is Different. Blanket rules on how to negotiate with the Japanese or Muslims, or that state you should never make the first offer, are simply wrong.
5. Incremental Is Best. Take small steps, whether you are trying for raises or treaties. Lead people from the pictures in their heads to your goals, from the familiar to the unfamiliar, a step at a time.
6. Trade Things You Value Unequally. Then trade off items that one party values but the other party doesn’t.
7. Find Their Standards. Name their bad behaviour when they are not consistent with their policies.
8. Be Transparent and Constructive, Not Manipulative.
9. Always Communicate, State the Obvious, Frame the Vision. Most failed negotiations are caused by bad communication, or none at all. Don’t walk away from a negotiation unless all parties agree to take a break—or unless you want to end the negotiation.
10. Find the Real Problem and Make It an Opportunity. Few people find or fix the real, underlying problem in negotiations. Ask, “What is really preventing me from meeting my goals?”
11. Embrace Differences. Great negotiators love differences.
12. Prepare—Make a List and Practice with It. If you don’t have a list, you aren’t prepared. If you aren’t prepared, you won’t do as well.
Diamond points out that this book is about getting more, not getting everything. It’s about improving your life, not making it perfect. But the improvements can be large, and that’s plenty enough for me.