Chicago Confidential: Business books I’ve liked recently
“Getting Past No: Negotiating in Difficult Situations” by William Ury, 2007
A sequel to the bible of negotiations, “Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In” by Ury and Roger Fisher, this book must be read over and over again — as the prescriptions contained in it are easier said than done.
“When you find yourself facing a difficult negotiation, you need to step back, collect your wits, and see the situation objectively,” Ury writes. “Imagine you are negotiating on a stage and then imagine yourself climbing onto a balcony overlooking the stage. The ‘balcony’ is a metaphor for a mental attitude of detachment.”
One way to do this is to slow down conversations by saying, “Let me just make sure I understand what you’re saying.”
Or take notes and ask your counterparts to repeat what they said. Asking for clarification gives people time to think. Reacting, Ury writes, is “the biggest mistake you can make.”
Perfect for … Anyone going through a divorce, anyone in the middle of a salary or other career-related negotiation.
Not so much … None. Good for everyone.