Getting Past No – From Adversaries to Partners

Excerpt from Getting Past No: Negotiating in Difficult Situations by William Ury 

It takes two to tangle, but it takes only one to begin to untangle a knotty situation. It is within your power to transform even your most difficult relationships. Your greatest power is the power to change the game—from face-to-face confrontation to side-by-side joint problem-solving. Obstructing the path are formidable barriers: your natural reactions, their hostile emotions, their positional behavior, their strong dissatisfaction, and their perceived power. You can overcome these barriers by applying the strategy of breakthrough negotiation. You don’t have to take no for an answer.

During the American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln made a speech in which he referred sympathetically to the Southern rebels. An elderly lady, a staunch Unionist, upbraided him for speaking kindly of his enemies when he ought to be thinking of destroying them. His reply was classic: “Why, madam,” Lincoln answered, “do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?”

The breakthrough strategy is designed to do precisely that—to destroy your adversaries by turning them into your negotiating partners.

Read about the 5 Steps of Breakthrough Negotiation here >>

Ury, William (2007-04-17). Getting Past No: Negotiating in Difficult Situations

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