GETTING PAST NO by William L. Ury


Negotiating with Difficult People
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 Ury (Beyond the Hotline, 1985, and coauthor, with Roger Fisher, of the hugely best-selling Getting to Yes, 1981) has returned to the subject he knows best--this time focusing on the most difficult negotiating opponents, whose resistance may take the form of stonewalling, threats, and assorted dirty tricks. Where Getting to Yes used the catch phrase ``principled negotiation'' to describe its method, ``breakthrough negotiation'' is Ury's umbrella term here. He sees five potential barriers to success: the opponent's negative emotions, negotiating habits, skepticism about the benefits of agreement, perceived power, and, finally, one's own reaction to all of the four. ``Breakthrough negotiation'' offers a five-step response to the barriers: don't react, disarm your opponent, change the game, make it easy to say yes, and make it hard to say no. Readers familiar with Getting to Yes may experience dÇjÖ vu as Ury discusses developing one's BATNA (Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement) or counsels on the importance of knowing when to remain silent (his ``Some of the most effective negotiating you will ever do is when you are not talking'' in Getting to Yes becomes, here, ``Some of the most effective negotiation is accomplished by saying nothing''). But No is not simply a rehash of the greatly successful Yes; new ground is covered, the organization is clear, the writing is crisp, and the examples are timely, engaging, and appropriate (although not always new--e.g., a divorce settlement in which equity in a husband's house is substituted for child-support payments was also cited in the earlier text). Expert advice, even though not entirely on new ground.

Pub Date: Aug. 15th, 1991
ISBN: 0-553-07274-9
Page count: 176pp
Publisher: Bantam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 1991


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