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Getting to Yes

‘Getting to Yes,’ is a book co-written by Roger Fisher and William Ury. They’ve been working as a team since 1977. This book is purely based on the art of negotiation and how to develop this talent over a period of time and use it as an effective tool to be successful in any given setting or situation of life. Roger Fisher wrote the book and released it under the genre of non-fiction in the year 1981. After a decade, the book was released with an additional authorship awarded to Bruce Paton too.

The book ‘Getting to Yes’ stayed for many years on the coveted list of ‘Best Seller’ looks published in Business Week. Roger Fisher is the director of the Harvard Negotiation Project and specializes in conflict and negotiation management. Roger Fisher and William Ury use very simple and clear diction to enable readers at any level to understand the vital points they are trying to put across in their book. According to Fisher and Ury (1991),” Whether a negotiation concerns a contract, a family quarrel, or a peace settlement among nations, people routinely engage in positional bargaining.

” (p. 7). They say that the three main elements of any bargain are its efficiency, the attribute of it being wise and not damaging any party involved in any part of the agreement. Position allocation is suitable in negotiations in situations that demand bargaining and dealing where both the parties need be to be aware of their respective stance and clearly understand what is at stake. The most important aspect of the book is the manner in which the ego of the negotiators and the negotiating party is brought into effect.

They talk about understanding the situation from another person’s point of view too. The single lines in the first part of the book are extremely easy to read, but the gravity and the intensity of the thought that has gone into them is clearly visible. The authors ask the readers to separate the people from the problem. Focus on the interests and not on positions; consider the various possibilities before rushing into the process of making a hasty and improper decision and ensuring that the end result is based on some well-defined criteria that obeys a well-defined and objective standard.

According to Fisher and Ury (1991),”Before trying to reach agreement, invent options for mutual gain. ” (p. 11). It is important to brainstorm and generate sufficient and useful ideas to assess a situation from all possible angles. The book has many real-life scenarios and examples to guide the reader through the process and give them a very holistic view of what the authors are trying to convey to the readers. There are examples where proposals are drawn or where bids are made and meetings are held to create a blueprint for a business in question.

The proposals drawn must be consistent with the values. One of the most intelligent points made by the authors of the book includes involving the chosen person in the process is to see to it that they actively participate in all the relevant discussions, so they feel that they have a stake in the outcome of the final decision. The psychological aspect of human feelings has been dealt with in a very lucid manner. The book tells us to ignore emotional outburst and understand the problem at great length.

“Negotiation is a process of communicating back and forth for the purpose of reaching a joint decision. ” (Covey & Ury, 1991, p. 20). Shared, compatible and conflicting interests must be well understood and clearly differentiated for a negotiation to be effective. The questionnaire at the end of the book is one of the most interesting parts of the book that I will remember the most. It includes sub sections that address and answers practical questions and concerns.

The most important take away from the book that helped me in my life is to trust and understand the latent potential that most of us are born with. The process of negotiation is a permanent fixture of life. It is a never ending process and everyone can do with a little advice regarding the best way of practicing it. According to Fisher and Ury (1991),”You will also be more effective as a negotiator if you believe in what you are saying and doing.

Whatever use you are able to make of the ideas in this book, don’t wear them as though you were wearing someone else’s clothes. ” (p. 90). This is the truth and the essence that we need to keep in mind in order to gradually extend its practice at home and at our workplace to be effective human beings and successful with our ventures. References Fisher, Ury, Patton (1991). Getting to yes: negotiating agreement without giving in. USA: Penguin Group. References Covey, R. (1989). The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster

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