The best books for negotiations that really matter

Why am I passionate about this?

I did all the right things to become a corporate lawyer or an academic, but learned those were not for me.  What I love is solving problems, with other people. And that is what negotiation is all about. Whether it’s work on a big transaction or trying to stop a civil war, putting a deal together up front, or trying much later to pick up the pieces of a relationship gone wrong, what I most enjoy doing is figuring out what we need to solve for, who has to be involved, and how we are going to get there. These books have helped me get better at doing that.


I wrote...

The Point of the Deal: How to Negotiate When 'Yes' Is Not Enough

By Danny Ertel, Mark Gordon,

Book cover of The Point of the Deal: How to Negotiate When 'Yes' Is Not Enough

What is my book about?

Everyone negotiates and does deals of one sort or another, with colleagues, business partners, or family.  But when you think the point of negotiating is only to get to yes, you can end up with deals literally not worth the paper they are written on. There are some negotiation techniques that can help you close deals. But if you need to work with someone after the handshake, rely on their expertise or good will to create value, or if it’s possible the balance of power may shift after you sign, then you have to do things differently during the negotiation. 

This book is about how you negotiate when implementation matters.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving in

Danny Ertel Why did I love this book?

It’s not either/or: You can get a good deal and improve your relationship with the other side, at the same time. I loved Getting to Yes when I first read it in Roger Fisher’s law school class, and I still love it today, because it taught me I could solve difficult problems or deal with difficult people, and do it in a principled way. Whether it is a transaction for a Fortune 500 company, negotiating for a raise, or working on an international boundary dispute, the concepts and tools are the same, and they don’t start by requiring the other side to lose. Whether you are a negotiation expert, or just starting out, start here.

By Roger Fisher, William Ury, Bruce Patton

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Getting to Yes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

__________________________
THE WORLD'S BESTSELLING GUIDE TO NEGOTIATION

Getting to Yes has been in print for over thirty years. This timeless classic has helped millions of people secure win-win agreements both at work and in their private lives. Founded on principles like:

* Don't bargain over positions

* Separate the people from the problem and

* Insist on objective criteria

Getting to Yes simplifies the whole negotiation process, offering a highly effective framework that will ensure success.


Book cover of Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most

Danny Ertel Why did I love this book?

We all have difficult conversations, both at home and in the workplace. You can try to defer them, you can’t entirely avoid them, but you can definitely do better at them, and this book shows you how. Difficult Conversations cuts to the heart of many conflicts by forcing us to recognize how we add fuel to the fire, even if we didn’t start it. But it doesn’t just lay the problem at your feet and leave you feeling guilty and unsatisfied, it gives you a roadmap to having more productive conversations about hard stuff.

By Bruce Patton, Douglas Stone, Sheila Heen

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Difficult Conversations as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The 10th-anniversary edition of the New York Times business bestseller-now updated with "Answers to Ten Questions People Ask"

We attempt or avoid difficult conversations every day-whether dealing with an underperforming employee, disagreeing with a spouse, or negotiating with a client. From the Harvard Negotiation Project, the organization that brought you Getting to Yes, Difficult Conversations provides a step-by-step approach to having those tough conversations with less stress and more success. you'll learn how to:

· Decipher the underlying structure of every difficult conversation 
· Start a conversation without defensiveness 
· Listen for the meaning of what is not said 
·…


Book cover of Dealmaking: The New Strategy of Negotiauctions

Danny Ertel Why did I love this book?

Guhan Subramanian, the author of this book is a triple threat: he’s superbly trained as a lawyer and an economist, he’s an experienced dealmaker, and he’s a gifted teacher. This book is the payoff of all three: in it he brings together his extensive experience to help us understand how many complex business deals combine elements of an auction with those of a one-on-one negotiation. Through many examples, he illustrates ways to play the game or change the game, depending on how the rules do or do not help us.  As much of a negotiation process-nerd as I fancy myself to be, I learned a lot from reading Negotiauctions.  

By Guhan Subramanian,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Dealmaking as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Updated and enhanced in this new second edition, Dealmaking brings together negotiation and auction strategies to provide the jargon-free, empirically sound advice professionals need to close the deal. Harvard Program on Negotiation chair Guhan Subramanian provides a lively tour of both negotiation and auction theory, then takes an in-depth look at a hybrid theory, outlining three specific strategies readers can use in complex dealmaking situations. Along the way, he examines case studies as diverse as buying a house, haggling over the rights to a TV programme and participating in the auction of a multimillion-dollar company. Informed by meticulous research, field…


Book cover of The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything

Danny Ertel Why did I love this book?

I love this book because I am sucker for structure. When I hear that some critical skill is a “function of judgment, timing, and experience,” or that you have “put in the 10,000 hours” to master it, I rebel. Maybe I’m too impatient, but I immediately want to figure out what good looks like, so I can at least start heading in the right direction. So when Covey brought that kind of thinking to the topic of trust, I was intrigued; and he did not disappoint. Speed of Trust not only makes the case for building trust (which we all need much more of in the world today), but also gives us a set of categories and a framework within which to understand how to build it. 

By Stephen M. R. Covey, Rebecca R. Merrill,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Speed of Trust as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From Stephen R. Covey's eldest son come a revolutionary book, now in handy B-format, that will guide business leaders, public figures and their organizations towards unprecedented productivity and satisfaction. Trust, says Stephen M. R. Covey, is the very basis of the 21st century's global economy, but its power is generally overlooked and misunderstood. Covey shows you how to inspire immediate trust in everyone you encounter - colleagues, constituents, the marketplace - allowing you to forego the time-killing and energy-draining check and balance bureaucracies that are so often relied upon in lieu of actual trust.


Book cover of Beyond Reason: Using Emotions as You Negotiate

Danny Ertel Why did I love this book?

I am an emotional person – and a professional negotiator and advisor. What I love about this book is that the authors helped me see how one doesn’t have to detract from the other. All of us make decisions based in part on our emotions; we can’t just banish them from negotiations (or other difficult choices we make). Just like we can negotiate more effectively when we understand the interests underlying someone’s bargaining position, we can deal with emotions more effectively when we understand the core concerns that drive them. Beyond Reason helped me do that, and integrate an appreciation of those concerns into my work. 

By Roger Fisher, Daniel Shapiro,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Beyond Reason as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Whether you are negotiating a business contract or curfew with your teenager, emotions can get you in trouble. They also can help you get what you want. This book shows you how. Telling a negotiator 'Don't get emotional' is nonsense. We all have emotions of some kind - all the time - and these emotions deeply inform both what we want and how we go about getting it. In "Getting to Yes", master negotiator Roger Fisher helped readers understand the mechanics of everyday agreements and how to reach them while preserving respect and self-worth. Now, in "Beyond Reason", he and…


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Book cover of Act Like an Author, Think Like a Business: Ways to Achieve Financial Literary Success

Joylynn M Ross

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What is my book about?

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