The best books to become a wicked good negotiator

Joshua N. Weiss Author Of The Book of Real-World Negotiations: Successful Strategies from Business, Government, and Daily Life
By Joshua N. Weiss

Who am I?

I am a native Bostonian and I have been working in the field of negotiation for over 25 years. I have been very fortunate to have been a member of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School for all that time. As a result, I have had the privilege to work with some amazing colleagues and have been given the opportunity to engage in many fascinating negotiations in the international, governmental, corporate, and nonprofit worlds. I truly love the field because it has the potential to do so much good in the world and because it is exceedingly challenging. For me, the more I learn the more I want to know. That quest continues to this day…


I wrote...

The Book of Real-World Negotiations: Successful Strategies from Business, Government, and Daily Life

By Joshua N. Weiss,

Book cover of The Book of Real-World Negotiations: Successful Strategies from Business, Government, and Daily Life

What is my book about?

This unique book can help you change your approach to negotiation by learning key strategies and techniques from actual cases. The book shines a light on real- world negotiation examples and cases, rather than simply discussing frameworks and hypothetical scenarios. It reveals what is possible through preparation, persistence, creativity, and taking a strategic approach to your negotiations. Many of us enter negotiations with skepticism and without understanding how to truly negotiate well. Because we lack knowledge and confidence, we may abandon the negotiating process prematurely or agree to deals that leave value on the table.

Whether you're a student, instructor, or anyone who wants to negotiate successfully, you'll be able to carefully examine real-world negotiation situations that will show you how to achieve your objectives in the most challenging of circumstances.

The books I picked & why

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Getting to Yes with Yourself: And Other Worthy Opponents

By William Ury,

Book cover of Getting to Yes with Yourself: And Other Worthy Opponents

Why this book?

I am recommending this book because Ury turns the mirror on negotiators and gets them to look at themselves and why they do what they do at the negotiating table. This is critically important because I believe half our problems in negotiation are with the other party and the other half are within us. Ury gets people to really take this very seriously and to look in a place most ignore.


Negotiating the Impossible: How to Break Deadlocks and Resolve Ugly Conflicts (Without Money or Muscle)

By Deepak Malhotra,

Book cover of Negotiating the Impossible: How to Break Deadlocks and Resolve Ugly Conflicts (Without Money or Muscle)

Why this book?

I am recommending this book because Malhotra et al take on a series of very difficult negotiations that look like they are impossible to solve and they show you how it was done. The book is very practical and demonstrates to the reader that many negotiations can be solved with the right frame of mind, creativity, and persistence. 


Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving in

By Roger Fisher, William Ury, Bruce Patton

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

Why this book?

Getting To Yes is a seminal work in the field of negotiation and completely changed the landscape of negotiation forever. Prior to Getting To Yes, people felt very uncomfortable negotiating. As a result of the book, they now have an easy to use framework that allows them to be true to themselves and build better deals and relationships.


Beyond Reason: Using Emotions as You Negotiate

By Roger Fisher, Daniel Shapiro,

Book cover of Beyond Reason: Using Emotions as You Negotiate

Why this book?

Prior to Beyond Reason, the conventional wisdom was to keep emotions out of negotiation. That, as Fisher and Shapiro showed us, was not possible. They discuss five core emotions that play a central role in negotiation and must not be ignored to achieve success.

The Essential Mary Parker Follett: Ideas We Need Today

By François Héon, Albie Davis, Jennifer Jones-Patulli, Sébastien Damart

Book cover of The Essential Mary Parker Follett: Ideas We Need Today

Why this book?

Mary Parker Follett was an intellectual pioneer in the early 20th Century. Her works informed many of today’s modern-day negotiation concepts. She did this in a world that was hardly welcoming to women. Her ground-breaking ideas focused on leadership, diversity, mediation, and negotiation.

5 book lists we think you will like!

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And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Creative Conflict: A Practical Guide for Business Negotiators, Negotiation Essentials for Lawyers, and Beyond Winning: Negotiating to Create Value in Deals and Disputes if you like this list.