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Getting Past No

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Getting Past No

Negotiating in Difficult Situations


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Negotiate for what you want by treating your opponents with respect, reframing their demands and building a bridge.

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Best-selling author William Ury has the topic of negotiation down cold. Reading this classic book (originally released in 1991) is a pleasure and the reasons it became a bestseller are obvious: It is clear, concise and eminently readable. This book has such wide appeal that getAbstract recommends it to all businesspeople and to anyone who ever needs to negotiate about anything – from cops bargaining with hostage takers to consumers pushing for the best car prices. Read this book and become a better negotiator.


The Negotiation Revolution

In today’s interconnected, contentious world, conflict is a way of life. But so is negotiation, which is any interactive communication process undertaken to reach an agreement with other parties. Negotiations do not have to be formal. They can take place in stores, with children or at work. A negotiation happens whenever you want something from another person.

To avoid the stress of negotiating, convert a process that is usually based on confrontation into a process grounded in joint problem solving. Using this approach, both parties pay attention to the problem at hand without involving their egos.

In mutual problem solving, the participants focus on five touchstones necessary for a solution that benefits everyone: “interests, options for satisfying those interests, standards for resolving differences fairly, alternatives to negotiation and proposals for agreement.” Each party’s interests include their fears, needs, concerns and desires. Once people identify their needs, begin seeking ways to fulfill them.

Alas, in the real world, obstacles arise to prevent this from working smoothly. The first obstacle is your reaction ...

About the Author

William Ury, Ph.D., is a negotiator, public speaker and author. He is co-founder and senior fellow of the Harvard Negotiation Project. He is the co-author of Getting to Yes and Getting Disputes Resolved, and the author of The Third Side, Getting to Peace and The Power of a Positive No, among other books.

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