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Negotiation Genius

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Negotiation Genius

How to Overcome Obstacles and Achieve Brilliant Results at the Bargaining Table and Beyond


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Sure, you know how to negotiate – but are you a negotiation genius?

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Applicable


This strong book on negotiation offers a lot that is new and valuable. Authors Deepak Malhotra and Max Bazerman are realistic. They know how often people run on automatic pilot when negotiating, how they can miss opportunities due to bias and narrow vision, and how many common beliefs about negotiation are wrong. They provide tools and strategies that let readers address these failings. They illustrate their insights and advice with many real world examples, large and small. Many of their suggestions are not easy to follow. It takes humility and rigorous honesty to admit your biases, and lots of effort to correct them. But if you’re willing to do that kind of work this book will fundamentally improve how well you negotiate. getAbstract recommends it to anyone who is serious about negotiation.


What Is “Negotiation Genius”?

Negotiation geniuses are able to overcome marked obstacles and achieve striking success. You might be tempted to think that they are really talented at negotiation – and that it is a talent someone either has or doesn’t have. The reality is that negotiation genius is a set of skills you can and should learn. Rather than working on intuition and instinct, develop a conceptual framework that lets you understand the negotiation process, establish specific goals for each negotiation and prepare methodically. Forget some common misconceptions about negotiation, like the idea that your goal is always to create win-win agreements. Learn to take the psychology of negotiation into account and adjust for the biases that all humans have. Develop a mindful approach so you learn from each negotiation.

Your Tools for Negotiation

Negotiation begins long before you sit down. Systematically plan how to claim value in the negotiation, value being anything “useful or desirable.” Identify your goals. Then identify your options so you know your “best alternative to a negotiated agreement” (BATNA). Figure out how much value each option has. Next, determine...

About the Authors

Deepak Malhotra teaches negotiation at the Harvard Business School. Max Bazerman, who also teaches there, has written more than 100 articles, and written or co-written more than a dozen books, including Judgment in Managerial Decision Making.

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