Summary of Breakthrough Business Negotiation

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Breakthrough Business Negotiation book summary


9 Overall

10 Applicability

7 Innovation

9 Style


If you say po-tay-toe, and they say po-tah-toe, you say to-may-toe and they say to-mah-toe, you can work the whole thing out. Just ask Michael Watkins, Harvard associate professor and author of this solid primer on how to conduct effective negotiations. While "breakthrough" may seem like a title marketing pitch, since many of these techniques have been covered in other books, he organizes the material thoughtfully. Watkins emphasizes multi-party negotiating, examining the power of coalitions. He diagnoses the external and situational factors that shape even two-party negotiations and provides helpful examples, diagrams and lists. His clear interesting style is a big improvement over most ponderous academic tomes on negotiations. To get the most out of this volume, really read it, and then practice the techniques.’s position is clear: business managers, dispute resolution professionals and anyone facing multi-party negotiations should bring this to the table.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How to analyze and conduct a negotiation more effectively;
  • How to adapt your strategies when there are multiple parties and issues; and
  • How to create coalitions and strategic alliances to improve your negotiating position.

About the Author

Michael Watkins is an associate professor of business administration at Harvard Business School, where he teaches negotiation and corporate diplomacy. He is also an associate and frequent participant in the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. He is the co-author of Breakthrough International Negotiation, Winning the Influence Game and Right from the Start.



Basic Principles of Breakthrough Negotiations
Seven basic concepts apply in all negotiations. Adapt them to fit your needs: Every negotiation has a structure - Even complex negotiations can be broken down into major elements and interaction patterns. Analyze more ...

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