Getting To Yes
by Roger Fisher, William Ury, & Bruce Patton
Central Theme: "principled negotations", finding acceptable compromise by determining which needs are fixed and which flexible for negotiators.
Show examples of 7 of these concepts used in business.
Step One: "Separate the people from the problem"
Step Two: "Focus on interests, not positions"
- Raise the issue with [the other side] explicitly…'Let's look together at the problem of how to satisfy our collective interests'.
- Sit on the same side of the table….Try to structure the negotiation as a side-by-side activity in which the two of you – with your different interests and perceptions, and your emotional involvement – jointly face a common task.
Step Three: "Invent options for mutual gain"
Step Four: "Insist on using objective criteria"
- Separate inventing from deciding. Like in any brainstorming session, don't judge the ideas people bring forward, just get them on the board.
- Broaden the options on the table rather than look for a single answer. Remember the men at the library? The only option they saw was opening or closing the window in the room they were both sitting in. In fact, there are many options: borrow a sweater, open a window in another room, move to a different spot, etc.
- Search for mutual gain. In a negotiation, both sides can be worse off and both sides can gain. Principled negotiations are not about "I win" and "you lose".
- Invent ways of making the other party's decisions easy. Since a successful negotiation requires both parties to agree, make it easy for the other side to choose. This is where putting yourself in the other person's shoes can be very valuable. What might prevent "Bob" from agreeing? Can you do anything to change those things?
Sometimes the other party is more powerful than you:
- Frame each issue as a joint search for objective criteria.
- [Use] reason and be open to reason" as to which standards are most appropriate and how they should be applied.
- Never yield to pressure", only to principle.
Sometimes the other party just won't play:
- Invent a list of actions you might take if no agreement is reached
- Improve some of the more promising ideas and convert them into practical alternatives
- Select, tentatively, the one alternative that seems best
Sometimes the other party uses dirty tricks:
- Concentrate on the merits: talk about interests, options and criteria
- Focus on what the other party may do: try and identify the other party's interests and the principles underlying their position
- Focus on what a third party can do: bring in a third party to assist if steps 1 and 2 aren't successful
The authors close with three points:
- Separate the people from the problem
- Focus on interests not positions
- Invent options for mutual gain
- Insist on using objective criteria
- If all else fails, "turn to your Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement and walk out
- You knew it all the time." Much of what goes into a principled negotiation is common sense. The authors have developed an understandable framework to share the approach with others.
- Learn from doing." You won't become a better negotiator unless you get out there and practise.
- Winning: "The first thing you are trying to win is a better way to negotiate – a way that avoids your having to choose between the satisfactions of getting what you deserve and of being decent. You can have both.