Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreements without Giving In (Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #21)

Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving in Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes Kingston S. Lim  Roger Fisher William Ury

Below are my personal notes of As A Man Thinketh. These highlights were what I used to write my personal development book, Wiser Next Week, a condensation of many different self improvement books

Don’t Bargain Over Positions

Any method of negotiation may be fairly judged by 3 criteria:

  1. It should produced a wise agreement if agreement is possible
  2. It should be efficient
  3. It should improve or at least not damage the relationship between the parties
  • The more attention that is paid to positions, the less attention is devoted to meeting the underlying concerns of the parties
  • Positional bargaining thus strains and sometimes shatters the relationship
    • People’s egos become identified with their positions
    • Positional bargaining pits interests against relationships


  • Separate the People from the problem
    • Even if blaming is justified, its usually counter productive. Under attack, the other side will become defensive and will resist what you have to say. They’ll cease to listen and may retaliate 
    • Blame entangles people with the problem
    • Distinguish the symptoms from the person whom you’re talking to
    • If you want the other side to accept a disagreeable conclusion, its crucial at you involve them in the process of reaching that conclusion. 
    • Agreement becomes much easier if both parties feel ownership of the ideas
    • The feeling of participation in the process is perhaps the single most important factor in determining whether a negotiator accepts a proposal. The process is the product
    • Determine their values, and make your proposal consistent with their values
    • People need to reconcile their stand in a negotiation with their principles, past words and deeds
    • Emotions:
      • Make emotions explicit, acknowledge them as legitimate
      • Allow the other side to let off steam, don’t react to emotional outbursts
      • Improve relations with a symbolic gesture (handshake, personal consideration)
    • Communication:
      • Acknowledge what they say, let them know that they’ve been understood
      • Speak about how you feel, don’t accuse them of anything
  • Focus on Interests, Not Positions
    • The basic problem in a negotiation lies not in conflicting positions, but in the conflict between each sides needs, desires, concerns and fears
    • Focus on the why of the position to understand the interest
      • Understand that every interest has several possible solutions
    • Behind opposed positions lie shared and compatible interests, as well as conflicting ones
    • It’ll be difficult to influence anyone to agree on anything if you fail to appreciate the differing interests of the various people involved
    • The most powerful interests are basic human needs such as: security, economic wellness, sense of belonging, recognition and control over one’s life
    • It is your job to have the other side understand how important/legitimate your interests are
      • Recognize the importance of their side allows you to take a strong stance
      • People tend to think that those who understand them are intelligent, sympathetic people whose own opinions may be worth listening to
      • Think interests, not positions
  • Invent Options for Mutual Gain
    • Expand the pie
    • Inventing Creative Options:
  1. Seperate the act of inventing options from judging them
  2. Broaden the options on the table rather than seeking a single option
  3. Search for mutual gains
  4. Invent ways of making their decisions easy
  • Invent several options acceptable to you, and ask for their preference
  • Insist on Using Objective Criteria
  • Increasing Negotiating Power
    • Develop a good alternative if negotiating fails:
  1. Create a list of actions if no agreement is reached
  2. Convert promising ideas into practical alternatives
  3. Select, tentatively, one alternative that seems best
  • Strengthen your hand by informing the other party of your alternative if its very attractive. If not, keep your alternative to yourself
  • The more easily and happily you can walk away from a negotiation, the greater your ability to affect its outcome

Repelling Dirty Tricks:

  • Bullying for a concession:
    • Tactic: Refuse to negotiate, “I’ll see you in court”
  • Extreme Demands
    • Tactic: Ask for objective justification based on facts until it looks ridiculous even to them
  • Lock in Tactics (forced “do or die” situations)
    • Tactic: Deemphasize the issue, make it look like no big deal. Therefore the other side can more gracefully back down
  • Calculated Delay (the other side postones decision until its favorable to them)
    • Tactic: Visibly move towards a perceived better alternative, now they have something to lose
People listen better if they feel that you have understood them. Roger Fisher, design by Kingston S. Lim

If these brief notes, peaked your interest in Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreements without Giving In , you can check it out on Amazon here.

And be sure to check out my book, Wiser Next Week.

All Previous Entries:

The Magic of Thinking Big: Ultra Condensed Cliff Notes #1

Millionaire Fastlane: Ultra Condensed Cliff Notes #2

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #3

30 Lessons for Living: Tried & True Advice from the Wisest Americans: Ultra Condensed Cliff Notes #4

Awaken the Giant Within: Ultra Condensed Cliff Notes #5

The End of Jobs: Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #6

Slipstream Time Hacking: Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #7

Think and Grow Rich: Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #8

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion: Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #9

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success: Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #10

The Obstacle is the Way: Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #11

Meditations: Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #12

Why Loyalty Matters: Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #13

Walden: Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #14

Self Reliance and Other Essays: Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #15

Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable: Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #16

Letters From A Stoic: Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #17

On the Shortness of Life: Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #18

Principles Life & Work: Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #19

As A Man Thinketh: Ultra Condensed Cliffnotes #20

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