Friday, November 12, 2010

Getting Past No: Negotiating In Difficult Situation (1/6)

Negotiation is an essential and  important activity in our daily lives. We unknowingly picked up  negotiation skills during our childhood.  When we wanted new toys for our birthdays, we used many different methods to negotiate with our parents. Then, we adjusted our methods according to the outcome of the negotiations. As we grewolder, we started to learn to negotiate with people other than our families. We soon started to recognize that we have to negotiate with people, who have different personalities and interests.  Usually , we are well capable to negotiate with nice and honest people, because our families have provided day to day training for us since young.  However, when we are faced with  difficult or “unreasonable” people, we often lose theability  to get what we want.  And of course, I am no different.

I realized this shortcoming when I studied a negotiation subject from my Masters of Entrepreneurship. I realized that I performed very well, when the opponent was cooperative. However, once the opponent played hard ball on me, I was unable to  get through them at all. My natural impulse would be to give up and leave the situation as soon as possible. Therefore, nine out ten times the opponent would rob me empty.   

A little book called Getting Past No: Negotiating In Difficult Situation offers a systematic way to handle difficult situations in negotiation. This book is written by William Ury, a well known negotiation specialist and an associate director of the Negotiation Programme  at the Harvard Law School.  He uses simple English and  lots of practical case studies to demonstrate the art of negotiation. These case studies range from handling “unreasonable” teenagers to defusing international crises; from maintaining healthy relationship with love ones to pushing your proposals to your difficult bosses. Therefore, readers can relate to their daily situations very easily.
Personally, I have learned a lot of negotiation skills from this book. This allows me to read and analyze difficult situations and gives me confidence to handle difficult people. I highly recommend this book to people who want to improve their negotiation skills in general. I will talk about the concepts and methods in the following entries later on. I hope that readers can pick up some useful skills from it as well.

*I will be providing chapter summaries in the form of mind maps after every post on this book. Note that they are only meant to compliment, not replace the book.


  1. You are more than welcome to borrow the book :)

  2. Nice intro:) Hope 6 posts are enough, lol...