Getting to Yes Book Summary

Negotiating Agreement Without Giving in

by Roger Fisher, William Ury, Bruce Patton24


'Getting to Yes' offers a principled negotiation method designed to create win-win agreements by isolating problems, focusing on interests, generating options, and using objective criteria.

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What is Getting to Yes about

'Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In' by Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton is a seminal guide on effective negotiation techniques. The book introduces a method that moves away from traditional adversarial bargaining towards a more collaborative and constructive approach. The authors emphasize the importance of separating people from the problem, focusing on interests rather than positions, generating creative options, and basing the agreement on objective criteria. This method aims to help parties reach mutually beneficial agreements while maintaining positive relationships.

Getting to Yes 6 Key Takeaways

Separate the people from the problem

Negotiators should address issues without personalizing the conflict, ensuring that personal relationships remain intact and parties can focus on the substantive issues at hand.

Focus on interests, not positions

By understanding the underlying interests of each party rather than their stated positions, negotiators can find common ground and create solutions that satisfy all parties' fundamental needs.

Invent options for mutual gain

Generating a variety of possibilities before deciding on an agreement allows negotiators to explore creative solutions that benefit both sides, rather than settling for a limited set of options.

Insist on using objective criteria

Basing agreements on unbiased, external standards helps ensure fairness and prevent undue influence from the relative power or persuasion skills of the parties involved.

Win-win negotiation

The authors argue that negotiations should not be seen as a zero-sum game where one side’s gain is the other’s loss but rather as an opportunity for both sides to get what they want.

BATNA (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement)

Understanding your best alternative if negotiations fail provides leverage and clarity, helping negotiators make informed decisions and avoid unfavorable agreements.

Getting to Yes Best Reviews

  • 'Getting to Yes' is a classic in negotiation literature. Its principles are timeless and applicable across various domains, from business to personal disputes. The method encourages cooperation over confrontation, making it essential reading for anyone involved in negotiation. - Harvard Business Review

Top Getting to Yes Quotes

  • 'Negotiation is not a game where the winner takes all; it is a process of reaching a mutually beneficial agreement.'
  • 'The ability to see the situation as the other side sees it, as difficult as it may be, is one of the most important skills a negotiator can possess.'

Who should read Getting to Yes?

'Getting to Yes' is ideal for business professionals, legal practitioners, diplomats, and anyone involved in negotiations or conflict resolution. The book provides practical, easy-to-implement strategies that can lead to more effective and amicable agreements.

About the Author

Roger Fisher was a professor at Harvard Law School and a negotiation expert, William Ury is a co-founder of Harvard’s Program on Negotiation and a seasoned mediator, and Bruce Patton is also a co-founder of the Harvard Negotiation Project. Their combined expertise brings a wealth of practical and theoretical knowledge to the table, making 'Getting to Yes' a trusted resource in the field of negotiation.

Getting to Yes FAQs

What are the 4 principles of Getting to Yes?

The four principles are: separating people from the problem, focusing on interests rather than positions, generating a variety of options before settling on an agreement, and insisting that the agreement be based on objective criteria.

What is the premise of Getting to Yes?

The premise is that negotiators don't have to choose between a win-lose competition or caving in to avoid conflict. Instead, they can use strategies to help both sides achieve more of what they want.

How long does it take to read Getting to Yes?

The average reader can finish the book in approximately 4 hours, reading at 250 words per minute.