I recently read Secrets of Power Negotiating and felt it was worth passing along.
The book is divided into seven sections:
- Playing the power negotiating game. Learning how to use different techniques to move the other side towards your maximum plausible position.
- Resolving tough negotiation problems through mediation, arbitration, and conflict resolution.
- Negotiation pressure points. Al Capone once said, “You can get much further with a kind word and a gun, than you can with a kind word alone.”
- Negotiating with non-Americans. This section relied heavily on stereotypes and I didn’t feel it contributed to the book.
- Understanding the players. Remember that you’re dealing with individuals who are probably advancing their own agendas.
- Developing power over the other side or the ability to influence other people.
- Negotiation drives. Power negotiators understand that the other side may have a different agenda and different drives than they have and use this to their advantage.
This book starts out advocating a win-win approach to negotiations and uses the example of two sides negotiating for the use of an orange. Unknown to them, both sides have different uses in mind. One wants the juice, the other wants the peel. The author implies that if both sides talk about it, the will discover that they can both be made happy. This is a clever example but I don’t believe it has any realism. I would expect that most people involved in any type of negotiation would know what uses the other side had for the orange and would be attempting to get all of it. With my 28 years of experience in the business world, I have found this to be the case.
However, this was a worthwhile read and it opened my eyes to some aspects of negotiating I have never experienced or even considered. In many cases I was reminded of how I had been manipulated in negotiations and how I had been manipulative in others. For example, I have unknowingly used the Reluctant Seller when selling a home, telling my real estate agent that I wasn’t sure I wanted to sell it after receiving a low offer. In actuality, I wasn’t sure I wanted to sell it for that price. The buyers immediately increased their offer and then I negotiated an even higher price after that.