Must-Read Negotiation Books for 2019

Looking to get better negotiation results in the new year? Check out our list of must-read negotiation books, and prepare to absorb new strategies from top negotiation experts.

By — on / Negotiation Training


The year 2018 offered plenty of negotiation hits and misses in the realms of government, business, and beyond. To avoid failed negotiations in 2019, politicians, business leaders, and the rest of us would be wise to consult the advice in the following negotiation books by our experts at the Program on Negotiation:

  • Real Leaders Negotiate! Gaining, Using, and Keeping the Power to Lead Through Negotiations, by Jeswald W. Salacuse. We tend to think of leaders as top-down decision-makers who don’t need to negotiate regularly—but nothing could be farther from the truth, writes Tufts University professor Salacuse in his 2017 book. Real Leaders Negotiate! is a comprehensive guide for those looking to enhance their managerial decision making as well as to acquire and maintain power to lead at every stage in their career.
Negotiation Skills

Claim your FREE copy: Negotiation Skills

Build powerful negotiation skills and become a better dealmaker and leader. Download our FREE special report, Negotiation Skills: Negotiation Strategies and Negotiation Techniques to Help You Become a Better Negotiator, from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.

  • Negotiating at Work: Turn Small Wins into Big Gains, by Deborah M. Kolb and Jessica L. Porter. We won’t meet our career goals if we only negotiate during hiring interviews and annual performance reviews. In Negotiating at Work, Simmons College professor emeritus Kolb and consultant Porter show us how we can negotiate for new opportunities and greater flexibility by questioning the status quo.



  • Good for You, Great for Me: Finding the Trading Zone and Winning at Win-Win Negotiation, by Lawrence Susskind. Negotiators often believe they face a choice between being tough and being fair, but that doesn’t have to be the case, according to MIT professor Susskind. Good for You, Great for Me shows us how to work with the other party to find creative trades through characteristics of win-win negotiation—and then claim the bulk of the value for ourselves.


  • Getting to Yes with Yourself—and Other Worthy Opponents, by William Ury. Whether we’re aware of it or not, we often hold ourselves back in negotiation with self-sabotaging behavior. Program on Negotiation cofounder Ury’s book Getting to Yes with Yourself—in essence, a prequel to his bestseller Getting to Yes (co-written with Roger Fisher and Bruce Patton)—shows us how to overcome the internal obstacles to strong relationships and agreements.


  • The Art of Negotiation: How to Improvise Agreement in a Chaotic World, by Michael Wheeler. Even when armed with sound negotiation advice, we may still find ourselves struggling to cope with the surprises that pop up at the bargaining table. In The Art of Negotiation, Harvard Business School professor Wheeler describes how to adapt by supplementing our careful plans with lessons on creativity and flexibility from jazz, sports, theater, and other realms.



  • Thanks for the Feedback: The Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well, by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen. Absorbing and accepting feedback is a key negotiating skill, yet few of us are very good at it. The Harvard Negotiation Project’s Stone and Heen explain how to learn from even poorly delivered feedback—even as we long to be accepted just as we are.


  • The Power of Noticing: What the Best Leaders See, by Max H. Bazerman. Have you ever had a negotiation fall apart because you missed a critical piece of information that you should have noticed? Harvard Business School professor Bazerman describes how to overcome the common tendency to focus too narrowly on the problem before us in negotiations and beyond.


  • Bargaining with the Devil: When to Negotiate, When to Fight, by Robert Mnookin. When we find a potential counterpart morally repugnant, we might avoid negotiating with him or her altogether, but that isn’t always the best choice. Program on Negotiation chair Mnookin offers advice on how to make wise decisions about when to negotiate and when to fight with our toughest adversaries.


  • Dealmaking: The New Strategy of Negotiauctions, by Guhan Subramanian. Most negotiation advice focuses on our interactions with those across the table. But what about our competitors—how can we effectively deal with them? To help us succeed in a range of complex negotiations, Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School professor Subramanian presents best practices from negotiations and auctions.


  • 3D Negotiation: Powerful Tools to Change the Game in Your Most Important Deals, by David A. Lax and James K. Sebenius. Single-mindedly absorbed with the face-to-face negotiation process, we often fail to recognize the ample opportunities we have to shape negotiations to our advantage through set-up and deal design, write Lax Sebenius principal Lax and Harvard Business School professor Sebenius in 3D Negotiation.


We also recommend the following notable negotiation books from 2017:


  • The Undoing Project: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds, by Michael Lewis. In his latest exploration of the foibles and triumphs of the human mind, journalist Lewis tells the story of the legendary research collaboration between Israeli psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky. The pair’s prolific partnership spawned a new awareness of the inherent flaws in human decision making and informs much of negotiation theory today. The Undoing Project also reveals poignant details of a close but imperfect friendship.


  • Misbehaving: The Story of Behavioral Economics, by Richard Thaler. Alongside Kahneman and Tversky, University of Chicago professor Richard Thaler, who won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 2017, was among the first researchers to challenge the longstanding assumption in economics that negotiators and other decision makers arrive at effective, rational judgments with little outside assistance. In Misbehaving, Thaler humorously relates how he challenged this orthodoxy—and offers novel negotiation insights along the way.


  • Smart and Savvy: Negotiating Strategies in Academia, by Andrea Kupfer Schneider and David Kupfer. The academic job market poses special negotiation challenges, yet students in graduate schools and medical schools are rarely given the negotiation training they need to succeed. Father-daughter coauthors David Kupfer (chair of the University of Pittsburgh Department of Psychiatry) and Andrea Kupfer Schneider (professor of law at Marquette University Law School) team up to offer negotiation advice that addresses the unique circumstances of academic careers.

 Are there any books that we’ve missed? Share your favorites in the comments.

Negotiation Skills

Claim your FREE copy: Negotiation Skills

Build powerful negotiation skills and become a better dealmaker and leader. Download our FREE special report, Negotiation Skills: Negotiation Strategies and Negotiation Techniques to Help You Become a Better Negotiator, from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.

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4 Responses to “Must-Read Negotiation Books for 2019”

  • will z.

    Yours rwcomended books are very helpful to my needs as an Insurance Agent. It hones my ability to be on top of game without being pushy and hard sell. Thanks. i got a copy of Never Split The Difference by Chris Voss and Getting to Yes by Fisher,Ury and Patton. More power to the Harvard Negotiation i wish i can enroll there physically and interact with a classmate.

  • Dana M.

    I’m an OD consultant and mediator, PH.D. from U-WI. I published a book in 2016 titled The Power of Difference: From Conflict to Collaboration in Five Steps. It’s currrntly the basis for a course at the Federal Executive Institute. I’d like to send a review copy to someone at PON in hopes of getting on your reading list. To whom should I send it?

    • Gail O.

      Why don’t you send it me at The Program on Negotiation, 501 Pound Hall, Cambridge Ma
      Gail Odeneal


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