As a new year approaches, many of us are making the usual resolutions aimed at improving our health and well-being. Why not also add the goal of being a more effective negotiator to the list? Whether you are facing negotiations with Congress, colleagues, customers, or family members, the following negotiation books, published in recent years by experts from the Program on Negotiation, offer new perspectives on common negotiating dilemmas.
13 negotiation books that will get you to “yes” in any personal or business negotiation
- 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.
- Sidetracked: Why Our Decisions Get Derailed, and How We Can Stick to the Plan, by Francesca Gino. In negotiation and other decision-making realms, we often fail to follow through on our intentions. Drawing on research in ethics, relationships, and common biases, Harvard Business School professor Gino proposes new ways to improve our follow-through.
- 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.
- 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.
- Negotiating the Impossible: How to Break Deadlocks and Resolve Ugly Conflicts (Without Money or Muscle), by Deepak Malhotra. When your back is against the wall, you need a special set of negotiating techniques. Harvard Business School professor Malhotra outlines three proven approaches you can use to navigate real-life crises on the job and at home.
- 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 and Harvard Law School professor Mnookin offers advice on how to make wise decisions about when to negotiate and when to fight with our toughest adversaries.
- Negotiating Life: Secrets for Everyday Diplomacy and Deal Making, by Jeswald W. Salacuse. Looking for a how-to guide for negotiating your way through daily life? Tufts University professor Salacuse walks readers through the negotiation process step by step, offering a broad range of negotiating strategies you can use across cultures, in multi-party negotiation, at the office, and with loved ones.
- Negotiating the Nonnegotiable: How to Resolve Your Most Emotionally Charged Conflicts, by Daniel Shapiro. To find more effective methods for resolving conflict, follow Harvard International Negotiation Program founder and director Shapiro’s step-by-step approach. Negotiating the Nonnegotiable describes the deep-seated emotional forces that sabotage our relationships and explains how to overcome them.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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—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.
Do you recommend any other negotiation books? Add your suggestions in the comments below.
- Article: Negotiation and Nonviolent Action: Interacting in the World of Conflict
- Hong Kong Lawyer Benny Tai Inspired by Harvard Negotiation Project Authors
- Integrative Bargaining Examples: Expanding the Pie – Integrative versus Distributive Bargaining Negotiation Strategies
- Will Your Eagerness to Do a Deal Look Like Desperation?
- Negotiation Workshop: Improving Your Negotiating Effectiveness