Negotiation Books: A Negotiation Reading List

Negotiation books recommended by the Program on Negotiation to help boost your negotiation success in the New Year.

By on / Negotiation Training

negotiation books

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

Best Negotiation Books #1: 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.

Best Negotiation Books #2: 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.


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Best Negotiation Books #3: 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.

Best Negotiation Books #4: 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.

Best Negotiation Books #5: 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.

Best Negotiation Books #6: 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.

Best Negotiation Books #7: 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.

Best Negotiation Books #8: 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.

Best Negotiation Books #9: 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.

Best Negotiation Books #10: 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.

Best Negotiation Books #11: 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.

Best Negotiation Books #12: 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.

Best Negotiation Books #13: 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.

Comments

11 Responses to “Negotiation Books: A Negotiation Reading List”

  • While this list contains some good books from Harvard, there are many books out there that provide other perspectives. As the article asks for recommendations I’d like to add one – Tug of War: The Tension Concept and the Art of International Negotiation by Tony English (2010). I work in the international energy industry and have found Tony’s book to be very helpful as it provides an original perspective based on strong research and vast experience. I recommend it to those who would like to gain a deep and entertaining understanding of the fundamental nature of negotiation.

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  • In addition there is also Baber and Fletcher-Chen’s Practical Business Negotiation (2015): a no-nonsense straightforward book for beginners that introduces some excellent planning and evaluation tools.

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  • Stephen

    Jim Camp’s “Start with No”. Focuses on ensuring you’ve got a plan every step of the way, are always acting in your own best interests (and theirs!) and doesn’t worry about (and actually discourages) the holy grail – BATNA….

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  • Greg W.

    Here’s another book you may consider, “Body Language Secrets To Win More Negotiations”. The book delves into negotiation strategies that one can employ while highlighting body language gestures to observe to enhance the negotiation process. By way of full disclosure, I’m also the author of the book.

    Keep up the good work of providing timely and insightful information about negotiations.

    Thank you …

    Greg

    Reply
  • Dr.Karl W.

    For a classical perspective I suggest KW.Schweizer and M.Keens-Soper eds.The Art of Diplomacy(Leicester,1983);University Press of America(1993)paperback

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  • Lainey F.

    Thank you for this list. I’d like to add my book: Structured Negotiation, A Winning Alternative to Lawsuits (ABA 2016) is a step by step guide to the process my colleagues and I have used for two decades to negotiate complex disability rights technology cases with some of the largest companies in the US (government orgs too) all withOUT filing lawsuits. Here’s info from the PON event I did about the book last Fall: https://www.pon.harvard.edu/events/structured-negotiation-a-winning-alternative-to-lawsuits/ The book is now on Amazon and also available from the ABA. More info at http://www.LFLegal.com/book

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  • Anis B.

    I recommend ‘getting more’ by Stuart Diamond. It has a good mix between negotiation concepts and hands on strategies. I find it different from common negotiation books who have interesting concepts but lacks concrete advises to apply them.

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  • In my opinion the best book on negotiation is Getting More: How to Negotiate to Achieve Your Goals in the Real World (2010), by Stuart Diamond. Not sure why it’s overlooked here, though granted it’s from Wharton instead of Harvard. His class is the best one at Wharton bar none.

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  • Every morning I read the information received from HARVARD and I have learned and practice what I learned with success. The books can add to the wisdom of the negotiator and to professional negotiations.

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  • My favorite book on negotiations is the recently-released, The Strategic Negotiator: A Manual for Negotiating at the Elite Level by David Wanetick. This 800-page book contains more than 100 full-blown case studies as well as dozens and dozens of fascinating stories about how some of the most successful people (Warren Buffett, Nelson Mandela, Carl Icahn, Jeff Bezos, Steve Jobs, Michael Jackson) managed their high-level negotiations. There is tons to learn about structuring deals.

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