Getting to Yes abbreviated notesFisher and UryChapter 1: Don’t bargain over positionsMost people negotiate by staking out extreme positions in the beginning and then negotiatingtowards a middle ground compromise (positional bargaining). This is bad for several reasons:-If explicit demands are made in the beginning, both sides become personally committed to theirpositions and will defend them with unnecessary and counterproductive force. Egos becomeintertwined with issues, and people start feeling the need to save face.-Large amounts of time can be wasted during the process of haggling towards a middle ground.-Such negotiating styles can make enemies of people if one side feels it has lost at the expense ofthe other party.There are soft and hard styles of negotiation. Some people try to escape the problems ofpositional negotiation by adopting a soft style, which leads them to make more concessions.Such does not necessarily lead to quality deals.This book details a new way manner of negotiation: principled negotiation or negotiation on themerits. It has several components:-Disentangle the negotiators from the problems they are negotiating over so people don’t fight toprotect their egos.-Focus on interests and not positions. The positions are merely a means to realize broaderinterests.-Take a lot of time to generate mutually beneficial agreements, and be creative in the process.-Insist on using some fair, objective criteria for judging potential agreements.Divide the negotiating process into three phases:-Analysis-Planning-Discussion (only now do the parties speak face-to-face)It is important that both sides fully understand the other’s goals, feelings and frustrations beforethey even begin speaking to each other.Chapter 2: Separate the people from the problemRemember that all negotiators are human and can become offended, tired, vengeful, tied to theirpositions thanks to ego, and might confuse their own perceptions of the world with objectivereality.In most cases, negotiators have an interest in preserving personal relations with each otherbecause they will often repeatedly deal with each other. This also greatly speeds and improvesfuture negotiations.People’s perceptions are very important and can’t be dismissed because they don’t fully concordwith all the objective facts. Often, different people will focus on different factors and will usethose to define the situation—each will have half the picture. You must understand what the twosides think.Realize that your own perceptions and fears color your impressions of the other side’s actionsand motives.
Make sure both sides are involved in the negotiations at every stage so they will know what iscoming in the deal (both good and bad) and so they will feel as if they are making the decisionfor themselves and not being dictated to.Find ways to construct the agreement so as to save face for all involved parties.Have both sides discuss their emotions and their causes beforehand.People gain psychological release from recounting their grievances and complaints. As anegotiator, you can vent these feelings in private, which will calm your side somewhat for thenegotiations.Small symbols and tokens of goodwill (a kiss, a rose, a written apology, etc) can carry adisproportionate amount of significance, so use them.Most people don’t listen well and can’t repeat what someone else has just said to them. It is alsofrequent to have misunderstandings between people, especially when they are from differentcultures with different values and languages.It helps to frequently stop the other side and ask: “To be clear, are you trying to say…”It helps to create a smaller subgroup of chief negotiators from both sides to meet in private. A lotof progress can be made through such groups.It helps enormously for negotiators to become friends or to at least offer some gift or friendlygesture to the other side before talks begin. This will produce goodwill and a feeling ofreciprocal obligation.Chapter 3: Focus on interests, not positionsPeople’s positions during negotiations are meant to achieve certain interests they hold, butpositions and interests are not the same. Figure out what both sides’ interests are, and find newways to satisfy them with new positions that please both parties.To understand the other side’s positions, put yourself in their shoes and keep asking “Why?” and“Why not?” Construct a chart that shows what they stand to lose or gain. Remember thatimportant factors are-What other people (including peers and constituents) will think of them if they pursue a certainposition-Whether a given negotiated outcome will set a precedent-Short- and long-term consequencesDuring negotiations, realize that one side’s demands might merely be meant to meet their basicneeds (security, food, self-esteem, etc) and they might not be trying to “screw over” the otherside, or that goal might at least just be ancillary.Realize that each side will have multiple goals and interests.Write down both sides’ interests as you learn them.Make sure all sides are aware of the interests of all others.Commit yourself to your interests and do not sacrifice them for anything. Do not get personalduring negotiations, and be willing to change positions, but never sacrifice your interests.Chapter 4: Invent options for mutual gainMost negotiations seem at first to revolve around zero-sum issues where both parties can’t walkaway happy at the same time—one must win and the other lose.There are usually four obstacles to coming up with mutually beneficial solutions to problems:
-Premature judgment-Assumption that there is a single possible solution to the problem-Assumption that the negotiation is zero-sum, and there is no way to be compensated forapparent losses one is focused upon in the negotiation-View that it’s the responsibility of the other side to solve their own problemsComing up with creative solutions to problems:-Do a brainstorming sessions with some skilled people in an informal environment. Have afacilitator to keep things on track.-Do not judge the viability of the proposals during the session—just focus on generating ideas.-Seat everyone facing a blackboard to psychologically reinforce the idea of solving a problemtogether and not confronting each other.-Strictly abide by the “no criticism” rule. (That is done after the options have been created)-Afterward, identify the best options and come up with ways to improve upon them.[Might knowledge of past negotiations and how they were resolved be valuable as well?]-Consider having the two sides brainstorm together, with each taking turns to offer ideas.-Use the shown Circle ChartAlways hope for the best, but be prepared for making second-best, stopgap deals in lieu of a finaldeal that pleases everyone.Look for common ground and common interests between parties, and focus on ways to satisfythose. Such a strategy might lead to creative and mutually beneficial solutions to the problem.Come up with ways the opposing side could justify an unpopular deal.Chapter 5: Insist on using objective criteriaReach agreements based on principles and agree to principles beforehand. For instance, agreewith a seller of an item to whatever the market price is instead of haggling, or agree to conformto legal standards.[These are still open to interpretation.]Do not give in to pressure or threats from the other side: insist on using the fair criteria.Continually ask the other side what type of objective standard they are using and what theircalculations were to arrive at their offer. Through this tactic, you can expose poor logic andattempts to take advantage of you, which will serve your interests.Chapter 6: What if they are more powerful? (Develop you BATNA—best alternative to anegotiated agreement)When negotiations drag out, parties often become desperate just to end them and take whateverdeal they can, which often produces bad agreements.People often try to protect themselves from falling into such a trap by setting minimumrequirements for a deal, like a bottom line price for something they’re trying to sell throughbidding. This, however, reduces bargaining flexibility and often causes the side to reject lowballoffers outright without creatively looking for ways to make the agreement worth it to them inother ways.Before entering into negotiations, ask yourself what your best option/course of action will be ifnegotiations fail and you are stuck in the predicament you currently find yourself in (i.e.—If you
can’t get someone to bid market price for your house and buy it, the next best thing to do is torent it out.). This is your BATNA.Your BATNA should be your bottom line, not some arbitrarily set criteria. Compare all dealoffers to your BATNA and reject or accept the former using that comparison.Information asymmetry heavily affects negotiation demands and behavior. If people think theydon’t have options (even though they really do), they will be desperate to make a deal.Again, BATNA’s should be formulated through a process of creative group brainstorming.Also try to guess the other side’s BATNA.Seemingly weak players with good knowledge of BATNA’s and more information than the otherside can come away from negotiations with favorable deals.Chapter 7: What if they won’t play? (Use negotiation jujuitsu)The other side has a hard bargaining style, sticks to positional bargaining, and/or gets personalwith you.First, be the bigger man and start with principled negotiation. Continue trying to negotiate thisway and hope that the effort becomes contagious.If that fails, use “negotiation jujitsu.”-Don’t take the bait: Ignore personal attacks, don’t take up positions in opposition to theirs, anddon’t reject any of their unreasonable positions outright.-Keep questioning them about the interests underlying their positions.-Basically, kill the other side with kindness, don’t defend yourself, and keep asking questions andlistening to understand their motivations.If that also fails, call in a mediator-The mediator should be a disinterested third party who speaks with both sides to determine theirinterests.-The mediator then uses the one-text procedure: He prepares a deal that he thinks will satisfyboth parties based on their interests, but it is understood from the beginning that the first draftwill probably be rejected. He then presents it to the parties and has the criticize it, and basedupon these criticisms, the mediator prepares a new draft, and so on. No one is personally vestedin the success of any one draft, allowing more rational negotiation.“Trust isn’t the issue here; the issue is principle.”A good negotiator should rarely make decisions on the spot. “Let me get back to you on that.”Compliment the other side to build goodwill.Chapter 8: What if they use dirty tricks? (Taming the hard bargainer)Dirty tricks include intimidation, personal attacks, obvious lies, and suddenly raising demands onthe eve of an agreement.Most people either respond by giving in to the tricks or by responding in kind. Neither are veryeffective for several reasons.Always confront the other side about their tactic, but don’t do it in a personally insulting oraccusatory manner since this might harden their behavior so as not to appear like they’re backingdown. “If you have a personal problem with me, why don’t we take a recess right now to discussit in private?” “Can I have a more comfortable chair than this?” By simply voicing yourawareness and displeasure of the dirty trick, most times it will end.
As usual, employ principled negotiation and kill them with kindness.Never trust anybody in a negotiation unless you know them well from past experience. “Don’tyou trust me?” should be met with “Trust is not the issue” or “Don’t you trust me? After all, whydid you do a credit check on me/make me pay a deposit?”Deliberate deception as a dirty trick-The other side simply lies to you by presenting false facts that favor their case. For instance, aused car dealer will claim he somehow knows that the car you like was very well-maintainedeven though he doesn’t. Tell the other person you are willing to allow them to verify your facts ifthey give you the same privilege.-The opposing negotiator might act like they have full authority to negotiate, but once you reacha deal, he will suddenly announce that he must take it to his boss for approval. The deal with thenusually come back with changes, which you will feel pressured to accept since you already“agreed” to your side of the deal. Continue negotiations if the boss makes changes.-The other side doesn’t really intend to honor their part of the deal. Build mechanisms into theagreement that allow a third party to penalize any side that violates it.Psychological warfare as a dirty trick-The venue of the negotiation meetings might be designed to stress your side out. Make surebeforehand that the atmosphere will be comfortable for everyone (breaks, comfortable chairs,food, good temperature, privacy for conferring with your team, etc.).-The other side might launch direct or indirect personal attacks against you. This could take theform of ignoring you, making you repeat yourself, or engaging in some demonstration thatmakes you feel or appear inferior or unimportant. Don’t lose your temper, don’t respond in kind,and always point out the problem for everyone to hear.-The other side could use the good cop/bad cop routine to get you to agree to the seeminglyreasonable good cop’s offer even though it doesn’t serve your interests. Just be on guard for thisand ignore it.-Ignore outright threats, and/or remind the other side that their words might become public andtarnish their own reputation.Positional pressure tactics structure the negotiations so that only you can make concessions-The other side might refuse to negotiate. Complain about this to the press and suggest thirdparty arbitration. Also try principled negotiation.-The other side will try positional negotiation and will start with a ridiculously unfavorable offer,which they hope will force you to negotiate to a middle ground that still greatly favors them.Confront them about it and switch to principled negotiation.-The other side will keep demanding compensatory concessions from you for every concession itmakes, going around and around and returning to issues you thought were settled. Again, callattention to this and insist on principled negotiations.-The other side will declare from the beginning that they are committed to a certain position andwill take steps to ensure they cannot credibly deviate from that position. Less control actuallygives them more power. Don’t succumb to this.-You opposite will keep insisting that they agree with you, but that their partner doesn’t. Ask toget principles for negotiation in writing from both of them, and then try to speak with thehardheaded partner.