Bargaining for Advantage: Negotiation Strategies for Reasonable People

Bargaining for Advantage: Negotiation Strategies for Reasonable People

As director of the renowned Wharton Executive Negotiation Workshop, Professor G. Richard Shell has taught thousands of business leaders, administrators, and other professionals how to survive and thrive in the sometimes rough-and-tumble world of negotiation. His systematic, step-by-step approach comes to life in this book, which is available in over ten foreign editions an...

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Title:Bargaining for Advantage: Negotiation Strategies for Reasonable People
Author:G. Richard Shell
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Edition Language:English

Bargaining for Advantage: Negotiation Strategies for Reasonable People Reviews

  • Courtney

    This is the best negotation book I've read - it really focuses on maximizing your position in a negotiation while maintaining relationships.

  • Sharon

    This book made me wonder why I've wasted so much time reading article-length advice on negotiation. Lots of the truisms out there don't apply to every situation, and articles don't usually equip you with enough fundamental understanding to know when to make exceptions and why. Not only does this book explain the concepts so that you can see exceptions for yourself, it also tailors the advice to different personality dispositions.

    The most valuable part of this book for me was the quad

    This book made me wonder why I've wasted so much time reading article-length advice on negotiation. Lots of the truisms out there don't apply to every situation, and articles don't usually equip you with enough fundamental understanding to know when to make exceptions and why. Not only does this book explain the concepts so that you can see exceptions for yourself, it also tailors the advice to different personality dispositions.

    The most valuable part of this book for me was the quadrant of high- and low-stakes negotiations where relationships do and don't matter -- which, yes, is a little cliched in a business-y way. But the chapter on ethics reassured me that I was reading the right book. The author explains ethics as a personal framework for articulating limits, and discloses that he falls firmly in the camp of idealism (as opposed to the "poker" end of the spectrum), but acknowledges that there are different legitimate conclusions that a reasonable person can draw and describes strategies that work well for both idealists and pragmatists.

    This mission statement by the author sums up why I'm glad I read this book: "Many reasonable people have a nagging, uneasy feeling about negotiation. They are anxious about it. The interpersonal conflicts, the possibility of 'leaving money on the table,' the chance they could be 'taken,' and even the thought that they have done 'too well' are all unsettling. Knowledge about the negotiation process and bargaining strategy helps reduce this anxiety and puts you on the road to improved negotiation results."

    In the preface, the author acknowledges that gender and race, among other things, can greatly affect how we approach negotiation and which strategies are most effective for each of us to use in the real world. I don't think that he does a very good job of addressing this, but I think the rest of the book is solid enough that I'm willing to look to other books for more socially conscious guidance on those topics.

  • Victoria Zabuzova

    How comfortable are you to bargaining? Me - not so great. But this book inspired me to push myself feeling more comfortable with this inevitable, very human activity. It is really profound, structured, and practical, suggesting guidance into negotiation process - from preparation to closure and even some ethics.

  • Kevin Bessey

    One of the best books I've ever read on negotiating.

    I found "Bargaining for Advantage" most appealing on the basis that Shell wasn't writing to provide you with a tool kit that you can incorporate into your negotiating tool box, but rather he was writing about using the tools you already have to make the best deals and improve your current negotiating abilities.

    The book is split into two parts: Negotiation Foundations and Negotiation Process. Part I (Neg. Foundation) was very interesting in ho

    One of the best books I've ever read on negotiating.

    I found "Bargaining for Advantage" most appealing on the basis that Shell wasn't writing to provide you with a tool kit that you can incorporate into your negotiating tool box, but rather he was writing about using the tools you already have to make the best deals and improve your current negotiating abilities.

    The book is split into two parts: Negotiation Foundations and Negotiation Process. Part I (Neg. Foundation) was very interesting in how Shell identified five types of negotiators. He also provides an assessment at the back of the book that helps you identify your own personal style. With each type he then offers a profile identifying the strengths and weakness of each style so that you can identify the style(s) that best suits you and then also understand where you're weak in other styles. I found this section of the book to be both enlightening (about my self) and fascinating (about others).

    Part II (Neg. Process) is familiar to anyone who has read books on negotiating. He walks through the various types of negotiation and how they relate to relationships, stakes, settings, etc. There wasn't anything groundbreaking here except for the areas where he would link people's negotiating type into the process.

    The end of the book dealt with Ethics and implementation of the skills that he discussed throughout the book. This last section was very interesting to better understand the various schools of thought on negotiating: Idealist, Pragmatist, and Poker Player, on how they interact with one another and capture a wide audience of people that you've probably negotiated with in the past. Understanding your own style while learning about other people's style was very insightful and interesting to read about.

    Pros: Part I and Ethics sections in learning about your own style of negotiating and how to become a better negotiator with your core beliefs and position.

    Cons: Not any major ones, the book felt well edited and organized in a meaningful way.

    Bottom line: Highly recommended for anyone to read, especially those that are in the business world or have to do a fair amount of negotiating in your your work and private life.

  • Dana

    My graduate school instructor who taught negotiation recently recommended this book to me. I found it to be a much better book than Getting to Yes, another classic in the field which seems to be better known. Shell writes extremely well, provides many concrete examples, lays out a detailed and methodical strategy for improving your negotiation skills, and provides a nifty assessment in the appendix to determine your own unique style and preferences. This is a very practical book, of course, but

    My graduate school instructor who taught negotiation recently recommended this book to me. I found it to be a much better book than Getting to Yes, another classic in the field which seems to be better known. Shell writes extremely well, provides many concrete examples, lays out a detailed and methodical strategy for improving your negotiation skills, and provides a nifty assessment in the appendix to determine your own unique style and preferences. This is a very practical book, of course, but it is also interesting and a pleasure to read. I heartily endorse my professor's recommendation and suggest that others will benefit from this book

  • Ishan

    Good to read for anybody interested in making most of their money they have earned. If you are interested in negotiations improving your negotiation skills this is a great read; skip if you are indifferent to the price you pay.

  • kareem

    We all negotiate every day. Where to go to the movies, what to eat for dinner, how much to sell your $50M revenue company for, how much your salary will be at your new job, etc. This is a very useful read, focused on breaking down how you can approach negotiations. Most of the advice you will apply only in the higher-stakes negotiations, but it gives you a good framework for how to approach any negotiation. For example, it tells you how to discern situations when you should make the first offer,

    We all negotiate every day. Where to go to the movies, what to eat for dinner, how much to sell your $50M revenue company for, how much your salary will be at your new job, etc. This is a very useful read, focused on breaking down how you can approach negotiations. Most of the advice you will apply only in the higher-stakes negotiations, but it gives you a good framework for how to approach any negotiation. For example, it tells you how to discern situations when you should make the first offer, and when you shouldn't, when to be ruthless, and when not to be, etc. I'd bet that it's one of the best bang-for-the-buck books you'll read all year... I'd bet it'll help you make a few more $$$ the next time you have to negotiate a salary.

  • Rachael

    I was participating in a reading group at work for this book, I came close to finishing it, so I'm just going to call it done because without anything to hold me accountable I'm not going back.

    It was interesting, it is a topic I knew absolutely nothing about, and it was very helpful to have the group leader talk us through scenarios and create exercises for us. A great book for someone, like me, who thinks that the slightest bit of negotiation at a flea market is absolutely terrifying and will

    I was participating in a reading group at work for this book, I came close to finishing it, so I'm just going to call it done because without anything to hold me accountable I'm not going back.

    It was interesting, it is a topic I knew absolutely nothing about, and it was very helpful to have the group leader talk us through scenarios and create exercises for us. A great book for someone, like me, who thinks that the slightest bit of negotiation at a flea market is absolutely terrifying and will avoid the entire situation just to avoid having to barter. A great introduction to the topic for the completely ignorant and written at a level that is open to even the least experienced of us.

  • Adrian Curtin

    Without having read too many books on the subject, Bargaining for Advantage is a book which delivers exactly what it claims to. It is a useful tool in understanding aspects of the bargaining and bartering process. The main advantage to this book is that it doesn't portray the negotiation process as a simple problem with one solution, but rather as a complex one with many moving parts and many considerations but no preordained method. In general encouraging the reader to seek two party solutions

    Without having read too many books on the subject, Bargaining for Advantage is a book which delivers exactly what it claims to. It is a useful tool in understanding aspects of the bargaining and bartering process. The main advantage to this book is that it doesn't portray the negotiation process as a simple problem with one solution, but rather as a complex one with many moving parts and many considerations but no preordained method. In general encouraging the reader to seek two party solutions where mutually beneficial results can be found outside of simply battling for the middle-ground on divisive issues.

    For those unfamiliar with negotiation, the book offers some inoculation against strategies that may be used by more experienced parties and generally encourages an ethical approach to both communicating your needs and securing advantageous results. There is nothing outrageous in this book, just reasonable suggestions.

  • Nicholas

    Good primer.

    Quotes:

    "He became successful not by overcoming his negotiation weaknesses, but by accepting them."

    "This is the collaborative or problem-solving strategy. Instead of trying to figure out how to divide $1,000 two ways, the person using this approach has the insight to see that there is a way for both parties to get $1,000 out of the situation."

    "The act of writing a goal down engages our sense of commitment much more effectively than

    Good primer.

    Quotes:

    "He became successful not by overcoming his negotiation weaknesses, but by accepting them."

    "This is the collaborative or problem-solving strategy. Instead of trying to figure out how to divide $1,000 two ways, the person using this approach has the insight to see that there is a way for both parties to get $1,000 out of the situation."

    "The act of writing a goal down engages our sense of commitment much more effectively than does the mere act of thinking about it. The act of writing makes a thought more "real" and objective, obligating us to follow up on it...There is something magical about writing things down."

    "To commit yourself even further to your goal, tell another person about it and show him or her your written goal. If other people know about the goal, you begin to feel subtly accountable to them, and research indicates that negotiators bargain harder when they must explain to someone why the failed to achieve a goal."

    "A man always has two reasons for the things he does - a good one and the real one." [J. P. Morgan:]

    "The goal of a consistency trap is to precommit you to a seemingly innocent standard and then confront you with the logical implications of the standard in a particular case - implications that actually turn out to run against your interests."

    "People assume negotiations center on dividing a fixed pie.However, by looking for common ground and nonconflicting interests, there is often a chance to make the pie bigger."

    "Locate the decision maker. How might it serve the other party's interests to help you achieve your goals? Why might the other party say "no"? What low-cost options might remove the other party's objections?"

    "To gain real leverage, you must eventually persuade the other party that he or she has something concrete to lost in the transaction if the deal falls through."

    "Potential losses loom larger in the human mind than do equivalent gains. Making even subtle threats is like dealing with explosives."

    "Ask yourself, as of the moment when yo make the assessment, which party has the most to lost from no deal. The party with the most to lose has the least leverage; the party with the least to lost has the most leverage."

    "Leverage is based on the other party's perception of the situation, not the facts."

    "Intensity, particularly if it is coupled with expertise, gets people's attention."

    "Which side has the most to lose from no deal. For whom is time a factor. Can I improve my alternatives or make the other party's worse? Can I gain control over something the other party needs? Can I commit the other party to norms that favor my result? Can I form a coalition to improve my position."

    "This chapter has introduced you to the basics of good preparation. First, use the Situational Matrix, you should determine the basic situation you face. What strategies are best suited to deal with the situation? Next, you need to combine your situational analysis with the knowledge you have about your own stylistic preferences to determine how well suited you are to negotiate the problem. If you are basically nonconfrontational, you will have a hard time doing well in a Transaction unless you are negotiating against someone just like yourself. If you are aggressively competitive, you will lack some of the tact needed to handle a Relationship situation that calls for delicate diplomacy. Third, try to imagine how the other party views the situation. Do they see the relationship as important? Do the stakes matter as much to them as they do to you? The situational analysis prepares you to anticipate the range of strategies the other side can be expected to use. Fourth, decide how best to communicate with the other side. Does it makes sense to use an agent? If you negotiate directly, should you meet face to face or rely on telephone or e-mail? Finally, combine the information you have gathered on the situation with your insights into the Six Foundations to develop a specific bargaining plan. Use this plan to formulate a list of questions to ask the other side early in the discussion phase to test your assumptions."

    "Who are they? Why are they here? What is important to them? What are they prepared to negotiate? What is their view of the situation? Do they have authority to close?"

    "Your strategy and tactics should be determined by three main elements: the situation, your leverage, and your own and your counterpart's style."

    "Scarcity enhances the value of anything that can be possessed, is useful to its possessor, and is transferable from one person to another. When we think something we want is or is about to become scarce, we push an imaginary panic button labeled "Act Now" to avoid feeling regret that we missed an opportunity."

    "Overcommitment derives from our human desire to avoid admitting failure or accepting loss when we have invested heavily in a prior course of action or decision. The more time someone invests in an initially sensible activity, the more committed he or she becomes to seeing it through, even though the decision may no longer make sense."

    "Don't be satisfied with an agreement. Get a commitment."

    "Telling a lie is easy. If a lie works well in small consumer matters, why not lie in situations where the stakes matter a bit more, such as employment? Pretty soon, a measurable portion of a person's success may depend on using lies. Truth telling becomes an optional, expensive luxury."

    "One way of getting around fraud, therefore, might be for the speaker to avoid direct contact with information that would lead to a "knowing" state of mind."

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