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The Negotiation Handbook

1 rating: 5.0
A book by Patrick J. Cleary

"The negotiation process is about power, ego, leverage, saving face and being right," says former U.S. government labor mediator Cleary, and throughout, gifted negotiators keep their eyes on the prize: a deal. Cleary admonishes negotiators to prepare … see full wiki

Tags: Books, Cafe Libri
Author: Patrick J. Cleary
Publisher: M.E. Sharpe
1 review about The Negotiation Handbook

"The Prize": Achieving Mutually Beneficial Objectives

  • Oct 8, 2001
Cleary explains: "This book was written for negotiators, but the observations come from the mediator's standpoint." In his Introduction, he goes on to suggest that "As a mediator, one has the ability to peek at both sides' cards, as it were. As a result, it is easier to see from the end result whether each side maximized (or minimized) its gain in the negotiation. In almost every case, one party -- or both parties -- failed to gain everything they could have gained from negotiation because they lost sight of the prize somewhere along the way." The basic assumption of this book is that the terms and conditions of almost any transaction are negotiable. For example, obtaining a lower or higher purchase price of an item (e.g. consumer electronics, clothing, and real estate) or a service (e.g. a fee charged by an attorney, accountant, or -- yes -- management consultant). The same is true of negotiations involving a promotion, salary increase, labor contract, or a proposed budget. Also, renting a car or obtaining a hotel room.

Cleary's objective is to prepare his reader to gain everything possible from each and every negotiation through the effective use of one or more strategies, each of which Cleary explains. He reminds his reader that the parties involved in any negotiation are in it together. "They are your adversary only to the extent that they disagree with you on some details, on the shape of the deal. In the larger sense, the bigger picture, they're your counterpart, your partner. It will take both sides to get the deal. Don't lose sight of that along the way." Nor of the aforementioned "prize": your ultimate objective(s).

Cleary organizes his material within six chapters: "The Dynamics of Negotiation" (i.e. power, leverage, ego, saving face, being right, and "drain the swamp"); "Preparing for the Negotiation" (i.e. facts, principles, and priorities); [NOTE: In The Art of War, Sun Tzu asserts that every battle is won or lost before it is fought.] "The Basics of Conflict Resolution" (i.e. set the tone, find the common ground, repeat back/empathize, and "Don't let your counterpart monopolize the spotlight or the microphone"); "The Negotiation" (Cleary stresses sixteen points such as "Be aware of the signals you project" with body language and tone of voice but also "Be aware of what's going on away from the table"); "Rules" (Cleary suggests 12 such as "Negotiations are 50% psychology and 50% sales"); and "Mediators: Lessons and Observations" (Cleary provides eight guidelines for mediators such as "Project neutrality in all you [say and] do" and "Create the atmosphere for an agreement"). Among all the excellent books on negotiation now available, this is one of the best. I highly recommend it to anyone in need of skills to maximize whatever can be gained from a negotiation (whatever its nature and circumstance may be) without losing sight of the "prize" somewhere along the way.

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