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Harvard Business Review's Guide to Negotiating

Negotiating may seem scary or unpleasant: You may worry that you may not have the right skills to go head-to-head with someone and get what you deserve, or that you’ll damage your relationship with your boss, customer, or colleague in the process. And even if you do enjoy the thrill of the argument, chances are that one of you is going to have to give up something you want, right? This zero-sum approach isn’t the only way to negotiate, however.

"Forget about the hard bargain. Whether you're discussing the terms of a high-stakes deal, forming a key partnership, asking for a raise, or planning a family event, negotiating can be stressful. One person makes a demand, the other concedes a point. In the end, you settle on a subpar solution in the middle--if you come to any agreement at all. But these discussions don't need to be win-or-lose situations. Written by negotiation expert Jeff Weiss, the "HBR Guide to Negotiating" provides a disciplined approach to finding a solution that works for everyone involved. Using a seven-part framework, this book delivers tips and advice to move you from a game of concessions and compromises to one of collaboration and creativity, resulting in better outcomes and better working relationships. You'll learn how to: Prepare for your conversation; Understand everyone's interests; Craft the right message; Work with multiple parties; Disarm aggressive negotiators; Choose the best solution."

In this guide, you’ll learn a collaborative and creative approach that results in better outcomes and stronger relationships. It works in any situation in which you and a counterpart need to come to terms despite competing interests — from formal multimillion-dollar sales agreements to informal conversations with colleagues about how you will tackle a quick project.

You’ll get better at:

  1. Identifying the real issues at stake
  2. Preparing materials in advance
  3. Setting the right tone as you begin the conversation
  4. Handling emotions in the negotiating room
  5. Taming a hard bargainer
  6. Knowing when to walk away
  7. Managing multiple-party negotiations
  8. Reality-proofing your agreement

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For more on this topic, please visit our Negotiation page.