Getting (More of) What You Want | Margaret A. Neale

Summary of: Getting (More of) What You Want: How the Secrets of Economics and Psychology Can Help You Negotiate Anything, in Business and in Life
By: Margaret A. Neale


In the book ‘Getting (More of) What You Want,’ Margaret A. Neale delves into the secrets of economics and psychology to help readers become more adept negotiators in both their professional and personal lives. The book teaches readers to approach negotiation as a collaborative process rather than a cutthroat battle, discussing various strategies and techniques to create and claim value during these interactions. Topics covered include the role of expectations, the importance of understanding your counterpart’s motivations, and methods to maintain balance and fairness in a negotiation. By demystifying these complex concepts and presenting them in simple, accessible language, this book promises to equip readers with the tools necessary to build effective negotiation strategies.

Mastering the Art of Negotiation

Negotiation is not just for big-ticket items like cars and houses but can be applied in all areas of life. To be comfortable negotiating, view it as a collaborative problem-solving process, not a battle. Opt out if the benefits do not outweigh the costs. Plan and prepare before negotiating, and be aware of confirmation bias. Women may be more reluctant to negotiate due to societal norms. Expectations play a vital role in negotiation and can influence behavior. By mastering the art of negotiation, you can successfully navigate various circumstances and achieve your goals.

The Art of Negotiation

Negotiation is a process in which value is created by participants. This means that an exchange occurs when one party values what the other has to offer more than what they have to give. Every negotiation has a reservation price which is the highest amount a person is willing to pay, and the lowest amount the seller is willing to charge. Similarly, an aspiration price is the best possible bargain that a person wants to secure.

Negotiation is present in everyday life even when we don’t realize it. Hence, setting goals before entering a negotiation is crucial as it will prevent confusion and settling for less just to reach an agreement. Having an awareness of one’s own alternatives and options as well as the counterpart’s helps build a strong position during negotiations. It is important to forecast the other party’s behavior, but human behavior can often be unpredictable.

Negotiations are tactical, and understanding the motives and needs of the other party can be advantageous. Value claiming is possible through negotiation when the counterpart sweetens the deal. Ultimately, when all information is shared, the last task is to determine who gets what. The seeds of good negotiation lie in knowing your requirements and those of your counterpart, and crafting your moves and responses accordingly.

Navigating Different Negotiation Issues

Negotiations involve three types of issues: congruent, distributive, and integrative. Congruent issues require agreement from both parties, while distributive issues have opposing requirements. Integrative issues also have opposing requirements, but one party places more value on the issue than the other. For instance, employees may value an extra vacation day more than the employer values granting it. Typical distributive issues include price, where buyers want lower prices and sellers want higher ones. By recognizing and addressing each type of issue appropriately, negotiators can reach better agreements.

Mastering the Art of Negotiation

Discover the concept of Bargaining Zone, Reservation Price and Aspiration Price in negotiation and learn how to get the best possible value out of your deals.

In the world of business, being an excellent negotiator is a crucial skill. Negotiation involves bargaining, and the essence of bargaining is claiming value. In the book, “Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In,” authors Roger Fisher and William Ury introduce the idea of the bargaining zone, which is the difference between the two parties’ reservation prices.

The authors explain that the bargaining zone’s size is directly proportional to the potential to claim value. The larger the difference between the parties’ reservation prices, the higher the bargaining zone, and the greater the potential for claiming value. For instance, if one party introduces additional issues, such as the freshness of bread, the value-creating potential will increase.

To illustrate this concept, the book gives an example of Thomas, who wants to buy a new set of tires for his car. His reservation price is $160 per tire, and his aspiration price is $75 per tire. On the other hand, the dealer’s reservation price is unknown to Thomas, but his aspiration price is the advertised price of $210 per tire. This creates a bargaining zone of $35, the difference between the parties’ reservation prices.

As Fisher and Ury point out, when negotiating a single-issue deal according to the distributive issue of price, you’re more likely to create value if the deal falls within the bargaining zone. Additionally, neither party should violate their reservation price. However, some people may renege on their reservation price to reach an agreement. Hence, it is vital to decide in advance when to walk away from a deal.

When negotiating a deal with more than one issue, Fisher and Ury advise viewing your negotiation as a unified package. Identify the integrative issues, which will allow you to concede items of low value to get allowances on higher-valued issues. This horse-trading or log-rolling tactic will gain you more of what you want.

In summary, negotiating is prevalent in every aspect of our lives, and mastering the art of negotiation is crucial. By understanding the Bargaining Zone, Reservation Price, and Aspiration Price, we can negotiate with confidence and get the best possible value out of our deals.

Information Sharing in Negotiations

Successful negotiations require a delicate balance between sharing and withholding information. While it’s necessary for value creation, there are risks involved if the other party misrepresents its interests or chooses not to reciprocate. When negotiating a one-off deal, parties are more likely to behave contentiously or aggressively. Anticipating future interactions encourages honest and cooperative behavior, building a bargaining history and enhancing mutual reputation. Negotiators use promises and threats to get what they want, but both tactics incur costs and carry less weight in one-off deals. Human nature isn’t always rational, and threats may be implemented to punish unfair behavior, especially when they’re made public.

Mastering the Art of Negotiation

Preparation, perspective, and strategy are crucial to successful negotiating. The key to a successful negotiation lies in three stages: knowing what you want, understanding the perspective of your counterparts, and developing a strategic approach. This involves identifying your goals and concessions, ranking their importance, considering your counterpart’s perspectives, researching and gathering data, and devising tactics and strategies that leverage your counterpart’s weaknesses. By being well-prepared and strategic, you can increase your success rate in negotiations.

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