You Can Negotiate Anything | Herb Cohen

Summary of: You Can Negotiate Anything: The World’s Best Negotiator Tells You How To Get What You Want
By: Herb Cohen


Welcome to the summary of ‘You Can Negotiate Anything’, a classic by Herb Cohen that reveals the art of getting what you want. Throughout this summary, you’ll explore the world of negotiations and learn critical insights on how to identify and protect yourself against adversarial negotiation tactics. Furthermore, you’ll dive into the depths of win-win situations, the power dynamics within negotiations, early preparation strategies, and the role of time and personal connection in achieving success. The aim is to make negotiation concepts accessible and engaging for every reader, providing you with tools to improve your negotiation skills.

Spotting and Overcoming Soviet-Style Negotiators

Soviet-style negotiators deploy various tactics such as ridiculous initial positions, emotional tactics, and negotiators with limited authority. These techniques are often used to tilt negotiations in their favor and make others cave in to their demands. You must identify these tactics, set limits, and maintain a cool demeanor against such negotiators.

Negotiating for Mutual Benefit

A win-win negotiation mindset involves understanding the needs of all parties to achieve a mutually beneficial outcome. Trust is the key factor that lubricates such win-win negotiations. In win-lose negotiations, parties fight for their share of a finite ‘pie’ that results in a compromise where both parties have to sacrifice some of their desires. However, in win-win negotiations, everyone’s needs are satisfied without compromising. Establishing a relationship and highlighting shared goals can help build trust. By focusing on the underlying needs and unexpressed desires, multiple parties can be satisfied without anyone losing. This way, harmonizing the needs of all parties results in mutual benefits.

The Power Play in Negotiations

Negotiations involve various sources of power that affect one’s ability to achieve desired outcomes. While some sources of power, such as rewards or punishments, are obvious, others can be less apparent with nuances. For instance, alternative offers, previous experiences, competencies, or legitimacy can also shape the dynamics of negotiations. Essentially, negotiations involve a subtle power play of perceptions, where each party tries to prove their power and leverage it in accomplishing their objectives. However, successful negotiations require tapping into the various sources of power effectively, particularly by gauging the other party’s perception of power. Perceived power rather than actual power ultimately determines who gets what in a negotiation. Hence, the key to successful negotiations involves understanding the power dynamics, identifying the sources of power available, accurately assessing the perceived balance of power and making strategic moves.

Negotiation Tactics

The power of investment and commitment in negotiations is explored through a fridge-buying example. By getting the other party to invest time and effort in the process, they become more open to concessions. On the other hand, if the other party can get a commitment from your side, they hold the negotiating power. To avoid this, ensure that every member of your team is committed to the same goal, making it harder for the other side to say no. While these tactics can be effective, it is also important to be aware of them and guard against them being used on you.

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