Getting to Yes Essay

2778 Words May 6th, 2005 12 Pages
Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In
Roger Fisher and William Ury
Roger Fisher and William Ury, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, (New York: Penguin Books, 1983).
In this classic text, Fisher and Ury describe their four principles for effective negotiation. They also describe three common obstacles to negotiation and discuss ways to overcome those obstacles.
Fisher and Ury explain that a good agreement is one which is wise and efficient, and which improves the parties' relationship. Wise agreements satisfy the parties' interests and are fair and lasting. The authors' goal is to develop a method for reaching good agreements. Negotiations often take the
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Negotiators may not be speaking to each other, but may simply be grandstanding for their respective constituencies. The parties may not be listening to each other, but may instead be planning their own responses. Even when the parties are speaking to each other and are listening, misunderstandings may occur. To combat these problems, the parties should employ active listening. The listeners should give the speaker their full attention, occasionally summarizing the speaker's points to confirm their understanding. It is important to remember that understanding the other's case does not mean agreeing with it. Speakers should direct their speech toward the other parties and keep focused on what they are trying to communicate. Each side should avoid blaming or attacking the other, and should speak about themselves.
Generally the best way to deal with people problems is to prevent them from arising. People problems are less likely to come up if the parties have a good relationship, and think of each other as partners in negotiation rather than as adversaries. Focus on Interests
Good agreements focus on the parties' interests, rather than their positions. As Fisher and Ury explain, "Your position is something you have decided upon. Your interests are what caused you to so decide."[p. 42] Defining a problem in terms of positions means that at least one party will "lose" the dispute. When a problem is defined in terms of the parties' underlying
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