Getting to Yes | Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In

Instruction Details

Book Report: “Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In”

In this essay, you will do a book report on “Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In” that includes a summary of key points from the book and apply the learnings from this course.

In the introduction, summarize the book and describe the critical lessons you learned. Ensure it is a strong introduction with a “hook” to interest the reader wanting to read more. Don’t forget to mention the book’s name and the authors.
Make sure the conclusion is firm and summarizes what took away from it, and if the book is recommended to orders.

BATNA: Explain in detail what BATNAs are, why it is so important to know what they are, and when to use them at the negotiating table.

Tricky Tactics Mention at least two common brutal tactics (as defined in the book) and what strategies may be used to overcome them.

Positional Bargaining Explain what the problems are with positional Bargaining. What are the reasons it doesn’t work? Provide an example from the book or the real world of positional Bargaining.

Points of Principled Negotiations Define and explain the four points of principled negotiation.
Current Events Mention a recent international negotiation that you have read in the news in the past few months and what tactics from the book have recognized were being used by each party.

Answer Guide


“Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In” by Roger Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton is a seminal work on the art of negotiation. This book revolutionizes the way we approach negotiations, emphasizing principled negotiation over positional bargaining. It’s a must-read for anyone seeking to improve their negotiation skills. In this report, I will provide a summary of key points from the book, discuss the critical lessons learned, delve into BATNAs (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement), tackle tricky tactics in negotiation, analyze the pitfalls of positional bargaining, and explain the four points of principled negotiation. Finally, I will touch on a recent international negotiation in the news and identify tactics from the book used by the parties involved.

Summary of Key Points

“Getting to Yes” advocates for principled negotiation, which focuses on interests rather than positions. It encourages separating people from the problem, focusing on objective criteria, generating options for mutual gain, and insisting on using fair standards. The authors emphasize the importance of understanding your BATNA, as it provides a baseline for negotiation, and they introduce the concept of a Zone of Possible Agreement (ZOPA), the range where a deal is possible.

BATNA (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement)

BATNAs are the alternatives you have if the current negotiation fails. Understanding your BATNA is crucial because it defines your negotiating power and helps you set realistic expectations. It’s essential to know when to use your BATNA at the negotiating table, typically when the other party’s offer falls below your BATNA. Revealing your BATNA can also help you strengthen your position.

Tricky Tactics

The book discusses various brutal tactics used in negotiations, such as threats and intimidation. To overcome these tactics, the authors suggest focusing on interests, not personalities, and using principled negotiation techniques like asking open-ended questions and using silence strategically. Additionally, maintaining a calm and composed demeanor can disarm aggressive tactics.

Positional Bargaining

Positional bargaining is criticized in the book because it often leads to impasses and suboptimal agreements. It doesn’t work because it focuses on fixed positions rather than underlying interests. An example from the book is the negotiation between a customer and a rug merchant, where the merchant initially insisted on a high price without exploring the customer’s interests. This approach can result in missed opportunities and strained relationships.

Points of Principled Negotiation

Principled negotiation is based on four key points:

  1. Separate People from the Problem: Focus on the issue, not personal attributes, to maintain a constructive atmosphere.
  2. Focus on Interests, Not Positions: Understand each party’s underlying interests to find creative solutions.
  3. Generate Options for Mutual Gain: Seek win-win solutions by brainstorming and exploring multiple alternatives.
  4. Insist on Using Objective Criteria: Base decisions on fair and reasonable standards, such as market value or precedent.

Current Events

In recent international negotiations, such as the Iran nuclear deal, both sides have employed tactics from the book. They’ve used objective criteria (nuclear inspections, enrichment limits) as a basis for agreement. However, they’ve also faced challenges, as positional bargaining sometimes prevails, causing stalemates.


“Getting to Yes” is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in negotiation. It teaches us the power of principled negotiation, the importance of BATNAs, and how to deal with tricky tactics. Positional bargaining is exposed as a suboptimal approach, and the four points of principled negotiation provide a practical framework for successful negotiations. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to enhance their negotiation skills, whether in business, politics, or everyday life.

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