The Art of Negotiation: How to Improvise Agreement in a Chaotic World

Michael Wheeler. Simon & Schuster, $26 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4516-9042-2
Harvard Business School professor Wheeler, a member of the school’s Negotiation, Markets & Organizations unit, offers a clear-headed, creative approach to negotiation that is on a par with the canonical texts, Getting to Yes and You Can Negotiate Anything. Those titles suggest abandoning hardball tactics and turning every interaction into a negotiation. Wheeler, on the other hand, posits that the most important aspect of negotiation is improvisation and constant flexibility, acknowledging that each party goes into a negotiation without truly understanding the other person’s position. Often, each party’s real needs don’t emerge until the negotiations are in progress. Wheeler discusses strategies for managing uncertainty and understanding the true extent to which preferences, needs, and relationships are constantly changing. He steers readers toward making wise decisions about whether or not to pursue a negotiation in the first place, conducting sufficient research, keeping their cool, and closing the deal. Wheeler’s lucid, engaging voice is a major asset, and sample scripts help drive home his points. Agent: Jim Levine, Levine Greenberg Literary Agency. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/12/2013
Release date: 10/08/2013
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