Ask For More: 10 Questions to Negotiate Anything

Alexandra Carter. Simon & Schuster, $26.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-982130-48-0
Carter, director of the Columbia Law School Mediation Clinic, recasts the art of negotiation as one of smart listening rather than adversarial demands in her convincing if sometimes clunky debut. Carter devotes the book’s first half to five questions to ask oneself (e.g. “What’s the problem I need to solve?”; “How have I handled this successfully in the past?”), and the second to five questions to ask the other party (e.g. “What do you need?”; “What are your concerns?”). For introspective questions, she advises setting aside some time—less than half an hour, she writes, should be sufficient—to clarify one’s intentions before heading into a negotiation. In general, Carter advises asking open-ended questions, to elicit introspection rather than self-justification. Unfortunately, the effectiveness of the book’s instructions is blunted by some opaque metaphors (asking an effective question is like landing a plane, rather than keeping it “in the air while circling the airport”) and by stilted dialogue in otherwise helpful examples of real-life negotiations (such as asking the boss for a raise, or budgeting a home-improvement project with a contractor). Those with the patience to cut through the weaker material will be rewarded with an insightful compilation of advice. Agent: Esther Newberg & Kristyn Keene Benton. (May)
Reviewed on : 03/23/2020
Release date: 05/01/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-7971-0723-3
Book - 978-1-9821-3050-3
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-4711-9172-5
Compact Disc - 978-1-7971-0725-7
Book - 978-1-9821-3049-7
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