This book by professors from Harvard is still very relevant despite having been first published in 1981. It should be a go-to book for those who want to master the international business negotiations culture.
Negotiations are regarded in the book as a popular science that breaks down into three major principles:
- Separate the people from the problem. Negotiators should not focus on people if they don’t want to let excessive emotions get in the way.
- Focus on interests, not positions. The actual interest does not always coincide with the position voiced in the negotiation process. Positions represent things people say they want. Interests, or needs, on the other hand, reflect reasons people have for wanting those exact things.
- Insist on using objective criteria. A good negotiator not only takes account of the other party’s wishes, but also always tries to find references and criteria (e.g. laws, market price, general practice) that can be used as a strong argument.
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