Getting (More of) What You Want: How the Secrets of Economics and Psychology Can Help You Negotiate Anything, in Business and in Life is Margaret Neale and Thomas Lys' valuable new book. I've known Maggie and Tom for decades, but friendship isn't needed to motivate this review. I need this book. I bought both electronic and hardcover versions because this is a book I'll use in my work -- and you should too.
If You Are a Negotiation Novice
You should read this book because is provides an accessible foundation. I cover negotiation as part of my Plugged-In Management workshops and this will be the book I offer (at the end!) of the sessions I teach. The preface gives you a clear perspective on the power of a disciplined approach to negotiation. By the end of Chapter 4 you'll already have the ability to to get more of what you want. If you've been trying out the techniques as you read these chapters, you'll have already paid for the book and the time it took you to read them. Neale and Lys also have done a wonderful job distilling the material from their consulting and courses into clear frameworks and tables to support your preparation.
If You Are A Self-Taught Negotiator
This book will take experienced, self-taught negotiators to the next level. You’ll discover why your good techniques are working and how to improve on your results. I expect that even the most experienced negotiators will be interested in the results from recent research on negotiation and the connections across psychological and economic perspectives. Neale is the Adams Distinguished Professor of Management at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. Lys is the Eric L. Kohler Chair in Accounting at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. Have no fear, this isn’t a textbook nor is it heavy statistics. What it is heavy with are solid examples and eye opening results. I've read the foundational research on whether or not to make the first offer -- and the systematic review provided in the book both extended what I knew and put it into actionable terms.
If You’ve Already Had a Great Negotiation Class
I suspect that even Neale & Lys’ students will find significant value in the summaries following each chapter. As soon as my hardcover arrives (this review is based on the Kindle version), I’ll be adding tabs so I can quickly flip to the summaries as preparation for any upcoming negotiation. No doubt you learned in your negotiation course that preparation and high expectations are critical to getting more of what you want. Use these summaries to kick off your preparations and problem solving efforts. Chapter 8, Managing the Negotiation: Supplementing and Verifying What You (Think You) Know will get special attention as it describes how to learn from the responses of the person you're negotiating with - a topic I know I need to give more attention.
If You Don’t Negotiate
Perhaps you don’t negotiate in a traditional sense -- but you do negotiate. Change management, technology implementations, teamwork, and social settings are all full of negotiations. In my book, The Plugged-In Manager, I rely on negotiation to help people leverage their human, technical, and organizational resources. I learned the basics and more from Maggie Neale and our colleague, Greg Northcraft. I recall feeling, and being, far more powerful once I understood the problem-solving nature of their negotiation practices.
Getting (More of) What You Want: How the Secrets of Economics and Psychology Can Help You Negotiate Anything, in Business and in Life is a book you should use, not just read. It’s also the kind of book that you should share with your colleagues. The last practice of a a plugged-in manager is sharing. The idea is that if others understand the same language you do, you’ll find new value in your day to day work. This is a language you want to know.