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“Getting More: How to Negotiate to Achieve Your Goals” by Stuart Diamond

“Getting More: How to Negotiate to Achieve Your Goals” is a book edited from Professor Stuart Diamond’s lectures. Among the “master classes” at major universities in the United States, the course taught by Professor Stuart Diamond at Wharton School could be considered one of the most notable.

This book, titled “Getting More: How to Negotiate to Achieve Your Goals,” compiles the content of lectures on negotiation held at Wharton School into a book. Originally subtitled “13 Consecutive Years as Wharton’s Most Popular Course,” it was later changed to “20 Consecutive Years as Wharton’s Most Popular Course,” and a revised edition was published in 2022. (The first edition was published on November 30, 2011)

“A book containing the essence of negotiation that is widely quoted in various places.”

Living in a world where you don’t live alone, you inevitably face situations where you have to negotiate in various circumstances. In most cases, due to the desire to avoid awkward situations, many people often do not actively engage in negotiation in trivial cases. However, the author argues in the book that negotiation should be pursued in any case.

For example, even in a clothing store that sells clothes at a fixed price, it is necessary to seize the opportunity to get a discount and attempt negotiation.

“Methods to Move the Other Party’s Mind”

The episode related to boarding a plane introduced in the early part of the book provides a good introduction to what will be covered in the book. In fact, although I read this book a long time ago, I hadn’t reviewed it separately. However, since I hadn’t reviewed it, the content was somewhat vague, so I had to reread the book from the beginning, but the story introduced in the early part of the book remained in my memory despite having encountered it long ago.

In a situation where he arrived later than the boarding time for the flight and couldn’t board the plane, after dropping his luggage helplessly with a pitiful look towards the pilot, he was fortunately able to board the standby flight.

“Most of our lives are negotiation.”

When it comes to “negotiation,” grandiose things often come to mind, but most of the things we encounter in our lives can be negotiations. Negotiations such as salary negotiations conducted by companies can be considered important negotiations. However, even if they are not such large negotiations, we experience small negotiations in our daily lives.

Small promises with children, persuading children to play less games, or promising to wake up early in the morning can all be considered small negotiations.

Negotiating a price discount when purchasing clothes at a store, requesting a room upgrade at a hotel, negotiating telecommunications fee discounts, card fee discounts, etc., are all part of negotiation. The book explains various cases from major negotiations to minor negotiations.

“Definition of Negotiation”

Professor Stuart Diamond, the author, defines negotiation as follows:

  • “Negotiation is essentially ‘persuasion,’ ‘communication,’ or ‘sales.’
  • All of these require drawing a picture in the other person’s mind
  • And require the same process of obtaining what you want through appropriate responses to the situation.”

He also defines negotiation in four aspects:

  1. Negotiation is the process of making the other party take specific ‘actions.’
  2. Negotiation is the process of making the other party make specific ‘judgments.’
  3. Negotiation is the process of making the other party have specific ‘perceptions.’
  4. Negotiation is the process of making the other party have certain ’emotions.’

Negotiation varies for each case, and one must recognize that the situation can change at any time during the negotiation process, and find answers to the following three questions for each situation:

  1. What is your goal?
  2. Who is the other party?
  3. What is needed to persuade?

“The most important thing in negotiation is people.”

In general, the most important thing in negotiation is thought to be expertise, but in reality, the author says it is people. Less than 10% of cases where decisive factors related to expertise lead to agreements, while more than 50% of cases where human factors such as likability or trust lead to agreements. The author also mentions that procedural factors had a decisive impact on 37% of successful negotiation cases.

Ultimately, people and procedures are much more important than content in negotiation. To succeed in negotiation, one must start by resolving human relationships, and never push discussions unilaterally. Negotiations conducted in this way cannot lead to agreements, and even if they do, they ultimately become short-lived negotiations.

Efforts to understand the other party as a human being, striving to put oneself in the other party’s shoes, and approaching the situation are necessary.

“Basic Elements of Effective Communication”

To do this, effective communication is necessary, and the following elements are needed:

  • Always approach the problem through conversation.
  • Ask questions after listening to the other party’s words.
  • Respect without blaming the other party.
  • Summarize the conversation frequently.
  • Exclude emotions.
  • Specify goals in detail.
  • Take a firm attitude without damaging relationships.
  • Do not miss small signals.
  • Discuss perceptual differences.
  • Understand how the other party makes promises.
  • Consult before making decisions.
  • Focus on what you can control.
  • Do not argue about who is right.

The elements introduced above all prioritize the other party over oneself, rather than prioritizing oneself. Ultimately, it is important to communicate by thinking from the other party’s perspective. It should not be overlooked that in negotiation, the other party’s words are more important than one’s own. 

“Negotiation Model for Getting What You Want”

The book also introduces a negotiation model for getting what you want. This negotiation model has advantages that are useful in almost every situation.

By writing down the contents for each quadrant, you can prepare for negotiation, and the contents to be included in each quadrant are as follows:

  • Quadrant 1: Problem Identification and Goal Setting
    • Goal setting: Set short-term and long-term goals.
    • Problem identification: Identify obstacles to achieving goals.
    • Stakeholder identification: List the other party, decision-makers, and third parties.
    • Worst-case scenario anticipation: Think about the situation if the negotiation fails.
    • Preparation: Collect all information about the other party.
  • Quadrant 2: Situation Analysis
    • Needs and interests identification: What are the needs and interests of both parties?
    • Perception of the other party: What is the mental picture of both parties?
    • Communication style identification: What is the communication style and relationship between both parties?
    • Perception of standards: What standards does the other party adhere to?
    • Goal reassessment: Is goal adjustment necessary based on the situation
  • Quadrant 3: Option Selection and Risk Management
    • Brainstorming: What options are available to achieve the goal?
    • Setting a gradual approach: Set intermediate steps to reduce risk.
    • Identification of third parties: Are there common enemies or influential figures?
    • Framing establishment: Create a vision and ask creative questions.
    • Alternative creation: Find other options to advance the negotiation.
  • Quadrant 4: Action
    • Determining the best approach and priorities: Identify decisive factors and things to give up.
    • Deliberation on negotiation style: Who and how will you talk to
    • Procedure awareness: Do not neglect agenda, deadline, and time management.
    • Confirmation of contract terms and incentives: Confirm directly with the other  party.
    • Agreement, disagreement, or abandonment: Determine whether to proceed or stop negotiation.
    • Backward move consideration: Be prepared to step back and consider reapproaching.
    • Negotiation of execution and control: Discuss how to ensure implementation and control.

The most important part of this negotiation model is to identify and prioritize human factors and to proceed with the negotiation while maintaining a relationship of trust with the other party. The importance of human relationships is emphasized throughout the book.

“Negotiation Checklist for Each Stage”

The book also includes a negotiation checklist for each stage, which can be used as a reference during actual negotiations. The checklist is as follows:

  • Quadrant 1: Problem Identification and Goal Setting
    • What is my goal?
    • What are the other party’s goals?
    • Who is the other party?
    • What do I need to persuade?
  • Quadrant 2: Situation Analysis
    • What are my needs and interests?
    • What are the other party’s needs and interests?
    • What is the other party’s mental picture?
    • What is the relationship between the other party and me?
  • Quadrant 3: Option Selection and Risk Management
    • What options do I have?
    • What steps can I take to reduce risk?
    • Are there common enemies or influential figures?
    • What is the vision?
    • What other options are available?
  • Quadrant 4: Action
    • What are the decisive factors?
    • Who and how will I talk?
    • What procedures do I need to be aware of?
    • What are the terms and incentives of the contract?
    • Should I proceed with negotiation, terminate it, or stay where I am?
    • Should I consider moving backward?
    • How will I ensure execution and control?

This checklist is also useful as a review material before starting negotiations. By checking this checklist, you can avoid making mistakes due to oversight in negotiations.

“Techniques for Every Stage of Negotiation”

In addition to the negotiation model and checklist introduced earlier, the book also explains techniques for each stage of negotiation. These techniques can be used as a reference for actual negotiations.

Since these techniques are explained in detail in the book, I will introduce them later.

“Negotiating Tactics Used in Real-Life Examples”

At the end of the book, real-life examples of negotiation tactics used by the author are introduced. These tactics are also useful as reference materials for actual negotiations.

The book concludes by summarizing the importance of relationships and procedural factors in negotiation. It emphasizes that by building trust with the other party and proceeding with negotiation while maintaining a good relationship, you can achieve your goals.

“How to Get What You Want: Negotiating to Achieve Your Goals in the Real World”