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Summary Getting to Yes (Chapters 2-5)

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Table of Contents

1. Summary of Chapter 2 ............................................................................................................................................ 2
Distinguishing between the people involved and the Problem ..................................................................................... 2
Substance & Relationship .............................................................................................................................................. 2
Strategies to be employed ............................................................................................................................................ 2
2. Summary of Chapter 3 ............................................................................................................................................ 3
Need for focus on interests, and not positions. ............................................................................................................. 3
How to identify interests ............................................................................................................................................... 3
3. Summary of Chapter 4 ............................................................................................................................................ 3
Looking at formulating new options for a win-win situation ........................................................................................ 3
4. Summary of Chapter 5 ............................................................................................................................................ 4
The importance of using objective criteria in negotiations ........................................................................................... 4
The advantages of employing objective criteria ........................................................................................................... 5


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1. Summary of Chapter 2

Distinguishing between the people involved and the Problem
The second chapter of the book focusses on separating the people from the problem. The book calls our
attention to the fact that negotiators are people first, and that they have emotions, viewpoints and personal
values. Thus, it is imperative to understand their personal side, before arriving at conclusions regarding their
negotiation strategy. A failure to understand the human side of the negotiator, can lead to a situation where a
deal may not struck, due to lack of consensus.

Substance & Relationship
Every negotiator has interest in the substance of the negotiation, and the relationship. If there is increased
importance on the relationship, it tends to get locked up with the problem, thus, complicating the issue. Hence,
it is imperative to separate the relationship and the substance of the negotiation. The interaction and the
people side of the problem needs separate attention, and must be dealt with separately.

Strategies to be employed
To alleviate this problem, it advisable to employ the following strategies. These strategies are a mix of
perceptions, emotions and communication.
Empathize with the other person.
Make your proposals in-line with their values.
Discuss about your perceptions.
Recognize and understand the emotions of the other person.
Abstain from emotional outbursts/reactions.
Listening actively to the concerns of the other side.
Investing on improving your relationship with the other party.
Focusing on the problem at hand, even in tumultuous situations.
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Speaking only for a purpose/intent.

2. Summary of Chapter 3

Need for focus on interests, and not positions.
The third chapter of the book focusses on the identification of focus for wise decisions. The authors state that
the focus should be on interests and not positions, as interests define the problem at hand. This is because
every single interest may lead to multiple positions, which may be hard to decipher and negate. But, if the
interest is identified, it may help in giving us an edge over the other side.

How to identify interests
Identification of interests is important as they are basic to human needs. To identify interests, we should
questions asking Why? and Why Not?
In order to understand the interests, it is advisable to construct a chart, so as to understand the underlying
thought process of the opponent. This will also tell you, whether they stand to lose or gain.
In several cases, it is found that each side has multiple interests. Thus, acknowledging interests of the other side
as a part of the problem is necessary for a good negotiation strategy. As a strategy, it would pay to be flexible
while holding onto a concrete stand.

3. Summary of Chapter 4

Looking at formulating new options for a win-win situation
The fourth chapter of the book focusses on formulating new options for a win-win situation. The diagnosis of
situations tells us that most negotiators assume that the process of negotiation always leads to a zero-sum end,
where one side must win and the other side must lose. However, this cant be further away from the truth.

The book identifies four obstacles for coming up with mutually beneficial solutions.
1. Premature judgment.
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The book identifies that the solution to this problem, is through inventing/formulating new options
before deciding. To formulate new options, the book suggests that the person should brainstorm all the
possible options to help in decision making.
2. Searching for single answer
To encounter this problem, we need to broaden our outlook and viewpoints. With such an approach, we
will be able to broaden the scope of the current proposal and this will in turn help us formulate new
ideas for a winning strategy.
3. Assumption of Fixed pie
This assumption of a fixed pie is extremely harmful in negotiations, as people tend to ignore mutual
interests. Through identification of common ground and common or shared interests between parties,
creative and mutually beneficial solutions can be found for the problem at hand.
4. Thinking that solving their problem is their own problem, and not ours
By empathizing with your opponent, you will be in a position to make the agreement the least painful
for him. Hence a mutually beneficial agreement, with the other side being caused less problems, can be
formulated if some concern for the problems of your opponents can be factored in your decisions.

4. Summary of Chapter 5

The importance of using objective criteria in negotiations
By agreeing to work with objective criteria and mutually agreed principles, agreements can be reached in an
amicable manner. In cases of prices and calculations, it is advisable to ask the opposition what criteria has been
employed or factored into their calculations. This method can also be followed to gauge the calculations of the
other side on their offer. This tactic can be used to expose
strategies of the other side
Faulty logic
Attempts to take advantage

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The advantages of employing objective criteria
Fair deals for both parties
Increased chances for benefits from the deal
Lower chances of the other side taking advantage of you, or treating you harshly.
Gives us the opportunity not to yield to undue pressure.