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Bargaining for Advantage summary

G. Richard Shell

Negotiation Strategies for Reasonable People

4.2 (126 ratings)
25 mins

Brief summary

Bargaining for Advantage by G. Richard Shell is a practical guide to negotiation. It provides useful tips on how to prepare for negotiations, communicate effectively, and create win-win situations.

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    Bargaining for Advantage
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    Better negotiating starts with embracing your authentic strengths.

    There’s a Danish folk saying that goes, “You must bake with the flour you have.” In other words, make use of what you have at your disposal rather than wishing for something else. It’s a good principle to keep in mind when it comes to stepping up to the negotiating table.

    The key message here is: Better negotiating starts with embracing your authentic strengths.

    Everyone negotiates differently, both in business and in life. That’s no surprise, since we all have different levels of competitiveness. 

    Take Steve Ross, for example. He founded Warner Communications and was later CEO of Time Warner. One day, Ross was playing canasta, a card game, on a Warner corporate jet. He’d lost the last game before the plane was due to land, but, rather than conceding, he ordered the pilot to continue circling the airfield until he’d won a hand. This wasn’t unusual – Ross often brought this level of intense competitiveness to his business dealings.

    At the other end of the spectrum, there’s popular American talk show host Larry King. In the middle of King’s career, his agent tried to manipulate CNN’s owner, Ted Turner, into giving King a large raise. The idea was to seek out offers of better pay from other networks, then use them as leverage in contract negotiations with Turner. In the midst of negotiations, however, King told Turner he’d stay at CNN, accepting just a modest raise. Driving a hard bargain simply wasn’t in his nature.

    A basically nice person, like Larry King, will find it hard to act the aggressive huckster. And similarly, if you’re highly competitive, like Steve Ross, you’ll find it difficult to come across as an easygoing collaborative type. That’s why it’s important that you’re true to your own character; otherwise, your negotiating strategy will be an incoherent mess. Plus, people recognize and respect authenticity.

    Not a naturally assertive person? Well, you don’t need to pretend to be like Steve Ross to be a great negotiator. You should embrace your particular strengths. Those might include an ability to carefully listen to the other side and understand how their needs coincide with yours. Or maybe you have a knack for finding an agreement that works for everyone. And if you do happen to be a natural competitor, develop a strategy around that trait. 

    Now, natural character aside, there are some general tips that all negotiators can take on board. We’ll check them out in the following blinks. 

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    What is Bargaining for Advantage about?

    Bargaining for Advantage (1999) is a guide to becoming a more efficient and intelligent negotiator. Combining insights from negotiation research with tried-and-tested tactics by some of the world’s leading business experts, this is a book for anyone who wants to improve their bargaining skills.

    Bargaining for Advantage Review

    Bargaining for Advantage (1999) is a valuable resource for anyone looking to enhance their negotiation skills. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It provides practical strategies and techniques to help individuals achieve better outcomes in negotiations.
    • Through real-life examples and case studies, the book illustrates how to approach different types of negotiations effectively.
    • With its insightful analysis of the underlying dynamics of negotiation, the book keeps readers engaged and ensures that negotiation becomes anything but boring.

    Who should read Bargaining for Advantage?

    • Businesspeople whose work involves negotiating
    • Dealmakers looking to improve their bargaining skills
    • Fans of self-improvement and corporate strategy

    About the Author

    G. Richard Shell is a management professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and creator of its popular “Success Course.” He lives near Philadelphia.

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    Bargaining for Advantage FAQs 

    What is the main message of Bargaining for Advantage?

    Bargaining for Advantage teaches us how to negotiate effectively and achieve better outcomes.

    How long does it take to read Bargaining for Advantage?

    Reading Bargaining for Advantage takes a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in 15 minutes.

    Is Bargaining for Advantage a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Bargaining for Advantage is worth reading because it provides valuable insights and strategies for successful negotiation.

    Who is the author of Bargaining for Advantage?

    The author of Bargaining for Advantage is G. Richard Shell.

    What to read after Bargaining for Advantage?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Bargaining for Advantage, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Negotiating the Nonnegotiable by Daniel Shapiro
    • Secrets of Power Negotiating by Roger Dawson
    • Split the Pie by Barry Nalebuff
    • Getting More by Stuart Diamond
    • Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
    • You Can Negotiate Anything by Herb Cohen
    • Negotiation Genius by Deepak Malhotra & Max H. Bazerman
    • Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher
    • Flip The Script by Oren Klaff
    • You're Not Listening by Kate Murphy