Getting Past No Book Summary - Getting Past No Book explained in key points

Getting Past No summary

William Ury

Brief summary

Getting Past No by William Ury is a guide to negotiation that teaches you strategies for dealing with difficult people and overcoming obstacles to reach mutually beneficial agreements.

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    Getting Past No
    Summary of key ideas

    Overcoming Obstacles in Negotiations

    In Getting Past No, William Ury introduces us to the world of negotiation and teaches us how to respond effectively to hard negotiators and tough tactics. He starts by guiding us to realize that resistance from the other party is not a blocker, but rather a signal that we need to understand more about their needs, fears, and concerns. Ury advises to resist the natural reaction of striking back, giving in, or breaking off the negotiation. Instead, we should "go to the balcony," meaning we need to take a mental step back to deal with the situation objectively and calmly.

    Ury proposes a five-step strategy to follow when faced with a 'No'. The first step is to 'disarm' the other party by understanding and acknowledging their position. This can be done by active listening, paraphrasing their argument for clarity, and messaging agreement as far as possible. This step is all about reducing defensiveness and building a relationship with the person you are negotiating with.

    Shifting the Negotiation Landscape

    The second step is to redirect the negotiation towards a 'win-win' outcome by reframing the discussion. To do this, Ury suggests asking problem-solving questions, like 'Why?' or 'Why not?'. It can also be useful to ask the other party for their advice on solving the issue. By doing this, you can shift the dialogue from a fight to a side-by-side problem-solving conversation.

    Next, Ury encourages us to build a 'golden bridge' for our counterparts to traverse from their position to ours. He explains that often, people resist change because they feel it's forced upon them. To overcome this, make the decision easy for them. Ury suggests making their outcomes appear as the development of their ideas, involving them in the process, and making steps small and reversible if possible.

    Techniques for Getting Past No

    The fourth step is about using power to educate, not to threaten or coerce. It involves showing the other party what will happen if there is no agreement – the aim here is to enlighten, not to force an outcome. Ury explains that it's essential to maintain an open dialogue, primarily when using power tactics, to ensure the other party doesn't feel cornered or defensive.

    Finally, Ury advises us to make ourselves negotiation-ready. We can achieve this by preparing thoroughly, making proposals consistent and clear, and setting a personal deadline to prevent the negotiation from dragging on indefinitely.

    Conclusion: The Power of Principled Negotiation

    In the end, Getting Past No provides us with a coherent strategy to transform resistance into agreement. By seeing negotiations as joint problem-solving challenges rather than battles, we can go beyond adversarial attitudes and build agreements that satisfy both parties. These techniques aid in overcoming our counterparts' resistance and help us navigate the emotional waters of dispute resolution effectively.

    Despite being specifically about negotiation, Ury's strategy is versatile in its application, offering insights that can be used whenever we face resistance. Thus, Getting Past No provides us with a valuable skill set for managing and resolving conflicts both in our personal and professional lives.

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    What is Getting Past No about?

    Getting Past No by William Ury is about negotiation tactics and strategies for dealing with difficult and resistant individuals. Ury provides practical advice on how to break through barriers and overcome obstacles in order to reach win-win solutions. With real-life examples and insightful tips, this book equips readers with the necessary skills to navigate challenging negotiation situations successfully.

    Who should read Getting Past No?

    • Individuals who struggle with difficult conversations and want to improve their negotiation skills
    • Professionals who face frequent conflicts and need effective strategies to resolve them
    • Anyone interested in building stronger relationships and finding win-win solutions in challenging situations

    About the Author

    William Ury is an author, negotiation expert, and co-founder of the Harvard Program on Negotiation. He is best known for his book Getting Past No, which offers practical strategies for resolving conflicts and reaching mutually beneficial agreements. Ury has helped numerous organizations and individuals around the world with his expertise in negotiation and conflict resolution, and he continues to advocate for peaceful and productive communication.

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