The Art of Negotiation Book Summary - The Art of Negotiation Book explained in key points
Listen to the Intro

The Art of Negotiation summary

Michael Wheeler

How to Improvise Agreement in a Chaotic World

4 (244 ratings)
20 mins

Brief summary

The Art of Negotiation by Michael Wheeler is a practical guidebook to help you become a better negotiator. It offers valuable insights and strategies to negotiate deals, resolve conflicts, and improve relationships.

Table of Contents

    The Art of Negotiation
    Summary of 9 key ideas

    Audio & text in the Blinkist app
    Key idea 1 of 9

    The secret to successful negotiation is to prepare a plan beforehand, but not necessarily stick to it.

    Imagine you’re in an important salary negotiation, and you know exactly what you want: you know that you’re worth $120,000 per year – not less! – and so you naturally demand this amount. But what do you do when they say no? More than likely, you’ll lose confidence and control of the negotiation, and consequently leave the negotiating table with far less than you had expected.

    Well, it’s good that you knew what you wanted. But you hadn’t prepared a map that considers many acceptable paths and outcomes so that you can make the most of your negotiations.

    Your map should start by first identifying what your ultimate target is, i.e., your stretch goal, along with several baselines, or minimum acceptable outcomes. This way, if your negotiating partner doesn’t accept your stretch goal, then you have something else to fall back on.

    Baselines are important, as your negotiating partner has their own goals which often contradict with your own.

    Let’s look at that hypothetical salary negotiation: if your stretch goal of $120,000 is rejected, then you can fall back on your baselines. Your baselines might be things like “a yearly salary of $100,000” or “$90,000 plus stock options.”

    While maps are practically useful, they are also useful in another crucial way: just feeling like you know where you are going can give you the confidence you need to succeed.

    It was this very principle that saved a military patrol unit from certain death after becoming lost in the Swiss Alps back in the 1930s. The unit was in danger of dying in the wilderness when one soldier found a map in his pocket, which the team then followed to safety. The interesting thing here is that this wasn’t even a map of the Alps, but the Pyrenees!

    Yet, the assumption that they knew where they were heading nevertheless gave them the confidence to make it out alive.

    Want to see all full key ideas from The Art of Negotiation?

    Key ideas in The Art of Negotiation

    More knowledge in less time
    Read or listen
    Read or listen
    Get the key ideas from nonfiction bestsellers in minutes, not hours.
    Find your next read
    Find your next read
    Get book lists curated by experts and personalized recommendations.
    Shortcasts New
    We’ve teamed up with podcast creators to bring you key insights from podcasts.

    What is The Art of Negotiation about?

    The Art of Negotiation offers a radical approach not found in most books on negotiation: no two negotiations are the same, and thus there is no silver-bullet strategy to negotiation. Rather, it offers insights on how to develop the skills to succeed in dynamic and unpredictable negotiations.

    The Art of Negotiation Review

    The Art of Negotiation (2014) by Michael Wheeler is a valuable resource for anyone looking to sharpen their negotiation skills. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Packed with practical strategies, it equips readers with the tools they need to navigate complex negotiations and achieve favorable outcomes.
    • Covering a wide range of scenarios and industries, the book offers insights that can be applied to various real-life situations, making it relevant and practical.
    • With its engaging and relatable examples, the book brings the art of negotiation to life, making it far from a dull academic read and ensuring readers stay captivated.

    Best quote from The Art of Negotiation

    Whoever sits across the table from us may be just as smart, determined, and fallible as we are.

    —Michael Wheeler
    example alt text

    Who should read The Art of Negotiation?

    • Anyone who sweats bullets at the negotiating table
    • Anyone who wants to negotiate a higher salary
    • Anyone who wants to feel more secure in everyday and business communication

    About the Author

    Michael Wheeler is professor at the Harvard Business School who has taught negotiation techniques to thousands of students. In addition, he is editor of the Negotiation Journal, published by Harvard Law School and lives in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

    Categories with The Art of Negotiation

    Book summaries like The Art of Negotiation

    People ❤️ Blinkist 
    Sven O.

    It's highly addictive to get core insights on personally relevant topics without repetition or triviality. Added to that the apps ability to suggest kindred interests opens up a foundation of knowledge.

    Thi Viet Quynh N.

    Great app. Good selection of book summaries you can read or listen to while commuting. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion.

    Jonathan A.

    Life changing. The concept of being able to grasp a book's main point in such a short time truly opens multiple opportunities to grow every area of your life at a faster rate.

    Renee D.

    Great app. Addicting. Perfect for wait times, morning coffee, evening before bed. Extremely well written, thorough, easy to use.

    People also liked these summaries

    4.7 Stars
    Average ratings on iOS and Google Play
    31 Million
    Downloads on all platforms
    10+ years
    Experience igniting personal growth
    Powerful ideas from top nonfiction

    Try Blinkist to get the key ideas from 7,000+ bestselling nonfiction titles and podcasts. Listen or read in just 15 minutes.

    Start your free trial

    The Art of Negotiation FAQs 

    What is the main message of The Art of Negotiation?

    The main message of The Art of Negotiation is mastering the art of effective negotiation for successful outcomes.

    How long does it take to read The Art of Negotiation?

    The reading time for The Art of Negotiation varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is The Art of Negotiation a good book? Is it worth reading?

    The Art of Negotiation is a valuable read for anyone interested in honing their negotiation skills. It offers practical insights and strategies for achieving successful outcomes in various situations.

    Who is the author of The Art of Negotiation?

    The author of The Art of Negotiation is Michael Wheeler.

    What to read after The Art of Negotiation?

    If you're wondering what to read next after The Art of Negotiation, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Secrets of Power Negotiating by Roger Dawson
    • You Can Negotiate Anything by Herb Cohen
    • Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher
    • Negotiation Genius by Deepak Malhotra & Max H. Bazerman
    • The Creative Thinking Handbook by Chris Griffiths & Melina Costi
    • Difficult Conversations by Douglas Stone
    • All You Have to Do Is Ask by Wayne Baker
    • The Art of Seduction by Robert Greene
    • The Daily Laws by Robert Greene
    • Acting with Power by Deborah Gruenfeld