You Can Negotiate Anything Book Summary - You Can Negotiate Anything Book explained in key points
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You Can Negotiate Anything summary

Herb Cohen

Anything you want, you got it

4.2 (314 ratings)
16 mins
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    You Can Negotiate Anything
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    Most things in the world can be negotiated, so you should learn to do it well.

    Life is a constant stream of negotiations. Whether you’re trying to get your son to behave at a fancy restaurant or your boss to give you a raise, any situation where you try to affect someone else’s behavior is basically a negotiation.

    Most things in the world are negotiable. Prices at fancy department stores, mortgages or speeding tickets can all be negotiated, as long as you know how. Even notoriously inflexible entities such as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will negotiate with you, because the tax officials, at the end of the day, are just people like the rest of us. Because negotiations are so ubiquitous, don’t you think it’s time you started improving your skills in that arena?

    Sometimes negotiating is just a matter of talking to the right person. Every organization has a hierarchy, and the lowest rungs always have the least power to grant you what you wish. So if the lackeys can’t help you, demand to speak to managers, directors, and so on, until you find someone with sufficient authority to make concessions.

    Once at a Mexican hotel, the author was told that this hotel had no room for him. He calmly asked for the manager, and inquired:

    “Would you have room for the President of Mexico if he shows up?”

    “Sí, Señor.”

    “Well, he’s not coming, so I’ll take his room.”

    In general, the only factors that should affect your decision to negotiate for something are whether you are comfortable negotiating for it, whether a negotiation will result in your needs being met and whether it’s worth the effort.

    Most things in the world can be negotiated, so you should learn to do it well.

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    What is You Can Negotiate Anything about?

    You Can Negotiate Anything (1980) shows that negotiations occur in every walk of life and that it is vital to have the skills and understanding to deal with those situations. The book outlines the key factors affecting negotiation success, as well as ways of negotiating for win-win solutions.

    Who should read You Can Negotiate Anything?

    • Anyone who has ever negotiated with their spouse, boss or the telephone company, and wants to get better at it
    • Anyone who wants to protect themselves against abuse from aggressive negotiators
    • Anyone who wants to negotiate for mutual satisfaction

    About the Author

    Herb Cohen has been a negotiator for over four decades, covering a wide range of situations from corporate mergers to international disarmament contracts and hostage negotiations. He has taught negotiation skills at many prestigious institutions, including the FBI, CIA and Harvard University. His analyses and insights have made him a subject of articles in diverse publications such as The New Yorker, The Economist, TIME magazine and Rolling Stone

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