Book Review – Negotiating Outcomes

Negotiating outcomes


This is another of the books from the useful Pocket Mentor series from the Harvard Business School Press. The book titled, Negotiating Outcomes, focuses on helping people:


  • Understand the basic types of negotiation
  • Prepare for, conduct and close a negotiation
  • Develop and maintain good relationships

Most of us spend time and effort negotiating with people in some shape or form and being able to do it effectively is essential. This short book which spans just 100 pages can give us some ideas on how to become better negotiators.

The book has two major parts. The first section contains the main reading content with 8 sections which cover:

  1. Types of negotiations
  2. Multiphase and multiparty negotiations
  3. Concepts such as BATNA, ZOPA and the reservation price.
  4. Nine steps to a deal
  5. Negotiation tactics
  6. Barriers to agreement
  7. Cognitive traps
  8. The skills of effective negotiators

The second part of the the book has tips and tools which can help you work on your negotiation skills such as worksheets, a short quiz to test yourself, frequently asked questions (FAQs), key terms and a reference to resources that can teach you more about negotiation.

When I go through these books I usually look at one key thing I can learn from the book. The key learning point for me from this book was the nine steps to a deal. Summarily the nine steps are:

  • Step 1 – Determine satisfactory outcomes.
  • Step 2 – Identify opportunities to create value.
  • Step 3 – Identify your BATNA and reservation price.
  • Step 4 – Improve your BATNA.
  • Step 5 – Determine who has authority.
  • Step 6 – Study the other side.
  • Step 7 – Prepare for flexibility in the process.
  • Step 8 – Gather objective criteria to establish fairness.
  • Step 9 – Alter the process in your favour.

Despite being a small book, it has lots of information and you can certainly learn one or two things that will improve your negotiation abilities.

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