Bargaining for Advantage Book Summary By G. Richard Shell

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Bargaining for Advantage is a book that covers everything you need to know about becoming a more effective and informed negotiator.

Written in 1999, this guidebook combines real-world negotiation wisdom with the findings of modern negotiation research.

It offers practical advice on how to increase your bargaining skills and provides tips from some of the world's leading experts on business negotiations.

Whether you're looking to improve your personal or professional bargaining skills, this is a must-have book.

Bargaining for Advantage Book

Book Name: Bargaining for Advantage (Negotiation Strategies for Reasonable People)

Author(s): G. Richard Shell

Rating: 4.2/5

Reading Time: 25 Minutes

Categories: Career & Success

Author Bio

G. Richard Shell is an experienced professor and teacher, currently serving as a faculty member in the Management Department at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.

He is best known as the creator of their popular Success Course, and he hails from the Philadelphia area.

Shell is a recognized figure in the fields of negotiation and bargaining, having published numerous books on the subject—most notably Bargaining for Advantage: Negotiation Strategies for Reasonable People—which has been translated into eleven languages and used in courses at severaliv universities across the United States.

His extensive background and knowledge make him the authority on bargaining for any advantage you can find in various negotiations.

Learning The Secrets Of Negotiation: Master The Art Of Bargaining From J


Negotiating can be tricky and nerve-wracking, but with the right knowledge and strategies, you can learn to bargain your way to better deals either at work or in life.

In this section of Bargaining for Advantage, you’ll get expert advice on how to navigate tough bargaining situations successfully.

From the masterful tactics of J.P.

Morgan and Akio Morita to Gandhi’s use of other people’s rules to achieve his goals, there are plenty of wise insights here that will help you gain an edge in negotiations.

You’ll also find out why leverage is such a powerful tool and why Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat played such an important role in securing peace for his country.

Follow the advice in this book and you’ll soon be able to hone your skills so that you can confidently use every opportunity to get a better deal when negotiating – both at work and in life!

Embrace Your Authentic Strengths For Better Negotiating Results

The key to successful negotiations is embracing your unique strengths so you can bring something special to the bargaining table.

Steve Ross, Founder of Warner Communications and later CEO of Time Warner, knew this well – he often brought a highly competitive spirit to his business dealings.

Conversely, Larry King was very different in how he handled negotiations; he was content with receiving only a modest raise, since aggressive haggling wasn’t in his nature.

It’s important to be true to who you are when negotiating as that’s what people respect most.

If you’re not naturally assertive, use it to your advantage by carefully listening to the other side and finding an agreement that works for everyone.

Or if you are more competitive, use it to hone your negotiation skills and develop a strategy around that trait.

No matter what character traits you possess, there are some essential tips you should keep in mind, such as understanding the context of the negotiation and being prepared for haggling if needed.

Ultimately, the goal is to understand your own individual strengths in order to make better negotiating decisions and come away with positive results.

Believe In Your Expectations To Achieve Negotiation Success

Negotiation Success

Confident in their product, the founders of Sony had high expectations for their then-new transistor radio.

When Akio Morita traveled to New York to market his product, he faced some skepticism from potential retailers.

However, rather than be deterred by skeptics, Morita went into negotiations with an optimistic expectation that his product would be popular abroad.

This type of mindset is part of what separates the best negotiators from other business professionals; they always go into negotiations with optimistic but justifiable expectations.

One must first do research and preparation to gain understanding of all the facts surrounding the negotiation at hand before making any demands to ensure they are reasonable and will be acceptable or meet somewhere in the middle.

In this case specifically, Morita believed that his radio would be a hit in America and refused a deal which would require removing Sony’s name from it.

In doing so he demonstrated conviction that what he was asking for was reasonable and justifiable.

His expectation ended up being accurate as Sony secured a more modest deal with another distributor which allowed them to keep their logo on the radio- leading to Sony’s immense success today!

How Norms Can Help You Win Any Negotiation

Appealing to norms is a powerful tactic for winning negotiations.

In any negotiation you are involved in, it pays to do your homework and look for the underlying norms – the standards that everyone involved respects.

Take, for example, the case of a nursing executive seeking funds from hospital administrators to hire more nurses.

The key to getting the money is to link their budget request with the hospital’s number one priority – high-quality patient care.

By appealing to this norm, they were able to increase their chances of having their request approved by decision-makers who share the same values and priorities.

Gandhi employed similar tactics in South Africa, where he used racism laws against the oppressors by emphasizing the norm of well-dressed and well-behaved people travelling first class on trains.

By dressing up smartly and engaging in polite conversation with his fellow passengers, Gandhi was able to challenge existing laws while also respecting social norms.

The Power Of Reciprocal Relationships In Business Negotiation

Reciprocity is essential to successful business negotiations.

When two parties have a reciprocal relationship – one where both sides are giving and taking fairly – compromises can be made, deals can be struck and everyone will come away feeling satisfied.

This is best seen in the example of J.P.

Morgan and Andrew Carnegie.

After Carnegie was facing financial difficulties, Morgan approached him with an offer to buy his share in a partnership they had together.

Though this seemed like an opportunity for Morgan to take advantage of Carnegie, he acted with honor and generosity by offering Carnegie $10,000 more than what they had originally agreed on.

It’s important to note that while it pays off to be generous and understanding during negotiations, you should also be wary of people trying to take advantage of your good faith by luring you into overly generous concessions that don’t benefit either party in the long term.

By maintaining fair relationships throughout the negotiating process, however, each party can achieve mutually beneficial results that stand the test of time.

Don’T Negotiate Blind: Know What The Other Side Wants And Let That Guide You

Negotiate Blind

In order to be successful in any type of negotiation, you must understand what is motivating the other party.

Whether it’s a business deal, a job interview or contract negotiation, understanding the needs and motivations of the other side will help you find common ground and come up with an agreement that both parties can benefit from.

Kelly Sarber was able to make headway in her contract negotiations for a waste-management company in Oceanside, California by offering something valued by the other side.

She figured out that beaches was an important part of their economy and offered to bring extra sand back with each garbage run to replenish them.

No matter how much you appeal to the other side’s interests, however, don’t forget that it is people who are actually negotiating – and they have their own needs (including status, self-esteem and incentives) that need to be taken into account as well.

Make sure you do your research on who your negotiating partner is and look out for areas where their interests align with yours.

In this way you can create an ideal situation for both parties where everybody wins!

Leverage Is Critical To Negotiation And It Can Be Applied In Several Ways To Gain An Advantage In Negotiations

When it comes to negotiation, leverage is king.

Leverage gives you the power not just to reach an agreement, but to be in control and come out winning on your own terms.

Whether it’s in a business deal or a game of poker, perception is everything; if you can give the impression that you have an advantage when really you don’t, it puts all the power in your hands.

Getting leverage could mean using third party adjudication or by arranging for the other side to lose face.

It could also mean finding alternative options which will put extra pressure on both sides to come to an agreement.

Janie Mitcham from Houston Lighting & Power Company was paying Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway too much money for carrying coal to her plant.

To put pressure on them, she found a competitor who offered her a 25 percent discount off their rate instead – and ended up saving over $10 million per year!

That’s the power of leveraging.

How Taking One Small Step Can Help When Negotiations Reach A Stalemate

We all reach impasses now and again; whether in the boardroom during a professional negotiation or in a personal disagreement, it can seem like things have ground to a halt.

The tension can become so high that we feel our patience fraying at the edges.

It’s essential to find some objectivity and take one small step when this happens, in order to break the stagnation and get back on track.

A great example of how this works is seen in Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat’s ability to move forward with negotiations with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin.

On November 19th 1977, Sadat got off a plane and demonstrated his willingness to recognize Israel’s existence by acknowledging its presence – one small step that eventually led to the Camp David peace accords and Israel’s return of the Sinai peninsula.

This strategy works regardless of whether you’re dealing with professional negotiations or personal misunderstandings – if you have reached an impasse it’s time to employ a technique called one small step.

Make a small, unambiguous move in the other party’s direction (such as an acceptance of past mistakes or an offer of concession) and wait for them to make their own move; then repeat until tensions have eased and conversations can get back on track.

The Takeaway: Different Negotiation Strategies Reflect Different Ethical Standards

Ethical Standards

When you’re in a negotiation, the response you give reveals how well you understand the ethics of bargaining.

In the real world, there are lots of different strategies for negotiating that can be classified into three main types: Poker School, Pragmatist School and Idealist School.

The Poker School of ethical bargaining sees negotiation as a game with set rules to prevent fraud or cheating.

These gamers focus on getting the best deal they possibly can, even if it means using deception as long as it’s within the bounds of legality.

The Pragmatist School is similar to Poker school in that they don’t mind using deception but ultimately believe it should only be used as a last resort since reputation matters.

The goal is to reach an agreement and maintain positive working relationships at all times.

Wrap Up

In summary, Bargaining for Advantage is a fantastic source of insights into the art of negotiation.

It teaches readers that anyone can become a good negotiator – regardless of whether they’re super-competitive or more cooperative – as long as they don’t forget to bring their full selves to the negotiation table.

The book also outlines key strategies for improving one’s bargaining skills by setting expectations high, fostering strong relationships through mutual respect and reciprocity, and understanding the power of leverage.

Finally, it recommends using carefully-devised props during negotiations as a means of getting things off to a good start.

All in all, this book is sure to leave readers with an edge when it comes to negotiating!

Arturo Miller

Hi, I am Arturo Miller, the Chief Editor of this blog. I'm a passionate reader, learner and blogger. Motivated by the desire to help others reach their fullest potential, I draw from my own experiences and insights to curate blogs.

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