Getting to Yes with Yourself Book Summary By William Ury

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Getting to Yes with Yourself (2015) by William Ury is a must-read book for anyone looking to better understand and improve their relationship with themselves, whether it's personal or professional.

The book draws on Ury's impressive experience as a professional mediator in conflicts around the globe.

In this book, he shares his insights on how best to manage difficult conversations, come to more constructive agreements, and enhance the relationships in your life.

Through reading this book you can increase your influence over yourself and others, as well as benefiting from applying Ury's unique approach to problem solving.

Getting to Yes with Yourself

Book Name: Getting to Yes with Yourself (and Other Worthy Opponents)

Author(s): William Ury

Rating: 4/5

Reading Time: 10 Minutes

Categories: Communication Skills

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Author Bio

William Ury is an accomplished social anthropologist and the author of Getting to Yes With Yourself.

He's also the co-author of the international bestseller Getting to Yes and a co-founder of Harvard Negotiation Project, Harvard's world-renowned negotiation department.

Ury has advised governments all over the world on conflict situations, and even claims to have helped stop two civil wars from occurring.

With his knowledge in utilizing effective negotiation skills and expertise in handling international crises, Ury is undoubtedly an authority figure in helping individuals come to terms with themselves.

How To Use Negotiating Tactics To Handle Every Conflict In Your Life

Your Life

If you want to be more influential in the conflicts and circumstances you face on a daily basis, look no further than the bestselling book Getting to Yes.

Written by Roger Fisher and William Ury, it is a handbook which contains many tips on successful negotiations and conversations.

With these tips in mind, you can effectively deal with difficult relationships both at work or in your personal life, as well as find solutions to recurring problems that trap you throughout your life.

For example, by reading this book you can learn how Tylenol dealt perfectly with their biggest PR disaster.

You also need to understand that giving is key for receiving something positive in return – which is why understanding how someone without legs can still live a happy life like a lottery winner yields incredible insight into how much we give for what we receive.

By employing the strategies found in this book, you can be more influential in the conflicts and situations that cross your path every day!

Self-Understanding Allows Us To Acknowledge Our Feelings And Choose Not To React Harshly

If you find yourself in a conflict situation, your first instinct might be to make a reactionary response without considering the consequences of your actions.

Unfortunately, this kind of rash decision can be more damaging than helpful.

For example, if a mother snaps at her daughter when the child doesn’t go to bed on time, she risks distancing her daughter out of self-protection and undermining her goal of fostering a loving relationship with her girl.

In order to prevent yourself from becoming your own worst enemy during a conflict, you need to focus on developing self-understanding.

This involves observing yourself from an objective perspective and recognizing what is going on around you.

It also includes leveraging empathy and self-control to deactivate any potential unhelpful responses before they even have the chance to become an issue.

Through self-observation and listening to one’s inner dialogue with patience and understanding one can learn how best to master their own thoughts and emotions during difficult times.

Rather than acting out of anger or pride that may strain relationships further, self-mastery fosters growth and mutual respect between parties involved in the conflict.

By implementing these techniques the mother will gain clarity about what she needs for herself in order for the situation between her and her daughter to improve.

If we all commit ourselves to think before we act we will soon see differences in how conflicts are resolved – both internally within ourselves as well as with others

Taking Responsibility Is Empowering And Necessary For Personal And Business Growth

It’s very easy to blame other people or circumstances when something bad happens.

We may think if we point the finger away from ourselves, then we can avoid feeling any guilt or responsibility.

But in reality, this only serves to undermine our power and get us stuck in our victimhood.

Take for example Sam’s story in the book “Getting to Yes with Yourself”.

He got into multiple car accidents but consistently blamed it on outside forces – the other driver, road conditions or unclear signs.

It wasn’t until he accepted his underlying feelings that he was able to take responsibility for his own life and be at peace with himself and his family.

This notion extends beyond an individual level too – it applies to businesses as well.

When tragedy strikes, taking responsibility instead of attempting to evade blame is essential in gaining trust back from customers.

Just look at Tylenol after the cyanide poisoning incident in 1982 – not only did their CEO take full responsibility but they also withdrew the product without stopping their company from facing financial losses and managed to find success just a few months later with a tamper-proof bottle design.

In conclusion, don’t resort to blaming others or circumstances when things go awry – take responsibility for your actions and you’ll be surprised how it can empower you not only on an individual level but organizationally as well!

It’S Time To Change Our Attitude To Reach True Happiness And Success In Conflicts


The power to foster positivity and happiness is within you.

That’s the message behind Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert’s groundbreaking insights, laid out in his book ‘Getting to Yes with Yourself’.

When we fall into conflicts, it’s easy to think that our opponent is an adversary; this leads us to develop feelings of distrust or fear.

But by restructuring our internal view of the world – seeing it as a friendly and cooperative place rather than hostile and scarce – we can take control of our own happiness.

We often assume that outside events like winning the lottery or experiencing trauma have a great effect on our present happiness, but research has shown that after a year, both people will still be equally happy as before.

This once again reinforces the idea that happiness is something you create for yourself – not from external sources.

Modern police forces demonstrate this in practice when dealing with hostage situations: rather than relying on guns and tear gas, they opt for respectful negotiation which leads to more positive outcomes because even criminals tend to respond well when approached with respect.

So remember: you have the power to create your own happiness through changing your attitude about the world and engaging in respectful behavior towards those around you.

It Takes Working Through Fear And Anxiety To Truly Live In The Moment

Accepting the past, not worrying about the future, and living in the present – this is one of the most important lessons that can be learned from Getting to Yes with Yourself.

This book is full of great life advice from author William Ury on how to live happily and peacefully by focusing on the present moment.

Take Judith’s example as an example: She was so worried about her strained relationship with her teenage son that it began to affect her marriage.

Each time she tried to connect with him, he would reject her.

As a result, Judith became overwhelmed by fear and anxiety that things would never get better.

When she allowed herself to accept what was happening in the present moment and stopped trying too hard to control outcomes, Judith managed to make peace with her son’s rebellion.

She asked herself “What’s the worst that could happen?” and realized it wasn’t as bad as she thought it was.

Knowing it was all part of his teenage years made it easier for Judith to let go of her goal of having a perfect relationship with her son, which further strengthened their bond in the end.

By taking some time out each day to focus on your own needs and allowing yourself to be OK with accepting whatever outcome awaits you gives you the opportunity to really live life in the present.

That way, you don’t have an emotional hangover from worrying needlessly about either yesterday or tomorrow!

Appreciating The Joy Of Giving To Achieve Success And Inner Peace

Achieve Success

When negotiating, it’s important to remember that win-win situations can be achieved if both parties work to create value for one another.

This was exemplified in an interview with Chinese billionaire Li Ka-Shing, where he attributed his success to always giving more than he took from his partners.

His approach made everyone want to do business with him, which helped him reach great levels of success.

Research also shows this type of cooperation is effective at getting the best outcome for both parties – Carsten De Dreu led a comprehensive analysis of 28 different negotiation simulations that resulted in successful negotiators being those who used cooperative approaches that focused on meeting the needs of both sides instead of trying to take advantage of the other party.

This idea extends outside of negotiations too – when you’re looking out for others without sacrificing your own interests, you’ll find yourself in situations where everybody wins.

Wrap Up

“Getting to Yes with Yourself” is a book that shares the importance of self-relationships in order to have positive relationships with other people.

The key message of this book is that you can listen to your thoughts without judgement, accept both your faults and positive traits, and learn how to get to “yes” with yourself before getting to “yes” with others.

This will bring more joy into one’s life, as seeing the world as a friendly and loving place will bring about more satisfaction and fulfillment in relationships.

In short, getting to “yes” with yourself is an invaluable step one must take towards having meaningful relationships, leading us on the path of true happiness.

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Arturo Miller

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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