Top Ten Negotiation Books for Your Must-Read List

by Chuck Doran and Megan Winkeler

Negotiation workshop participants often ask us what they can do to continue improving their skills after their training ends. The most effective way to continue your negotiation education and skill-building is to focus on implementing what you learned and to read everything you can about negotiation theory and practice.

How do you decide where to start with hundreds of titles to choose from? Below, we provide our suggestions for the top ten negotiation books to add to your must-read list. We reviewed best-seller lists and recommendations from colleagues based on the authors’ demonstrated expertise in the field of negotiation. Some titles, such as Getting To Yes, provide an essential framework for understanding and conducting effective negotiations. Other books on the list build upon these basic concepts to address more specific and advanced negotiation challenges, such as Difficult Conversations and Winning From Within.

Do you have other suggested titles for this list? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

1. Getting To Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In
By Roger Fisher and William Ury

“Since its original publication nearly thirty years ago, Getting to Yes has helped millions of people learn a better way to negotiate. One of the primary business texts of the modern era, it is based on the work of the Harvard Negotiation Project, a group that deals with all levels of negotiation and conflict resolution. Getting to Yes offers a proven, step-by-step strategy for coming to mutually acceptable agreements in every sort of conflict.”




2. Getting to Yes with Yourself: How to Get What You Truly Want
By William Ury

“Over the years, Ury has discovered that the greatest obstacle to successful agreements and satisfying relationships is not the other side, as difficult as they can be. The biggest obstacle is actually our own selves—our natural tendency to react in ways that do not serve our true interests. But this obstacle can also become our biggest opportunity.”




3. Getting More: How You Can Negotiate To Succeed In Work and Life
By Stuart Diamond

“Based on more than 20 years of research and practice among 30,000 people in 45 countries, Getting More concludes that finding and valuing the other party’s emotions and perceptions creates far more value than the conventional wisdom of power and logic. It is intended to provide better agreements for everyone no matter what they negotiate – from jobs to kids to billion dollar deals to shopping.”




4. Negotiation Genius: How to Overcome Obstacles and Achieve Brilliant Results at the Bargaining Table and Beyond
By Deepak Malhotra and Max Bazerman

“Whether you’ve “seen it all” or are just starting out, Negotiation Genius will dramatically improve your negotiating skills and confidence. Drawing on decades of behavioral research plus the experience of thousands of business clients, the authors take the mystery out of preparing for and executing negotiations—whether they involve multi-million-dollar deals or improving your next salary offer.”




5. Getting Past No: Negotiating in Difficult Situations
By William Ury

“In Getting Past No, William Ury of Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation offers a proven breakthrough strategy for turning adversaries into negotiating partners. You’ll learn how to stay in control under pressure, defuse anger and hostility, find out what the other side really wants, counter dirty tricks, use power to bring the other side back to the table, and reach agreements that satisfies both sides’ needs.”




6. Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most
By Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Heen

“We attempt or avoid difficult conversations every day-whether dealing with an under-performing employee, disagreeing with a spouse, or negotiating with a client. From the Harvard Negotiation Project, the organization that brought you Getting to Yes, Difficult Conversations provides a step-by-step approach to having those tough conversations with less stress and more success.”




7. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
By Robert Cialdini

Influence, the classic book on persuasion, explains the psychology of why people say “yes”—and how to apply these understandings … You’ll learn the six universal principles, how to use them to become a skilled persuader—and how to defend yourself against them. Perfect for people in all walks of life, the principles of Influence will move you toward profound personal change and act as a driving force for your success.”




8. Beyond Reason: Using Emotions as You Negotiate
By Roger Fisher and Daniel Shapiro

“In Beyond Reason, Fisher and Shapiro show readers how to use emotions to turn a disagreement-big or small, professional or personal-into an opportunity for mutual gain. Winner of the Outstanding Book Award for Excellence in Conflict Resolution from the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution.”




9. Winning from Within: A Breakthrough Method for Leading, Living, and Lasting Change
By Erica Ariel Fox

Winning from Within, by leadership and negotiation expert Erica Ariel Fox (and former MWI staff member), presents a contemporary approach for getting more of what you want, improving relationships, and enjoying life’s deeper rewards. Fox … explains how to master your “inner negotiators,” whether working with a difficult client, struggling with a stubborn spouse, or developing your highest leadership potential.”




10. Pitch Anything: An Innovative Method for Presenting, Persuading, and Winning the Deal
By Oren Klaff

“According to Klaff, creating and presenting a great pitch isn’t an art–it’s a simple science. Applying the latest findings in the field of neuroeconomics, while sharing eye-opening stories of his method in action, Klaff describes how the brain makes decisions and responds to pitches. With this information, you’ll remain in complete control of every stage of the pitch process.”



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Do you have any books to add to this list? Let us know in the comments section below.