Essay about Getting to Yes

2777 Words May 10th, 2005 12 Pages
Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In
Roger Fisher and William Ury
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Roger Fisher and William Ury, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, (New York: Penguin Books, 1983).
In this classic text, Fisher and Ury describe their four principles for effective negotiation. They also describe three common obstacles to negotiation and discuss ways to overcome those obstacles.
Fisher and Ury explain that a good agreement is one which is wise and efficient, and which improves the parties' relationship. Wise agreements satisfy the parties' interests and are fair and lasting. The authors' goal is to develop a method for reaching good agreements. Negotiations often take the
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This can be done by asking why they hold the positions they do, and by considering why they don't hold some other possible position. Each party usually has a number of different interests underlying their positions. And interests may differ somewhat among the individual members of each side. However, all people will share certain basic interests or needs, such as the need for security and economic well-being.
Once the parties have identified their interests, they must discuss them together. If a party wants the other side to take their interests into account, that party must explain their interests clearly. The other side will be more motivated to take those interests into account if the first party shows that they are paying attention to the other side's interests. Discussions should look forward to the desired solution, rather than focusing on past events. Parties should keep a clear focus on their interests, but remain open to different proposals and positions. Generate Options
Fisher and Ury identify four obstacles to generating creative options for solving a problem. Parties may decide prematurely on an option and so fail to consider alternatives. The parties may be intent on narrowing their options to find the single answer. The parties may define the problem in win-lose terms, assuming that the only options are for one side to win and the other to lose. Or a party may decide that it is up to

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