Getting to No, Getting to Yes

The latter is a book by Roger Fisher and William Ury, Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, published in 1983, which promoted a theory of four principles for effective negotiation:

  1. separate the people from the problem;
  2. focus on interests rather than positions;
  3. generate a variety of options before settling on an agreement; and
  4. insist that the agreement be based on objective criteria.

“Getting to No” is a pun on the title of the book and refers to the assessment that deals rarely close until one party starts to refuse further concessions, thus convincing the other party that the deal on the table is as good as it is going to get, e.g., it has reached the other party’s BATNA.

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