beyond reason: Using Emotions as You Negotiate

Roger Fisher and Daniel Shapiro

It takes much longer to read a book when you keep stopping to think about how differently you would have handled a particular situation if you only had known about the tools discussed beyond reason. beyond reason: Using Emotions as You Negotiate is written by Roger Fisher, the co-author of Getting to Yes and the director of the Harvard Negotiation Project and Daniel Shapiro, the associate director of the Harvard Negotiation Project. These two gentlemen have written a most thought provoking book.

If you've attended Common Outlook's Effective Negotiation Workshop, you're already familiar with the tools presented in Fisher's book Getting to Yes. While it's not necessary to read Getting to Yes to appreciate beyond reason, in many ways, beyond reason builds on the skills covered in Getting to Yes.

In beyond reason, the authors present two planks that serve as the platform for dealing with emotions in negotiations:

  1. "Take the initiative…don't wait for emotions to happen and then react."
  2. "Address the concern, not the emotion."

To address the concern, the authors feel there are 5 core concerns we all share:

  1. Appreciation
  2. Affiliation 
  3. Autonomy 
  4. Status 
  5. Role

Using the ideas outlined in the book, you'll learn how to prepare for a negotiation by anticipating for and addressing the core concerns. The tools and ideas are straightforward and, with commitment and practise, could easily become second nature for many types of negotiations.

There's a fantastic real world example contributed by Jamil Mahuad, the former President of Ecuador. Not only is it gratifying to hear of this approach successfully being used in "the real world', to read of a President who embraces life-long learning and isn't afraid to ask for help, was quite inspirational.

beyond reason is well written and well worth reading. Recommended.

This book review was written by Helen Latimer.

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