Getting to Yes with Yourself

And Other Worthy Opponents

by William Ury

Number of pages: 208

Publisher: HarperOne

BBB Library: Communication

ISBN: 978-0062390677

About the Author

William Ury is an American author, academic, anthropologist, and negotiation expert. He co-founded the Harvard Program on Negotiation. Additionally, he helped found the International Negotiation Network with former President Jimmy Carter. Ury is the co-author of Getting to Yes with Roger Fisher, which set out the method of principled negotiation and established the idea of the best alternative to a negotiated agreement (BATNA) within negotiation theory.


Editorial Review

While Getting to Yes With Yourself aims to improve your ability to negotiate effectively, it is designed with a much broader goal in mind: to help you achieve the inner satisfaction that will, in turn, make your life better, your relationships healthier, your family happier, your work more productive, and the world more peaceful. My hope is that reading this book will help you succeed at the most important game of all, the game of life.

Book Reviews

“Getting to Yes with Yourself (and Other Worthy Opponents) is the sage new book by William Ury, a masterfully crafted guide to improving our decisions, changing our natural tendency to react in ways that don’t serve our true interests, and creating the results we want for ourselves.”

“I bought this book expecting to be overwhelmed with theories and tips for getting the edge on those that sit opposite me, in life’s negotiations. Instead, I got life lessons, which on the face of it felt logical and practical but in reality, require hard work and serious commitment. It is one of the most useful and engaging books I have read in a while. Will re-read often.”

“So many profound messages that speak to the soul on prospective. Would highly recommend to anyone. This is the first book I have read by William Ury and have ordered all of his others. I read the whole book in one sitting and then reread highlighting what I believe are the key takeaways. What a monumental shift in how one views the world and the problems all of us face.”

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Wisdom to Share

Over spending decades on mediating in a variety of difficult conflicts, I concluded that the greatest obstacle to getting what we want in life is not the other party, it is actually ourselves.

If you observe yourself and others in moments of stress during negotiation, you will notice how easily people become triggered by other person. When we react, we fall into “3A trap”: we attack, we accommodate, or we avoid each other.

To observe ourselves, it’s valuable to go the balcony especially before, during and after problematic negotiation.

Each negative thought is a no to yourself. If we want to understand other human beings, there is no better way than to listen to them with empathy, and if you wish to understand yourself, the same rule applies.

If self-judgment is a no to self, self-acceptance is a yes to self, perhaps the greatest gift we can give ourselves.

Blaming usually triggers feelings of anger in the other. If we want to get to yes with others, we need to find a way to get past the blame game.

Self-understanding without self-responsibility runs the risk of dissolving into self-pity while self-responsibility without self-understanding can deteriorate into self-blame.

Your greatest source of power in a negotiation is your BATNA—your Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement. Your BATNA is your best course of action for satisfying your interests if you can’t reach agreement with the other side.

Your inner BATNA is your commitment to yourself that, regardless of whether you successfully negotiate an agreement, you will take care of your needs for satisfaction no matter what.

If blaming means giving away your power and thus saying no to yourself, taking responsibility means reclaiming your power and thus saying yes to yourself.

In negotiation, perhaps the biggest driver of win-lose thinking is a mindset of scarcity. When people feel there isn’t enough to go around, conflicts tend to break out.

One of the most effective negotiating strategies is to look for creative ways to “expand the pie” before dividing it up.