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Negotiate to Win

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  • September 2008
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Review Essay

Negotiate to Win – The 21 Rules for Successful Negotiation by Jim Thomas

Win-win negotiating isn’t a matter of altruism, morality, or ethics. I practice and preach it for one simple, unsentimental reason: it’s the only thing that works. It’s the only way to pursue, conclude, and maintain rewarding agreements.

Jim Thomas

Part One: The World is a Big Blue Bargaining Table
Jim Thomas opens the book with a very relevant insight as to how negotiation is present in our daily lives, and how globalization has increased the need for us to negotiate effectively due to a higher level of cross-country communication due to work or leisure. He then debunks several traditional approaches towards negotiating, such as the Academic Approach, where negotiators try to understand the real underlying meaning behind the other party’s stated position as well as the Body Language Approach, which recommends negotiators to act and react solely based on the other party’s body language. An in-depth examination of the way Americans and Japanese negotiate then follows, with Thomas recommending the reader how cues can be taken from the Japanese, whom he hails as the greatest negotiators of all-time.

Part Two: The 21 Rules of Negotiating
The most prevalent rule is that a negotiator should always seek a trade-off for every concession that he makes. The other rules build on this, and bring the reader step-by-step towards understanding negotiation and thus (hopefully) being better than it.

Part Three: The Practice of Negotiating
The ethics of negotiating are discussed with Thomas maintaining that “Ethical Negotiating is the ONLY form of Negotiating”. A selective write-up highlighting the different cultures across different countries (mainly a comparison between countries from the East and West) is presented to the reader, highlighting why a negotiator needs to adjust his approach and attitude constantly.

“Negotiate to Win” is essentially a guide book...

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