Getting Past No - William Ury

Getting Past No - William Ury

Learn how to negotiate in difficult situations and turn your opponents into partners, using 5 strategies that will make you achieve the YES you so desire.

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If you don't know how to behave in a negotiation, have difficulties expressing yourself and reaching an agreement, then the book "Getting Past No", by author William Ury, was made for you.

It offers smart and practical strategies for you to break down the barriers of negotiation and be able to close a good deal, overcoming no and conquering the much desired yes.

Are you curious? So continue reading this PocketBook and learn all about the art of dealing with difficult people!

About the book "Getting Past No"

"Getting Past No: Negotiating in Difficult Situations" was written by William Ury and originally published in 1991 by Bantam Publishing.

The bestseller offers, in its content, simple and innovative ways to behave in a negotiation in the face of difficult opponents, in addition to teaching how to turn your opponent into a partner.

About the author William Ury

William Ury is a bestselling author, speaker, and anthropologist. In addition, he is a co-founder of the Harvard Negotiation Program, and one of the most renowned mediations and negotiation specialists in the world.

William is also the author of "Getting to Yes with Yourself" and co-author (with Roger Fisher and Bruce Patton) of "Getting to Yes".

To whom is this book indicated?

"Getting Past No" is ideal for all negotiators, mediators, entrepreneurs or investors who want to learn how to reach "yes" in a negotiation.

Reading is also recommended for those who need to break barriers and overcome the difficulties of reaching agreement in different everyday situations.

Main ideas of the book "Getting Past No"

  • There are five challenges that need to be overcome in a negotiation;
  • For each challenge, you need to learn the right strategies and know-how to turn the game around;
  • You must learn to listen to your opponent if you want to be heard by him;
  • Power must be used to educate the adversary;
  • Closing a deal requires a favorable climate;
  • It is crucial to learn how to show your opponent that you want to solve a common problem and reach a satisfactory agreement.

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[Book Summary] Getting Past No - William Ury

Overview: Getting Ready

In this first section of the book "Getting Past No", William Ury shows that all of us at various times in our lives face difficult negotiations, whether dealing with the boss, the husband, the clients, or the children.

As such, he explains how we should prepare to face these situations and break down the barriers that keep the "yes" out of our reach.

Breaking barriers to cooperation

For the author William Ury, we are all traders, yet many of us regard negotiations as difficult and stressful confrontations.

We can "lose the game" when we are flexible, or break relationships when we are very strict.

That way you have to solve problems without attacking your opponents. For this, the book "Getting Past No" shows five barriers to be broken in order to reach cooperation in a negotiation:

1. Your Reaction

When you are under stress, or you find a "no" or feel that you are being attacked, you have the need to react and strike back at your opponents' blows.

However, many times, the choice made is to give up the negotiation, giving the victory to your opponent.

2. Their emotions

According to the author William Ury in his book "Getting Past No", another possible barrier is the negative reaction from the other side. These reactions may be hostility and anger, or fear and distrust.

So, convinced that they are right, they can refuse to hear your arguments.

3. Their position

In joint problem solving, the two sides face the problem and face it together. But the obstacle may be the attitude that opponents take to "negotiate the old fashioned way" and try everything to make him give in or give up.

4. Their dissatisfaction

Even if your goal is a satisfactory deal for both sides, opponents may not be interested in this deal. They may not see how they will benefit from your ideas.

5. Their power

If your opponents see trading as a game in which someone has to lose, they may be determined to defeat you:

"What is mine is mine, what is yours is negotiable."

Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

The secret to effective trading is preparation. According to the author William Ury, many negotiations are not successful due to a lack of preparation. We need to worry more about the preparations than the meeting itself.

The book "Getting Past No" shows the five most important aspects to reflect on and then come to terms with:

  1. Interests: These are the motivations that led you to choose a position, and to reach an agreement you have to find out the interests of both sides;
  2. Options: These are possible agreements that satisfy both interests. Creating such options is a good opportunity to become a great negotiator;
  3. Criteria: Good agreements depend on fair criteria of choice that are made together but do not favor one side over the other;
  4. Alternatives: You should consider what your alternatives are in a negotiation to be more likely to satisfy your interests and needs;
  5. Proposals: You should make strong proposals based on a possible agreement that you would say yes to.

Overview: Strategies to break down barriers

In this section of the book "Getting Past No", the author William Ury shows five strategies for breaking the trading barriers presented earlier.

Don't react: go to the balcony

The author's first strategy is to control your reactions when you feel that the negotiation is not going well and that you are moving away from the "yes". "Go to the porch" is a metaphor for "walk away".

You should view the trade with an observer look. Consequently, you will think rationally, distancing your emotional reactions from your involvement with the negotiation.

Doing so can prevent reactions such as:

  • "Fight fire with fire": When you feel that you are being attacked, an impulsive reaction is to attack back, which may take you away from your real goals;
  • Giving in: Giving in is an impulsive reaction and is often easier than arguing for agreement;
  • Break up: Another common reaction is to break off the negotiation and give up a deal with a particular opponent.

Therefore, "going to the porch" involves pausing the negotiation and reflecting on everything that is going on. It can also advise negotiators to save time to review proposals and not to make important impulsive decisions.

Don't argue: stand by them

The second strategy involves understanding the problem from your opponent's perspective. To achieve this, the author William Ury makes some suggestions:

If followed correctly, this walkthrough repositions the speech between you and the other side. In this way, you will be speaking as a partner trying to jointly address an issue to solve a problem.

Don't reject: rephrase

People across the table may be trying to attack you while you try to attack the problem. So what to do when the other person is being adamant? For the author, it is necessary to rephrase his opponent's options rather than rejecting the ideas.

The ideal agreement, according to the book "Getting Past No", must be built from two perspectives. Therefore, you should use the other person's ideas as the basis for building an alternative that benefits both sides and solves common problems:

  • Show interest in the other's point of view by asking questions about possible problem solving;
  • Use silence as your ally and do not listen to your opponent's attacks, and he will consequently give up attacking you;
  • Reformulate your opponent's ideas and attacks and make them positive, so you will show that your goal is to solve problems together.

Don't insist: build them a golden bridge

To learn how to deal with another's dissatisfaction and change this situation, you need to move them in the direction you want them to go. Insisting that he accept the agreement you proposed will only show him that it is your idea and not his.

According to William Ury, you must build a golden bridge over the abyss. That is, helping your opponent overcome obstacles that prevent them from reaching an agreement.

You can do this in many ways. One is by involving the other side in solving a problem. That way you will be building a bridge that brings his thinking to your own.

Don't defeat him: use your power to educate

In this part of the book "Getting Past No", the author William Ury explains that it is necessary to use power to reach a mutual agreement rather than to use it for victory. When the opponent refuses to sign a deal, he believes he will win the deal. Therefore, it must be proved otherwise.

Using your power to educate the adversary is to show him the consequences of not accepting the deal:

  • Ask questions that will lead you to reflect on the impact of "no";
  • Show him what can happen if a deal is not struck;
  • Always show that you have another alternative, that the proposed agreement is an attractive solution for both sides.

Overview: Turning opponents into partners

In this chapter, Ury goes back to the steps that lead to an agreement and what it takes to make opponents partners.

Breaking the barriers of negotiation is a difficult task. To be a successful negotiator you must be patient and persistent. Achieving your goals and reaching a satisfactory agreement requires:

  • Suspend your reactions when you want to attack back;
  • Listen when you feel you should speak;
  • Ask questions when you want to answer the questions;
  • Unite differences when you think you should push them away;
  • Use the power to educate when you think you should use it to win.

What do other authors say about it?

In "What They Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School", Mark McCormack also talked about the win-win strategy. According to him, the ideal result for any negotiation is that both sides win because if one side is more satisfied than the other, the results of the negotiation are unexpected.

Roger Dawson, in his book "Secrets of Power Negotiating", reveals his tactics for succeeding in a negotiation. He points out that most negotiation happens through nonverbal communication.

That is, studying body language gives you both the advantage of knowing how to behave in a negotiation and the advantage of identifying whether your "opponent" is satisfied or disappointed during the deal.

Finally, in "SPIN Selling", author Neil Rackham points out that the quality of the questions asked is crucial to the success of the negotiation.

Okay, but how can I apply this to my life?

Now that you have learned the step-by-step to achieve the long-awaited "yes" in a negotiation, let us recall some practical tips offered by the author William Ury in his book "Getting Past No":

  • Learn to control your emotions in a trade;
  • Create a favorable environment to be able to close a deal;
  • Use your power to bring the opponent to your side;
  • Show the opponent that you want to work together to solve their problems.
  • Make a deal that is satisfactory to you and the other person.

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Book 'Getting Past No'