Book The Art of Negotiation –  Michael Wheeler

The Art of Negotiation - Michael Wheeler

Negotiating is a process. Learn here how to take full advantage of this process and be a great negotiator, even in chaotic situations.

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Have you ever needed to negotiate something? We face negotiations every day, at work, home, and shops for example. Involuntarily we are forced to negotiate, and of course, we always want to take advantage of it. In the book “The Art of Negotiation”, Michael Wheeler teaches the strategies to always extract the best of your deals.

You must know that there are methods, studies, and experiences that provide many materials for you to use in your future negotiations. Here in this summary, we will demonstrate how to use all this knowledge to your advantage and transform your life through it.

Got curious about how to become this master in negotiation? Stay with us in this summary and learn all the negotiation tips necessary to take a step forward!

The book “The Art of Negotiation”

“The Art of Negotiation” is a book that was published in 2013 by Simon & Schuster publishing house.The book has 320 pages, divided into 13 chapters that deal with great negotiations and great negotiators, where the best advantage was taken in the midst of uncertain situations.

Its methods and examples can be easily applied in our business practices, making it possible to achieve success.

Who is Michael Wheeler?

Michael Wheeler is an American writer, very successful as editor in chief, demonstrating his talent and excellence for works of the utmost importance.

As a teacher, he taught negotiation at Harvard Business School and advised corporate clients, business organizations, and government agencies in the United States and abroad.

Why should I read “The Art of Negotiation”?

This book is essential for entrepreneurs, businessmen, and investors, as well as aspiring traders who seek to thrive in the face of chaotic or uncertain situations and close deals, reaching agreements in their new projects.

What can I learn from “The Art of Negotiation”?

  • The author shows us how chaotic situations favor us in the art of negotiating;
  • Learning to improvise at the time of negotiation is the main element for the author;
  • Know the whole process of a negotiation, from the first dialogues to the decision making;
  • In addition to an objective that may limit the flow of interests and rationalize the result always have a plan B to expand the possibilities;
  • Know how to prevent yourself in the unusual situations that negotiation may offer, based on the exercises shown by the author;
  • Be optimistic as long as you do not exclude your realism in the negotiations;
  • Using tips and methods presented by the author, increase your intelligence, preparation, and belief when negotiating;
  • Understand how the author advocates personal growth and awareness of his negotiating power.

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[Book Summary] The Art of Negotiation - Michael Wheeler

Embrace Chaos

Michael Wheeler begins by bringing an element little used in the teachings about negotiation: improvisation.

Negotiations need to be dynamic and agile. If you believe that there is always unknown information in the act of trading, you are automatically prepared for any chaotic situation.

There is a cycle in negotiations, consisting of learning, adapting, and influencing. The successes and failures in these acts are not limited to the gain or loss of the causes. They need to be analyzed by the amount, energy, and time spent.

The author emphasizes his admiration in win-win negotiations (in which both parties are victorious) as innovative and efficient. Having an objective when negotiating limits the flow of interests and streamlines the outcome.

The excitement of negotiating is one of the incalculable factors in advance. In contrast, this and any other uncertainties need to be well managed for a good strategy.

A Map of the Pyrenees

Here the author brings a story to figure negotiations, showing how the confidence, the impetus, and the vigilance that come from a substantial plan can foster when negotiating.

Understanding the context of the situation is a great resource when making a decision or analyzing a proposal.

Time is crucial. Knowing whether they support your strategy shows you the right time to trade. Be aware that being in trading is more efficient than being prepared individually.

Precious things are at stake right now, such as time, money, and status. You need to have a macro view when deciding to bet everything. Project yourself into the future by taking a watchful attitude about your plans.


Here we will learn tools for more realistic strategies in the area of possible agreement.

Trading Triangle

One is the negotiation triangle, in which the agreement is influenced and worked from:

  1. Baselines for acceptable results;
  2. Basis of possible agreements made available by the other Party;
  3. External restrictions or interference.

Drawing these three lines, there is an idea of the size of the possible negotiation space, remembering that it can always change.

Seeing change as a value ladder, where the steps are proposed suspended, gives you an idea of progression or regression. This gives you greater agility and creative power.

It also helps you know which information is most relevant at the time of the agreement. And believe this, information is your greatest power.

There is also the Prospecting Matrix. The focus of this matrix is to place possible advantages on scales of relevance to develop strategies. Both tools support confidence and help you think big and set ambitious goals.

Is it necessary to have a Plan B?

Here are 9 basic principles for trading:

  1. Set a goal;
  2. Have a plan B;
  3. Visualize a final game;
  4. Make learning a priority;
  5. Adapt yourself;
  6. Think like a competitor;
  7. Be multilingual;
  8. Protect your exit option;
  9. Be prepared to finish.

Inflexibility comes at a cost, which can destroy any strategy by destabilizing you. To be an efficient negotiator, it takes agility to deal with possible counterpart nonsense.

Presence of mind

There are feelings that negotiation can provoke in the individual. Michael defends the effectiveness of paradoxes as “calm and attentive” or “patient and proactive” when negotiating. Emotional balance is the key to better adapting during a deal.

There is also a whole subjective emotional baggage that must be addressed when negotiating. These personality patterns and emotions are all about final performance.

But the question is, what can you do about it?

  • Understand your emotions;
  • Exercise your mind to control your emotions;
  • Your conscience should be trained according to your life purpose.

What should be the pace of things?

Here the author makes a paradox of dealing with jazz, where there are proper languages, emotional states, learning, adapting and influencing processes, rhythmic concerns, and improvisations.

At the time of improvisation, pay attention to:

  • Follow the flow of the negotiation;
  • Be provocative;
  • Flex the rules of improvisation;
  • Being in sync – or out of sync because the unexpected can result in a new song, a new business;
  • Have an appreciative mindset.

Situational Awareness

Prediction is a crucial factor in trading. Some of the virtues necessary for this are:

  • Will;
  • Intelligence;
  • Initiative.

A useful dynamic interaction in trading is to observe, guide, decide, and act in a cyclical motion. Plans should be tentative, but planning needs to be effective, efficacious, and efficient.


Initial conversations can succumb to negotiations. One must be open, taking care to not deplete energy.

Three things happen at these early times:

  1. Involvement: “who?” – Defines the relationship;
  2. Formulation: “what?” – Defines the task;
  3. Outline: “how?” – Defines the process.

Some other questions are also important at the beginning:

  • Get off on the right foot, prepared and willing;
  • Care about first impressions, such as body language. 

Critical Moments

Michael Wheeler says that some negotiating postures can be misunderstood and must be deterred. Information directly influences strategies.

Principles applied at critical moments:

  • Use tactics;
  • Be decisive about risks;
  • Focus on the ultimate goal;
  • Be consistent;
  • Calculate your movements well.


Exhaustion of progress may mean the end of the negotiation. Saying “yes” to an agreement entails future processes. There are satisfactory ways to do this, such as showing gratitude.

Persuasion is important in closing deals, intensifying trust. The entire path is manifested at closing time, so always be aware of the processes. For this, your emotions and impulses must be very well managed at this time of the agreement.

Turn on the lights

The momentary departure from a negotiation helps in new insights and ways to control obstacles. The forms and ways to find mutual favors:

  • The difference of values;
  • Economies of scale;
  • Time adjustments;
  • Risk tolerance.

Cruel Learning

A negotiation provides learning by experience, as well as demonstrates focuses of concern and choice.

  • Take care of feedback: beware of misunderstandings, don't confuse satisfaction with success, and remember that it's not just about you;
  • Congratulate yourself when you are successful;
  • Success is effective when celebrated by all involved;
  • Think about the end and what you would do differently, calibrate your impressions;
  • Review your negotiating skills annually and recognize your wounds;
  • The results are all fruits of their actions.

Nothing fairer

Many situations require dealing with values and expectations different from ours. Act for what you think is right for yourself. Equity does not expect favors to be returned.

Have authority in your dealings, character, and moral sensitivity. Negotiations require obligations to others.

Books about negotiation and persuasion

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.

In the book Contagious: Why Things Catch On, the author Jonah Berger talks about mental triggers, which aim to allow your brain to function better without an overload of information. This increases your persuasive power when negotiating your sales.

Mark H. McCormack, the author of What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School, explains that the ideal outcome for a negotiation is a win-win situation in which both parties are satisfied.

How can I apply the ideas from “The Art of Negotiation”?

  • Select your next business;
  • Previously study the relationship, task, and process involved;
  • Define yourself an elastic object. Prepare for changes, improvisations and possibilities;
  • Select a discursive and body language that gives you confidence and that you are able to maintain until the end of the negotiation;
  • During the dialogues, note the pace the counterparty has undertaken and see if it is at its pace. Prepare to be emphatic if you want to change the rhythm;
  • Prepare for closure: control your impulses and emotions;
  • Be sure to stay true to your principles and concepts;
  • At any stage of the process: be prepared for chaos;
  • Ensure success in your negotiations from now on. Enjoy this empowerment! 

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Book The Art of Negotiation - Michael Wheeler