Negotiation skills are a leadership essential. According to research by McKinsey & Company, 70 per cent of business leaders agreed that setting up a “negotiation center of excellence” would significantly affect the outcome of negotiations with suppliers, customers, and mergers and acquisitions. This is why even the most skilled negotiators should refine their skills and techniques. A great way to do that is by reading books on negotiation written by experienced negotiators. The best books on negotiation will help you bargain for deals, negotiate salary, resolve conflicts, and much more. Here, we have selected five of the best books on negotiation that every leader should read to become an even more skilled negotiator.
The 5 Best Books on Negotiation
1. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini
Goodreads Rating: 4.20
Persuasion is a critical skill that you need to learn if you want to be a skilled negotiator. First published in 1984, the book Influence does a deep dive into the psychology of compliance and persuasion, explaining why people say ‘yes’. The author Dr. Robert B. Cialdini outlines six principles that will help you become a skilled persuader–reciprocation, commitment and consistency, social proof, liking, authority, and scarcity. The book explains how you can use these principles to achieve the desired outcome in negotiations and also how to defend yourself from such persuasion tactics as well!
2. Negotiation Genius: How to Overcome Obstacles and Achieve Brilliant Results at the Bargaining Table and Beyond by Deepak Malhotra and Max H. Bazerman
Goodreads Rating: 4.23
Negotiation Genius by Deepak Malhotra and Max H. Bazerman outlines research-backed principles that can be applied to achieve “win-win” outcomes in any negotiation. It draws from research and experiences to detail strategies that work in real-world situations and fortifies you against hostile, unethical, or stronger opposition. This book is a valuable read for beginners and leaders alike and promises to make you a negotiation genius.
3. Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It by Chris Voss and Tahl Raz
Goodreads Rating: 4.37
Written by former international hostage negotiator for the FBI, Chris Voss, Never Split the Difference is one of the best books on negotiation. The book draws from Voss’ experience as a negotiator to illustrate the types of people in negotiation and provides field-tested strategies for high-stakes negotiation that you can apply to your professional and private lives. If you are looking for a book that will help you hone your emotional intelligence and thrive in any negotiation, pick this one.
4. Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Heen
Goodreads Rating: 4.05
For most of us, negotiation makes for a difficult conversation that we would rather not have. Often, these tend to get heated, and we either withdraw or lash out at others. Difficult Conversations is a detailed and insightful book demonstrating how to navigate such sensitive and complicated conversations and negotiate conflicts. Written by Harvard Negotiation Project experts, this is one of the best books on negotiation and is a must-read for anyone looking to improve their negotiation skills.
5. The Power of a Positive No: How to Say No and Still Get To Yes – William Ury
Goodreads Rating: 4.01
Saying no is one of the most challenging components of good leadership. Written by William Ury, the co-founder of Harvard’s Program on Negotiation and one of the leading experts on negotiation and mediation, The Power of a Positive No explains the power contained in the word “no” and how it can transform your life. In addition, the book provides a framework for saying “no” positively without ruining relationships.
Negotiation is a skill that you can hone and whether you are a beginner or already an expert, we hope this guide on the best books on negotiation will give you a competitive edge. In addition, if you want to upskill in other areas that matter to your career, explore the online courses from the world’s best universities on Emeritus.
By Krati Joshi
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