Getting to Yes Quotes | Roger Fisher & William Ury

Getting to Yes Quotes. Getting to YES: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In (1981) is a business and self-help book by Roger Fisher and William Ury. It teaches a principled method of settling disputes so that both sides win. Revised in 1991 and 2011, the book has sold 15 million copies in 35 languages, spent several years on the BusinessWeek bestseller list, and is one of the most commonly cited works on lists of the best negotiation books.

Authors Fisher and Ury co-founded the Harvard Negotiation Project, which co-sponsored the book. They each took part in several important international negotiations, including border disputes, a hostage crisis, and disarmament talks. Fellow member and third-edition co-author Bruce Patton co-wrote a related bestseller, Difficult Conversations (1999).

Getting to Yes Quotes
Getting to Yes Quotes

Getting to Yes Quotes

  • “People listen better if they feel that you have understood them. They tend to think that those who understand them are intelligent and sympathetic people whose own opinions may be worth listening to. So if you want the other side to appreciate your interests, begin by demonstrating that you appreciate theirs.”
  • “Any method of negotiation may be fairly judged by three criteria: It should produce a wise agreement if agreement is possible. It should be efficient. And it should improve or at least not damage the relationship between the parties.”
  • “The ability to see the situation as the other side sees it, as difficult as it may be, is one of the most important skills a negotiator can possess.”
  • “the best time for handling people problems is before they become people problems.”
  • “The more extreme the opening positions and the smaller the concessions, the more time and effort it will take to discover whether or not agreement is possible.”
  • “If you want someone to listen and understand your reasoning, give your interests and reasoning first and your conclusions or proposals later.”
  • “the more attention that is paid to positions, the less attention is devoted to meeting the underlying concerns of the parties.”
  • “the ongoing relationship is far more important than the outcome of any particular negotiation.”
  • “The challenge is not to eliminate conflict but to transform it. It is to change the way we deal with our differences”
  • “Whether a negotiation concerns a contract, a family quarrel, or a peace settlement among nations, people routinely engage in positional bargaining. Each side takes a position, argues for it, and makes concessions to reach a compromise.”
  • “THE METHOD 2. Separate the People from the Problem 3. Focus on Interests, Not Positions 4. Invent Options for Mutual Gain 5. Insist on Using Objective Criteria”
  • “The game of negotiation takes place at two levels. At one level, negotiation addresses the substance; at another, it focuses—usually implicitly—on the procedure for dealing with the substance.”
  • “For more interesting examples from the Law of the Sea negotiations, see James K. Sebenius, Negotiating the Law of the Sea: Lessons in the Art and Science of Reaching Agreement (Harvard University Press, 1984).”
  • “Increase your negotiation power is by improving your walk-away alternative. An attractive BATNA is a strong argument with which to persuade the other side of the need to offer more.”
  • “Negotiation is a process of communicating back and forth for the purpose of reaching a joint decision”
  • “As useful as looking for objective reality can be, it is ultimately the reality as each side sees it that constitutes the problem in a negotiation and opens the way to a solution.”
  • “In a mental hospital, we do not want psychotic doctors.”

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