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Text "Getting To Yes" By Roger Fisher And William Ury

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"YES" is the most powerful word in the English language. Even though it is the most powerful word, that doesn't always mean it is the answer. Finding the answer to any question, conflict, argument etc. requires negotiating. To negotiate means to confer with another or others in order to come to terms or reach an agreement. The basic idea of it seems pretty simple, and in fact negotiating is something the majority of us do on a daily basis either at work, at home, anywhere. In the text "Getting To Yes" by Roger Fisher and William Ury, they describe their four principles for effective negotiation. They also discuss three common obstacles to negotiation and how to overcome them.

The four principles for effective negotiation are to 1) separate the people from the problem; 2) focus on interests rather than positions; 3) generate variety of options before settling on an agreement; and 4) insist that the agreement be based on objective criteria. [p.11] Each one of these principles should be looked at during each stage of the negotiation process. The process as explained in the book begins with analysis of the problem or situation. The next stage is to plan ways to react or handle the situation. The last stage is the discussion part where a solution to the problem is examined and agreed upon.

Fisher and Ury's first principle was to separate the people from the problem. As explained in the text, people tend to establish relationships or become personally involved with issues and often take responses as personal attacks. If you were to put yourself in the opposing group's shoes and look at the same problem, it might help you understand the problem better or at least their point of view. Emotions also play a big role in irrational arguing, which ultimately gets either side no where.

Focusing on the interests is the second principle in the book and talks about the parties' interest and not so much as their positions. As Fisher and Ury explain, "Your position is something you have decided upon. Your interests are what caused you to so decide."[p. 42] When people focus only on the position they are taking and not their underlying interest, too much focus can be placed on arguing instead of reaching agreements. Each party usually has plenty of different interest in their position and they may differ among the individuals of each side but overall, people will share certain basic interest of needs. Such examples as laid out in the text are the need for security and economic well being.

Being able to come up with not only options, but creative ones is a valuable skill to use in negotiation. According to the authors, a technique for overcoming obstacles is to generate such creative options. In order to do this, parties should come together to brainstorm all the possible solutions that there may be for the problem. Maybe people are afraid to be creative for whatever the reason being and other might not realize that by being more creative they are actually broadening options instead of reducing the difference in opinion. The key to reconciling different interests is to "look for items that are of low cost to you and high benefit to them, and vice versa."[p. 79] Each side should try to make proposals that are appealing to the other side, and that the other side would find easy to agree to.

Sometimes no matter how hard parties try to come to a consensus, a decision is still not easy to make. When this happens and interests are directly opposed, parties should use the fourth principle, objective criteria to resolve the differences. In order to do this, parties

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