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Discovering the Art of Getting to Yes

How to Resolve Conflicts and Reach Mutual Agreements

10 min / Published



"Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In" is a highly influential book written by Roger Fisher and William Ury. It provides practical guidance on effective negotiation strategies and how to reach mutually beneficial agreements.


The book emphasizes the importance of principled negotiation, also known as integrative or win-win negotiation, which aims to create value for both parties involved. Fisher and Ury argue against traditional adversarial negotiation, where each side takes a competitive stance, and instead propose a collaborative approach that focuses on interests rather than positions.


The authors introduce a four-step method called the Harvard Negotiation Project's Principled Negotiation Model. The model consists of separating people from the problem, focusing on interests rather than positions, generating multiple options for mutual gain, and insisting on objective criteria to determine the agreement.


Fisher and Ury emphasize the significance of effective communication and active listening during negotiations. They emphasize the need to understand the other party's perspective and build rapport to establish trust. By exploring underlying interests and jointly brainstorming creative solutions, negotiators can find options that meet their needs and create maximum value.


The book also addresses common negotiation tactics, such as threats, manipulation, and deception, and provides strategies to counter them. Fisher and Ury stress the importance of maintaining a cooperative attitude, being patient, and showing empathy throughout the negotiation process.


Furthermore, "Getting to Yes" encourages negotiators to focus on objective criteria when resolving disputes. By using fair standards that are independent of personal biases, negotiators can ensure that the outcome is rational and justifiable.


Overall, "Getting to Yes" offers comprehensive insights into principled negotiation techniques and provides a framework that can be applied to various situations. It teaches readers how to negotiate effectively, cultivate constructive relationships, and achieve successful outcomes while preserving relationships.




The Getting to Yes method is an approach to negotiation developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury. It is outlined in their book "Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In." The method aims to help people reach mutually acceptable agreements in a principled and collaborative manner.


The central idea behind the Getting to Yes method is to focus on interests rather than positions. Instead of stubbornly clinging to fixed positions, negotiators are encouraged to identify and understand the underlying interests and needs of all parties involved. By doing so, they can seek creative solutions that satisfy everyone's interests and lead to more satisfactory outcomes.


The method also emphasizes the use of objective criteria in negotiations. Rather than relying solely on subjective opinions and power dynamics, negotiators are advised to base their decisions on fair standards and principles. This helps to depersonalize the negotiation process and make it more rational and reasonable.


Another key element of the Getting to Yes method is the concept of separating people from the problem. By distinguishing between individuals and the issues being negotiated, negotiators can reduce the emotional intensity and enhance constructive communication. This allows for a better focus on understanding each other's perspectives and finding common ground.


The Getting to Yes method also encourages negotiators to generate multiple options for mutual gain. Instead of settling for a win-lose outcome, parties are encouraged to brainstorm and explore different possibilities that can create value for all involved.


Overall, the Getting to Yes method promotes a principled and cooperative approach to negotiation, emphasizing the importance of understanding interests, using objective criteria, separating people from the problem, and seeking mutually beneficial solutions.




"Getting to Yes" is widely regarded as a highly influential and valuable book. It was written by Roger Fisher and William Ury, who are experts in negotiation and conflict resolution. The book presents the principles of principled negotiation, also known as the Harvard Negotiation Project approach. It provides practical strategies for achieving mutually satisfactory agreements while maintaining relationships.


Many readers have found "Getting to Yes" to be a transformative read, with its clear and concise ideas applicable to various situations. The authors' emphasis on separating people from the problem, focusing on interests rather than positions, generating options, and using objective criteria has been praised for its effectiveness.


Whether you are negotiating business deals, resolving personal conflicts, or seeking win-win solutions, "Getting to Yes" offers valuable insights and techniques that can enhance your ability to negotiate effectively and find mutually beneficial outcomes.



  • self-help
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