Top 11 Negotiation Books

by Svitlana Kalitsun

Inevitably, after every consultation and training, newly intrigued negotiators have one final question to us: “What further books on negotiation can you recommend?“

Fortunately, there are many books on negotiation out there. In case you want a little taste before reading, here are our top suggestions:

1. Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher and William Ury and Bruce Patton

Written by professors of Harvard University this book is an absolute must for everyone who starts learning about negotiations but it can be used as a reference book. This bestseller describes the method of principled negotiations developed at the Harvard Negotiations Programm. It introduces you to the theory of negotiations by backing it up by picturesque examples in such an understandable, easy way that it can be both, a textbook and a perfect holiday read.

2. Beyond Winning Negotiating to Create Value in Deals and Disputes by Robert Mnookin

Written by the director of Harvard Negotiations Research Project and his co-authors this book is explicitly dedicated to lawyers. It can be used as a guideline for creating value for the clients, understanding the tensions in negotiations and managing relationships, especially such as the client-lawyer relationship and daily deals and disputes.

3. Negotiating Rationally by Max H. Bazerman and Margaret A. Neale

Co-written by professors of Business Administration of Harvard Business School and Adams State University this book teaches how to negotiate more rationally. To do so, the authors have analyzed best practices and mistakes made by managers and executives, summarized their errors and come up with strategies to avoid them by becoming more rational negotiators.

4. Beyond Reason by Roger Fisher and Daniel Shapiro

Well known and published professor of Harvard Law School has this time collaborated with his colleague, Professor of psychology. They have put the results of their practice and teachings into a book that deals with the emotional side of negotiations. The book is remarkable because it teaches you to use the power of emotions in your negotiations instead of avoiding them. It might be interesting for those who struggle with the challenge of egos getting involved, staying calm and the like.

5. Mission in a Bottle: The Honest Guide to Doing Business Differently and Succeeding by Seth Goldman and Barry Nalebuff, illustrated by Sungyoon Choi

Is a graphic book created by a professor of economics at Yale University and a businessman. By visualizing difficult concepts in simple pictures they tell a story of how they created a mission-driven business. Compared to the other books, this one focuses on the economic aspects of the negotiation and underlines the importance of perseverance and creative problem-solving.

6. Negotiation Genius: How to Overcome Obstacles and Achieve Brilliant Results at the Bargaining Table and Beyond by Deepak Malhotra and Max Bazerman

The authors of this book define a negotiation genius as someone, who can completely turn around a seemingly hopeless negotiation situation or as someone who can negotiate good deals consistently while maintaining her/his reputation and even improving relationship with her/his counterpart. Written by two professors of Harvard Business School this book will not just share with you its best strategies but also revisit the stories of conflicts and their successful solutions.

7. Bargaining for Advantage, Negotiation Strategies for Reasonable People by Richard Shell

Professor of Legal Studies & Business Ethics and Management at the University of Pennsylvania has created a manual on how to avoid the dangers and pitfalls of any negotiation. He also takes into consideration the cultural and gender differences and talks about underwater stones of online negotiations with email and instant messaging.

8. Never split the difference by Chris Voss

This is a new book by a former FBI hostage negotiator with brilliant practical tips for everyday negotiations. After negotiating in countless severe cases at the FBI, the author compares his knowledge to the teachings at Harvard Law School and presents his own synthesis. This book is a great addition to the (comparatively) more theoretical books described above.

9. You Can Negotiate Anything by Herb Cohen

The author is a corporate and governmental negotiator with a broad experience in negotiation. He is a frequent speaker at the universities and has put his tremendously valuable experience into this practical and readable guide for laypeople. Cohen analyses sales techniques and introduces his readers to countless funny stories.

Literature for Women Negotiators

10. Women Don’t Ask: The High Cost of Avoiding Negotiationand Positive Strategies for Change by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever

A professor of economics at Carnegie Mellon University´s Heinz College (USA) Linda Babcock has founded the Programm for Research and Outreach on Gender Equity in Society. Together with her colleague, she has put her findings into their masterpiece. Backed by serious research this book deals with bias in negotiations at the workforce and at home. Here is one of the many eye-openers:

Research has shown that women with families who work full-time experience far higher levels of stress than their male counterparts, and that their excessive stress is due not to the demands of their employment but to the weight of their responsibilities at home.

11. Asking For It: How Women Can Use the Power of Negotiation to Get What They Really Want  by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever

“If you are a woman, you probably hear the voice in your ear: Isn´t it enough? Why can’t you be satisfied with what you’ve got? Watch out, don’t get too pushy!“

Following their previous book “Women Don’t Ask” the authors take a step back to reveal what is motivating men and women to negotiate. The book helps women to talk to that inner voice because as research shows, it’s not their own voice but the voice of the society that hasn’t progressed as far as we think.