Negotiating Yes by Derek Hendrikz summarises the book "getting to yes - negotiating an agreement without giving in" by authors William Ury and Roger Fisher. Don't bargain over positions, separate people from the problem, focus on interest not positions, invent options for mutual gain, insist on using objective criteria, develop your BATNA, best alternative to negotiated settlement.
(1) Don’t Bargain over Positions
Don’t Bargain Over Positions…
• Produces unwise agreements;
• Is inefficient;
• Endangers an ongoing relationship; and
• Leads to deadlocks.
Arguing over positions:
change the game…… use
boils down to 4Basic Points…
People: Separate the people from the problem
Interests: Focus on interests, not positions
Options: Generate a variety of possibilities before
deciding what to do
Criteria: Insist that the result be based on some
(2) Separate People from the Problem
from the Problem…
• Negotiators put people first
• Every negotiator has two kinds of interests: substance
• Separate relationships from substance, and deal directly
with people problems
• Prevention works best
Adjust your Perception…
• Put yourself in their shoes
• Don’t deduce their intentions from your fears
• Don’t blame them for your problems
• Discuss each other’s perceptions
• Look for opportunities to act inconsistently with their
• Give them a stake in the outcome by making sure
they participate in the process
• Face-saving: Make your proposals consistent with
Working with Emotion…
• First recognise and understand emotions (theirs and
• Make emotions explicit and acknowledge them as
• Allow the other side to let off steam
• Don’t react to emotional outbursts
• Use symbolic gestures
• Listen actively
• Speak to be understood
• Speak about yourself, not them
• Speak for a purpose
(3) Focus on Interest NOT Positions
Focus on Interests,
• For wise solutions reconcile interests, not
• How do you identify interests?
• Ask “Why?”
• Ask “Why not?”
• Make your interests come alive
• Put the problem before your answer
• Look forward not back
• Be concrete but flexible
• Be hard on the problem, soft on the people
(4) Invent Options for Mutual Gain
Invent Options for
• Premature judgement
• Searching for the single answer
• The assumption of a fixed pie
• Thinking that “solving their problem is their problem”
In most negotiations, four major obstacles inhibit an
abundance of options:
To invent creative options,
you will have to…
• Separate inventing from deciding
• Broaden the options
• Search for mutual gains
• Invent ways of making their decisions easy
(5) Insist on using Objective Criteria
Insist on using
• Commit yourself to reaching a solution based on
principle, not pressure.
• Principled negotiation produces wise agreements
amicable and efficiently
• Frame each issue as a joint search for objective
• Reason and be open to reason as to which standards
are most appropriate and how they should apply
• Never yield to pressure, only on principle
The difference between a BATNA and a bottom line is
that the BATNA leaves you options whilst bottom line
leaves you with a deadlock, if your negotiating partner
is not prepared to give in.
Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement:
The better your BATNA
the greater your power…
• Invent a list of actions you might
conceivably take if no agreement s reached.
• Improve some of the more promising ideas
and convert them into practical
• Select, tentatively, the one option that
How did Cyril and Roelf get to YES?
Watch the video and learn how applying these
principles has changed the fate of South Africa
What was the ANC’s Position?
prisoners on death
What was the NP’s Position?
No total surrender
to majority rule.
Separate people from the problem?
Worked hard on building a personal
Developed a common vision that they
could both work towards.
Spent hours on understanding each
others fears and expectations.
Filled the gaps for each other where the
one did or could not understand.
Kept the communication lines open – met
privately in a place called the “channel”…
Focus on interest, not positions?
Developed ‘Face Saving’ mechanisms in
the form of ‘safe’ one-on-one discussions
where they could speak openly and
honestly about interests and needs.
Conceded the weaknesses of their own
Constantly negotiate towards a common
Collectively held the belief that every
problem has a solution.
Invent options for mutual gain?
Apart for the formal mandate, also had a
‘open’ mandate that allowed for some space
Allowed positions to evolve towards a place
They negotiated on various levels (Cyril
negotiated with Roelf, the masses and the
ANC… Roelf negotiated with Cyril and the
They sold ideas and common interest to their
Insisted on using objective criteria?
Looked at various constitutions around
the world, and in doing so created
various bench marks.
Used experts and advisors who
consulted them on what would work and
not work in a conflict ridden society.