The 10 Best Negotiation Books of 2021

Most people want to get what they desire, which is where negotiating can come into play. There are countless books about negotiation out there, but which one is the best option? Learning to bargain is quite easy with the right tools. Whether it’s for business, your personal life, or something else, negotiating skills are essential.

For example, negotiation can help you win over a potential date, get someone to close on a business deal, and so much more. Consider these 10 books on negotiation to get started.

The Book of Real-World Negotiations

In this negotiation book, you are going to learn to change the approach for negotiation and focus on key techniques and strategies using actual cases. These hard-to-find examples of a real-life show you how to productively and effectively negotiate for whatever you want. It focuses on business and government but also considers daily life.

Written by Joshua N. Weiss with a foreword by William Ury, it explains why you need to consider persistence, preparation, creativity, and strategy when dealing with negotiations. Since you can see how it all works in the real world, you can start the negotiation process in a new way.

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Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreements Without Giving In

Getting to Yes is actually the sequel to Getting Past No. Both were written by William Ury, Bruce Patton, and Roger Fisher. Ury is a Harvard Business School professor and works at the Harvard Law School for the Program on Negotiation. In fact, we cheat just a little and bring both negotiation books into the mix as one.

However, you’ve got to realize how to get past the ‘no’ stage before getting to yes. You’ve taken the time to research and prepare yourself for a big event only to be told no. Instead, learn how to stay calm and the reasoning behind that person’s ‘no.’

Once you’ve done that, consider the universal negotiating principles that the best people are using. This is actually the only way that you can get past that ‘no’ answer. These methods are easy to use on your colleagues, spouses, and children, as well as others.

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Never Split the Difference

Chris Voss was a police officer for the Kansas City, MO region, and an FBI hostage negotiator, so he knows how to negotiate with terrorists. The goal of his book is to break down the psychological aspect of those high-pressure situations. You may not work with kidnappers and bank robbers at your job, but it can still help you stay focused and calm to help in your industry.

Of course, Voss teaches you to save lives with those skills, but he also breaks everything done into different strategies to help with funding a new project or convincing a spouse to make chicken for dinner.

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Negotiating the Impossible

Deepak Malhotra knows a thing or two about negotiating. When there is no muscle or money power for negotiation, you must rely on processing, empathy, and framing. This is a second book from Malhotra, who focuses primarily on business dealings.

It made it here because he utilizes three concepts to solve any deadlock you may face in life. To do that, you must frame it, process or take control of it, and have empathy. With these techniques, you’re going to be a legend at your company. You can find the way out of any situation where others may be unable to solve those issues.

The unique approach here is that you align the process with your adversaries or counterparts. You start that before negotiating at all. This gives you the right frame of reference for you both to rely on.

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Beyond Reason

Roger Fisher titled his negotiation book appropriately. The people you face in negotiations aren’t always going to be level-headed and calm. Some of them are going to be irrational, emotional, angry, and beyond reason. To handle those people, you’ve got to rely on some behavioral psychology and deep emotional strength. Written in conjunction with Daniel Shapiro, both Harvard psychologists are part of the Harvard Negotiation Project. They may understand better than most how to use emotions as tools and understand others more positively. The advice they provide is practical and powerful and can help you be empathetic in everyday situations.

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Robert Cialdini is a professor at Harvard for Behavioral Economics. His main goal with Pre-Suasion is to channel the attention needed to prepare your negotiation attack. The book focuses on those essential preparation steps that every pro needs to take before starting. You’re going to capture the attention of the others to get the best results possible. However, to do that, you’ve got to channel it to get the desired direction.

Preparation in this context means the time spent before making any requests to the counterpart. However, it works both on and off the negotiation table. Plus, you’re going to find that this is ‘in time,’ which means that you can apply it to modern-day situations. Many tactics are outdated and don’t offer the same power that these do.

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Negotiation: Moving from Conflict to Agreement

Kevin W. Rockmann, Matthew A. Cronin, Claus W. Langfred all teamed up to write one of the best negotiation books out there. In it, you can see how negotiation is always around you. It takes business and everyday examples and shows you how to negotiate. However, it puts more emphasis on why and when to use specific approaches and tactics.

Primarily, it focuses on negotiation psychology levers, such as uncertainty, reciprocity, alternatives, and power. That way, you can understand the many ways to negotiate. If you are looking for a book that has practical advice and touches upon ethics, this new text is what you need. You’re going to be on your way to practicing and honing those negotiation skills.

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Influence: Psychology of Persuasion

Robert Cialdini’s first book that talks about negotiation are Influence. This one is focused on how psychological factors drive the influence of others. Keep in mind that it’s from the 1980s, but it covers how you can get power over others and how they can get influence over you. It features a hands-on approach and describes the six factors of influence that are already within everyone.

However, it goes further by showing why we are similar to animals in how we think and act. Animals tend to react with instincts, and so do you. We believe it’s one of the best books available because it doesn’t stop there, either. You also discover how people apply those techniques to you and how to turn the tables, so to speak.

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Negotiation Genius

Max Bazerman and Deepak Malhotra co-authored this book, and Malhotra is said to be the top in his field on negotiation. He teaches at Harvard Business School, but you don’t have to be in business to learn a lot from this book.

As one of the bargaining books in this list, Negotiation Genius breaks down the strategies and habits that set you up to bargain successfully. It also helps you see your potential and raise confidence to excel. Whether you’re trying to get a Friday off or working a real estate project, you are walked through all of the processes needed. Real-world examples are utilized, but you get to read behavioral research on the topic, as well. This helps you uncover hidden information, find common ground, and exploit other people’s weaknesses. When dealing with unethical people, this is the book you need.

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Getting More

Stuart Diamond is an entrepreneur and professor at Wharton School. The main goal of his book is to help you win deals in your private and professional life. If you want to shine at your profession, you need this masterpiece of reading material. Of course, Diamond is a bestselling author and a Pulitzer-Prize winner, so his track record precedes him. He takes a more holistic approach to things and doesn’t focus exclusively on one negotiation tactic. This is what sets Diamond’s book apart from the other options. There are countless topics, such as different emotions, angles, and more flexibility. You also get to learn how the other person thinks while you’re negotiating with them.

Though it may be a little soft in some places, Diamond brings style and the value of relationships to the mix, making this an excellent read that is highly interesting.

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Final Words

While all of the negotiation books here are excellent, we feel that the best negotiation book is Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In. Though it is a two-part book series, we think that you can read this alone and still come away a winner. If you do choose to buy both of the books, you’re going to learn how to get past no and get to the yes answer you desire.

As far as negotiation strategies are concerned, this book helps you strike up conversations you may otherwise not start. Negotiators often find it difficult to deal with various issues they come across, but you can be a success by reading this book. We think it’s the best and would recommend it to those in sales, women, and everyone else.

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