This seems like an appropriate time to review that best-selling negotiation guide written in the 1980s.

I refer, of course, to The Art of the Deal by Donald J. Trump.  (What – you were expecting Getting to Yes?)

The leading presidential candidates from both major political parties have a lot of professional negotiation experience and are accomplished authors – perhaps just like you and me.  Mr. Trump has a lot of experience in business negotiation and Ms. Clinton is very experienced in political and diplomatic negotiation.

Anticipating that one of these candidates may become president, it behooves us as dispute resolution academics and practitioners to learn more about their approaches so that we can incorporate them into our scholarship, teaching, and practice.

I will start with Mr. Trump’s opus.   He modestly notes that it is his second-favorite book, following the Bible.

Like many of our students, I feel that it is too much of a burden to actually read the book, but I did spend a little time tooling around the internet, which is the basis of this book report.

Apparently, the heart of his advice is based on the following 11 “winning negotiation tactics”:

  1. Think Big
  2. Protect the Downside and the Upside Will Take Care of Itself
  3. Maximize the Options
  4. Know Your Market
  5. Use Your Leverage
  6. Enhance Your Location
  7. Get the Word Out
  8. Fight Back
  9. Deliver the Goods
  10. Contain the Costs
  11. Have Fun
This advice actually is consistent with much of the boring stuff we teach.  For example, Mr. Trump’s advice about fighting back is a more exciting way to describe the tit-for-tat strategy:  “In most cases I’m very easy to get along with.  I’m very good to people who are good to me.  But when people treat me badly or unfairly or try to take advantage of me, my general attitude, all my life, has been to fight back very hard.”  Even a casual observer of the election campaign can see that he practices what he preaches.

If Mr. Trump is elected president, in our courses, we will undoubtedly replace Getting to Yes with Art of the Deal.  I mean, Fisher and Ury were a bunch of losers – how many billion dollars were they worth?

Many of us teach advanced courses in negotiation and fortunately, Mr. Trump has written a whole library of additional texts we can use in our courses:

  • Time To Get Tough
  • The Art of the Comeback
  • The America We Deserve
  • The Way to the Top
  • How to Get Rich
  • Think Like a Billionaire
  • The Best Golf Advice I Ever Received
  • Why We Want You To Be Rich
  • The Best Real Estate Advice I Ever Received
  • Think Big and Kick Ass
  • Never Give Up
  • Think Like a Champion
  • Midas Touch

For those interested in gender issues, you can use the book by his daughter, Ivanka Trump:  The Trump Card: Playing to Win in Work and Life.

That’s all I feel like writing right now.  I gotta check my Facebook page.  I mean, I have only so much time and I gotta keep my priorities straight.

Maybe I will read Ms. Clinton’s books – though only if I think it will be on the exam.

John Lande is the Isidor Loeb Professor Emeritus and former director of the LLM Program in Dispute Resolution, at the University of Missouri, School of Law. He received his J.D. from Hastings College of Law and Ph.D in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is also an avid writer and contributor to