It's true that negotiating skills are learned over a lifetime, but this itty-bitty handbook aims to distill a lifetime's worth of deal-making lessons into 72 snazzily laid-out pages... and often even succeeds. Neatly divided into the three phases of a negotiation--preparation, conducting, and closing--it covers all aspects of the bargaining process, including identifying your own objectives and assessing the opposition's, choosing a strategy and creating the right atmosphere, making and/or responding to a proposal, strengthening your position while weakening the other party's (nicely, of course), and moving to a close, handling a breakdown in progress, and even using a mediator or going to arbitration if you have to. On every page, boxed tips, checklists, flow charts, and mini case studies walk you through the entire process. Granted, if you're looking for very specific or in-depth guidance, you may find this book too cursory and general in its approach. But if you're looking for a thumbnail guide to the basics, it'll do you just fine.
It's worth mentioning that the book is also part of reference publisher Dorling Kindersley's Essential Managers series--20 itty-bitty li'l books on business and career topics ranging from communication, leadership, and decision making to the management of time, budgets, change, meetings, people, projects, and teams. Combining the For Dummies book series's talent for breaking down a lot of information into bite-size bits and sidebars with Dorling Kindersley's signature design style of crisp, classy graphics on a gleaming white backdrop, they don't represent the cutting edge of business thinking, and they don't necessarily reflect any unique individual perspective. Instead, it's as though someone collated the best general thinking on these 20 topics and rolled them out into 72 brightly designed and easy-to-read pages, studded along the way with boxed tips, color shots of a multiracial cast of "coworkers" animatedly hashing through the workplace issues of the day, and a self-test of one's skills in the topic at hand on the last few pages of each volume. Again, they're not for anyone looking for more in-depth or focused help on any of the subjects they cover, but they're perfect as a quickie general-interest reference... and let's face it, they're so cute and look so smart in a neat little stack or row that you'll probably want to buy a whole bunch to give to your entire staff or department. --Timothy Murphy
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Learn all you need to know about negotiating, from preparing your argument and briefing a team, to establishing the right atmosphere and closing a deal. "Negotiating Skills" not only shows you how to start from a strong position and find common ground with other people, but also provides practical techniques for you to use when talking and bargaining. Power tips aim to help you to handle real-life situations and develop first-class negotiating skills that will dramatically improve results and relationships.