Thursday, November 5, 2009

Everyday Negotiation by Deboral M. Kolb & Judith Williams

Named as one of the Ten Best Books of 2000 by Harvard Business Review, this book is for two groups of people.

One group comprises of those who have the propensity to see negotiation not as a synonym for manipulation but as a process of discovering and leveraging on commonalities for win-win relationships of any kind. Originally titled 'The Shadow Negotiation: How Women Can Master the Hidden Agendas That Determine Bargaining Success' to draw women readers, this second edition is titled 'Everyday Negotiation' and recognises that the insights of women highlighted in the book are gems for men as well.

The other group includes anyone who feel that negotiation is a buzzword for the power-hungry and those apathetic to helpless ordinary folks. They feel they are the voiceless ordinary folks. If you belong to this group, this book will empower your as an advocate for the ordinary folks. Soon, you will find there is no such thing as helpless or voiceless ordinary folks. Everyone is in fact engaged in negotiation in one way or another; in open or insidious ways, with clear expressions or non-verbal cues.

Case studies are used throughout this book that make for enjoyable reading.

One thought summary: After reading a copy of this book from the library, I knew I had to have it for myself. As one who is often impregnated with the discontentment that precedes changes within myself, and around me, I enjoy the good outcomes of change but dread the discipline and time required to see it come through. Yet, changes are born of good negotiations where two parties eventually form a more positive sum of values. This book is real in that it does not have one-size-fits-all formulas, but sound principles that make the most important change possible: the change in ourselves.

Where you can get it: Kinokuniya S$35.00; National Library
Level of impact: Reduces frustrations, improves relations when I refuse to see people at the negotation table as 'for me or against me' proponents.
Timing of book: Being conflict-averse, I was drawn to the chapter titled 'Negotiating Change'.