Negotiation : A book review by Bob Morris

Brian Tracy
AMACOM (2013)

“Every battle is won or lost before it is fought.” Sun Tzu

I selected one of the insights in The Art if War because I was again reminded of it while sharing Brian Tracy’s thoughts about negotiation, especially what he shares in Chapter 12, “Preparation Is the Key.” The titles he selected for the 21 chapters could serve as a foundation or framework when preparing for a negotiation, whatever its nature and extent may be. Tracy correctly views negotiation with a wide lens. It could involve the terms and conditions of employment, purchasing a home or a vehicle, or convincing enough people to support a course of action. It could also involve a teenager and her or his parents discussing curfew or members of a jury struggling to reach a verdict. I agree with Tracy: “Life may be viewed as one long, extended negotiating session, from the cradle to the grave. Negotiation never stops.” It really doesn’t. “Your ability to negotiate successfully is essential to your success in all your interactions with other people.” Dead on.

These are the chapter titles that I think express especially important principles:

1. “Everything Is Negotiable”
10. “Know What You Want”
13. “Clarify Your Position and Theirs”
19. “The Walk-Away Method”
20. “Negotiations Are Never Final”

These are passages of greatest interest and value to me:

o The Two Types of Negotiation (Pages 14-16)
o The Six Styles of Negotiation (24-27)
o Persuasion by Reciprocation (71-75)
o Persuasion by Social Proof (76-79)
o Price Negotiation Tactics (80-84)
o The Four Essentials (95-97)

I have read and reviewed most of the 50+ books that Brian Tracy has written. Inevitably, he recycles information, insights, and counsel in many of them because (a) their relevance is multi-dimensional and (b) he possesses a remarkably wide and deep knowledge of the business world, an acumen that enables him to make connections and suggest similarities that only a few business thinkers would recognize. He also possesses world-class reasoning and writing skills. Now he is in the process of producing a series of volumes (each less than 100 pages) in “The Brian Tracy Success Library.” I have read and reviewed two and will read and review others in months to come.

These are brief in length but by no means “small” books. On the contrary, they offer a unique abundance of material that will be of substantial value to those now preparing for a business career or have only recently embarked upon one. For experienced managers, these volumes offer helpful reminders of business fundamentals that are too frequently. Amazon now sells this book for $8.96. How much is a helpful idea worth? There are hundreds in this book. You do the math. However, please keep in mind Thomas Edison’s observation: “Vision without execution is hallucination.”

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