Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The One Minute Negotiator: Simple Steps to Reach Better Agreements

There are tons of negotiation books, and that's just on my shelves. However, there is always room for another, especially if it is an easy read with some practical suggestions, and that is just what "The One Minute Negotiator: Simple Steps to Reach Better Agreements" by Don Hutson and George Lucas provides. It has a Foreword by Ken Blanchard, author of "The One Minute Manager," and like that classic text, this book is written as a parable with the negotiation lessons coming out as the main character of the story learns them. It's not earth shattering, especially to someone who teaches mediation and negotiation skills. But it is a good, simple book, that will help those who suffer from what the authors call negotiaphobia.

The story is about Jay Baxter, who works for XL Information Solutions, and who embarks on a company cruise. It just so happens, that a speaker on the cruise will be presenting a seminar called "Treating Your Negotiaphobia." Jay is reluctant to attend, and even puts his foot in his mouth while talking to the negotiation instructor the night before the seminar, as he does not know who he is talking to. (Yes, it is predictable, and you the reader know right away the mistake he is making.)

Jay decides to be committed to the course and see what he can learn. To his surprise, the concepts the instructor teaches make sense and he embraces the information and enjoys the seminar. Obviously, he uses the newly learned strategies and concepts after leaving the cruise to succeed in his position.

So, yes, it is a simple story and predictable. But you are not really reading it to be entertained and kept in suspense. The key to the book is the formula the instructor teaches during his on board seminar. It is a simple process that entails recognizing you are in a negotiation and reviewing the viable strategies, evaluating your tendency to use each of the negotiation strategies, as well as the tendencies of the other side(s), and selecting the proper strategy for the particular negotiation.

The authors do a good job of explaining the concepts and why they are important. At the end of each chapter there is a summary of the chapter's insights. At the beginning of this review, I commented on how many negotiation books are out there. Many of them teach specific negotiation strategies and tactics. This book is different in that it teaches a framework to look at negotiations and I would encourage people to look at the techniques and tactics learned elsewhere through this framework.

One thing about the book is that it is very easy to read. It's not long at all, and if it provides a framework for you to look at negotiations differently, especially if you suffer from negotiaphobia, it will be worth your time. We negotiate all of the time, and any time you can learn to increase your effectiveness in this valuable skill, it will pay off. This was a good addition to my conflict and negotiation resources, and I'm sure I'll review it now and then as I continue to teach others, learn, and negotiate myself.

Alain Burrese, J.D. is a writer, speaker, and mediator who teaches how to live, take action, and get things done through the Warrior's Edge. He is an expert on conflict and mediates and teaches conflict resolution and negotiation. Alain combines his military, martial art, and Asian experiences with his business, law, and conflict resolution education into a powerful way of living with balance, honor, and integrity. He teaches how to use the Warrior's Edge to Take Action and Achieve Remarkable Results, as well as resolve conflict and negotiate. Additionally, he teaches physical conflict skills in his Hapkido and Self-Defense courses, lectures, and seminars. Alain is the author of Hard-Won Wisdom From The School Of Hard Knocks, the DVDs Hapkido Hoshinsul, Streetfighting Essentials, Hapkido Cane, the Lock On Joint Locking series, and numerous articles and reviews. You can read more articles and reviews and see clips of his DVDs as well as much more at http://www.burrese.com/ and http://www.yourwarriorsedge.com/

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