Sunday, February 26, 2012

Getting to Yes: Reflections

Getting to YES!
I have just finished reading Getting to Yes and I thought of sharing some reflections. It is good to note that the authors of this bestseller (R. Fisher, W. Ury and B. Patton) wrote this book based on the work of the Harvard Negotiation Project to build a simple strategy towards holding negotiations. Getting to Yes can guide you in business, diplomatic or even daily life negotiations, here is an interesting topic I learned from this book; the Theory of Cognitive Dissonance.

This theory falls within psychology but is easily explained through the story of the fox and the grapes; when the fox was not able to reach the hanging grapes he/she convinced himself that the grapes were sour.

The Theory of Cognitive Dissonance implies that we as humans cannot hold two inconsistent thoughts in our minds, and in such a case our subconscious will instinctively act to reduce this inconsistency. If you give it a thought, it will help you understand some surrounding behaviors that seemed irrational before. Here is the tricky part, Cognitive Dissonance can be used in negotiations as a tool to convince others about your point, for example; attack the problem yet give positive support for the person on the other side. In such a case it will cause inconsistency to the other person and it is assumed that they will react subconsciously towards solving this contradiction in your favor.

There is a lot to be learned from this book, I don't want to spoil it for you but I will leave BATNA, the difference between positional and principled negotiations, and Jiu Jitsu negotiation as a teaser. My special thanks goes to Dr. Phil Jones as he recommended that I read this book.

Bonus: Here is a nice Cognitive Dissonance experiment, Enjoy!

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