LL.M Student, Georgetown Law, Washington DC
I had the privilege to read this marvelous book during my graduate studies at Georgetown Law. Little did I know at the time of reading, that this slender book would become a reference point in my life, helping me change the way I make decisions, both, personal and professional. Roger Fisher and William Ury, two Harvard Professors, wrote ‘Getting to Yes’ in 1981. Fisher and Ury, began the process of re-inventing negotiation by dressing the process in the familiar intellectual frame of reason and rational decision making theory and civil discourse. In doing so, negotiation and mediation practitioners could trade in their historic reputation for being deceptive and manipulative agents and present themselves instead as ‘neutral’ and ‘impartial’ problem solvers. A generation ago, the prevailing view of decision making in most places was hierarchical. The people at the top of the pyramids of power- at work, in the family and in politics- were supposed to make the decisions and the people at the bottom of the pyramid, to follow orders. In today’s world, characterized by flatter organizations, it is clearer than ever that to accomplish our work and meet our needs and to get what we want, we are compelled to negotiate. This quiet revolution could well be called the ‘negotiation revolution’.
Keywords: Getting to Yes, Negotiation, Roger Fisher, William Ury, Agreement