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Anyone who has ever conducted a negotiation knows that everyone involved is tense. Some people become so tense that they are not able to operate effectively. Other negotiators seem to have the touch for relaxing everyone and quickly reaching an agreement that everyone likes.
Fans of Getting to Yes have probably run into attorneys and negotiators who didn't want to play ball. These people may have been hostile, manipulative and short-sighted. But it's hard to reason with these parties using the Getting to Yes principles if you do not have your own emotions under control.
Beyond Reason is a much needed and valuable resource for dealing with the emotional context for negotiations.
The process for taking the initiative (express appreciation, build affiliation, respect autonomy, acknowledge status, and choose a fulfilling role) is constructive, common sense methods that anyone will feel comfortable doing. As helpful as that process is, I found the most useful advice coming in chapters 8-10 which describe how to be ready for strong emotions, being prepared for negotiations and the case history of the border dispute resolution between Ecuador and Peru.
The examples in the book are well chosen to illustrate the principles and breathe life into those concepts. Roger Fisher and Daniel Shapiro have a light touch that defuses your apprehension as you address this subject.
I also recommend that you read Crucial Conversations, a good complementary book on how to address strong emotions in others and yourself when they arise unexpectedly and unpleasantly.
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on 13 August 2006
This book by Roger Fisher and Daniel Shapiro has rightfully won a prize offered by the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution for the best book on negotiation. The book focuses on the important role emotions play in negotiations and offers a practical framework for dealing with them constructively. Throughout the book Fisher and Shapiro present recognizable examples, ranging for day to day situations we all encounter to political negotiations with huge impact for millions.

For me, the most interesting part of the book is were the authors explain five core concerns -- appreciation, affiliation, autonomy, status and role -- and their effect on decision making. They provide sensible advice on how to use these concerns as levers to keep negotiations constructive. Here is a quote from the book giving you an example: "Perhaps the most powerful way to soothe someone's emotions is to appreciate their concerns. There are three elements in appreciating someone. You want to UNDERSTAND the other's point of view; FIND MERIT in what they are thinking, feeling, or doing; and COMMUNICATE the merit you see." I think that is a terrific way to put it!

The content of this book is one thing that makes it worthwhile. Another reason why I like it is that it is exceptionally well-structured. I like it when authors do their very best to make it as easy as possible for readers to understand their core messages. Fisher and Shapiro succeed very well in this.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 30 January 2008
Far too many books treat negotiation as a rational process, as if the parties involved are calculating machines (or close to it). Authors Roger Fisher and Daniel Shapiro show that is not the case. They explain how emotions affect negotiating, and provide tools based on five core emotional concerns for dealing with powerful feelings at the negotiating table. This slender book is clearly written, and the authors illustrate each point in their theoretical framework with examples from their extensive experience. The result is an immediately applicable book that provides a host of practical tips. getAbstract recommends it to anyone who negotiates...and that means just about everyone.
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on 27 December 2007
Good practical guide to make you think about the way you communicate with others, whether they are a family member, work colleague or complete stranger, and not just in a strict negotiation setting as the title may wrongly suggest. It must be said, the book is not about manipulating emotions, our own or those of others, but rather it provides an advice on how we can positively work with our emotions to reach agreement. The authors distinguish and focus on five 'core concerns' that motivate people: appreciation, affiliation, autonomy, status and a fulfilling role. I am pretty sure each will strike a chord with you to some extent and cause you to re-assess the way you interact with others. It certainly did so for me.

A great read with lots of real-life examples that you will easily be able to relate to with your own experiences. Indeed, if you are one of those people who are always looking to do a bit of introspection and improve your character, then I cannot recommend this book for you enough.
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on 23 March 2012
If interested in negotiation you will find this book to be of added value as many books on negotiation cover only the rational aspects of negotiation. This book follows the Harvard Program on Negotiation (PON) school of thought of going for win-win interactions.

Emotions do happen and this book covers nicely possible approaches in dealing with this important element (while keeping full respect for yourself and for the other party at the negotiation table).

The 5 key points covered here (express appreciation, build affiliation, respect autonomy, acknowledge status and role) are very handy to know and to apply whether you are negotiating, building a (business) relationship or dealing with customers at all levels (business development, consulting, sales, contract negotiation, complaint handling, problem solving,...).

If interested in negotiation I would suggest reading additional material as this book only deals with the emotional aspects. I would certainly suggest Beyond winning, Getting to Yes, Getting past No, Negotiation Genius, 3D Negotiation, Hostage at the table, or any negotiation course at Harvard Law School - the Program on Negotiation (PON).

A great read...


I The Big Picture
1. Emotions are powerful, always present, and hard to handle
2. Address the concern, not the emotion

II Take the initiative
3. Express appreciation - Find merit in what others think, feel or do and show it
4. Build Affiliation - Turn an adversary into a colleague
5. Respect autonomy - Expand yours (and don't impinge upon theirs)
6. Acknowledge status - Recognize high standing wherever deserved
7. Choose a fulfilling role - and select the activities within in

III Some additional advice
8. On strong negative emotions - They happen. Be ready.
9. On being prepared - Prepare on process, substance, and emotion
10. On using these ideas in the `Real world' - A personal account by Jamil Mahuad, former president of Ecuador

IV Conclusion
V End matter

Seven elements of negotiation
Works consulted
Analytical table of contents
About the authors
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on 3 May 2014
People say take the emotions out of a negotiation. Roger sets the record straight. If you want to keep your customers long term, buy it.

Darren Kelly
Outsell & Outnegotiate everyone with WOW
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on 7 December 2016
You can't help but learn from the masters who proved their work in the most difficult situations around the world and come back with something so simple that we can all learn from it
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on 29 November 2015
I can't express my admiration to the author. Thank you for a great job. A loads of fantast​ic advice and insights to use. Simply love it.
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on 21 October 2015
Great book.
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on 30 March 2015
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