Negotiation happens more often than we think. We are beginning the process of a negotiation whenever we are fighting for a better deal or refusing to take no for an answer. Negotiating with others allows us to foster meaningful relationships by learning more about the other person and vice versa. Instead of a win-lose situation, negotiations can end in a win-win, allowing us to provide value to the other person as well. 

The Harvard Business School recommends that everyone negotiate in their life to become a more well-compensated and fulfilled person. Ultimately, there is always a better outcome available, and all it takes is a little negotiating to get there. Let’s take a look at the best negotiation books that can help you become an excellent negotiator.

Best Negotiation Books

Being able to negotiate is an important life skill every person should have. Learn how to be a great negotiator from the experts themselves. Below are the top 12 books on negotiation. These books can help teach you how to get more out of each conversation, make others feel valued, and fight for what you want. 

1. Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It by Christopher Voss and Tahl Raz

Never Split the Difference- Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It by Christopher Voss and Tahl Raz

In Never Split the Difference, former FBI hostage negotiator Chris Voss teaches readers how to use hostage negotiation techniques in everyday situations. To get the most from each exchange, you must begin by allowing your counterpart to be comfortable explaining precisely what they want. Listening and making it about the other person is the first and most crucial step in any negotiation.

Once Voss and Raz teach you how to create the perfect environment for an open conversation, they’ll go into emotional intelligence and the importance of empathy in all negotiations.

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2. Negotiation Genius by Deepak Malhotra and Max H. Bazerman 

Negotiation Genius by Deepak Malhotra and Max H. Bazerman

Written by two of the leaders in executive education at Harvard Business School, Negotiation Genius explains what mental habits and strategies you’ll need to cultivate to succeed in any negotiation. Created for both beginners and experienced negotiators, this book delves into the underutilized tactics that are proven to get the best out of any negotiation today.

Later on, Negotiation Genius goes into the psychology of manipulation, persuasion, and trust. This book also prepares readers by introducing the basics of negotiating and goes into the in-depth strategies that set the reader up for success. 

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3. The Negotiation Book by Steve Gates

The Negotiation Book by Steve Gates

The Negotiation Book is the definitive guide to successful negotiating. Beneficial negotiation tactics can be put to use in business deals, personal conversations, and more, making this book helpful to anyone who reads it. It goes into the ways to get the increased advantage by the end of each conversation. 

Later on, Gates explains the ten most important characteristics that negotiators need to succeed, and the 14 behaviors that make a positive difference and better outcome. 

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4. Getting Past No by William Ury 

Getting Past No by William Ury

In this self-help negotiation book, William Ury goes into the best ways to overcome the obstacles encountered while negotiating. By following his tried and true methods, you’ll gain control in any conversation. According to Ury, getting past no is the essential first step. This is what negotiation is all about.

Once you get past no, you have room to negotiate your way into the best outcome. He’ll teach you how to make the other person feel open to conversation, how to educate the other person, diffuse anger, and, most importantly: how to get what you want. 

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5. Negotiating the Impossible by Deepak Malhotra

Negotiating the Impossible by Deepak Malhotra

Negotiating the Impossible is a book about the best ways to break up conflict and resolve issues without getting angry. Frequently, negotiating is hard because it seems as if we are negotiating the impossible. People get defensive, one of them lacks power, or one of them lacks resources. Luckily, Negotiating the Impossible focuses on mutually acceptable solutions.

Malhotra teaches the reader how to foster understanding and empathy to diffuse the heat in an argument. Negotiation is all about strategic human interactions. This book will show you how to implement the three keys of successful negotiations: the power of framing, the power of process, and the power of empathy. 

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6. Crucial Conversations by Al Switzler, Joseph Grenny, and Ron McMillan 

Crucial Conversations by Al Switzler, Joseph Grenny, and Ron McMillan

Crucial Conversations gives you all the tools you need to have a meaningful conversation when the stakes are high. When opinions vary, and emotions run strong, it’s more important than ever to know how to strategize and get what you want in the end. 

When faced with crucial conversations, humans lead to one of these resorts: avoiding the conversation or facing the conversation. Ultimately, we can handle them well, or we can handle them poorly. To waste the least amount of time and get your desired outcome, Crucial Conversations teaches you how to manage essential conversations well, and leave both parties better off in the end. 

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7. Negotiating at Work by Deborah M. Kolb and Jessica L. Porter

Negotiating at Work by Deborah M. Kolb and Jessica L. Porter

To solve problems at work, you must first understand the entire context of the situation. Today, people at work are being asked for more with less and less time. That said, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to negotiate at work. According to Small Business Trends, just 39% of people want to negotiate their salary. That said, many would be surprised at how much more they could earn if they just started the conversation and asked. 

Negotiating at Work will help you turn small wins into significant gains by fighting for what you deserve. Negotiation has the power to benefit you as an individual and gives you the ability to eradicate ineffective practices, outdated assumptions, and lack of progress. By reading Negotiating at Work, you’ll be able to get more opportunities, professional support, and credit for your work. 

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8. Secrets of Power Negotiating by Roger Dawson

Secrets of Power Negotiating by Roger Dawson

From master negotiator Roger Dawson, Secrets of Power Negotiating explains how to achieve the #1 goal of all negotiations: creating a win-win situation. The best outcome for any talk isn’t just to leave content, but to let the other person leave more satisfied as well. Dawson elaborates on his proven ways to win every negotiation, and make the other person feel that they’ve won.

If you’re looking to be a persuasive sales negotiator, this is the perfect book for you. That said, learning how to negotiate is a skill that can be applied to any area of life, making Dawson’s unconventional wisdom hold widespread value for all. When you’re a skilled negotiator, you have the power to get the best deals, make clients happier, and leave others feeling that they have gotten value from your conversation. 

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9. The Power of a Positive No by William Ury

The Power of a Positive No by William Ury

In The Power of a Positive No, William Ury explains the irony in how the most powerful word in the English language is the hardest to say. Yet, because of this, it holds the most power. When used correctly, a positive no has the potential to transform our lives. Even in low-stakes situations, knowing how to say no can help you end with a mutually satisfactory, or better agreement. Negotiations are not able to begin until somebody says no. 

If you want to be able to only say yes to what matters to you, then you’re going to have to be comfortable with saying no. Because of this contrast, being able to say no allows us to live more fulfilling lives and prioritize what’s important to us. 

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10. Negotiating the Nonnegotiable by Daniel Shapiro

Negotiating the Nonnegotiable by Daniel Shapiro

Negotiating the Nonnegotiable is a book on how to resolve your most emotionally charged conflicts. While reason and emotion each play an essential role in resolving conflict, understanding each person’s identity is crucial as well. If the other person feels that their identity is being threatened, they may avoid opening up. On the contrary, if their identity is understood and accepted, more meaningful conversations will happen.

By reading Negotiating the Nonnegotiable, you’ll learn how to approach tricky topics, work through emotional pain, and reconfigure your relationships. By shifting your perspective and confronting pain, you’ll resolve conflict and improve relationships throughout your life. 

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11. Getting More by Stuart Diamond 

Getting More by Stuart Diamond

Whether we realize it or not, we are always negotiating. In Getting More, Stuart Diamond teaches the reader how to get more out of every situation. Although we negotiate at work and with our friends, most of us don’t have the necessary skills to push for what we want. Luckily, this best-seller is a comprehensive introduction to negotiation that teaches you how to demand better outcomes. 

In this, Diamond challenges the conventional wisdom that claims we must use power and logic to negotiate. Instead, he argues that we must understand the other person, their values, and their goals. Once we understand the context of the negotiation, we’ll meet in the middle and get more from the other person, allowing each in the conversation to get closer to reaching their goals in the end. 

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12. Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher and William Ury

Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher and William Ury

Getting to Yes is a book on how to negotiate an agreement without having to give more. Fisher and Ury, both members of the Harvard Negotiation Project, go deep into the four most important principles of negotiation. These principles include separating people from the problem, focusing on interests rather than positions, generating opinions before settling, and insisting that the conclusion be based solely on objective criteria. 

Getting to Yes is the complete framework for reaching objectively fair conclusions while negotiating with others. Instead of having to choose a worse version of what they want, both parties can go deeper in understanding the other and settle on a logical, perhaps a better solution. 

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Becoming A Better Negotiator

All in all, every one of us negotiates on a day-to-day basis. Having negotiation skills can improve your current situation by using your conversational skills to get more out of each relationship. There is always a better deal waiting for you, but it’s not until you start negotiating for more that you’ll be able to get there.

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