Negotiating to Yes

Negotiating is an ever-present part of getting work done through others. It enables individuals to influence action from others by appealing to common interests and taking a problem-solving approach. Even if a manager has positional power, using influence and negotiation enables him or her to get commitment, not just compliance. For those without positional power, such an approach gets results while strengthening relationships.

The highly effective win/win approach of Negotiating to Yes creates satisfying, optimal agreements in business.

Program Overview

Principled Negotiation

The five-step strategy of Principled Negotiation is a method of negotiating with integrity. It turns face-to-face confrontation into side-by-side problem solving. It is simple, efficient, and universally applicable. The Negotiating to Yes principles have proven to be highly successful in both business and social negotiations, particularly where significant outcomes are at risk.

Why Negotiate? Participants discover what makes negotiation important by recalling how most decisions in their lives involve negotiating, who they negotiate with, and how frequently they negotiate. Participants roleplay a short negotiation to experience their own negotiating skills.

The Bargaining Game. Positional bargaining fosters the dilemma of getting the most for oneself in a negotiation versus committing to a longer-term relationship. This manifests itself in hard and soft bargaining, which has serious disadvantages in the outcomes.

Changing the Game: Principled Negotiation. A negotiator’s goal should be a satisfying outcome that is efficiently reached and amicably ended. The method for achieving this involves several steps:

  1. Separate the People from the Problem: Understand how to deal effectively with people.
  2. Focus on Interests Behind Positions: Learn a strategy for uncovering the interests that are behind the positions people take in negotiations.
  3. Invent Options for Mutual Gain: Learn how to recognize three kinds of interests: Share, Opposing, and Differing.
  4. Use Independent Standards: Establishing mutually accepted standards to define and determine the value of options that might be offered to a client
  5. Develop Your BATNA: (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement): Expand salesperson power in negotiation by identifying alternatives to a negotiated agreement and using them effectively in the face-to-face negotiation.

The Strategy Applied. Participants apply the five steps of the strategy in a major case study to demonstrate their understanding of principles in a practical application.

Difficult Cases

Review of Principled Negotiation. The strategy of Principled Negotiation is simple in theory, but difficult to accomplish without practice. People often fall back into positional bargaining. Particpants have another opportunity to practice the strategy in a short negotiation and ask questions about any problem areas.

The Tough Situations. What happens if people refuse to negotiate, dig into a position, or attack you? Participants are taught how to use negotiation jujitsu to sidestep and deflect the attack from themselves and toward the problem. What can be done when people refuse to negotiate on the merits of the problem and employ tricky bargaining tactics or dirty tricks, such as misrepresentation of facts, threats, extreme demands, and calculated delays? Specific ways are given to counter these moves. These enable a principled negotiator to continue to negotiate with integrity.

Personal Application

Making and Shaping Offers. Skills for making an offer include how to prepare the offer, how to make it attractive, how to present it in a way that will be acceptable, and when to counter offer.

Business Negotiating Case. Participants apply principled negotiation to their own case study. They are assisted by an observer and coached by the facilitator.

Back-on-the-Job-Tools. In internal negotiations, a manager often functions as a mediator as well as a negotiator by assisting two people in settling disputes. In external negotiations, salespeople sometimes face multiple buyers and must satisfy diverse interests. In management/labor negotiations, there are several constituencies to satisfy. Participants learn a special procedure to facilitate multiple-party negotiations.


Upon competion of Negotiating to Yes, Participants will:

  • Understand negotiations within a conceptual framework – a language and a process to use before, during, and after negotiation.
  • Apply a simple strategy for negotiating that enables them to pursue their interests without giving in or getting into confrontation.
  • Know how to deal with people who use hard bargaining tactics.
  • Think of themselves as reflective negotiators who are always improving and reaching satisfying outcomes.
  • Better negotiate outcomes reached with integrity and fairness due to the creative exploration of alternative ideas and options.
  • Reach more satisfying solutions to which both parties truly commit.
  • Improve long-term relationships as a result of open communication, trust and the ability to see things from the other person’s point of view.

Program Details

Session Length: One or Two Days
Versions: Sales and Corporate
Participants Materials: Participant guide; Getting to Yes, by Roger Fisher and William Ury; Negotiator’s Toolkit; job aid card.
Leader Materials: Leader guide, overheads, video

Negotiating to Yes is made up of distinct, yet integrated, core modules delivered in a class room environment or a combination of conventional and electronic delivery, please contact Strategic Enhancement Group, Inc. at (630) 377-4300 or (888) 668-9382.


In most implementations, Strategic Enhancement Group, Inc. will partner with your organization to measure the initial behavioral changes and business results. We have a common interest in making sure that Negotiating to Yes brings the results you seek. We are committed to helping you succeed. And we will work with you to set up measurement systems to help move the desired change forward and sustain the momentum of your implementation.

This offering, like all others from Strategic Enhancement Group, can be customized to reflect you environment and business priorities. Please contact Strategic Enhancement Group, Inc. at (630) 377-4300, (888) 668-9382 outside of IL or Online.

About William Ury

Dr. William L. Ury co-founded and serves as associate director of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. He is the coauthor, with Roger Fisher, of Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, a multimillion-copy best-selling book translated into 22 languages. In addition, he authored Getting Past No: Negotiating with Difficult People, and Getting to Peace. Dr. Ury is an internationally known specialist in negotiation and conflict resolution, and regularly speaks to corporate executives, labor leaders, diplomats, and military officers. His customers range from Fortune 100 corporations to the Pentagon and the State and Treasury Departments. As director of the Nuclear Negotiation Project at Harvard Law School, Dr. Ury was also actively involved in the creation of nuclear reduction centers in Washington, D.C.

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