The Only Two Negotiation Books to Read

One of the most important skills of any good software licensing attorney (or venture capital advisors), is their ability to negotiate and deal with difficult situations. I have read so many negotiations books, that now they all seem to sound alike. However, I go back to two books that out of every book I have read, work time and time again. 

1) Getting To Yes – by William Ury and Roger Fisher. Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In. 

2) Difficult Conversations -by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen, and Roger Fisher. How to Discuss What Matters Most

So why are these two books so great?

  • Well the first one is really focused on the concept of ‘interest‘ based negotiations vs. positional negotiations. What they mean by this, is finding out why the other party wants something, instead of focusing on what they want (the position). This may seem simple, but it is something that is too often forgotten in a negotiation.
  • The second book is focused on how to have productive difficult conversations. These type of conversations can be anything from a difficult business conversation to one with your spouse. This book addresses the too often ignored issue of the emotional part of conversations or negotiations; and yes emotions can have a dramatic impact on the outcome/final decision.
  • Oh, and who is behind the books? The Harvard Program on Negotiation.In my humble opinion, this group is the best in the world on how to negotiate. They don’t have gimmicks or one-liners, but they do have some of the deepest thinkers on how to negotiate (in any arena) or situation. Any company looking for a growth capital or expansion capital should take a read. 
Jeremy Aber
Jeremy Aber
President and Shareholder

Jeremy Aber consults OpenView portfolio companies on legal and contract matters. Jeremy runs his own IT focused law firm, the Aber Law Firm, and has over 18 years experience in technology and corporate law.
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