Hannah’s Book Recommendation:

Written by Hannah Ferguson

Earlier this year, I decided I wanted to become a better negotiator. Whether it’s your spouse, significant other, kids, boss, or salesperson, we negotiate (or “argue”) with people every single day, which is why I thought it would be a great skill to develop. I started looking for tips and tricks everywhere from coworkers, tv shows, podcasts, and at one point I even glanced at Negotiating for Dummies. There are a lot of good negotiating books out there, but one I found particularly helpful was Bargaining for Advantage by G. Richard Shell.

In summary, Bargaining for Advantage is a guide to becoming a better and more intelligent negotiator by understanding and harnessing your own personal style and skills. I liked this book because he acknowledged that people’s personalities and communication styles are different, therefore, their negotiating styles should be different too… and that’s OK! Shell explains negotiating as a four step process including preparation, the exchange of information, making concessions, and gaining commitment.

One of the first steps is understanding your style, how it relates to others, and recognizing any pros or cons within your style.  Shell lists 5 styles of negotiating (avoidant, compromising, accommodating, competitive, and collaborative) and describes each one, as to help the reader determine their unique style. As someone with not a lot of formal negotiating experience, this was probably my favorite part of the book. I found it really interesting to go through his checklist and figure out what my style is!

I think this book is helpful to anyone who is interested in negotiating, whether they are an expert or a beginner.  I feel like I learned a lot about my own negotiating style and will be better prepared to recognize and respond to the other styles I may encounter in my everyday life.