Secrets of Power Negotiating, Roger Dawson (2012, read 2013)

Secrets of Power Negotiating
15th Anniversary Edition, Roger Dawson (2012, read 2013)

“The art of conflict resolution is to get people off of their positions and focused back on their mutual interests.”

This should be essential reviewing regularly, and before any type of negotiation, relating to job-searches/offers, apartments, houses, large items and appliances, vacations and travel with friends/family, hotels, customer service; everything! But how to practice? Practice on small things, buying items in the street, asking for specials at restaurants, everything!

  • Remember selling cutco: ask for the sale 5x before you get a “yes”
  • Ask for more than you can get.
  • Never say yes on the first offer, and moreover, don’t say yes too quickly.
  • Flinch!
  • Be a reluctant seller even before the negotiations begin
  • Work at the strategy of appealing to their higher authority.
    • One way is to ask, “Who is authorized to make an exception to the rule?” and repeat in increasingly stronger terms…
  • If you make a concession – get one right away!
  • Watch out for the “Decoy Gambit,” where a party tries to make a side issue the primary focus…
  • Remember hostage situations!
  • Ask tough questions!
  • Be confident: you are rewarding the other party with your business!
  • Have options – and if you don’t – give the perception that you do!

Who has the most power? The side with the most options…and that’s the side that can use time pressure the best, so if you don’t have options or time, be sure to start negotiations early!

The minute you pass the point when you’re willing to say, “I’m prepared to walk away from this,” you lose in the negotiations. Be sure you don’t pass that point. There’s no such thing as a sale you have to make at any price, or the only car or home for you, or a job or employee that you cannot do without. The minute you pass the point when you think there is, you’ve lost in the negotiations.

Before you walk out, consider how much the other person has to lose by letting you do that. If they have nothing to lose, you probably won’t get anywhere by walking out.

One of the most powerful thoughts you can have when you’re negotiating with someone is not “what can I get from them?” but “what can I give them that won’t take away from my position?”

Life advice:

  • When you are having trouble understanding something, it helps to think of the opposite.


(Personal note: visit Ravello, Amalfi, Italy!)


8 Combinations of Power:

  1. Legitimate Power(the power of your title or your position in the marketplace).
    2. Reward Power(the ability to reward the other person).
    3. Coercive Power (nearly always perception, not reality).
    4. Reverent Power (the ability to project a consistent set of values).
    5. Charismatic Power (the power of the personality).
    6. Expertise Power (an ability that the other person does not have).
    7. Situation Power (power that stems from circumstances).
    8. Information Power (knowledge that the other person lacks).


Review the following:

Using the Vise Gambit.