January 28, 2021

8 Business Negotiation Books to Add to Your Reading List

by Brian de Haaff

When was the last time you negotiated with someone? You might think of a specific scenario — like buying a car or accepting a job offer. But I bet you had to negotiate more recently than that. The process of reaching an agreement with someone else is something we do all day long, whether you realize it or not. And nowhere is this more true than in a business setting — regardless of the type of work you do.

With great negotiation skills, you can build strong relationships, effectively solve problems, and avoid future conflicts.

Yet many folks still see negotiation as a skill reserved for those who make high-stakes deals, such as salespeople, lawyers, and business executives. You might even assume it is a painful process — involving hostile conversations and a zero-sum outcome.

But productive negotiation is simply the process of reaching an agreement that benefits everyone involved. And when solving problems or disagreements, these skills help ensure your voice is heard without creating an adversarial relationship with others. If you do not know how to do it well, you might be compromising too quickly and leaving value for yourself on the table. 

Anyone in a business setting needs to know how to successfully negotiate, no matter what your role is.

The problem is, unless you are in sales, you likely have not received any formal negotiation training — it is a skill you need to learn and sharpen on your own. And I do think it is one everyone can and should learn.

This is why I often recommend the book Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It by Christopher Voss. He uses his experience as an FBI hostage negotiator to form counterintuitive, yet practical strategies for reaching agreements in any situation. It is a compelling read regardless of what you do for work.

But there are so many other great books on the topic. So I spoke with members of the Aha! team and asked many of you on LinkedIn to help me compile a list of some of the best business negotiation books.

Here is what you recommended:

Learning how to constructively reach agreements with others is not just rewarding for you — it benefits your entire team.

Effective negotiation increases everyone's confidence in the group's ability to overcome challenges in the future, regardless of your differences. And being able to work together towards a common goal without reservation is invaluable. Great teamwork improves productivity, cultivates creativity, and fosters a more joyful working environment. I think we can all agree that is worth the effort.

What is the best business book you have read on this topic recently?

Maybe it is time for less drama at work — Aha! is hiring.

Brian de Haaff

Brian seeks business and wilderness adventure. He is the co-founder and CEO of Aha! — the world’s #1 roadmap software — and the author of the bestseller Lovability. Brian writes and speaks about product and company growth and the adventure of living a meaningful life.

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