Thursday, July 19, 2007


By Herb Cohen

Regardless of who you are or what you want, you can negotiate anything, promises Herb Cohen, in his masterpiece YOU CAN NEGOTIATE ANYTHING. Herb Cohen has been a participant in thousands of negotiations, including every situation imaginable, from mergers and acquisitions to hostage and terrorist negotiations for law enforcement agencies. Herb Cohen was a consultant to some of the largest corporations in North America. He has advised presidents on everything from domestic policy to hostage crises to combating international terrorism. In addition, he traveled internationally to conferences and conventions, where his entertaining and informative style made him a sought-after speaker. Successful is the right word for Herb Cohen.

Every day, you negotiate for something: from mergers to marriages, from loans to lovemaking; this book proves that prestige, money, security, justice, love - it’s all negotiable. This straight-talking guide shows you how to get what you want by dealing successfully with your mate, your boss, your children, your best friends and even yourself. As Cohen counsels, "Power is based upon perception - if you think you've got it then you've got it. Be patient, be personal, be informed - and you can bargain successfully for anything."

“Wow” is what most people would say first, after Cohen's book is finally put down. Because of his remarkable effectiveness in delivering the point of effective negotiating you feel that negotiating is not some hidden art or that ‘Harvard or INSEAD’ education is necessary to be effective in the everyday occurrences that we deal with on a regular basis. There are as many techniques and methods of negotiating as there are people and cultures in the world, but this book focuses on simplicity as well as effectiveness. The methods are hilariously portrayed and the terms are easily grasped by the reader without the necessity of classroom discussion or instructor evaluation. Guys…this is real stuff! Use this book daily and change your life forever. These are home truths on negotiating tactics from one of America's professional corporate negotiators. You are unlikely to learn much you haven't heard many times before and many of the examples are very "homely" as opposed to corporate. His writing style is casual, with a conversational tone, and his applications of techniques are presented in a down-to-earth manner that the average reader can easily relate to.

The book is divided into four sections. It begins with defining the term ‘Negotiation’- what is it, why do we need it, where can we use it etc. According to him this real world is a giant negotiating table, and whether anybody likes it or not, he or she is a participant. Herb then went on to describe the term by giving a real life personal experience. The first section, furthermore, introduces the three basic components of negotiation as the perception of power, time investment and constraints, and the balance of information between the parties. The author discusses tactics that employ these three components to control negotiations.

The second section of the book gives an in-depth description of power, time, and information. The power chapter, 40 pages long, brilliantly outlines fourteen specific types of power essential to understand when negotiating with others. Cohen effectively addresses the psychological element of power. The information in this chapter alone is worth the price of the book.

Different negotiation styles are discussed in the third section. Win-Lose and Win-Win negotiations are described in detail, to include countermeasures to avoid being victimized if involved with a Win-Lose negotiator. The examples provided in this section are both interesting and informative.

The fourth section is a short collection of additional illustrative stories. If the author had excluded anecdotes, this book would have been a twenty-page booklet instead of a 255-page awe-inspiring piece of writing, but the extensive examples effectively clarified the pertinent points of negotiation, serving as an amusing, yet effective teaching method.

This book is an excellent introduction to negotiation for the causal reader, but is not appropriate as a quick reference guide because of the illustrative nature of the text, with information buried within stories. It is not that after reading this book one will become master in the art of negotiations, rather this book will initiate one's journey in the world of negotiations. This book really gives a great launching point for those who wish to carry out successful win-win negotiations in every facet of their lives, be it at home, with suppliers, at your favorite shop or at work.

This is an absolutely fascinating book. I recommend the book to anyone interested in successful and fruitful negotiations. We all have the potential to negotiate, and this book unleashes that power. It’s a rare work of sublime genius.


1 comment:

dreamkiller said...

Hello nishant

I too have read this book. You have almost squeezed the books. Good work Sir.

Definitely a great learning for any person involved in negotiations and for others too.

A good style of writing. Do write some more.