Short & Sweet reviews of our favorite books for entrepreneurs. This weeks review:

NINJA BOOK REVIEW: BARGAINING FOR ADVANTAGE: Negotiation Strategies For Reasonable People

by G. Richard Shell

4 out of 5 NINJA STARS

You can’t know enough about negotiation and every book on it has new and unique nuggets of information. The cool thing is that you start to see trends across all books on the subject! Bargaining For Advantage covers some of the stuff we’ve seen in other books on negotiation we have reviewed, but it is unique for its focus on the process of communicating and understanding information during a negotiation. There are some amazing tips in this book we have seen nowhere else!


Professor G. Richard Shell is the director of the world-renowned Wharton Executive Negotiation Workshop.


Professor Shell’s book covers”Information-based Bargaining,” a negotiation method he created that is based on three key concepts: preparation, listening, and “attending to signals” that the other side sends through his or her conduct.


“Every time the other party says ‘I WANT’ in a negotiation, you should hear the pleasant sound of a weight dropping on your side of the leverage scales.”


  1.  “All deals that close are win-win deals. Win-lose is often just a label we give a deal when we don’t like how the other side treated us.”
  2.  “To be good, you must be yourself at the bargaining table. Tricks and stratagems that don’t feel comfortable won’t work.”
  3.  “Your intuition will fail you in important situations. To improve, you need to shed your assumptions about the process and open yourself to new ideas.”
  4.  “You will become the best negotiator you can be by identifying and then building on your genuine strength and talents.”
  5.  “People who expect more generally get more.”
  6.  “The best negotiations have a relentless curiosity about what is really motivating the other side.”
  7.  “Leverage is your power not just to reach an agreement, but to obtain an agreement on your own terms.”
  8.  “Making even subtle threats is like dealing with explosives.”
  9.  “Don’t make assumptions about leverage based on wealth or position.”
  10.  “Leverage is based on the other party’s perception of the situation, not the facts.”
  11.  Don’t compromise. “Simple compromises can be the enemy of good problem-solving. If you split the difference before exploring all the options, you miss opportunities to meet both sides’ needs more fully.”
  12.  “Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”
  13.  “It almost never hurts to talk less.”
  14.  “Your strategy should be determined by three main elements: the situation, your leverage, and style – both yours and your counterparts.”
  15.  “Research shows that many people will respond favorably if you make a request in a reasonable voice and company it with a ‘because of’ statement.” -even if whatever comes after “because” doesn’t make sense or is irrelevant.


This book is different than other negotiation books for its extreme focus on the process of how information is exchanged between the parties and on bargaining styles. No other book we’ve read on the subject has this exact take on negotiation. Get it!

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