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Reader’s Review, August 2012

By John D. Baker

Negotiation at Work: Maximize Your Team’s Skills with 60 High-Impact Activities

By Ira Asherman
353pp. New York, N.Y.: AMACOM, 2012
Paperback (USA) $34.95

Ira Asherman is the President of the New York City firm of Asherman Associates, Inc. with over 45 years of experience in business consulting, the last thirty of those years focused entirely on negotiation skills. Mr. Asherman is a graduate of The Ohio State University and has done additional graduate work in Industrial and Labor relations at Cornell University.

In addition to this current book on negotiation teaching activities, Mr. Asherman has published two books of role plays for use in negotiation skills training along with a variety of other materials including several articles on negotiation, one of which appeared in The Negotiator Magazine in August 0f 2011. Unquestionably, Ira Asherman is an expert in negotiation training and brings a wealth of tried and tested materials for improving negotiating skills to this work.

If you are a manager seeking to strengthen the negotiation performance of your group, this is a must read. In a nuts and bolts approach, this work provides the structure for real negotiation learning at surprisingly modest cost and minimal preparatory time. Every person in every position in an organization should be a trained negotiator and this is a ready-made means of accomplishing that goal.

Ira Asherman’s training program has a several important and inherent advantages vs. alternative approaches that underscore its value. Among these are its basis in interactive activities which emulate the core enterprise in all negotiating; its use of field tested exercises and its provision of leader detail essential to training success. For example, each activity provides suggestions on such essential instructional elements as activity objectives, number of participants, time required for completion, and trainer notes. It is a complete package, minimizing training preparation greatly.

Using a topical structure, the exercises focus on such elements as securing participant readings on preliminary course expectations and negotiation experience; planning; negotiation skills; negotiating styles and a host of special subjects ranging from the art of questioning through framing positions to methods of issue ranking.

Additionally, the author provides a wealth of training materials to further enhance the delivery of the course. Among the associated materials are a dozen case studies, four negotiation transcripts, overhead projections, role-plays and a wide array of worksheets and other handouts. It is a true treasure trove of training resources, thoughtfully designed and presented by a master negotiation trainer. Importantly, the 8.5″ x 11″ page size employed in the book makes the copying of instructional materials an easy task.

Lastly, the work includes seventy pages of supplementary material focused on sales negotiation. There are 10 sales negotiation activities and a large number of handouts, role-plays, self-evaluations and worksheets for the sales force to buttress the basic core knowledge about negotiation they learned earlier in this book.

Readers will be delighted to find that the author has included a useful and detailed Index.

This is a practical and thoughtful book, designed for both the negotiation trainer and the corporate manager to produce solid performance results.

Highly Recommended.

John D. Baker, Ph.D.

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The Negotiator Magazine (August, 2012) Copyright © 2012 The Negotiator Magazine