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Kramer examines the importance of everything from choosing a venue through the consequences of the choice of table shapes on the process to the host of seemingly trivial, but important logistics required for the game to be played. He then explores the critical elements of planning and moves into the actual negotiating phases with advice on each element in the process itself. How does one best form and respond to questions, narrow issues, create and present opening, middle and closing offers? The author draws on his lengthy collective bargaining experience with solid answers and definitions of key words in the jargon of the field. What is the difference, for example, between a best offer, a last offer and a final offer? You will find the terms clearly distinguished in his work, along with those deal sweeteners: the "kickers" and "throw-ins."
Professor Kramer is an accomplished teacher as is clear from the variety of techniques he uses to make his points clear. The book presents a host of mini-cases as illustrative examples as well as a wide array of "Tips," "Traps," and some techniques the author labels as "Tricks" for moving the process along. They are all valuable tools and, if these are not enough, Kramer gives the reader some memory jogging quick quotes from sources ranging from William Shakespeare through Voltaire to that wise old negotiator Humpty Dumpty.
This is a book for anyone involved in organizational negotiations from any side of the negotiating table. Whether you agree or not with the author’s view of negotiations as adversarial at their root, it is a solid overview of the formal negotiating process used by many organizations throughout the world to settle disputes and reach new agreements. It is also a useful reference guide for the negotiator.
Reviewed by John D. Baker
Editor and Publisher
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