Game, Set, Match: Winning the Negotiations Game
By Henry S.Kramer
Summary written by Conflict Research Consortium Staff
Citation: Kramer, Henry S. Game, Set, Match: Winning the Negotiations Game. New York: ALM Publishing, 2001, 360 pp.
Game, Set, Match: Winning the Negotiations Game is intended as a practical guide to the planning and preparation phase of negotiation. This text can be used either as a step-by-step guide for those inexperienced in negotiation, or as a desk reference for seasoned negotiators. While recognizing mutual gains and win-win approaches, Kramer's goal is to teach readers how to win negotiations, or achieve their own goals through the negotiation process.
The book is structured chronologically after the negotiation process itself, from planning, to face-to-face bargaining, to following up on the results. Chapter One provides a brief overview of the dynamics of negotiation and some of the things to be expected when involved in negotiations. At the end of Chapter One, Kramer outlines three key concepts in the negotiation process-overall objective, strategy, and tactics.
The journey through the negotiation process begins in Chapter Two with planning a strategy. This chapter provides an in-depth explanation of why planning is important as well as guidance and tips on how to go about the planning process. Chapter Three discusses how the law factors into certain types of negotiations. Kramer advises readers to be aware of how certain legal principles might affect their approach to negotiation, particularly in labor-management disputes. Chapter Four is about preparing yourself for negotiation by collecting good data. One needs to know the facts before entering any negotiation. This chapter includes advice on where to find information for a few particular types of negotiations as well as finding information about the opposition.
In Chapter Five, Kramer advises estimating the financial costs of your negotiation plan as well as what the opposing side's proposals may cost. The process of costing can be difficult as it is rather hard to quantify certain subjective costs. This chapter is quite comprehensive, pointing out many potential costs that one may not otherwise consider in the planning process.
Chapter Six will help readers plan the presentation of their strategy to their own side. This chapter discusses various negotiation types (ie. low risk, high reward; high risk, low reward) and advises on which types will be perceived most favorably by the organization or others on your side of the negotiation. Chapter Seven is about gathering and committing the resources necessary to be successful in negotiation. These resources include money, formal language writing skills for drafting agreements, and negotiation skills training.
Chapter Eight discusses strategies for establishing a "win-win" outcome. This notion is based on perceptions, not necessarily objective reality, so that each side of the dispute perceives that they are winning the negotiation in some way. Chapter Nine considers situations in which team bargaining is necessary, such as major business transactions or labor-management negotiations. Kramer offers some advice on how to effectively manage team bargaining scenarios.
In Chapter Ten, Kramer covers some of the preliminary logistical issues that will have to be negotiated before the actual negotiation takes place. Details such as where the meeting will occur, the shape of the table, who will pay for the space, and scheduling are discussed. Chapter Eleven looks at the advantages of gaining controlling hand in the early stages of negotiations and suggests ways to achieve this position.
The mid-negotiation process is considered in Chapter Twelve. This chapter examines techniques that are effective during the thick of the negotiation, including measured movement, logical discussion, and the use of problem solving. Chapter Thirteen discusses the "end-game" or final phase of negotiation. Clock management, making offers, using third party neutrals, and wrapping things up are all covered in this chapter. The final chapter provides advice on following up the results of your negotiation, namely getting your agreement ratified by someone in a position of authority so that the deal sticks.
Game, Set, Match: Winning the Negotiations Game is a comprehensive, detailed, and practical guide to the negotiation process. Throughout the work, Kramer includes useful tips, tricks, and traps he has learned over his years as a successful negotiator and as a professor at Cornell University. The book is clearly written, well-organized, and useful for new negotiators as well as ones with experience who feel, for whatever reason, that they need some coaching in a difficult situation.