In this pioneering text, Ury and Fisher present four principles for effective negotiations, including the separation of people from the problem, the emphasis on interests rather than positions, the creation of a multitude of options before agreeing on an agreement, and the insistence that the agreement is based on objective criteria. Three common obstacles to the negotiations and ways to overcome them are also discussed. Once you have identified a desirable outcome for both parties, you should make it a priority to identify the points of agreement. You may be concerned about conflict zones and you like to start negotiations, but it is really important to explicitly list the areas in which you both are happy to agree. This will put both parties in a more positive frame and give you a foundation on which you can build. Participants can avoid falling into a win-lose mentality by focusing on common interests. If the interests of the parties are different, they should look for options in which these differences can be made compatible or even complementary. The key to coordinating different interests is to „search for items that are profitable for you and that are very beneficial to them, and vice versa.“ [p. 79] Each party should try to make proposals that are attractive to the other party and that the other party would easily approve. To do this, it is important to identify decision makers and direct them directly to them. Proposals are easier to agree when they appear legitimate or if they are supported by precedents. Threats are generally less effective in motivating the agreement than advantageous offers. For example, the last issue appears to have been the key to a breakthrough in the peace negotiations in Northern Ireland, which culminated in the Good Friday agreement.
The Unionists and the British government had hit a wall trying to persuade the IRA to take up arms. But one of the experienced merchants asked, „What would the IRA probably agree?“ – this helped to solve the dismantling of ira weapons by placing them „beyond use“ but without transferring them to the other side. Negotiations take place as long as there are people. You could say it was just different to hit another caveman with a club. Over time, negotiations have become more nuanced, if not increasingly civil, have produced trade treaties and agreements, and resolved countless disputes. How to negotiate effectively and reach a sound agreement The first step is to identify the interests of the parties on the above topic. This can be done by asking why they are in the positions they do and by thinking about why they have no other possible position.