October 3, 2007

Book Review - Power of a Positive No

When do you say NO in the workplace?

The Power of a Positive No: How to Say No and Still Get to Yes
William Ury
BF 637 .N4 U795 2007

The premise behind Ury's book is an increasing need for people "to stand up for what they value without destroying their relationships" during adversarial conflicts. The author describes this not only as professional negotiation skill, but also as a life skill. Once acquired, the author believes that this technique will permit its users to respect their own needs and beliefs while simultaneously coming to an agreement that satisfies someone else making external demands on them.

Ury describes this process as having three phases. First, the individual has to discover their personal need within the area of conflict. This allows him to establish boundaries for himself that he can explain and feel good about defending. Second, the individual expresses their position. They lay out what they will be willing to do, outline their boundary, and propose an alternate path to satisfy the needs of both parties. Finally, the user must remain firm, restating their positions until the requirements of both parties have been negotiated.