This provides a nice clear layout of the ideas behind successful negotiations. It's helpful to think clearly about the values and motivations of all the 'players' in the process. Great book and easy but thoughtful read.
Negotiating is a critical skill in just about all areas of life, but especially when you're supposed to be a leader at work. Michael Watkins' book Shaping the Game: The New Leader's Guide to Effective Negotiating does a very nice job in laying out the necessary skills, as well as giving you the strategic tools you need to be successful at it.
Contents: Introduction; Understand Terms and Conditions; Negotiate Strategically; Match Situation to Strategy; Plan to Learn and Influence; Shape the Game; Organize to Improve; Conclusion; Notes; Recommended Reading; Index; About the Author
Watkins takes you through the life of a soon-to-be new employee of a fictional company. The employee is trying for a sales management job, and he has to negotiate his way through three potential job situations with three potential employers. His skill in carrying on these simultaneous discussions is only the beginning of his deal-making. When he finally accepts one and gets on-board, he realizes that there are some make-or-break issues that, if not successfully navigated, will sink both him *and* the company. It's a classic turn-around situation, and the stakes are the survival of the company. Using this storyline, the author presents the necessary skills needed to get all the parties to the table, to get everyone communicating openly (or as open as is possible), and to learn how to adapt your style of negotiating to fit the particular scenario. I think for me, the most valuable aspect of the book was learning that a "one size fits all" approach to deal-making doesn't work. Working out a one-time deal (such as the sale of your used car to a stranger) is far different than working out an on-going partnership (such as between your company and a strategic buyer or supplier). Going for a "win at all costs" approach in the second situation pretty much guarantees a battle victory at the expense of the overall war...
Because the storyline is used to support the material about negotiating, the outcomes always seem to work out correctly. In real-life, that's not always the case. But regardless of that minor nit, this is a valuable book that can have a long-term beneficial effect on your career...
This excellent guide to negotiation is concise, highly readable and eminently practical. Author Michael Watkins simply and clearly outlines the essentials every negotiator must know. More importantly, he situates negotiation where it belongs - at the very center of every leader's required set of skills. He duly notes that negotiations differ in many ways, and that a negotiator needs to adapt a strategic approach to each situation and context. Where appropriate, he draws on the work of other writers about negotiation, sometimes correcting their broad generalizations and oversimplifications. He illustrates his advice about negotiation with the story of Paul, an executive whose career exposes him to various negotiating situations requiring a range of skills. This tactic could be hackneyed or hokey, but in Watkin's hands, it works well. We highly recommend this book as an excellent tool for honing your negotiation and leadership skills.
Michael Watkins , author of 2003's classic "The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels" has followed it up nicely with "Shaping the Game: The New Leader's Guide to Effective Negotiating." Whereas the earlier book was a step-by-step guide to what a new leader needed to accomplish, the latest book focuses on how negotiation skills can play a key role in successful transitions.
Watkins, an expert in leadership transitions and in negotiation, has come to believe that, "...effective leaders negotiate their way to success in their new roles." This book is meant to help ensure success in that endeavor.
Watkins sees four objectives for negotiations during career transitions:
1. Create value for both the new leader and for the organization.
2. Ensure that the new leader captures a fair share of that value.
3. Build and sustain relationships by the way the negotiations are conducted.
4. Enhance the new leader's reputation as a tough, creative and trustworthy individual.
His framework for negotiation likewise contains four elements:
1. Matching negotiating strategy to the reality of the situation. No more one-size-fits-all negotiation strategies.
2. Planning to learn and influence.
3. Shaping the game - strategies to change the negotiation game to better suit your strengths.
4. Organizing to improve your skills as a negotiator, and those of your organization.
I like the way Watkins has organized the book. He provides plenty of clear, visual models of the negotiation process. Each chapter is concluded with a checklist that summarizes the key things to watch for when negotiating. The book is a fast read, and it will be easy to find what I need to help in specific situations later.
If you are entertaining several options for future employment, or entering a new position, consider using two books as guides. First, use George Bradt's The New Leaders 100-Day Action Plan: How to Take Charge, Build Your Team, and Get Immediate Results as the most practical step by step guide to early success in the new role. And use Watkins book to help you understand how to do some of the tougher steps in Bradt's book.
If you have any need to negotiate in your current role (and all of us do), pick up Watkins book to help you improve your ability to create and capture value. His stuff will work whether or not you are a new leader.