By Fareeha Qayoom
The power of nice: how to negotiate so everyone wins – especially you! By Ronald M. Shapiro and Mark A. Jankowski, 268 pp. New York: John Wiley & Sons Inc. Revised Edition 2001. Paperback edition US $ 19.95
ne of the most successful dealmakers in the sports industry presents his unique negotiating strategies. He never forgets that treating people with respect and fairness is the key to success. Anyone who is faced with making a deal – whether it’s negotiating with a customer, setting a curfew with a teenager, or getting the last seat on an over-sold airplane – will find The Power of Nice to be a very helpful guide. Packed with observations and anecdotes drawn from the experience of authors Ronald Shapiro and Mark Jankowski partners in a negotiations seminar and consulting firm that counts baseball superstars Cal Ripkin Jr., Brooks Robinson, and Jim Palmer among its clientele- the book shows how to reorient the overall process from an exercise in antagonism to one in which everybody wins (but you win bigger). It is based on “the three Ps,” which Shapiro and Jankowski describe as “preparing better than the other side; probing so you know what they want and why; and proposing, ideally without going first and revealing too much.” All of the chapters, such as those on handling difficult competitors, bargaining from a position of weakness, eliminating obstacles, and building long-term relationships, are filled with checklists and exercises that help readers absorb the authors’ suggestions and turn themselves into better negotiators.
Herb Cohen Author, “You can negotiate anything,” says this about the book. “In the field of negotiation Ron Shapiro has always been regarded as the quintessence of class and integrity. Predictably, he and Mark Jankowski has written a compelling book filled with anecdotes and insights. The Power of Nice is a fascinating and useful book that is a must read for anyone who wants to build long-term mutually profitable relationships.”
Though the name of the game in negotiating is to obtain desired results, how you get them is just as important. While many dealmakers play hardball by assuming a winner-take-all, scorched-earth attitude, they do so at the risk of alienating the party opposite them at the negotiating table, thereby losing out on future opportunities. This approach is, as Shapiro and Jankowski tell us, a major strike against effective negotiating, and can-and should-be avoided. By using a kinder, gentler approach that focuses on forming-and keeping-strong business connections, ultimate gain can still be yours: “You can be ‘a nice guy’ and still get what you’re after. In fact, you often get better results, achieve more of your goals, and build longer-term relationships with even greater returns.” ■
This article was originally published in the print edition of the “The Knit-Xtyle Fashion Review,” Tkfr issue 13, January 2006