ForeWord Reviews

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How to Negotiate Anything, Anywhere

Winning the Negotiating Game

Foreword Review — Jan / Feb 2002

The “Personal Pimple Theory of Life” may seem odd, but to the author, it is the key to understanding and using the power people have as individuals. Cohen’s theory is that people tend to underestimate their abilities while overestimating the other guy’s, and he wants to change that perception. This audio presentation is the first in a series of four tapes designed to increase an individual’s negotiation skills in business, career, and personal life. Cohen has been a professional negotiator for thirty years, has written several books, and produced at least six tapes on the art of negotiation. His first book, You Can Negotiate Anything (Lyle Stuart, 1983), forms the foundation for all the tapes in this collection.

Funny, profound, reasonable, and entertaining, Cohen narrates these tapes himself. He offers frank advice on the successful negotiation of everyday problems from buying a new car to getting a raise at work, from handling children to managing a career. There is no squishy social science or touchy-feely psychobabble here, just sound, understandable, down-to-earth tips, telling listeners how and when to bargain in order to gain something, resolve conflict, reconcile differences, or establish or adjust a relationship. Cohen’s tips are remarkably simple, but often overlooked because people tend to underestimate themselves in situations that can be resolved with artful negotiation techniques. His goal is to teach people how to achieve a mutually satisfying solution for each party.

Much of the presentation is focused on the three core ingredients for successful negotiation: time, information, and power. He explains clearly how deadlines work psychologically, how patience pays off, how to listen carefully, how to use information, and why power is a state of mind.

His negotiating strategy for buying a new car is a clever blend of preparation, patience, listening skills, and a few subtle tactics that will surely make salespeople squirm. He tells a hilarious personal story about buying a new car for his wife to illustrate his points.

Cohen also tells anecdotes about Moses negotiating with God, high-powered negotiations with General Motors, and a parent trying to raise teenagers. This tape and the other three in the series (Artful Negotiation in a Global Economy, The Win-Win Negotiating Strategy, and New Perspectives on Negotiating) are presented conversationally, with wit, clarity, and refreshing encouragement.

William D. Bushnell