• Bargaining with the Devil

  • When to Negotiate, When to Fight
  • By: Robert Mnookin
  • Narrated by: Robert Mnookin
  • Length: 7 hrs and 44 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (302 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

One of the country's most eminent practitioners of the art and science of negotiation offers practical advice for the most challenging conflicts - when you are facing an adversary you don't trust, who may harm you, or who you may even feel is evil.

The head of Harvard's famed Program on Negotiation, Robert Mnookin provides tools for confronting devils of all kinds - in business, politics, and family life. Bargaining with the Devil guides the listener on how to make wise decisions about whether to negotiate or fight. Mnookin explains what it means to make a "wise decision" and identifies the emotional, strategic, and political traps to avoid.

Drawing from a remarkable range of real-life stories, Mnookin offers his thoughtful guidance in disputes of all sorts where the temptation is to demonize: The CEO of a small high-tech company learns that his joint-venture partner, a big foreign corporation, has been secretly cheating him under a license agreement; IBM discovers that Fujitsu, its largest competitor, has copied its software; the San Francisco Symphony is torn apart by poisoned labor-management relations; divorcing spouses, each feeling wounded and betrayed, disagree about custody and support; three siblings are in conflict about what to do with a jointly inherited vacation property.

Mnookin also examines decisions made in conflicts with evil regimes, where lives and liberty were at stake. This lively, informative, indispensable book identifies the tools one needs to make wise decisions about life's most challenging conflicts.

©2010 Robert Mnookin (P)2010 Simon & Schuster

What listeners say about Bargaining with the Devil

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    4 out of 5 stars

Morally questionable

i thought the book was alright up until the story of Brenda. The author advised a lying, cheating, greedy, house wife who he liked. This woman cheated on her husband, denied it, then finally angrily filed for divorce and wanted everything. The author tried to help this person... I stopped at this point and did not finish the book.

13 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Important Topic, but I Now Hate Case Studies

The book asks the fundamental question, when you should bargain with someone who is evil, either someone who is not bargaining in good faith or someone who might escape justice through negotiation. His answer is more often than you and I probably do but clearly not always. Sometimes you have to dig in and fight. It???s just that we tend to do that too much.

I???ve recently notices people taking pot-shots at the case study method. A Harvard graduate writing about Wall Street devotes several pages to condemnation of the case study method. In another instance an author demonizes Clayton Christenson (a personal hero) for his public defense of the case study method. I wondered what was going on, and where were the editors. But after reading this book I???m ready to make a small political donation to the anti-case-study league.

I found it painful to listen to 30 pages of story, for example about some couple getting divorced, for the 3 pages of payoff at the end where the author somewhat weakly attempts a synthesis. Perhaps its age; by I have plenty of stories to throw against the authors ideas, and I don???t usually rebel against any idea I can???t pretend is my own.

5 people found this helpful

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Compelling Stories

This book is narrated by its own author, so it automatically gets 5 stars for performance.
Unless you have an insurmountable speech impediment, please authors... narrate your own books?!?!

The stories are excellent here. Normally I'm disappointed in books that bill themselves as instructive, but are mostly stories. This one is an exception.

So, should you negotiate with the "devil" ?
The author ends up saying "not always, but more often than you feel like."

Start with whatever your gut tells you, whether to fight or negotiate.
Then imagine you have a buddy who bears a striking resemblance to Spock (from Star Trek).
Now give Spock a fair chance to talk you out of it.
If he can't, go ahead.

2 people found this helpful

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BEWARE! This is an ABRIDGED version. Minus 2 stars

Nowhere in the summary or description could I find anything stating this was an abridged version. I was livid when I found out I paid full price for an abridged version of this book. I feel I may not have been so disappointed with the content if this had been the full version of the book. Of course I can't say because I can't go wasting my credits buying the same book twice.

3 people found this helpful

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Thoughtful and thought provoking

Mnookin does a great job providing guidance in determining if negotiation is appropriate in high emotion, high stakes conditions.

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Very good from start to finish!

Just finished a class at KSU on mediation and this book was highly recommended. All of the case studies are excellent examples.

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Getting to yes is no longer the worst

This is useless, is emptier than getting to yes, I’m getting my credit back. There s nothing here, appealing to sophisticated causes made this even less relatable than it already was.

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fantastic insight

it very captivating book. I love the psychology of this book. it's a catchy title. me and my spouse debated about the title.

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maybe it's above my level

I got this book because it was recommended in Never Split The Difference but it wasn't as interesting. maybe it's just above my negotiatioylevel

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No Easy Answers in This Book! A Thought Provoking Framework to Negotiation

Before reading this book, I felt that I knew how to approach negotiation. I now feel differently. Spock like analysis needs to find a place more readily in my preparation. Then add that to experience and intuition will support desired outcomes = a pragmatic approach. No easy answers but this book introduced valuable insights that I will always consider.

Grateful is the word I would use to describe how I feel upon the conclusion of my reading.