Getting Past No: Negotiating in Difficult Situations


Getting Past No by William Ury is a book that is based around the idea of negotiating in difficult situations.

You will always get the advice to learn to say “no.” Saying “no” is important to prioritize your time and work. But, as important saying “no” yourself is, it is equally important to learn to navigate the “no” that comes your way.


When starting a business or just going about your life, you will realize how important it is to have the skill of negotiation. My dad is really good at it, but I am not. I grew up watching him haggle for everything. He always said if you can get a better deal, then you should.

The better you are at it, the more your business and you will benefit. Negotiation is not an easy skill to master, nor can it be gotten genetically. I would have loved to have my dad’s level of negotiation skills. It becomes even more difficult if the other person is a seasoned professional. They have had a lifetime to hone their negotiation skills.

When you are new in business and come across a stubborn person who keeps saying “no” to everything you bring to him, then this is where “Getting past no” comes to your rescue.

William Ury is the co-founder of Harvard Law School’s “Program of Negotiation.” I didn’t even know there was such a thing. You learn new things every day. He is also considered one of the world’s leading negotiation specialists.

Various techniques you can use in negotiations are included in this book. It also includes how to counter dirty tricks. You will have a lot of people trying to undermine you and undercut your efforts, but knowing how to recognize and negotiate your way out of it is really important. The teachings curated in the book also talk about how to reach mutually beneficial agreements that satisfy the needs of both parties.

The art of negotiation is something that start-up founders and entrepreneurs need to get a good hold on – the reason is quite obvious. If you are not at the top of things, then reaching the top can get difficult.

This book gives you the opportunity to learn from the best without going to great lengths. William also has another book titled “Getting to Yes: Negotiating an Agreement Without Giving In,” which is also a must-read to finetune the craft of negotiation. 

Here’s what the blurb says about the book we talked about:

Everyone wants to get to Yes, but what happens when someone keeps saying No to you? How can you negotiate successfully with a stubborn boss, an irate customer, or a deceitful coworker?

In Getting Past No, William Ury offers a proven breakthrough process for turning adversaries into negotiating partners. With state-of-the-art negotiation and mediation strategies designed for the twenty-first century, Getting Past No will help you deal with challenging times, difficult people, and tough negotiations.

In Getting Past No, you’ll learn how to:

  • stay in control under pressure
  • defuse anger and hostility
  • find out what the other side really wants
  • use power to bring the other side back to the table
  • reach agreements that satisfy both sides’ needs
  • counter “dirty tricks”
  • get what you want

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