Every entrepreneur will be involved in important negotiations at some time, and mastering this art can bring great results. Yet some people seem to be born negotiators, while others find it difficult and unnerving. For those who need to improve their confidence in negotiations, and therefore the results, help is at hand thanks to a book from the master of negotiating. Here, Pan Atlantic review ‘The Art Of Negotiation: How To Improvise Agreement In A Chaotic World’, written by Michael Wheeler, and published by Simon & Schuster.

“The most important thing to understand about negotiating is that you can improve your performance”, said Justin Cobb, director of Pan Atlantic. “By practising your skills, and with the help of this fantastic book, you can go from being a negotiation novice to a master deal clincher in no time at all. This will yield great benefits for your business.”

Michael Wheeler is a world authority on this subject, being a member of the famous Program on Negotiation at the Harvard School of Law. He has identified a problem with negotiating faced by many people today: they’re just too rigid in their approach. Negotiation has tended to fall into two schools, the win-win method of persuading a client to say yes, and the hard negotiating style that says anything can be achieved. The author argues that in our ever changing modern world, more flexibility is needed when it comes to negotiations.

Master negotiators don’t approach a situation with a rigid plan already in their head, as that can trap them. They take great notice of the way the conversation is going, and are ready to change and adapt at any moment. In this way, negotiation really becomes an act of exploring. You need to really understand what your client is looking for, and listen to what they’re saying rather than what you think they should be saying.

“Michael Wheeler emphasises the importance of improvisation within the negotiation process”, said Justin Cobb. “He gives examples of expert negotiators who have mastered this art, and also provides ways that entrepreneurs can practise and develop their skills. In our ever moving world, this flexibility is vitally important. That’s why I recommend this book for all entrepreneurs, however experienced they are.”

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