Author Q&A: Getting More: How To Negotiate To Succeed in Work and Life

Author Stuart Diamond is stopping by the blog today for an interview about his book, Getting More: How You Can Negotiate to Succeed in Work and Life

Stuart Diamond is one of the world’s foremost experts on negotiation. He has taught and advised managers and executives at more than 200 of the Fortune 500 companies and has consulted with governments and public and private entities in dozens of countries.

His award-winning course on negotiation at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania has been the most sought after in the school by students over the last 15 years. He holds a law degree from Harvard and an MBA from Wharton and in a prior career won a Pulitzer Prize as a reporter at the New York Times. He lives with his wife and son in the Philadelphia area.

 Deborah Bailey: What prompted you to write your book?

Stuart Diamond: Many of the people I’ve taught (30,000 in 50 countries) said I should help others, including women, find better ways achieve their goals in work and life through the application of the new models of human interaction that I developed over the past 25 years, first at Harvard, then at Wharton Business School, and also as an entrepreneur in several industries, including technology, health care, agriculture, aviation, energy and finance.

DB: What's your book about?

SD: Getting More: How To Negotiate To Succeed in Work and Life shows that the conventional tools of negotiation, of dealing with others, don’t work very well: power, leverage, logic, win-win, threats, walking out, etc. Instead, finding and valuing the perceptions of the other party creates four times as much value – twice as many agreements, and each agreement is worth twice as much. Finding the pictures in their heads gives you a better starting point. Valuing the pictures in their heads gets others to more likely meet your goals. It is the opposite of the way most people deal with others today – from government to business to personal life.

DB: Who do you think will benefit from reading your book?

SD: Anyone who deals with other people: from country presidents to administrative assistants, women, men, children, workers, family members, shoppers, travelers, and so forth. The model comprises a different and better way of dealing with others. This month I am giving a keynote speech at the World Economic Forum in Korea on Women and Leadership: what makes great leaders.

DB: What do you feel makes your book different from others in your category?

SD: It deals with perceptions and emotions, first and foremost. Everything else is unimportant unless and until you make the human connection. Your logical arguments don’t matter. Your facts are irrelevant. Your “win-win” spreadsheets will fall on deaf ears. It is true whether it’s a world leader or my kid who wants an ice cream cone.

In addition to these collaborative tools, however, Getting More shows people how to deal with hard bargainers without getting stressed out. Simply find and use the other party’s own standards, their own criteria for making decisions – whether it’s a missed service appointment or how salary increases are distributed. People hate to contradict themselves. If you give people a choice between being consistent with their standards and contradicting their standards, people will most often be consistent. You must not make yourself the issue in doing this. You need to use tact and a nice tone. But it will make your world more fair to you.

DB: What do you want readers to come away with?

SD: A specific set of tools and a process to use in any situation: from getting a job to getting the child to do her or his homework.

DB: What's the best advice that you could give to woman entrepreneurs?

SD: First make a human connection. It’s more important than your business model, marketing, research, website, and anything else you’ve come up with. People tend to buy products and invest in others whom they trust, with whom they feel comfortable, with whom they make a connection. That means, if someone criticizes you, find out why. Find out the pictures in their heads. You will get information and you will value them in the process, so that they will be more comfortable with you. If you make a human connection with someone, they are almost six times more likely to give you want you want – 90% versus 16%. And it can be a connection on anything.

DB: What inspires you to do the work you do?

SD: To see the positive results in the lives of others, as well as my own. Google now uses this model to train its employees worldwide. Special Operations, the military elite, is using it in Afghanistan to save lives by making connections with local tribespeople. Women at Microsoft and elsewhere are using it to change the power balance in a male-dominated world. My 10-year-old son behaves.

DB: Where can we find your book?

SD: Getting More: How To Negotiate To Succeed in Work and Life is available on Amazon, at our website,, in bookstores, at Barnes & Noble, etc. It has sold more than 700,000 copies worldwide since it was published last year, apparently the largest selling negotiation book in the time since it was published. People instinctively know this, finally, is the right model. Getting More gives people a structure to consciously get better at what they know is the right way to deal with others. Besides the book, I provide a lesson plan at no charge on how to get the most from the book through a book club, and courses for individuals, as well as wallet cards to carry the model around with you every day.

DB: Where can we find you online?

SD: @Stuart_Diamond (twitter). There are other links on the website.

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