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The Power of a Positive No


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About the Author

A world-renowned negotiator, mediator, and bestselling author, William Ury directs the Global Negotiation Project at Harvard University. Over the last thirty years he has helped millions of people, hundreds of organizations, and numerous countries at war reach satisfying agreements.


Twenty-five years after the publication of the bestselling Getting to Yes, Ury addresses the other side of the coin, but his version of "No" is not a simple rejection. "A Positive No begins with Yes and ends with Yes," he says, because it defines the nay-sayer's self-interests and paves the way for a continued relationship. Ury delineates this "Yes! No. Yes?" pattern recursively, so that each step is itself another three-part process. In addition to drawing on his own experiences as a negotiator for conflicts in countries like Chechnya and Venezuela, and the historical examples of activists like Rosa Parks, Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi, he shows how his principles can be used in the home and the workplace. He even throws in a few literary precedents, citing Melville's Bartleby the Scrivener, whose repetition of the phrase "I would prefer not to" is cited as a "simple and admirable" method of polite refusal. Some of Ury's advice, like describing how another's actions make you feel rather than attacking the action, may strike the more cynical minded as touchy-feely, but his reminders to consider the other person's perspective while asserting your own position create a clear, unambiguous path to win-win situations. (Mar. 6) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

In a world rife with discord, Ury (Global Negotiation Project, Harvard Law Sch.) provides a much-needed voice of sanity and reason. Since 1978, his books have been helping the general public, businesspeople, and world leaders alike. Here, he flips the message of his New York Times best-selling Getting to Yes, addressing those who have trouble saying no. Ury writes that many of us spend our lives submitting "to inappropriate demands, injustice, even abuse-or we engage in destructive fighting in which everyone loses." All too often, he states, people accommodate, attack, or avoid. Ury shows how we can break that cycle by stepping away from negative emotions such as fear, guilt, and anger and finding the courage to say no. One of his more important points is that saying no doesn't mean you can't reach out to the person whose request you're denying and attain a compromise that will satisfy both sides. In this way, he helps us better understand ourselves and others. This work on an all-too-common problem should assist many; highly recommended for all public and academic libraries. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 11/1/06.]-Mary E. Jones, Los Angeles P.L. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

"William Ury brings a marvelous blend of experience, insight, integrity and warmth to his work. In this wonderful book he teaches us how to say No--with grace and effect--so that we might create even better Yes".--Jim Collins, author Good to Great

"Almost any brief comment on The Power of a Positive No would be trite. Suffice it to say that if I'd had and used this book for the last 25 years, I would have doubtless avoided innumerable heartaches and headaches and tattered personal and professional relationships. 'Original' is an embarrassingly overused word on book dust jackets, but, simply, this all-important book stands alone on a subject that underpins, like no other, jndividual and organizational effectiveness."--Tom Peters, author of In search of Excellence

"The world's biggest shared secret is that most of us say yes when we really want to say no, in both our professional and private lives. Bill Ury generously provides us with insights and techniques to turn this malady into win-win solutions. This is a wise and powerful book."--John Naisbitt, author of Megatrends "No matter whether you are negotiating compensation with the toughest CFO or a curfew for your teenager, this book teaches us a critical and counterintuitive lesson. You can say no and still be nice. Simple, straightforward and easy to read, The Power of a Positive No is a YES on our reading list."--Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval, authors of The Power of Nice: How to Conquer the Business World with Kindness

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