Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Negotiation Toolkit by Roger J. Volkema

Volkema’s book, subtitled “How to Get Exactly What You Want in Any Business or Personal Situation” was published in 1999 by the American Management Association. I picked it up after reading an excerpt from the book on the internet. Volkema seemed as if he had sufficient experience in the topic to be a valid source, and who couldn’t stand to be a better negotiater? The book is useful. In two hundred easy-to-follow pages it covers common negotiation strategies, how and when to best employ them, and how to counter them when used against you. Most of what’s here will already be familiar to veteran businesspeople or anyone who negotiates deals for a living. But formalizing some of these hard won lessons is definitely useful. I found myself remembering specific events or occasions in the past when I’d first learned whatever lesson Volkema was attempting to teach; suggesting that reading this book when it was first published might have given me a head start.

The book is well organized and useful, though much of the actual text of the “negotiation exercises” seems like filler. Still, as a foundation for a course in Business Basics or similar, this book would be quite valuable. And there are many folks I know who operate on a fairly high level who would benefit from reading through Volkema’s thoughts and practicing some of what’s contained herein.

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