Full Review - Getting To Yes, William Ury Et Roger Fisher

Discover the key principles of reasoned negotiation to resolve conflicts and reach agreements with “Getting to Yes”

"Getting to Yes" est un livre révolutionnaire sur l'art de la négociation.

Écrit par William Ury et Roger Fisher, experts en négociation et résolution de conflits, cet ouvrage présente une approche novatrice : la négociation raisonnée, basée sur les intérêts plutôt que les positions.

William Ury et Roger Fisher

Les thèmes centraux abordés incluent :

  1. Les quatre principes de la négociation raisonnée : séparer les personnes du problème, se concentrer sur les intérêts et non les positions, inventer des options pour un gain mutuel, utiliser des critères objectifs.
  2. La méthode pour traiter avec des négociateurs difficiles : quand l'autre partie est plus puissante, peu amicale ou joue le jeu de la négociation sur positions.
  3. La meilleure alternative à un accord négocié (BATNA) : comment renforcer sa position de négociation en développant sa meilleure option en dehors de la table.
  4. Les tactiques pour surmonter les obstacles courants : que faire face aux attaques personnelles, à l'intimidation, au refus de négocier, aux locks-in, etc.

Critical analysis

critical analysis getting to yes

“Getting to Yes” is one of those rare books that truly revolutionized their field. It is the ultimate reference in negotiation, an indispensable guide for anyone looking to resolve disputes and reach agreements, both in professional and personal life.

The highlights of the book:

  • The reasoned negotiation approach : by focusing on underlying interests rather than positions, Ury and Fisher propose a paradigm shift. Their method makes it possible to transform conflicts into opportunities for collaboration.
  • The clarity and practicality of the principles : the four key points of reasoned negotiation are simple to understand and to implement. The book is full of concrete examples and practical advice.
  • The broad applicability of ideas : whether you are negotiating a commercial contract, a pay increase or an interpersonal conflict, the lessons of “Getting to Yes” are relevant and effective.
  • Emphasis on psychological and relational aspects : beyond techniques, the authors emphasize the importance of communication, empathy and trust in negotiation.

A minor caveat is that the book can seem a bit idealistic at times, assuming that all parties are ready to play the reasoned negotiation game. In reality, you may be confronted with unfair tactics or bad faith negotiators.

However, Ury and Fisher address this challenge in the final part of the book, offering concrete strategies for dealing with difficult interlocutors. They show how to stay firm on principles while staying open and creative about solutions.

In the end, “Getting to Yes” is a masterful work that has the potential to positively transform your approach to negotiation and conflict resolution. It's required reading for anyone looking to build healthier relationships and stronger agreements.

Key Points to Remember

  1. Reasoned negotiation focuses on mutual interests, not on conflicting positions. The aim is to reach a fair and effective solution, not to “win” against the other.
  2. Separate the people from the problem. Be tough on the problem, but gentle on the people. Attack the dispute, not those who oppose you.
  3. Before a negotiation, identify your BATNA (best alternative to a negotiated agreement). This will help you define your threshold of acceptability and negotiate with more confidence.
  4. Create value before you claim it. Invent options for mutual gain before deciding what to do. Expand the cake before sharing.
  5. Emphasize the use of objective criteria that are external to the wishes of the parties. Framing the negotiation around fair principles such as market values, legal precedents or scientific opinion makes it possible to depersonalize the conflict.

Similar books

  • “Never Split the Difference” by Chris Voss and Tahl Raz
  • “Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most” by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, and Sheila Heen

Author Profile

Roger Fisher

Roger Fisher was a law professor at Harvard who was a pioneer in the field of negotiation and conflict resolution.

Fisher has had a remarkable career as an academic and negotiation practitioner:

  • He co-founded the Harvard Negotiation Project, a world-renowned research and teaching program on negotiation and mediation.
  • He has been an advisor in numerous high-profile international conflicts, including during the Iran hostage crisis and peace negotiations in the Middle East.
  • He has written several influential books on negotiation, including “International Conflict for Beginners.”
William Ury

William Ury is a world-renowned expert in negotiation and mediation, a best-selling author and speaker.

Ury has considerable practical experience as a mediator in complex and large-scale disputes:

  • He was the chief mediator in ethnic and civil wars in Yugoslavia, the Middle East, Chechnya, Indonesia, and Venezuela.
  • He co-founded the International Negotiation Network, an organization of mediators working in conflict zones around the world.
  • He is the founder of the Abraham Path Initiative, a sustainable tourism and intercultural dialogue project in the Middle East.

Ury is also a prolific author and a much sought-after speaker on the topics of negotiation and conflict resolution:

  • He is the co-author of “Getting to Yes,” the world's top-selling negotiation book with over 15 million copies.
  • Her other best-selling books include “Getting Past No,” “The Power of a Positive No,” and “Getting to Yes with Yourself.”
  • He frequently lectures at businesses, governments, and organizations around the world.
getting to es book

With “Getting to Yes”, Roger Fisher and William Ury made a major contribution to the field of negotiation and conflict resolution.

Their book transformed the way millions of people around the world approach negotiation, from a logic of confrontation to a search for mutually beneficial solutions.

Fisher and Ury have succeeded in turning decades of research and practice into simple, powerful principles that anyone can apply, from business to interpersonal relationships.

With this book, Roger Fisher and William Ury established themselves as pioneers of a new approach to negotiation that was more creative, more empathetic and ultimately more effective. “Getting to Yes” is not just a book, it's a tool for building a more cooperative and peaceful world.

bargaining zone


Do you have to be a professional negotiator to benefit from “Getting to Yes”?

No, the principles of reasoned negotiation apply to all types of disputes and discussions, whether at work, in family or in everyday life. The book is written for a wide audience.

Does the book give ready-made negotiation scripts?

No, and that's a good thing. Fisher and Ury emphasize that each negotiation is unique. Instead of one-size-fits-all sentences, they offer flexible principles and strategies that can be adapted to each situation.

Is reasoned negotiation effective in all cultures?

The authors acknowledge that negotiation styles can vary across cultures. However, they maintain that fundamental human interests (security, economic well-being, belonging, recognition, control over one's life) are universal. Reasoned negotiation aims to satisfy these mutual interests.

What if the other party refuses to “play the game” of reasoned negotiation?

This is a common challenge covered in the book. Fisher and Ury propose specific strategies, such as “negojudo” (using the strength of others to bring them to a more constructive approach) and the use of a third party. The main thing is to stay firm on principles without becoming aggressive.


In conclusion, “Getting to Yes” by William Ury and Roger Fisher is a groundbreaking book that changed the face of negotiation and conflict resolution. With its powerful principles of reasoned negotiation, enlightening examples, and practical advice, it is an invaluable resource for anyone looking to effectively navigate disputes and build lasting agreements.

Whether you are a business executive, policy maker, lawyer, or simply someone who wants to improve relationships, “Getting to Yes” will give you the tools to turn conflicts into opportunities for collaboration and growth.