14 Best Negotiation Books You’ll Want To Read To Increase Your Influence

Check out our list of the best negotiation books to up your game at negotiating and start getting “yes” more quickly in business, friendships and more.

What does a parent putting an over-tired toddler to bed, an executive landing a multi-million dollar contract and a new homeowner closing the deal on a home purchase all have in common? Each of these real-life scenarios involves leadership and negotiation. It doesn’t matter how friendly you are, how approachable you are or how much reciprocation you offer at the bargaining table – you’ll fail to get what you want if you’re a good negotiator.

You might think you’re not a negotiator because you don’t spend much time actively trying to do it but this simply isn’t true. If you’re human, then you’re a negotiator. You just might not know it yet. You probably spend time negotiating daily and might not be successful at it.

If you’ve ever wished you had more confidence, success, and influence then you can benefit from learning the art of negotiation. But what does it mean to be a skilled negotiator? That’s the question of the ages and the subject of hundreds of books. I’ve selected the best of the best for you to pick up on your next visit to the bookstore. If you want to become a better, more skilled negotiator and need a little push to get there, these books are the best place to start.

Best Negotiation Books Ranked

What Is Negotiation?

Practically speaking, negotiation is a discussion to settle a dispute or reach an agreement between two or more sides. It can be loving and tender, like the mother and baby, or it can be harsh and tension-filled, like the negotiation of the release of a kidnapper. No matter the attitude surrounding the negotiation, the skills needed are similar. Learning these skills will give you power over the people and situations in your life and most people can learn negotiation with the right instruction.

1. Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher and William Ury

Book cover of Getting To Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher and William Ury
Book cover of Getting To Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher and William Ury

The first book on this list is Getting to Yes, as it’s considered the go-to work on problem-solving and negotiation. This book is an international bestseller that tells readers how to get to a mutually beneficial agreement for all parties. It’s based on the work of the Harvard Negotiation Project. This organization works through conflict resolution while building the theories behind successful negotiation. Roger Fisher was the director of the project and William Ury worked with him to put the research into a digestible form that provided readers with a proven strategy to approach negotiation.

“Any negotiation method may be fairly judged by three criteria: It should produce a wise agreement if agreement is possible. It should be efficient. And it should improve or at least not damage the relationship between the parties.”

Roger Fisher and William Ury, Getting to Yes
Sale
Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In
  • Getting to Yes By Fisher Roger Ury William L Patton Bruce EDT
  • Fisher, Roger (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 240 Pages - 05/03/2011 (Publication Date) - Penguin Books (Publisher)

2. Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss

Book cover of Never Split The Difference by Chris Voss
Book cover of Never Split The Difference by Chris Voss

Author Chris Voss is no stranger to negotiation. As an FBI hostage negotiator, he has taken on some of the most challenging negotiations possible. Never Split the Difference retells several stories while teaching you the negotiation skills you want. The subtitle, Negotiating as if Your Life Depends on It, applies well because Voss’s life did depend on his negotiation abilities in some of these scenarios, such as when taking on the gang-infested streets of Haiti. The techniques he teaches help in less violent scenarios, helping business professionals earn more profit or assisting MBA students in landing their dream jobs.

“Another simple rule is, when you are verbally assaulted, do not counterattack. Instead, disarm your counterpart by asking a calibrated question.”

Chris Voss, Never Split the Difference
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Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It
  • Hardcover Book
  • Voss, Chris (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 288 Pages - 05/17/2016 (Publication Date) - Harper Business (Publisher)

3. Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking when Stakes are High by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler

Book cover of Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler
Book cover of Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler

Do you want to be persuasive but instead find yourself abrasive? Then Crucial Conversations is a book you need. This book teaches readers a six-minute mastery technique that makes them better prepared for high-impact situations. With this strategy, you can learn to listen well in situations when others would explode or turn to the dreaded silent treatment. Authors Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan and Al Switzler provide strategies for high-stakes, high-emotion conversations. 

“It’s the most talented, not the least talented, who are continually trying to improve their dialogue skills. As is often the case, the rich get richer.”

Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler, Crucial Conversations
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Crucial Conversations: Tools For Talking When Stakes Are High, 2Nd Edition
  • Kerry Patterson (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 272 Pages - 02/24/2024 (Publication Date) - MC GRAW HILL INDIA (Publisher)

4. The Art of Negotiation: How to Improvise Agreement in a Chaotic World by Michael Wheeler

Book cover of The Art Of Negotiation by Michael Wheeler
Book cover of The Art Of Negotiation by Michael Wheeler

The Art of Negotiation is a publication from Harvard Business School designed to teach business negotiation tactics. Michael Wheeler, the book’s author, is a member of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. This book explores how to view negotiation as a process of exploration instead of a method of setting and fighting for demands. These principles work in business and personal transactions, like buying a house or car. In the book, Wheeler compares negotiators to jazz musicians – not only do they know the basics, but they also know how to adjust to changing circumstances.

“Studies show that most people rate themselves well above average when it comes to ethical behavior. A newsmagazine poll asked people whom they thought would get to heaven. Bill Clinton was a toss-up, getting 52 percent backing from respondents. Former basketball star Michael Jordan did better, at 62 percent. Mother Teresa topped the two American men with 79 percent. But she was not the highest. That honor went to “yourself,” with 87 percent.”

Michael Wheeler, The Art of Negotiation
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The Art of Negotiation: How to Improvise Agreement in a Chaotic World
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Hardcover Book
  • Wheeler, Michael (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 320 Pages - 10/08/2013 (Publication Date) - Simon & Schuster (Publisher)

5. Start with No: The Negotiating Tools that the Pros Don’t Want You to Know by Jim Camp

Book cover of Start With No by Jim Camp
Book cover of Start With No by Jim Camp

Traditionally, when you negotiate, you start the process with the thought of finding mutual ground. Author Jim Camp claims there’s a better way to begin than to Start with No. This book explores the tactics of the best negotiators, beginning with the fact that they prefer hearing “no” and working with the other party’s needs and emotions to land a decision that lines up with their goals but makes the other party feel it was in line with theirs as well.

“Should you simply walk away, no hard feelings? Whatever your decision, it will be a good one because you have retained control of the negotiation.”

Jim Camp, Start with No
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Start with NO...The Negotiating Tools that the Pros Don't Want You to Know
  • Hardcover Book
  • Camp, Jim (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 288 Pages - 07/15/2002 (Publication Date) - Crown Currency (Publisher)

6. Negotiating Rationally by Max H. Bazerman and Margaret A. Neale

Book cover of Negotiating Rationally by Max H. Bazerman and Margaret A. Neale
Book cover of Negotiating Rationally by Max H. Bazerman and Margaret A. Neale

Negotiating Rationally is recommended by the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. Authors Max H. Bazerman and Margaret A. Neale studied over 10,000 executives and students in negotiations over a period of five years. They found that many of these individuals behaved irrationally while in negotiation and used the book to show how they could change to act rationally and avoid the pitfalls common in real-life negotiations. They use the premise that negotiating rationally involves keeping your best interests in mind throughout the negotiations.

“Negotiating rationally means making the best decisions to maximize your interests. However, we are not concerned with ‘getting to yes.’ Our work shows that in many cases, no agreement at all is better.”

Max Bazerman and Margaret Neale, Negotiating Rationally
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Negotiating Rationally
  • Max H. Bazerman (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 196 Pages - 01/01/1994 (Publication Date) - Free Press (Publisher)

7. Bargaining for Advantage by G. Richard Shell

Book cover of Bargaining For Advantage by G. Richard Shell
Book cover of Bargaining For Advantage by G. Richard Shell

In Bargaining for Advantage, G. Richard Shell, college professor and director of the Wharton Executive Negotiation Workshop, explores a systematic approach to negotiate effectively using who you currently are, not who you want to be. Shell tells real-life stories about skilled negotiators to explore negotiation strategies. The author also talks about neuroscience and how it relates to effective negotiation. Shell also teaches that preparation, including outlining your expectations and the relationship with the other party before you start negotiating, is the key to success in negotiation.

“A negotiation is an interactive communication process that may take place whenever we want something from someone else or another person wants something from us.”

Bargaining for Advantage, G. Richard Shell
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Bargaining for Advantage: Negotiation Strategies for Reasonable People
  • Negotiation Strategies For Reasonable Peope
  • Revised and updated.
  • By Richard Shell
  • Bargaining for advantage.
  • Shell, G. Richard (Author)

8. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Dr. Robert B Cialdini

Book cover of Influence: The Psychology Of Persuasion by Dr. Robert B Cialdini
Book cover of Influence: The Psychology Of Persuasion by Dr. Robert B Cialdini

Dr. Robert B. Cialdini spent 35 years studying people and what causes them to say “yes.” The result is Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, which explores how to use psychology in the negotiation process. The author breaks down the science into easy terms and tells you how to apply these principles when you head to the negotiation table. The advice is backed by peer-reviewed, evidence-based scientific research, making it even more persuasive.

“The truly gifted negotiator, then, is one whose initial position is exaggerated enough to allow for a series of concessions that will yield a desirable final offer from the opponent, yet is not so outlandish as to be seen as illegitimate from the start.”

Dr. Robert B. Cialdini, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
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Influence, New and Expanded: The Psychology of Persuasion
  • Hardcover Book
  • Cialdini PhD, Robert B (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 592 Pages - 05/04/2021 (Publication Date) - Harper Business (Publisher)

9. The Only Negotiating Guide You’ll Ever Need by Peter B. Stark and Jane Flaherty

Book cover of The Only Negotiating Guide You'll Ever Need by Peter B. Stark and Jane Flaherty
Book cover of The Only Negotiating Guide You’ll Ever Need by Peter B. Stark and Jane Flaherty

Peter B. Stark and Jane Flaherty combined their efforts in The Only Negotiating Guide You’ll Ever Need. It presents 101 ways to win in a negotiation, whether something big, like a raise, or something small, like helping with chores at home. The 101 tactics presented include recognizing body language cues, dealing with bullies and countering unethical negotiation tactics. Stark and Flaherty are successful business professionals who combine their experience in this practical book.

“The ideal outcome for almost all negotiations is win-win. The needs and goals of both parties are met, so they both walk away with a positive feeling – and a willingness to negotiate with each other again.”

Peter B. Stark and Jane Flaherty, The Only Negotiation Guide You’ll Ever Need
The Only Negotiating Guide You'll Ever Need, Revised and Updated: 101 Ways to Win Every Time in Any Situation
  • Stark, Peter B. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 304 Pages - 06/13/2017 (Publication Date) - Crown (Publisher)

10. Negotiation Genius: How to Overcome Obstacles and Achieve Brilliant Results at the Bargaining Table by Deepak Malhotra and Max H. Bazerman

Book cover of Negotiation Genius by Deepak Malhotra and Max H. Bazerman
Book cover of Negotiation Genius by Deepak Malhotra and Max H. Bazerman

Deepak Malhotra is another professor at Harvard Business School and he pairs up with Max H. Bazerman to present Negotiation Genius. In this book, they draw on their decades of behavioral research to teach you how to prepare for strong negotiations. They teach you how to negotiate even from a position of weakness, create a trusting relationship and know when it’s time to walk away from a negotiation. The book doesn’t neglect looking at difficult situations, like hostile or unethical negotiations and how to enter these from a position of power. With this advice, you can succeed at the bargaining table and beyond.

“If you feel uncomfortable about refusing to answer a direct question, you can mitigate your unease by offering to answer a different, related question. Here, the idea is to be upfront about your inability or unwillingness to respond to the specific question, then to offer a concession by providing other useful information.”

Deepak Malhotra and Max H. Bazerman, Negotiation Genius
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Negotiation Genius: How to Overcome Obstacles and Achieve Brilliant Results at the Bargaining Table and Beyond
  • Malhotra, Deepak (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 352 Pages - 08/26/2008 (Publication Date) - Bantam (Publisher)

11. Getting More: How You Can Negotiate to Succeed in Work and Life by Stuart Diamond

Book cover of Getting More by Stuart Diamond
Book cover of Getting More by Stuart Diamond

New York Times bestseller Getting More by Stuart Diamond touches on using emotional intelligence, perceptions, cultural diversity and collaboration to create influence people when negotiating. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Wharton Business School Professor believes every human encounter involves negotiation. In the book, he gives people the tools to succeed in these daily life scenarios.

“Be careful of ploys, such as a buyer criticizing the seller’s car to get a cheaper price. This tactic just devalues the seller and makes them defensive. Use standards instead.”

Stuart Diamond, Getting More
Sale
Getting More: How You Can Negotiate to Succeed in Work and Life
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Diamond, Stuart (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 416 Pages - 08/14/2012 (Publication Date) - Crown Currency (Publisher)

12. The Negotiation Toolkit: How to Get Exactly What You Want in Any Business or Personal Situation by Roger J. Volkema

Book cover of The Negotiation Toolkit by Roger J. Volkema
Book cover of The Negotiation Toolkit by Roger J. Volkema

Roger J. Volkema offers expert insight into how to get what you want in The Negotiation ToolkitWritten as a workbook with self-assessments and mini-surveys, this book helps you figure out what is non-negotiable for you, so you can stick up for what you want. The author claims the book will teach any reader, even those who are not natural negotiators, how to find success in the negotiation process. No matter your line of work, the principles in this book will help you be more successful by being a better negotiator.

“People will not negotiate with you unless they believe you can help them or hurt them.”

Roger J. Volkema, The Negotiation Toolkit
The Negotiation Toolkit: How to Get Exactly What You Want in Any Business or Personal Situation
  • Volkema, Roger J. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 207 Pages - 06/01/1999 (Publication Date) - Amacom Books (Publisher)

13. Negotiation by Roy J. Lewicki, David M. Saunders, and John W. Minton

Book cover of Negotiation by Roy J. Lewicki, David M. Saunders, and John W. Minton
Book cover of Negotiation by Roy J. Lewicki, David M. Saunders, and John W. Minton

Negotiation by Roy J. Lewicki, David M. Saunders and John W. Minton is a classic work. It takes a psychological approach to the ideas of bargaining and negotiation. Also, it looks at the different dynamics that can show up in these conversations and the interpersonal relationships within groups. Negotiation focuses on the work world, specifically on managers and it provides practical solutions that readers can practice immediately.

“People make their decisions based on what the facts mean to them, not on the facts themselves.”

Roy J. Lewicki, David M. Saunders, and John W. Minton, Negotiation
Negotiation
  • Used Book in Good Condition
  • Lewicki, Roy J (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 544 Pages - 05/03/1999 (Publication Date) - McGraw-Hill/Irwin (Publisher)

14. Women Don’t Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever

Book cover by Women Don't Ask by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever
Book cover by Women Don’t Ask by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever

Did you know many women lose over half a million dollars in their careers because they don’t negotiate their starting salaries? In Women Don’t Ask, authors Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever look at the personal and societal reasons women usually choose not to negotiate. The authors also try to help women learn these skills by teaching them how to ask for what they want and deserve. It starts with the first step – deciding to negotiate.

“Even when women can imagine changes that might increase their productivity at work, their happiness at home, or their overall contentment with their lives, their suppressed sense of entitlement creates real barriers to their asking. Because they’re not dissatisfied with what they have and not sure they deserve more, women often settle for less.”

Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever, Women Don’t Ask
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Women Don't Ask: The High Cost of Avoiding Negotiation--and Positive Strategies for Change
  • Babcock, Linda (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 272 Pages - 02/27/2007 (Publication Date) - Bantam (Publisher)

Looking for more? Check out our round-up of the best books for entrepreneurs!

Author

  • Nicole Harms has been writing professionally since 2006. She specializes in education content and real estate writing but enjoys a wide gamut of topics. Her goal is to connect with the reader in an engaging, but informative way. Her work has been featured on USA Today, and she ghostwrites for many high-profile companies. As a former teacher, she is passionate about both research and grammar, giving her clients the quality they demand in today's online marketing world.