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Fisher & Ury Developed Four Principles of Negotiation

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Before defining a good agreement, Fisher and Ury describes their four principles for effective negotiation. They explained that a good agreement is one which is wise and efficient and which improves the parties” relationship. Therefore the authors” goal is to develop a method for reaching good agreements. Negotiations often taken the form of positional bargaining, which the authors argued upon that it does not tend to produce good agreement. On the other hand principled negotiation provides a better way of reaching good agreements.

Fisher & Ury developed four principles of negotiation:

  • Separate People and Issues: The author believes that separating the people from the issues allows the parties to address the issues without damaging the relationship. The authors therefore identified three basic sorts of people problems. (1)First are the differences on perception among the parties. (2) Emotions are a second source of people problems. (3) Communication is the third main source of people problems.
  • Focus on Interests: According to Fisher & Ury, “Your position is something you have decided upon. Your interests are what caused you to decide so.”The first step in this is to identify the parties” interests regarding the issue at hand. Once the parties have identified their interests, they must discuss them together. Parties should keep a clear focus on their interests, but remains open to different proposals and positions.
  • Generate Options: The authors identified four obstacles to generate creative options for solving a problem. (a)Parties may decide prematurely on an option and so fail to consider alternatives. (b) The parties may be intent on narrowing their options to find the single answer. (c) The parties may define the problem in win-lose terms, assuming that the only options are for one side to win and the other to lose. (d)Lastly, a party may decide that it is up to the other side to come up with a solution to the problem.
  • Use Objective Criteria: Three points to keep in mind. (1)First each issue should be approached as a shared search for objective criteria. (2)Second, each party must keep an open mind. (3) Third, while they should be reasonable, negotiators must never give in to pressure, threats, or bribes.

2ndly, Ury presents a five-step strategy for negotiating with an uncooperative, intransigent opponent.

  • Controlling one’s own behavior for effective negotiating
  • Disarm the opponent by stepping to their side
  • Reframe the dispute in terms of interests rather than positions
  • Draw them from their position to an agreement
  • If step four is refused than offer ways to make it hard for the opponent to say no

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Fisher & Ury Developed Four Principles of Negotiation. (2018, December 17). GradesFixer. Retrieved November 29, 2021, from
“Fisher & Ury Developed Four Principles of Negotiation.” GradesFixer, 17 Dec. 2018,
Fisher & Ury Developed Four Principles of Negotiation. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 29 Nov. 2021].
Fisher & Ury Developed Four Principles of Negotiation [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2018 Dec 17 [cited 2021 Nov 29]. Available from:
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