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The Book

We often assume that strategic negotiation requires us to wall off vulnerable parts of ourselves and act rationally to win. But, what if you could just be you in business? Taking a positive approach, this brief distills years of research, teaching, and coaching into an integrated framework for negotiating genuinely.

One of the most fundamental and challenging battlegrounds in our work lives, negotiation calls on us to compete and cooperate to do our jobs well and achieve extraordinary results. But, the biggest challenge in a negotiation is to be strategic while also being real. Author Shirli Kopelman argues that this duality is both possible and powerful. In Negotiating Genuinely, she teaches readers how to reconcile the disparate hats that they wear in everyday life—with families, friends, and colleagues—bringing one “integral hat” to the negotiation table. Kopelman develops and shares techniques that illuminate this approach; exercises along the way help readers to negotiate more naturally, positively, and successfully.


“Shirli Kopelman invites you to revisit and rework your negotiating skills. She wants them to be more genuine. You might think, ‘Genuine negotiating? Good luck with that!’ But she pulls this off, compactly, colorfully, memorably, and pragmatically. This is a powerful guide that will help you redo something you do every day.”

—Karl E. Weick, University of Michigan and co-author of Managing the Unexpected

“Shirli masterfully shines a light on the positive in negotiations. Negotiating Genuinely brings key positive organizational scholarship and positive psychology principles to life in the context of resource conversations. Her book illustrates how resource abundance can be sparked by mindfully being your best self when building and engaging in high quality relationships. The book eloquently introduces a positive theory of negotiations that will dramatically impact the field.”

—Jane E. Dutton, University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business & Center for Positive Organizations

“Three decades ago, we had Getting to Yes; now, we have Negotiating Genuinely. Shirli Kopelman’s book highlights the importance of authenticity in negotiation, enabling people to achieve their bargaining goals without compromising their integrity. This book is intellectually stimulating, creatively engaging, practical, and fun to read.”
—Adam Grant, Wharton professor and author of Give and Take

“Shirli Kopelman develops a playful action-oriented framework to communicate deep and practical insights about the nature of cooperation and competition in negotiations.”

—Jeanne Brett, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

“Kopelman’s innovative approach guides negotiators to manage their emotions in a genuine and strategic way that builds positive relationships and unlocks resources. Negotiating Genuinely will enable business people to implement research-based strategies established in the field of negotiations to craft better agreements and increase profits.”

—Roy Lewicki, Ohio State University and co-author of Negotiation

“All negotiators should read this little gem, which advocates, and provides guidance for, being yourself and mindfully managing your emotions in negotiation. While ‘negotiation’ often connotes an arms-length, competitive activity, this book shows you how to genuinely navigate ‘strategic conversations.'”

—Dean Pruitt, School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution, George Mason University

“Negotiating Genuinely introduces a positive theory of negotiations with practical steps that will enable leaders to co-create value and promote individual and organizational wellbeing. Read this book and you will become a much more impactful positive leader.”

—Gretchen Spreitzer, University of Michigan Ross School of Business Center for Positive Organizations and co-author of How to Become a Positive Leader