Reading for Conflicted Times

We were asked recently, after one of our talks on negotiation, whether a negotiation program at an eminent business school was worth the investment.  While we're never going to argue against investing in education, as pre-work we pointed them to some great reading.  We're frequently asked to recommend authors.  For these times when we need resolutions to many conflicted issues, here's a quick rundown of homework reading.

Read/watch anything by Bill Ury - one of the cofounders of the original Harvard Negotiation Project.  Then blend in some behavioural economics work of Dan Ariely and for those who want to get deeper in this hybrid of psychology and economics, then Dan Kahneman's Thinking Fast and Slow is a must.

For international negotiations, particularly those involving government, the memoirs of Condoleezza Rice and Madeleine Albright are solid, but for understanding underlying global trends read their excellent foreign affairs works (they often disagree in their analysis). Thirteen Days in September is a great analysis of the intense Middle East peace agreements negotiated at Camp David under President Carter.

Finally, don't limit to the direct negotiation texts.  Blend in some more philosophical approaches to human history and choices that attune you to understanding human motive in decision making.  Alain de Botton can be fascinating in his perspective.  And Yuval Noah Harari is generally brilliant.     

There are too many men in this list.  It's time for Kelly Beekman to write a book or two...  - SW

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