What is meant by William Ury’s term ‘Breakthrough Strategies’?
Explain how these strategies can help to improve the quality of negotiated
The assessment is based on this reference (book) only.
Reference: Getting past NO (Ury, 1991)
Break the 5 barriers to cooperation: your reaction, their emotion, their position,
their dissatisfaction, their power.
Don’t react: Go to the balcony
• 3 natural dangerous reactions: striking back, giving in, breaking off
• Name the game: stone walls, attacks, tricks
• Know your hot buttons
• Buy time to think: pause, rewind the tape, time out. Don’t decide on the
Don’t argue: Step to their side
• Give the other side a hearing: paraphrase and ask for correction
• Acknowledge their points, their feelings
• Agree whenever you can without conceding, accumulate yeses in both
• Acknowledge the person: their authority and competence to build a
• Express your views without provoking
• Don’t say “but”, say “yes…and”
• Make “I” statements not “you” statements – stand for yourself
• Acknowledge differences with optimism
Don’t reject: Reframe
• To change the game, change the frame
• Ask problem-solving questions: Why? Why not? What if? What makes
• Ask their advice
• Make questions open-ended
• Tap the power of silence
• Go around stone walls: ignore it, test it
• Deflect attacks: ignore it, recast it against the problem, reframe it as
friendly, reframe “you” and “me” to “we”
• Defuse tricks: ask for clarifying questions, makes a reasonable request,
name the trick.
• Negotiate the rules of the game itself
Don’t push: Build them a golden bridge
“Build your opponent a golden bridge to retreat across”
• Classic obstacles to an agreement: not their idea, unmet interests, fear
of losing face, too much too fast
• Involve the other side: ask for and build on their ideas, ask for a
constructive criticism, offer them a choice
• Satisfy unmet interests: don’t dismiss them as irrational, don’t overlook
basic human needs, don’t assume a fixed pie
• Help them save face, help write their victory speech
• Go slow to go fast, don’t rush to the line
Don’t escalate: Use power to educate
• Warn don’t threaten
• Let them know the consequences, ask reality-testing questions: what
do you think I will do? What will you do?
• Demonstrate your BATNA at a minimum and a legitimate way without
• Use a third party to promote negotiation, stop attacks, educate the
• Keep sharpening their choice: let them know you have a way out, let
them choose, negotiate even if you can win
• Aim for mutual satisfaction not victory
• Forge a lasting agreement
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