Negotiating Genuinely: Being Yourself in Business

Negotiating Genuinely® means being yourself—your best, integral self—in strategic conversations. When you negotiate both genuinely and strategically, you can maximize gains for yourself as well as co-create more resources for others. Negotiation conjures up high-stake deals, job promotions, and buying a car or house; more often, negotiations are casual and fluid conversations we find ourselves in every day, whether we want to persuade someone at a staff meeting, move a project timeline, or coordinate dinner plans. Negotiating is challenging, because in order to succeed you need to both assert your agenda (be competitive) and co-create opportunities (be cooperative).

In Negotiating Genuinely: Being Yourself in Business, Shirli Kopelman introduces an integrated approach that enables people to straddle the most complex dimensions of negotiation more naturally, positively, and successfully. A key driver of positive business, Negotiating Genuinely® helps people to cooperate and compete and build relationships, all at the same time. The book is a fun and easy read, providing insightful, action-oriented exercises along the way.

Anatol Rapoport

By Shirli Kopelman

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Online Resource

The Negotiating Genuinely® workbook is now available online

Book Endorsements

"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

"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 and Think Again

"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, and co-author of How to Become a Positive Leader

"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

"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 and author of Negotiating Globally

"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

"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

"Napoleon Hill, in “Think and Grow Rich”, wrote about the importance of a positive mental attitude. Dr. Edward de-Bono coined the concepts of “Six Thinking Hats” and Lateral thinking. Now, Prof. Shirli Kopelman brings a fresh, new attitude about negotiating, by helping you wear only one hat, that might change the way you communicate in life, not only in negotiations.

Becoming a genuine negotiator is about integrating yourself. It’s about simultaneously being you, for example, a CEO, a father, a husband, an uncle, a professional speaker, a citizen, a friend, or so on.

Kopelman shows us how we develop fixed mindset attitudes in our negotiations, which lead to leaving money on the table. The book is more than a theory. Kopelman demonstrates how to adopt her new mindset for success.

The process of negotiating genuinely begins with the internal question, “Who am I when I negotiate?” Then, the book shows you how to find the different hats you wear in different situations, before you integrate them to “Your hat”. It’s a fun exercise which makes the book be more effective than one might think before reading it. After applying the process it enables you to be more creative, cooperative and competitive, in order to achieve beyond what you might know about “win-win” outcomes.

To be both cooperative AND competitive requires us to focus on the word be, and the book shows you the process to start focusing on that. I recommend reading it twice. First, read it from cover to cover, in order to get used to the new concepts. Then, read it slowly, apply the exercises, and focus on being yourself in every moment you deal with people.

I have trained negotiation and communication skills around the globe, and I agree with the author, that the right genuine attitude is a great formula to achieve extraordinary results in life.

For those interested in improving their leadership skills and their relationship skills, this is a must read.”

Gil Peretz, International speaker, co-author of Obama’s Secrets and Intimate Marketing

"Negotiating Genuinely is a wonderful resource for people looking to develop their negotiation skills. The book introduces concepts and frameworks that build off each other, and encourages individuals to approach every negotiation with both a cooperative and competitive mindset.

This book complemented what I learned in Dr. Kopelman’s negotiation strategy elective course at Michigan Ross. Shirli’s framework changed my perspective about what a negotiation really is and how I can engage in professional conversations in a thoughtful and meaningful way.

As someone who used to shy away from negotiating, this is a game changer that will continue to pay dividends in my career."

Student, University of Michigan Ross School of Business

"This book changed my perspective about how to define (and reach!) success through negotiation. As a physician executive, I've used this many times to find a solution that leads to better outcomes for all."

Stefanie Simmons, MD FACEP

"Kopelman’s book is about how you negotiate not only in your professional life but also in the your personal life. She narrates in her book that negotiations are the continuous processes to make a decision or resolve a conflict that you encounter day to day. This book suggests to understand the other person’s interests or pain points/unmet need when you negotiate, which, as a result, would help create more positive value for both parties. The key is to bring your genuine self to the negotiation table by wearing an integrated hat to fuel your creativity.

I had the opportunity to take Kopelman’s class as an MBA student at the University of Michigan – Stephen M. Ross School of Business. Her class allowed me to build solid foundation for negotiation skills as a business woman and it helped me successfully negotiate the offer from the company that I am joining after the graduation. This book reflects what she teaches in her class and I am certain that this book will allow readers the chance to explore essential notions of negotiations defined by Shirli Kopelman."

Yun J., Student, University of Michigan Ross School of Business

"I first ran into Prof. Kopelman as a student in the Ross School of Business, where she teach a class about negotiation.

I never had the chance to take her class, and after reading this book I kinda regret it.

While most negotiation books focus on the technical aspects of negotiation (alternatives, tactics, etc.), Shirli is much more thorough and considers the negotiation process as more of an everyday activity, rather than a singular event. i.e. not just selling a house or negotiating a lease but also dividing the project's tasks between you and your colleague and deciding whose turn it is to wash the dishes at home.

This book reviews that process and suggests an approach that will enable you to "negotiate genuinely", that is - to manage your negotiations in a positive way that emphasize cooperation. Trust me, you don't want to negotiate the dish washing aggressively, even if you win - your victory will not last long...

The bottom line is that this book will teach you how to identify those everyday negotiations and manage those in a sustainable manner."

Lior G., Alumni, University of Michigan Ross School of Business

"Shirli Kopelman offers creative insights and clear understanding to the complex arena of negotiation. 'Negotiating Genuinely' has valuable lessons and sound advice to novice negotiators, as well as new insights and challenges for seasoned negotiators.

Coming from a background of 20 years as a union-side negotiator I gained new comprehension from Dr. Kopelman’s 'Positive Negotiating Framework'. Everyone is familiar with the phrase, 'I am now wearing my (fill in the blank) hat', which refers to various roles that people play. At a management-union table the 'hats' might be 'financial officer', 'administrator' or 'human resource manager'.

In Shirli Kopelman’s world the negotiator simultaneously wears all the hats and integrates them. From experience with the business world, she demonstrates how it is possible to be 'at once real and strategic'. Achieving goals in negotiation can be done genuinely without playing a made-up character.

I recommend reading 'Negotiating Genuinely' whether you want to learn more about negotiation in everyday life or seek deeper understanding of negotiation in business or other settings."

Neil Tudiver, PhD Labor & Industrial Relations