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The Work Smarter Guide to Negotiation

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781472148810

Price: £14.99

ON SALE: 13th June 2024

Genre: Economics, Finance, Business & Management

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Ditch the scripts and tricks for a smarter approach

Kirk Kinnell is a hostage negotiator and counter-terrorism expert with decades of experience. Jim Houghton has conducted complex M&A deals worth hundreds of millions. Despite their dramatically different backgrounds, they share the philosophy that negotiation is not a zero-sum game and that trust, integrity and fairness are essential to achieving a successful outcome.

This book combines their vast knowledge to show you how to prepare for and conduct negotiations in almost any environment. What holds true for ending a siege or keeping a hostage alive could be the key to getting your toddler off to bed or agreeing a pay rise with your boss. Their invaluable advice will help you be resourceful and calm amid the stress and volatility of real-world negotiations.

In business, this equates to winning repeat business and making more profit. In our personal lives, it means family harmony and better communities. If you are booking a wedding caterer or finding a builder for that long hoped-for renovation, it means seeing eye to eye and helping everyone get what they need on terms acceptable to them. And in hostage situations, it means saving lives. These techniques work at the highest level, and they will work for any situation you might face.

The Work Smarter series:
The ‘Work Smarter’ series of books provide shortcuts, tips and life-hacks for the development of essential business skills. The books bring together accomplished industry experts who have learned their trades at the coalface. They teach the skills ambitious businesspeople need in order to tip the playing field in their favour. It is the pirate equivalent of business advice; the antidote to conventional wisdom; ‘smarter’ practice over ‘best practice’.


I have been fortunate to work closely with Kirk for many years now. His skills as a negotiator are invaluable, just like his wisdom. This book is a part of himself. Enjoy!
Marwan Mery, President, ADN Group
These are not lessons from academic research nor the assertions of self-anointed gurus, but the experience of two professionals for whom negotiation is daily bread. Their real-life stories are fascinating in themselves, but also actionable - whether you're negotiating with your teenage kids, hostage takers or global corporations
Richard Eyre CBE, Chair, IAB
I am deeply inspired by Kirk's approach to negotiation, which he has developed as a former hostage and humanitarian negotiator
Dr Thomas Leiber, inventor, engineer, entrepreneur
Jim and Kirk have written a great book, full of very practical tips for different situations, grounded by a philosophy that will help you think differently about the art of negotiation. The war stories from a diverse range of deals and negotiations bring the advice and their vast experience to life in an entertaining, memorable way
Nathan McDonald, Group CEO and co-founder, We Are Social
Trust is the hard currency of negotiation. This book reveals how to earn it from gunmen to business hard-asses on the bumpy road to resolving the unresolvable
Fraser Hardie, Chairman, Teneo UK
A refreshingly human take on a subject matter that's too often boiled down to tactics, techniques and pseudoscience. It's hard to ignore the book's fundamental takeaways given the diversity of the negotiations they're drawn from
Julia Crawley-Boevey, Group Head of M&A, BAT
A fascinating read. I've always felt that the most successful deals are cemented by establishing a genuine human connection from the outset, and this rich collection of real-life negotiations - from breaking a siege to saving someone from suicide right through the negotiating spectrum to closing M&A deals - totally bears this out
Stéphane Estryn, Mergers & Acquisitions Director, Publicis Groupe
A clear and methodical approach to negotiation, drawing upon the vast and unique professional experiences of Jim Houghton and Kirk Kinnell in the field. It provides an essential cornerstone for understanding the intricate dynamics of complex negotiation, blending strategic insight with psychological acumen and ethical considerations, offering readers a comprehensive and practical toolkit for navigating challenging negotiation scenarios with precision and principled conduct. A must-read for anyone engaged in difficult negotiation
Claude Bruderlein, Negotiation Instructor, Harvard University
A compelling read and collection of memorable stories to illustrate negotiation techniques and principles. It's a brilliantly practical way to explain and help the reader to be able to remember and then apply the lessons. The juxtaposition of the life and death scenarios and the commercial settings is fascinating: being able to draw out some similarities but recognising the fundamental differences - you may be able to "spoof" in the latter but not the former!
Jo Evans, Chair and Partner, Lewis Silkin
In the heat of the moment it's easy to get blinkered or feel cornered in a negotiation. It's reassuring to read that it's not just me who feels this way, but where this book really comes in is the snackable stories that really stick in your mind.
Mel Sullivan, CEO, Framestore
Jim and Kirk have combined to produce a book that is both easy to read and yet full of ideas and recounted situations that stay with you, each bringing a sense of the urgency, discipline, energy and hard-won insight required to do what they excel at as seasoned professionals. Negotiation is often a fluid and stressed process, that is very hard to capture within the covers of a book, but through combining their experiences of very different situations, Jim and Kirk have been as successful in that task as they have surely been in the day-to-day negotiating challenges that are the bedrock of their work
Tim Birt, Partner, Osborne Clarke
This is a book I should have read thirty years ago - it could have made life a lot easier!
Peter Mead, Vice Chairman, Omnicom Group
A very compelling read
Richard Mullender, The Listening Institute