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1. This is about negotiations, but the answer to that question is “No.”

David Andrews (b.1935) Irish politician. When asked if the Irish government would compromise on North-South political bodies, during talks on the future of Northern Ireland. “This Week They Said,” Irish Times (April 11, 1998)


2. We believe that negotiation is a game which must result in winners and losers. The anxiety we experience…ranks negotiation right after a visit to the dentist…anxiety will disappear when you recognize that both sides can have their needs met.

Ed Brodow, U.S. consultant, author and actor. Negotiate with Confidence (1996)


3. The only way a working man can get anything is by collective bargaining, and by saying, “If you don’t give us a raise, not only will I quit but we will all quit and tie up your business”; that is the only way he can do it.

Clarence Darrow (1857-1938) U.S. lawyer. Testimony before the U.S. Senates Commission on Industrial Relations (1915)


4. Some of them think they have me by the balls, but their hands aren’t big enough.

Bernie Ecclestone (b.1930) British entrepreneur and C.E.O. of Formula 1 auto racing. Referring to negotiations with Formula 1 racing teams, when planning to float Formula 1 on the Stock Exchange. Quoted in Formula 1. The Business of Winning (Russell Hotten; 1998)


5. Industrial relations are like sexual relations. It’s better between consenting parties.

Vic Feather (1908-76) British labor leader. Guardian (London) (August 8, 1976)


6. Necessity never made a good bargain.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-90) U.S. politician, inventor, and journalist. The Poor Richard’s Almanack series (1732-58) was originally published under the pseudonym in Richard Saunders. Poor Richard’s Almanack (1735)


7. Diplomacy is the art of letting someone else have your way.

David Frost (b.1939) British broadcaster. Attrib


8. It’s a well-known proposition that you know who’s going to win a negotiation: it’s he who pauses the longest.

Robert Holmes A Court (1937-90) Australian entrepreneur. Sydney Morning Herald (May 24, 1986)


9 .Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.

John F. Kennedy (1917-63) U.S. president. Presidential inaugural speech (January 20, 1961)


10. When you’re negotiating for a 35 hour week, remember they have only just got 66 hours in Taiwan, and you’ve competing with Taiwan.

Victor Kiam (1926-2001) U.S. C.E.O. of Remington Corporation. Daily Express (London) (June 12, 1981)


11. A negotiator should observe everything. You must be part Sherlock Holmes, part Sigmund Freud.

Victor Kiam (1926-2001) U.S. C.E.O. of Remington Corporation. Going For It (1986)


12. Large scale collective bargaining…a seductive name for bilateral monopoly…means either adjudication of conflicts in terms of power, or deadlock and stoppages.

Frank H. Knight (1885-1972) U.S. economist. Freedom and Reform (1947), ch. 13


13. The harder a guy negotiates with us about equity, the better CEO he is likely to be.

Henry R. Kravis (b.1944?) U.S. investor, cofounder of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts. Quoted in Merchants of Debt (George Anders; 1992)


14. Never corner an opponent, and always assist him to save his face…Avoid self-righteousness like the devil-there is nothing so self-binding.

Basil Henry Liddell Hart (1895-1970) British military historian and strategist. Deterrent or Defence (1960)


15. If you have to boil down your negotiating attitude to two things you can do a lot worse than question everything and think big.

Mark McCormack (1930-2003) U.S. entrepreneur, founder and C.E.O. of the International Management Group. McCormack on Negotiating (1995)


16. Anger can be an effective negotiating tool, but only as a calculated act, never as a reaction.

Mark McCormack (1930-2003) U.S. entrepreneur, founder and C.E.O. of the International Management Group. What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School (1984)


17. Make a suggestion or assumption and let them tell you you’re wrong. People also have a need to feel smarter than you are.

Mark McCormack (1930-2003) U.S. entrepreneur, founder and C.E.O. of the International Management Group. What They Don’t Teach You at Harvard Business School (1984)


18. It’s a crunch moment when you are in negotiations. You suddenly see an opening in the hedge and dive through it even if you get scratched.

Len Murray (b.1922) British labor union leader. Interview, Observer (London) (September 2, 1984)


19. Never apologize and never explain-it’s a sign of weakness.

Frank S. Nugent (1908-65) U.S. screenwriter. Spoken by John Wayne. She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949)


20. The talent of insinuating is more useful than that of persuading, because you can insinuate to everybody and you can almost never persuade anybody.

Cardinal De Ritz (1613-79) French prelate and politician. Memoires du Cardinal de Retz (1660-79)


21. To know how to dissimulate is the knowledge of kings.

Cardinal Richelieu (1585-1642) French politician. Testament Politique (1641)


22. Place a higher priority on discovering what a win looks like for the other person.

Harvey Robbins, U.S. writer on business psychology. TransCompetition (co-written with Michael Finley; 1998)


23. Never make concessions.

Gertrude Stein (1874-1946) U.S. author. Attrib. Independent Magazine (London) (1995)


24. Be careful, be cautions, do not rush into negotiations…be careful what you give away now, you may wish you had not done so should in future the balance of forces turn in your favour.

Oliver Tambo (1917-93) South African political leader. 1991. Advice on negotiating  with the apartheid-supporting South African government. Quoted in Mandela: The Authorised Biography (Anthony Sampson; 2000)


25. My style of dealmaking is quite simple and straightforward. I just keep pushing and pushing to get what I’m after.

Donald J. Trump (b.1946) U.S. real estate developer. Time (January 1989)


26. He knew the precise psychological moment when to say nothing.

Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) irish writer and wit. The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891), ch. 2


27. The single and most dangerous word to be spoken in business is “no.” The second most dangerous word is “yes.” It is possible to avoid saying either.

Lois Wyse (b.1926) U.S. advertising executive and writer. Company Manners (1987)


28. When money is at stake , never be the first to mention sums.

Ahmed Zaki Yamani (b.1930) Saudi Arabian politician. Quoted in Yamani (Jeffrey Robinson; 1988)


29. The current structure of a joint venture imposed by foreign investing companies tends to concentrate upon how an individual joint venture’s internal management system is vertically integrated into the foreign corporate structure.

Yanni Yan (b.1958) Chinese business author and academic. “Managerial and Organization-Learning in Chinese Firms,” China’s Managerial Revolution (Malcolm Warner, ed.; 1999)


30. If you choose to be a negotiator, you eliminate worry about whether you deserve to be successful.

Theodore Zeldin (b.1933) British academic, author and historian. An Intimate History of Humanity (1994)


31. The trouble about bargaining…is that when one loses in a particular competitive negotiation, one’s chances of winning the next negotiation are frequently diminished.

Theodore Zeldin (b.1933) British academic, author and historian. An Intimate History of Humanity (1994)