William Ury is an icon in the world of negotiation and peacemaking. He is most famous for the business classic Getting to Yes, which he co-wrote with his late mentor and fellow Harvard buddy Roger Fischer. Ury has written several books on his own to further his mission of peace (not a bad goal). One of my personal favorites is The Power of a Positive No, which provides practical advice on how to say no to things while holding on to your values and affirming relationships with others.
Getting to Yes With Yourself is closer to self-help book than a business book or a conflict management book. Ury has characterized it as a prequel to his other books. The central idea here is that before you can negotiate well with others, you have to know and befriend yourself. In other words, you have to get out of your own way.
Ury admits himself this seems kind of wishy-washy and hippie-ish, but says that after decades of working on business and political negotiations, he has learned that until we get out of our own way we can’t reach our negotiation goals. That’s because we often act against our own interests. This may be on accident in the heat of the moment, or it may be because we don’t think enough about what we really want.
He came up with six steps to help people get to yes with themselves, and these were his own tips he developed in trying to do better in his personal life. The sections on personal responsibility and being open resonated with me, although overall I wouldn’t recommend this one to either professionals or peacemakers. Instead, check out the books mentioned above.