Getting to Yes, And

Barry Nalebuff: Split the Pie


Barry Nalebuff

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Kelly has a conversation with Yale Scholar Barry Nalebuff about his new book: Split the Pie: A Radical New Way to Negotiate.

So the central idea in your book is looking at negotiation you have to agree on the pie – the thing your negotiating over.

“The issue that happens in many negotiations is people are confused about what they are negotiating over, which sounds kind of funny but I think it's true. So, the idea here is that the tricky thing in negotiation is actually measuring this pie correctly. And that is what the game is about. Because if you don't know what you're negotiating over, you're going to make arguments that don't make any sense.”

And the argument around your negotiation needs to be sound.

“To succeed in negotiation, you need to make principled arguments that actually make sense, not just please give me more money because I want more money. Understanding the pie and understanding what's really going on in this negotiation is what allows you to take a principled stand and stick with it.”

So this all makes the beginning of the negotiation really, really important.

“Yes, and that also suggests a different way of starting a negotiation. People may jump too quickly into: here's my number, here's my offer, here's my ask. What I'd like to see people do, is start the negotiation by discussing how to negotiate. The goal and the negotiation are, in my view, to create a large pie and to split it. If we can agree on that now, we've turned negotiation from something contentious to something we're working on together to make a big pie, because we're both going to benefit from that.”

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