In this book review:
- Getting to Yes - Negotiating agreement without giving in, by Roger Fisher & William Ury
- The Power of Habit - Why we do what we do, by Charles Duhigg
What the book is about
Bottom line: this book as about teaching you the techniques to become a better negotiator.
Everything in our lives revolves around interaction with other people, and we are constantly negotiating for things we want: we negotiate with your spouses, our children, the phone company, our bosses, clients, investors, the bank, even ourselves!
This 30-year old book has always been considered the "gold standard" in teaching people the tools and techniques to become a better negotiator.
Some of the suggestions are common sense (in fact I would argue that most are). However, these "common sense suggestions" are RARELY put in practice by the vast majority of people.
This book brings it all into a concise, easy to read, and most importantly "easy to implement" format which you can apply today.
If you operate in a field that requires frequent interaction with other people, and negotiation is part of your routine, this book is a "must read".
Even though I've been working in investment banking for almost 2 decades, and I've had as many years of practice in boardroom negotiations, I still picked up on a number of useful tips and tricks to help me become better at achieving my goals in negotiations.
What the book is about
Examine your life for a minute: how much of it is governed by "habits"?
There are certain positive things we do every day, as well as negative things:
We brush our teeth as soon as we get up, we drive the car without thinking about every small movement, we (without thinking about the route) drive to work.
We also do things we would like to stop doing: smoking, drinking, eating sugary snacks etc
In this amazing book, Charles Duhigg digs into the psychology and science behind these acts, and provides clear evidence that most of our actions are driven by "habits".
More importantly: habits are VERY powerful, and discipline and will-power alone CANNOT break or make new habits.
He digs further into the psychology of habits, demonstrating how certain parts of our brain (completely outside our control) manage our habits, and "breaking out of the cycle is much harder than we think".
Not only does the author break down the basics of habits and supports them with multiple real-life examples: he analyses the psychology of HOW habits are formed:
For example: each habit consists of a "queue", which triggers a "routine", which results in a "reward".
Understanding these principles means that if you want to break a bad habit, you have to play detective, and find out what is the "queue" that STARTS the routine. Once you identify the "queue", you can create a new "routine" for that queue. That "new routine" has to also provide you withe a "reward" as powerful as the one you're getting from your "existing habit".
At first, that "new routine" would require will-power. After a few repetitions though, this "new routine" becomes a habit, eventually REPLACING the old habit with a new one.
This book provides ample examples and practical advice on how to implement these psychological tools to change & adopt new habits.
One of the best books I've read on how to break bad habits and develop new positive and long-lasting habits.
I would recommend this book to anyone looking at improving any aspect of their lives: ultimately we live our lives based on our habits, and having practical tools to help us improve them will go along way towards achieving a higher level of performance, and eventually higher overall happiness.