“Negotiating the Impossible”

Deepak Malhotra

As with every business book, it’s certainly of the genre, and that winds up coloring my review with a certain amount of “for a business book…” a lot of the time. Still kinda applicable here, in that you have to know it’s a business book, but Malhotra actually does a great job of not feeling like he’s writing a business book most of the time. It’s impossible to entirely escape the trappings, but he at least avoids the “this is a backdoor memoir of someone who isn’t actually that interesting” problem that plagues a lot of these. Turns out, using stories from history and politics makes this kind of thing a bit more interesting! Use your own stories occasionally, but—especially with the amount of non-disclosure agreements clearly in play—they aren’t actually as interesting as hearing about, say, how JFK approached the Cuban Missile Crisis.

The actual “business advice” aspect isn’t bad, either. You can tell the guy is a teacher, and has had time to practice teaching this in order to actually boil it down well. I can actually kinda feel the structure of the class, which unit happens at which part of the term, each chapter being a week or two of class. The ideas have been boiled down through that practice, and he’s got a nice overview kind of thing at the end of each section.

All in all, this was a surprisingly interesting read, and I do recommend it. Can’t hurt to know a little bit more about how to handle negotiations, as they’re more common in life than you’d think. Give it a read.1

  1. This is a Bookshop affiliate link – if you buy it from here, I get a little bit of commission. It won’t hurt my feelings if you buy it elsewhere; honestly, I’d rather you check it out from your local library, or go to a local book store. I use Bookshop affiliate links instead of Amazon because they distribute a significant chunk of their profits to small, local book stores.