Six Books To Help You Improve Your Negotiation Skills

Negotiating your salary or a raise is one of the biggest conversations of your career, these books can help you close the deal.


We know that working women need to know how to negotiate, but that’s far easier said than done.


So here’s all the negotiation information you’ll need to get up to confidence to ask for more, clearly demonstrate your value, and get that raise. Just in the past few months Levo warned you about avoiding common negotiation mistakes, talked to Mika Brzezinski on why she won’t stop until women “know their value,” and published a whole slate of personal essays from real women who asked for more.

Now, it’s your turn. 2015 should be the year you ask for a raise, because, oh hi, there’s still a massive wage gap in this country and if we don’t negotiate for ourselves, we’re getting nowhere. These books will help you get to work and get what you deserve.

1. The Confidence Code: The Science And Art Of Self-Assurance—What Women Should Know by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman

Scared to negotiate for a raise you know you deserve? Join the club. If you aren’t confident about your value, there’s no way you can sit down at a negotiation table and convince someone else of it. The second book from the authors of Womenomics, The Confidence Code was met with a fantastic reception when it was released last year. Cosmopolitan editor-in-chief Joanna Coles said: “The Confidence Code belongs in the bag of every woman in America. It combines groundbreaking scientific research and first-hand accounts from the world’s most powerful woman.” If you need to work on your confidence, start here.

2. Perfecting Your Pitch: How To Succeed In Business And In Life by Finding Words That Work by Ronald M. Shapiro

Next step? You’ll need to craft a pitch and hone it to perfection. The importance of nuanced language can’t be underestimated in situations like this, and Shapiro will help you strike the perfect chord. Daniel H. Pink, author of To Sell Is Human, said it best: “Perfecting Your Pitch covers a staggering array of life situations, from salary negotiations to personal relationships, in which a wrong word or an inept phrase could mean the difference between success and failure. Sometimes you only get one chance to ask for what you want or express how you feel––and this book is the perfect guide to help you make the most of those opportunities.” Don’t let that stress you out, just grab this book and always speak thoughtfully.

3. The Global Negotiator: Making, Managing And Mending Deals Around The World In The Twenty-First Century by Jeswald W. Salacuse

Admittedly, I hadn’t thought about negotiation in global terms until I read about this book. Jeswald W. Salacuse is a professor of law at Tufts University who teaches executive training programs sponsored by the Harvard Program on Negotiation, so he will certainly have a more academic, big-picture perspective on the art of negotiation. Library Journal called The Global Negotiator “a unique, outstanding guidebook breaks down the intricacies of international negotiations into understandable segments and provides the tools to ensure success in the creation, management, and remediation of international deals.” If you want to take your negotiation skills international, you may want to check out this guide.

4. Getting To Yes With Yourself: And Other Worthy Opponents by William Ury

You’ve probably heard of Ury’s bestselling Getting to Yes, originally published about 30 years ago. Based on the work of the Harvard Negotiation Project, Ury provided a step-by-step guide to reaching mutually beneficial agreements in any conflict. In his years of coaching, Ury found that more often than not, the problem in negotiations is not the opposing party, but ourselves. So with this new release, Ury asks an even more compelling question: “How can we expect to get to yes with others if we haven’t first gotten to yes with ourselves?” Don’t miss this one.


5. Negotiating At Work: Turn Small Wins Into Big Gains by Deborah M. Kolb with Jessica L. Porter

Negotiating At Work was wholeheartedly endorsed by one of our favorite people, Mika Brzezinski, so we know it’s a winner. “Deborah Kolb continues the important message of Knowing Your Value in her latest book by providing specific tools and tactics that have the power to reshape a woman’s trajectory at work,” Brzezinski said. “I recommend Negotiating At Work to every woman, leader, and organization that is truly invested in ensuring quality and diversity at the top.” That’s more than enough for me to give it a read.

6. Persuasion Equation: The Subtle Science Of Getting Your Way by Mark Rodgers

Once you’ve built up your confidence and determined your value, it’s time to get persuasive. Persuasion Equation is full of practical ideas that you can put into practice asap, including a seven-step persuasive action plan, “moment of yes” dos and don’ts, and 10 emergency actions when things are headed south. You have a bit of time before this book hits shelves, so add it to your “to buy” list as a final step before your big ask.

This article originally appeared on Levo and is reprinted with permission.