New Releases

Negotiating the Nonnegotiable: How to Resolve Your Most Emotionally Charged Conflicts

April 19, 2016


Daniel L. Shapiro, a leading expert in negotiation and conflict resolution, teaches us how to use the tools of his trade in our everyday lives.

“A masterpiece—clear, insightful, and practical…. Highly recommended!”
—William Ury, co-author of Getting to Yes

“Daniel Shapiro brings brilliant insights to the baffling conundrum of our age, intractable disputes of all kinds. Negotiating the Nonnegotiable will help anyone bring practical tools to the table whenever confrontation looms.”
—Daniel Goleman, author Emotional Intelligence

“With telling examples from the bedroom to the boardroom to the war room, this book gives us something invaluable—a way both to see the perils of identity conflict in negotiation and to avoid them.”
—Robert Cialdini, Author of Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

Negotiating the Nonnegotiable is sure to be required reading for diplomats and peace-builders alike."
—Nancy Lindborg, President, United States Institute of Peace

Modern life is brewing with conflict as never before—from the spread of terrorism to a divorce rate that has risen by 40% since 1980, to a Congress paralyzed by left vs. right divisiveness and all-too-familiar office politics. But we get so mired in conflict that we don’t step outside to ask what causes it, why we compulsively get stuck in the same conflict again and again, and why we rarely find resolution.

In Negotiating the Nonnegotiable, bestselling author Daniel Shapiro reveals the unconscious forces that strain relationships and make conflict feel nonnegotiable, and charts a powerful new path to resolution.  For anyone in a tense dispute with their spouse, for a manager trying to get two departments to cooperate, this book is an indispensable guide to resolve your toughest conflicts and reconcile your most contentious relationships.

Shapiro spent twenty years unraveling the mystery of what causes human conflict. Going against the grain of established wisdom, he found that rational approaches rarely work because most conflicts hinge upon two non-rational forces: our emotions and identities. Conflicts become emotionally charged when our identity gets threatened—triggering a hidden set of emotional forces that sabotage cooperation. These forces are so powerful that they can turn even a trivial argument into an emotional uproar and threaten your relationship, work environment, home life, or national safety.

Shapiro shows you how to break free of these forces and reconcile your most strained relations. With this approach, anyone can overcome conflict. That’s why distressed families call on Shapiro, and global leaders too for everything from advice on peace agreements to Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

In Negotiating the Nonnegotiable, we also learn:

  • How to lead in times of conflict
  • How to resolve conflict between employees, family members, or rival communities
  • How to identify rational vs. emotional people and how to play to these personalities
  • How to quickly pick up on taboos at the office or in your family
  • The secret to a happy marriage—and to an amicable divorce
  • How couples can resolve conflict over finances, household roles, and parenting styles
  • How to negotiate with your child through their teenage years


Daniel L. Shapiro is one of the world’s leading experts in negotiation and conflict resolution and is Founder and Director of the world-renowned Harvard International Negotiation Program. He is also Assistant Professor in Psychology at Harvard Medical School/McLean Hospital and affiliated faculty at Harvard Law School’s Program on Negotiation, where he serves as Associate Director of the Harvard Negotiation Project. For three years, he chaired the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Conflict Prevention, and his international experience includes advising Chinese officials, Serbian Members of Parliament, Middle East negotiators, Macedonian politicians, and senior U.S. officials. Through non-profit funding, he developed a conflict management program that now reaches one million youth across more than 30 countries. Shapiro has appeared on dozens of radio and television shows and has contributed to The New York Times, O: The Oprah Magazine and other popular publications. Dr. Shapiro is the recipient of numerous awards, including the American Psychological Association’s “Early Career Award” and the Cloke-Millen “Peacemaker of the Year” award. The World Economic Forum named him a “Young Global Leader.”

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