My Notes from Day 2 of the Leadership Summit

In case you missed them, here are my notes from day 2 of the Willow Creek Leadership Summit.

What was your biggest takeaway from day 2 of the summit?

Leadership Summit Session 5 | William Ury

William Ury continued session 5 of the Willow Creek Leadership Summit with a talk titled “Getting to Yes: Negotiating Conflict.”

He is the Co-Founder and Senior Fellow, Harvard University’s Program on Negotiation.

He is the author of The Power of a Positive No, Getting to Yes and Getting Past No

Here are some highlights I grabbed from his talk:

  • Negotiation is trying to reach an agreement, you negotiate everyday.
  • The choice isn’t about eliminating conflict, but dealing with the conflicts in a constructive way that will work for everyone.
  • We are the biggest barriers to us achieving success.
  • The power not to react is one of the greatest powers we have in negotiations.
  • When negotiating, focus on people. Focus on their needs, creative options to address the needs of all, resolve issues that can’t be resolved easily.

Separate people from the problem in negotiations.

  • We end up being soft on the people and we end up being soft on the problem. If we are hard on the problem, we end up being hard on the person. We need to be soft on the people and hard on the problem.
  • Soft on the people means listening to people, to put ourselves in the shoes of other people. Understand how they’re feeling.
  • You can’t change someone’s mind unless you know where that mind is.
  • Show them respect.
  • The cheapest thing you can do in a negotiation is showing someone respect.
  • Figure out how to team up with the person you are negotiating with to tackle the problem together.

Focus on interests, not positions in negotiations.

  • You are trying to address the underlying interest, fears, problems that the other person has.
  • Ask, why do you want that? Behind a position, what are your needs?

Develop multiple options in negotiations.

  • Look for ways to get options that meet the interests of all sides.
  • This helps to bring both sides into the conversation to feel a part of the solution.

The power of objective criteria

  • By coming up with options, you come up with ways to expand the pie instead of dividing the pie.
  • This becomes a question of will and ego. “I’m not giving in.”
  • Use standards that are not based on will, but on market value.
  • If you create a criteria of making decisions, it makes it easier to negotiate because it is more fair.


  • Best alternative to a negotiating agreement. It is your walk away alternative, if you can’t reach an agreement.
  • You always need to have an alternative.

What was your biggest takeaway from this session?