Getting to Yes library shenanigan

July 11, 2011 at 7:31 pm Leave a comment

My friend Kris has written to tell me of a possibly library shenanigan on page 40 of Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In (Roger Fisher and William Ury, 1991).

Kris tells me: The point of the story is about how negotiations are generally not zero-sum, but can be about giving both people everything they want, because you focus on their interests, rather than on their position in the negotiation.  So here’s the story:

Consider the story of two men quarreling in a library. One wants the window open and the other wants it closed. They bicker back and forth about how much to leave it open: a crack, halfway, three quarters of the way. No solution satisfies them both. Enter the librarian. She asks one why he wants the window open: “To get some fresh air.” She asks the other why he wants it closed: “To avoid the draft.” After thinking a minute, she opens wide a window in the next room, bringing in fresh air without a draft.

I think it is really interesting that the one who fixes a problem is not only a librarian, but also the only woman in the story. But this interest is overshadowed by the fact that they are in a LIBRARY with windows that OPEN. I am pretty sure I have never been in a library with windows that open, but I am willing to concede that this might have been very common in The Olden Timey Days.

Thanks, Kris Kanthak!

Entry filed under: general.

Poem about a library visualized with library books Biblioburro donkey library in Colombia

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

Recent Posts


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,171 other followers

%d bloggers like this: