Possible: How We Survive (and Thrive) in an Age of Conflict (Hardcover)
The author of the world’s best-selling book on negotiation draws on his nearly fifty years of experience and knowledge grappling with the world’s toughest conflicts to offer a way out of the seemingly impossible problems of our time.
Conflict is increasing everywhere, threatening everything we hold dear—from our families to our democracy, from our workplaces to our world. In nearly every area of society, we are fighting more and collaborating less, especially over crucial problems that demand solutions.
With this groundbreaking book, bestselling author and international negotiator William Ury shares a new “path to possible”—time-tested practices that will help readers unlock their power to constructively engage and transform conflict. Part memoir, part manual, part manifesto, Possible offers stories and sage advice from Ury’s nearly 50 years of experience on the front lines of some of the world’s toughest conflicts.
One of the world’s top experts in the field, Ury has worked on conflicts ranging from boardroom battles to labor strikes, from the US partisan divide to family feuds, from wars in the Middle East, Colombia and Ukraine to helping the US and USSR avoid nuclear disaster. Now, in Possible, he helps us tackle the seemingly intransigent problems facing us.
In Possible, Ury argues conflict is natural. In fact, we need more conflict, not less—if we are to grow, change, evolve and solve our problems creatively. While we may not be able to end conflict, we can transform it—unleashing new, unexpected possibilities.
Successfully tested at Harvard University with almost a thousand participants from business, government, academia, and the nonprofit sector, Ury’s “Path to Possible” proved so valuable that Harvard’s Program on Negotiation selected it as its inaugural online daylong in April 2022.
Possible introduces Ury’s methods and makes them available for everyone. Combining accessible frameworks and powerful storytelling and offering dozens of examples, it is an essential guide for anyone looking to break through the toughest conflicts—in their workplace, family, community or the world.
William Ury, cofounder of Harvard's Program on Negotiation, is one of the world's best-known and most influential experts on negotiation. He has served as a mediator in boardroom battles, labor conflicts, and civil wars around the world. Ury is the coauthor of Getting to Yes, the bestselling negotiation book in the world, and seven other books, including the New York Times bestsellers Getting Past No and The Power of a Positive No. An avid hiker, he lives with his family in Colorado.
“For fifty years, Bill Ury has traveled the world, devoting his one-of-a-kind life to helping people with the deepest differences find peace where none seemed possible. In this landmark book, he brings together what he’s learned into one breathtaking volume that is at once highly practical and deeply emotional. I raced through Possible with pleasure and awe and will be returning to its wisdom year after year as I try to live up to his vision that we be not optimists or pessimists—but possibilists!” — Bruce Feiler, New York Times bestselling author of Life Is in the Transitions
“If I were going to war (or to Congress), and I could bring only one book, this would be it. Ury has collected all his hard-earned secrets and most riveting stories in one place. A master class in what is possible, even at the worst of times.” — Amanda Ripley, journalist and author of High Conflict
“Hope is not a strategy, which is why we need William Ury in the world to help us get to yes when others hear only no and find opportunity when others see nothing but conflict. If you want to renew your sense that good is possible, let Possible be your guide.” — Simon Sinek, optimist and New York Times bestselling author of Start with Why and The Infinite Game
“The guru of win-win negotiations shows us how to use the impossible—our seemingly intractable conflicts—to create the possible. Like me, Ury is a great believer in our potential to transform ourselves, our relationships, and our world. And he provides the tools for us to do so.” — Carol Dweck, author of Mindset
“If you care about the divides that are tearing our country apart, this is the book you must read to solve the thorny issues we face today — in every area of our lives. Highly recommended!” — Van Jones, Social Entrepreneur, Author, and CNN Host
“After reading Possible, I understood much better why William Ury’s advice was so useful in my negotiations and why we managed to make possible what everybody thought was impossible. This book is a must for anyone who wants to learn about something so fundamental in life: the art of negotiating and finding solutions.” — Juan Manuel Santos, former president of Colombia and Nobel Peace laureate