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Summary

In Friend and Foe, researchers Galinsky and Schweitzer explain why this debate misses the mark. Rather than being hardwired to compete or cooperate, humans have evolved to do both. It is only by learning how to strike the right balance between these two forces that we can improve our long-term relationships and get more of what we want.

Galinsky and Schweitzer draw on original, cutting-edge research across the social sciences to show how to maximize success in work and in life by deftly navigating between cooperation and competition. They offer insights into topics ranging from how to get and keep power, how to recognize deception and build trust, how to turn our weaknesses into strengths, and when to begin a negotiation to get the best outcome - while ensuring that our counterparts walk away wanting to negotiate with us down the road.

And along the way, they pose and offer surprising answers to a number of perplexing puzzles: When too much talent undermines a team's or company's success; when acting less competently helps you gain status; why many gender differences in the workplace may simply be power differences in disguise; why ending an auction at 2:00 a.m. can get you the best outcome; how our best intentions can ironically make us appear racist; and why husbands gain weight during pregnancy. We perform at our very best when cooperation and competition are held in the right balance. This audiobook is a guide for better navigating our social world by learning when to cooperate as a friend and when to compete as a foe - and how to be better at both.

©2015 By arrangement with Crown Business, an imprint of Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc. (P)2015 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

Critic reviews

"Galinsky and Schweitzer are star researchers and teachers. Here, they use their talents to bring order to the often contradictory research on when to cooperate and compete, and they distill their insights into practical tips that anybody can use." (Chip Heath, coauthor of Made to Stick and Switch)
" Friend and Foe is a fascinating voyage through the science of cooperation and competition. Discover why we compare ourselves to our Facebook friends, many gender differences are really due to power differences, and it's usually best to make the first offer in a negotiation." (Adam Grant, New York Times best-selling author of Give and Take)
"A treasure trove of golden nuggets of information and gem-like insights into the processes that govern social exchange. We all have to cooperate and compete to succeed. Friend and Foe provides the best roadmap I've ever seen for doing so - by a mile." (Robert B. Cialdini, best-selling author of Influence)

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  • Garron Rose
  • 05-01-16

Unexpected

My initial impression of this book is that it was weird. What I mean is that it's not exactly the book I was expecting to read. I had purchased the book looking for a refresher in negotiation. This book did eventually deliver that -- along with insights I'd not heard anywhere else -- but it took an unexpected path to get there, which made for an interesting journey.

The scope of this book is bigger than I expected. It took me a while to get in step with where they were going. This had more to do with my expectations than anything else. But the path they led me down was profitable. Negotiation is a big topic. Bigger still are the dynamics of trust. This book set negotiations on the backdrop of human interaction better than any I've experienced. There are several concepts that are worth the effort to purposeful application.

My current field of study is how to cultivate and curate intrinsic motivation within organizations and systems. The research on the negative and positive ramifications of empowerment in different social structures alone will get this book another listen from me. 

34 of 35 people found this review helpful

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  • A. Yoshida
  • 08-02-17

Great tips on when to be friend or foe

This is a fascinating book about how humans have evolved to be both friend and foe. That is why there is brotherly love but yet also sibling rivalry. We could have friends that support us in need but they could also be the reasons why we strive to earn more, buy more, or do more - as we compete to outdo our friends. The book provides research and guidance on balancing these two forces. There are also interesting examples of friend/foe relationships. For example, star athletes on a team are competing against each other for power, which undermines the team's objective of winning the game. Sometimes having only one star athlete on a team is better than having two star athletes. There is also a useful chapter on detecting deception, understanding how core trust can be broken, and rebuilding trust in a relationship (unless it was a core trust that was broken).

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Pritish
  • 23-12-15

Second Half of the Book is Insightful

Good One... Must read for negotiators,sales, Business development, HR & Startups. You really see who and when you can go against and for with your friends and family

11 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Jerry Fletcher
  • 23-02-16

Boring, Boring, Boring

Boring monotone reader. Boring ideas. Boring old used stories.

If you're over about 14 years old, you've already heard this in one form or another.

It seems like the author came up with a good title, a decent premise, and then just cobbled together a bunch of crap from 100 other self-help books. Ridiculous.

Hoe ridiculous? How about this: you will become more powerful in work, life, finances, etc. by just thinking you are. And if you stand up and pose like Superman, hands on hips, chest out, you grow even more powerful. It's as simple as that folks.

This book insults the reader's intelligence. What a waste of an Audible credit. I be asking for a refund.

29 of 41 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 22-09-16

SJW in disguise

bs SJW narratives abound. be forewarned. what killed it for me was the wage gap and institutional sexism.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Noreen
  • 21-02-18

Mind changing

The studies and the narration was easy to listen to and to stay engaged with. I highly recommend this book!!!

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  • Eric
  • 14-02-18

Some good stuff but a bit skewed

Any additional comments?

The book started off reminding me of Malcom Gladwell's books ... taking psych findings and applying them, but without focusing on a story. Around chapter 2 or 3 it seems to turn into a treatise on women's equality. I'm all for empowering women, but he went on and on about it. It also doesn't help that he used the misused quote about women making 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. (All things being equal, women make about 94 cents to a man's dollar, and economists don't know why.) I tried to continue reading but everything after that made me think he had an agenda ... or maybe it's that I'm a white male and some of the same reasoning he is using has been used by others that tried to empower women, blacks, and others but instead simply used it to lower white males.

I also didn't find much advice on how to apply the things he was saying. It's much more analysis and not so much guidance on how to do something.

On a different note, I thought the reading was done well. So if you buy into what he's saying it might be a good read for you.

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  • GJM_FL
  • 21-06-17

Material gets a LONG way from the Title

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The authors spend a LOT of time talking about sociological characteristics with very little indication about how that relates to the subject. Want to know how many hierarchical levels there are in the military? In the Catholic Church? You'll know when you're done reading this. Interested in gender or racial biases? I listened to a little more than half way and finally switched to another book.

Has Friend and Foe turned you off from other books in this genre?

No

Would you listen to another book narrated by Tom Perkins?

Yes

Did Friend and Foe inspire you to do anything?

No.

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  • MCV
  • 25-02-17

Started great...

Any additional comments?

The beginning of the book was fantastic and very informative. About 1/4 the way through it quickly became a liberal propaganda circle jerk.

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  • Alissa G
  • 24-12-16

misleading title, no insight whatsoever

I got to this book because of the title and the positive reviews. This book talks in length and gives a lot of stories (e.g. why Jobs did a bad to apologize for iPhone4 antenna issue) to support the author's points - it is not clear at all what they are. There is absolutely no insight just common sense which can be very misleading in certain situations. There are no clear description on when you should make friend and what you should make foe. Instead the author goes in length on "what is recoverable mistake" and use almost the whole chapter with four different stories from celebrities to "prove" the point. The author seems to well master the skills to promote the book. I would serious double the five star reviews for this book. Would not recommend waste your time on this.