Negotiations – Part 6


“In A Negotiation, We Must Find A Solution That Pleases Everyone, Because No One Accepts That They MUST Lose And That The Other MUST Win. Both MUST Win.”
~Nabil N. Jamal

Any negotiation ends in one of five possible outcomes: (1) lose/lose, in which neither party achieves his goals; (2) lose/win or (3) win/lose, in which one party achieves her goals and the other does not; (4) no outcome, in which neither party wins or loses; and (5) win/win, in which the goals of both parties are met.

While win/lose may seem like the most desirable outcome on paper, as long as you are the winner, it is Win WInimportant to consider the bigger picture. No one likes to lose and people that feel taken advantage of are unlikely to want to work with you again and likely to be uncooperative and legalistic which in the long run, sets up the potential for a lose/lose situation.

The aim of win-win negotiation is to find a solution that is acceptable to both parties, and leaves both parties feeling that they’ve won. A good outcome from negotiations satisfies your interests well and theirs acceptably and no one feels taken.

  1. Set concrete goals: By setting concrete goals in advance, you won’t be swayed by other’s influence tactics, vivid stories, and hard bargaining techniques.
  2. Establish joint goals and focus on interests, not positions: Positions are what you want; interests are how you get them. When you move from the what to the why, you move from a potentially negative discussion of demands to a positive discussion of common needs.
  3. Engage in creative problem solving: Brainstorm all possible alternatives that maximize individual benefits, minimize individual losses and is fair for both parties. Effective negotiators invent options.
  4. Empathize: Try and understand what the other person is thinking and feeling, paying close attention to their non-verbal language.
  5. Avoid aggressive behavior: Talking louder than the other person, dominating the discussion, and using sarcasm will result in a win/lose outcome.
  6. Be assertive: Be hard on the issues, but soft on the people.
  7. Ask questions and share information: Instead of assuming your interests are directly opposed to your counterparts’ interests, provide information that could lead to wise tradeoffs. Listen closely to uncover the needs of the other person. By finding those needs and meeting them, you set the stage for having your needs met.
  8. Present Multiple Offers: The best win-win agreements often stem from presenting multiple offers rather than a single, lone offer or proposal. Multiple offers tend to stimulate communication which will likely enhance the possibility of finding even more creative solutions than would otherwise have been possible.
  9. Avoid anchoring on the first offer: Don’t become overly affected by the first number entered into the negotiation.

Negotiation is about knowing what you want, going after it, and respecting the other person in the process. Remember that the whole point of win-win negotiating is compromise. This means that you need to look out for yourself, but also be willing to budge in order to satisfy both parties.

This is Part 6 of a 6 part series on negotiations.  Please see other posts on this subject here:

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