A Way to Win-Win Negotiation
Want to turn a win-lose situation into a win-win negotiation?
Learn how from Bruce Patton, co-founder and Distinguished Fellow of the Harvard Negotiation Project, and co-author of Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In.
Negotiators often fall back on positional bargaining, the traditional haggling approach to negotiation. One side makes a strong opening demand, the other side stakes their own claim, and they exchange concessions until they either split the difference or come to an impasse. This type of win-lose approach overlooks opportunities to create – and not just distribute – value.
You can convert a win-lose negotiation into a win-win one when you:
- Create a problem solving atmosphere where all parties feel it’s safe to brainstorm options
- Resist making demands, offers, and threats during the early stages of talks
- Explore each side’s interests – the underlying needs, hopes, fears, and concerns that motivate you
Keep Your Eye on the Prize
When negotiating, you goal should be to find creative ways to satisfy as many shared and differing interests as you can. To reach an agreement on conflicting interests, draw on objective standards – such as market value and industry practice – to help each side feel the negotiation is being conducted fairly. In this manner, you can manage the tension between distributing and creating value, building deals that satisfy both parties’ interests while also setting up a productive relationship.
Summary: Instead of opening with strong demands, focus on creating value by exploring both parties’ interests.