A client recently complained to me, “I tried your win-win negotiation techniques and it didn’t go well”.
“What happened”, I asked?
“I kept trying to be a good guy, share openly and negotiate in good faith and the other party was out to make the most of their situation.”
“That’s not win-win, that is win-lose”, I replied.
If win-win is your default function, and you continue to push win-win negotiation practices when the other party is looking only to do the best deal for themself, you will get slaughtered on the negotiation table.
Paying attention to what the other party does, not only what they say, helps you determine whether or not you have a win-win opportunity in front of you. Here are five signs that your partner offers you a win-win approach:
- Shows an interest in your desires and needs instead of anchoring in their own position
- Looks to create common ground that parties can build on instead of highlighting the gaps in a potential agreement
- Able and willing to discuss multiple issues at one time instead of slicing away (and seeking to win for themselves) one point at a time
- Shares abundantly (yet appropriately) information that all parties can use to create a mutually beneficial outcome for everyone involved
- Uses open-ended questions instead of trying to box you in with closed questions
Win-win or win-lose, how do you approach important negotiations?
Photo Image by Alamy