Business people negotiate daily. We bargain with our suppliers and we deal with our clients. We haggle with vendors and bid for business. One well known negotiation training organization you may have seen in airline magazines proclaims you “don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate.” So this week, we are going to look at five principles of negotiation that will help you get closer to “Yes” than you may be currently trending.
We are going to begin by requesting you quit trying to win.
Years ago, the Harvard Negotiation Project studied the art of negotiation. Roger Fisher authored a book from the study famously entitled “Getting to Yes.” One of the key objectives Fisher suggested was to “invent options for mutual gain.” In the best of circumstances, everyone must arrive at a solution where they advance their cause. Negotiation is not a zero sum game but rather a truly win-win proposition. Winning must be mutual or the experience is experienced not so much as negotiation as a hostage situation.
When both sides to a negotiation begin with the goal of reaching a mutually beneficial end point, the course of the discussions will be more easily navigated. When one side insists on “winning”, things get progressively more difficult as emotion and extraneous factors intervene.
Start your negotiations with a clear understanding between all of the parties of what you want to accomplish mutually. Clearing the landscape of the wrong presumptions up front makes it more likely you will get to yes.