expanding the pie
What is Expanding the Pie in Negotiation?
In integrative negotiations, creativity can lead to expanding the pie and creating more value for both parties involved in the deal.
Coming up with innovative ideas in the middle of the collaborative process can be difficult, but it’s the key to expanding the pie in negotiation. In a typical negotiation, you hold your cards close and share as little information as needed to achieve your goal.
But expanding the pie, and creating a broader range of issues to work with, begins with us imagining a different scenario, one in which both parties reveal their interests at the onset of a negotiation.You’ll have to ask a lot of questions to get a clear picture of someone’s interests. And to model the type of response you’re seeking, you must be willing to reveal your own interests. Practitioners often assume that exposing their interests will give the other side an unfair advantage, but this is rarely true.
Finding a common interest can help in expanding the pie and giving both parties better outcomes.
In some cases, when two parties have found little or nothing to trade, they can also create value by inviting still other potentially interested parties to participate in the negotiation. While adding parties to a negotiation undoubtedly adds complexity, it can also help you enlarge the pie before turning to traditional issues.
In sum, remember that situations that appear to be zero-sum rarely are.
The key to value creation? Bringing a degree of optimism about the chances of expanding the pie to every negotiation.
Discover how to boost your power at the bargaining table in this free special report, Business Negotiation Strategies: How to Negotiate Better Business Deals, from Harvard Law School.
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