win win negotiation
What is a Win-Win Negotiation?
A win-win negotiation means thinking creatively about how you can get more of what you want by helping the other side get what they want.
In many negotiations, the myth persists of a fixed pie, or the false assumption that most competitive situations are purely win-lose. Because of this, negotiators often fail to look for tradeoffs that could enlarge the pool of resources to be distributed.
Rather than working together to increase the size of the overall pie, negotiators end up haggling over a small pie, reducing the chance of achieving win-win negotiation.
But in a win-win negotiation, when both sides are satisfied with their agreement, the odds of a long-lasting success are much higher. Finding your way to a win-win negotiation often involves reaching mutual gains by trading off your differing preferences to create value.
When you know the areas of agreement where you and your counterpart are in alignment (and those areas on which you diverge), a skilled negotiator can craft an agreement that most closely approximates her own and her counterpart’s needs while building a bargaining relationship with her counterpart. Rather than antagonistic, the negotiation process becomes a value-creating, integrative situation in which each side gets a “fair share” of the pool of resources.
What negotiation skills lead to optimal negotiated agreements and are suitable for win-win negotiations? One skill to cultivate that will have a positive impact on your future negotiation style is active listening. Skillful active listening can calm tensions, break the impasse, and get you the information you need to build creative deals.
To learn more about win-win negotiations, and discover how to handle complicated, high-level business negotiations in this free special report, Win-Win or Hardball? Learn Top Strategies from Sports Contract Negotiations, from Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.
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