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How to negotiate and get what you want

Lou Markstrom | July 23, 2014
And do this while maintaining healthy relationships with your colleagues

Take a look for yourself. Where are you holding onto these positions and not looking to define the mutual objectives, ask yourself, 'do I do this during professional negotiations and personal negotiations?'

Take an 'everyone wins' approach
When we think of successful negotiation the term we most often hear and think of is that it must be 'win-win'.

I was fortunate when growing up to have been mentored by Gerard I. Nierenberg who founded the Negotiation Institute in the 1960s and is considered to be the father of contemporary negotiation practice. He's written books such as The Art of Negotiating.

If there was one principle in negotiation that Jerry drilled into my head more than any other, it was that win-win was not enough.

He coined the term 'everybody wins' as the most effective approach to take to negotiations. The difference in 'win-win' is that the solution being sought is for both parties to reach an agreement that it is a win for both of them.

Everyone wins takes into account all the parties impacted by the negotiation. The story I think of most often was regarding one of the major automobile manufacturers negotiating a salary increase with the labour union.

The union wanted a higher salary and the motor company didn't want a reduction in profit, so they decided a win-win would be to raise the price of the car. This way they could pay the higher wage and the employee and manufacturer would both win.

It didn't work because they didn't keep in mind that their outcome affected other people and those other people decided not to buy the cars at the new higher price.

An 'everyone wins' approach would have considered the impact on all parties and realised that an alternative solution would have been necessary.

Preparation is key

You need to prepare well if these approaches are to work. Too often when we think of negotiation we just think of the bargaining that takes place across the table.

As Sun Tzu said in The Art of War, every battle is won before it begins -- if you know your opposition and you know yourself, you will be successful 100 per cent of the time.

If you know yourself and not your opposition, you will be successful 50 per cent of the time; and if you know neither, you won't be successful at all.

Quoting The Art of War may seem like a conflict-based approach to negotiation, but we must remember that Sun Tzu also stated, "the ultimate form of victory is to have won without the need for battle."

That is a result of taking an objective and everyone wins approach. To do this successfully there are many items you should research, understand and be clear on prior to sitting at the negotiation table.

 

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