Win-Win Negotiation Video

Video Transcript

Learn how to improve your negotiation skills and reach mutually acceptable compromises.

If someone asks you if you are a good negotiator, would you say "yes"? Some of us might have to shake our heads over that one.

But being able to negotiate is an important skill that can quite literally change your life. It can help you get the job of your dreams, make your case for a better salary, or convince your boss to let you take the lead on a great new project.

Many people dread having to negotiate for something. They see it as a stressful battle between two people, where someone always has to lose or get taken advantage of. But negotiation doesn't have to be this way. You can do it fairly, so that both parties come away feeling as if they've won, at least to some extent.

This is called Win-Win Negotiation. Use this approach when you want to have an ongoing relationship with the person you're in discussions with.

The key to doing this successfully is to prepare early, to walk into the situation knowing the kind of negotiation you want to take part in, and to be alert to the style the other person is using.

In Win-Win Negotiation, it's important to plan ahead. When you're well prepared, it's easier to keep a clear head, especially if the situation gets tense. Good preparation also helps you think about what the other person might want, so that both of you can come away with something at the end.

As part of this, you'll want to think about your goals. For instance, what do you want out of this negotiation? What do you think the other person is looking for? You'll also need to consider your assets. What do you have that the other person wants? What are you comfortable giving away? What lines will you refuse to cross?

This last point is important, as sometimes we can end up conceding too much when we're feeling stressed. You don't want to be left feeling defeated when the negotiation is over. And remember, the goal is for both parties to walk away feeling satisfied.

Next, make sure that you know your BATNA. This stands for your "Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement." If it's strong, you're in a good position. If it's weak, it's going to be more difficult.

You'll also want to think about what the other person's BATNA might be. As long as they are playing win-win – not win-lose – it is possible to negotiate fairly, without taking advantage or playing hardball.

You can find out much more about Win-Win Negotiation in the article that accompanies this video.

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Comments (2)
  • Over a month ago Yolande wrote
    I've also learnt to ask 'why, why and why' again in order to get to what it is someone really wants from a negotiation situation. I even do it with myself at times when I want to do do or buy something that is expensive to try and see if my goal really is what I think it is or if I have another goal deep down inside that may be satisfied in another manner.

    Kind regards
    Yolandé
  • Over a month ago yann wrote
    Ever since I read Ury and Fisher's Getting to Yes some 20 years ago, I have never ceased to be amazed by the effectiveness of the win-win negotiation. The two aspects that I find myself re-emphasising all the time in mentoring sessions are:

    a) The absolute need to have a BATNA (Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement) explicitly identified. Without one, you have no means to assess whether your are conceding too much in the negotiation or missing on a good deal opportunity because you are more rigid than you should be.

    b) asking why, why, and why again in order to identify one's and the other party's real goals. In most cases people will present a negotiating position as their goal, but the real goal is actually hidden, sometimes without people realising. Especially when people want the same thing, understanding why they want it can lead to surprisingly different answers, from which a creative win-win solution naturally emerges.

    Example: two kids both want an orange. They could settleon cutting it in two halves and both of them would only be half-satisfied (and this may indeed be the BATNA). But asking why they want the orange, they discover that he first kid wants to eat the pulp, while the second kid wants to peel it in a spiral to make a decoration. The win-win becomes obvious.