I hope that you’ve been able to test and use the information from my last blog; The 10 Foundational Negotiation Rules. I think you will find that all ten will stand the test of time.
What we didn’t have time to discuss were the 4 (Four) Results of Negotiation. You need to understand that any kind of negotiation can be categorized into four distinguishable result categories and four only. After a lifetime of negotiation I can also tell you with ultimate confidence that there is only one of these categories of negotiation results that you should strive for. Let’s take a brief look at all four areas of results;
- I WIN – YOU LOSE: This is a result that many people strive for and although you’ll feel like you have accomplished something and won the battle, you will invariably always lose the war. You may win the negotiation conversation but you also have an opponent/friend/prospect/customer that has also lost….and they won’t forget it. The results are strictly short term and in the end the win is never worth the long term cost. And that cost could be huge when you look at the risk that long term consequences might create. A prospect or customer might leave with a strong business smile on their face and then promptly, never do business with you again! Ever!
- I LOSE – YOU WIN: Ok, simply flip our first outcome. Now, in this situation, YOU have lost. How does that feel? All the elation and “in your face” enthusiasm that you had when you won has now turned on you and you’re now experiencing the bitter taste of defeat. Again, in the end, has anyone really ever won here?
- I LOSE – YOU LOSE: We’re at a stalemate. Everyone agrees to disagree. Everyone is frustrated; confused and even downright angry because nothing has been decided or agreed upon and the issue or issues are still looming over everyone like a storm cloud. The most frustrating thing about this result is that in most cases it could have been easily solved. The cause was a number of things that usually includes; stubbornness; ego; selective listening; hidden agendas; personality clashes and on and on. Obviously nobody has won or likely ever will unless attitudes change or the players change.
- I WIN – YOU WIN: This is the one that all professional negotiators work so hard for. This result is long term and lasting. It’s self explanatory. The goal from the beginning is to find some common ground, to understand everyone’s needs from the beginning then unilaterally work towards an agreement where both parties win. Everyone usually will need to make some concessions but they will be made with the idea that it’s for the good of the goal. This is true negotiation. Remember the definition? Negotiation is that point in the process when in order to come to an agreement that one side must give up something from their position that the “opposition” also agrees to give some ground as well.
The true goal of every negotiation, of any size and nature, should always be a WIN-WIN result. Life is much too short to live with the consequences and bad karma of any of the other three result categories. Because I guarantee you that without the WIN-WIN, the results of any of the other three will come back to haunt you!
If you’re facing a tough negotiation and not quite sure what to do, give me a call. That’s what I do as a Certified Business Coach. I’m open for business! As always,