Traditionally, many of us have learned that a good negotiation involves putting our needs and concerns at the forefront of the dialogue. If we come out ahead of the other party, the negotiation or resolution will have been a success. In essence, we engage in fighting and exhausting tactics so that we walk away with the biggest piece of the pie.
There is however, a better way to get a big piece of the pie and ensure the other party comes back to you with the next pie. Engage with a mindset of mutual gain, meaning each party will get the exact amount of pie they need to fully satisfy them without compromising or harming the other party. In our families and workplaces this approach leaves relationships solid, nourished and well supported as each person gets their needs met while also contributing to the other party’s success. This approach ensures a creative resolution is easily achieved, is long lasting and more satisfying.
How to Cultivate an Attitude of Mutual Gain
- Recognize that a mindset of “and” vs “either/or” will allow you to see all of what is possible in a negotiation. The pie is huge and it can be shared in a manner that works for all, if you can just see that.
- Be aware of what resources you have to bring to the table – you often have more than you think.
- Lead with the intention of contributing to the other party’s success.
- Be transparent about your intention to ensure the final outcome meets the needs of each party to the greatest degree possible.
- Be clear on the needs and concerns you want addressed in any final agreement and put aside those that are simply created by your emotionality.
- Anticipate the criteria the other party wants met in the final agreement and consider a range of solutions to meet those needs without compromising your own.
- Manage your emotions so that you stay true to working to the benefit of all.