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Win-Win Negotiation Techniques

Win-Win Negotiation Techniques

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Published by Junaid Shaukat

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Published by: Junaid Shaukat on Oct 30, 2011
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In every negotiation there are substantive issues and personality issues.
Substantive issues concern the subject of the negotiation. For example,
issues such as price, quantity, delivery dates, payment schedules, and
other terms and conditions are substantive issues. We bargain over these
issues as we strive to reach a win-win agreement.

There are also personality issues that enter any negotiation and affect
the parties’ relationship. Your counterpart may have certain habits and
mannerisms that irritate you. Perhaps he is loud, insensitive and intimidating.
He may always arrive late, talk excessively, and keep you longer than
expected. He may try to pressure you with hardball tactics or rush you
into making a hasty decision. Or she may be very charming and try to
sweet talk you into conceding more than you had planned. Here are my
suggestions for dealing with substantive and personality issues:

Keep personality

issues separate from substantive ones

It is easy to let our like or dislike of our counterpart influence the way
we deal with him. If we like him, we may allow him more generous
terms than we might otherwise. If we don’t like him, we may let our
feelings distract us from our interests. If we are intimidated by him,
we may make concessions on some issues in the hope of winning his

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Separate the people from the problem. Do not let personality factors
influence you. When a charming counterpart asks you for a concession,
ask yourself whether you would make this concession to someone you
don’t like. Your response should be the same. Do not make concessions
on substantive issues in exchange for concessions on personality.
Negotiate on the issues, focus on your interests, and look at the big

Say no to the request, not to the person

Bear in mind that people do not always distinguish the messenger
from the message. Even though you may not intend your refusal to be
a personal rejection, some people will take it that way. Help them
maintain perspective by being clear that you are rejecting the request
and not the person making it. For example, say “I cannot agree to that
condition” rather than “I cannot help you with that.”

Give reasons, not excuses

When rejecting a proposal, first say what you like about it. Look for
common ground, a point of agreement. Then explain what you do not
like about it, or what you would change, and why. People like to know
why. Explaining your reasoning helps the other party to understand.

Avoid negative words and characterisations

Strong negative words are highly charged. Their impact can spread
from the problem to the people. For example, using strong negative
language to refer to a proposal may be taken personally by the speaker.
Your characterisation of their idea is taken as a personal slight or insult.
In addition, using negative words will colour you as a negative or
unlikeable person in the eyes of your audience.

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