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Don't Negotiate Like a Dick


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Published in: Business, Technology
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Don't Negotiate Like a Dick

  2. there is a widely held misunderstanding about what great negotiation is
  3. and that misconception is that great negotiation is fair for all sides
  4. i’ll let you in on a little secret
  5. great negotiation is not about being fair
  6. your choices are not limited to win-lose (unfair outcomes) or win-win (fair outcomes)
  7. in fact, there is a third option
  8. and that is what great negotiation is all about
  9. the key to understanding this third option is to disabuse yourself of the notion that win- win is about being fair
  10. what you’ve been defining as win-win, is actually lose-lose
  11. let me explain by way of an example and a story
  12. by way of example, let’s assume that we are negotiating over 100% of something
  13. win-lose occurs when we split the 100% in an unfair distribution, let’s say i get 60% and you get 40%
  14. in this case, i win and you lose
  15. and as a result, we may have damaged our long-term relationship a bit 
  16. then there is the case where we split the 100% fairly
  17. i get 50% and you get 50%
  18. in practice, this is what most of us call win-win
  19. but in fact, this is lose-lose
  20. although we may remain friends after the encounter
  21. both of us end up equally disappointed with what we got
  22. so if win-lose is unfair and unhappy negotiation and lose- lose is fair, but unsatisfying negotiation, then what is win- win?
  23. win-win negotiation happens when each of us gets 100%. * win-win negotiation is also known as integrative (not distributive) negotiation is defined in greater detail by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their seminal book, Getting to Yes
  24. huh?!?!
  25. how can two people get 100% of 100%
  26. easy
  27. turn the original 100% into 200%
  28. you do this with creativity and by listening to, and understanding, the underlying interests of each party
  29. here is a story from Fisher & Ury that demonstrates the magic of 200%….
  30. a mother returns home from a long day at the office and finds her two daughters in the kitchen fighting
  31. they are screaming at each other and locked in a tug of war
  32. the mother sees that they are fighting over an orange
  33. she forcefully separates the girls
  34. and with both the girls complaining loudly, she grabs a sharp knife from the counter top
  35. no, this is not a greek tragedy and there will be no infanticide
  36. instead, quietly and confidently, she cuts the orange in half and gives each girl half of the fruit
  37. proud to have once more demonstrated mother’s wisdom at finding a win-win solution, and enjoying the relative quiet that has now descended, she starts to leave the kitchen
  38. but she stops short of the door as something incredibly odd happens
  39. the first daughter peels the half orange, throws the peel in the garbage shoot and eats the fruit
  40. she then goes to the refrigerator to look for a bit more food, as she remains a bit hungry
  41. simultaneously, and to the great surprise of the mother, the second daughter peels the orange and throws the fruit down the garbage shoot!
  42. the second daughter then goes to the counter top and starts calculating ingredients to bake half an orange cake, since she has only half the needed orange peel
  43. oh dear
  44. you see what has happened right?
  45. both daughters could have had 100% of what they wanted, but instead, because of the seductive fallacy of fairness, they got 50%
  46. what the mother should have done, before jumping straight to the solution based on the apparent positions of the children (I want the orange)
  47. was to ask, “why”
  48. why do you want the orange?
  49. and this leads to real win-win negotiation
  50. so when you are negotiating with partners, employees, bosses, vendors, children, or friends
  51. do not allow yourself to settle for win-lose or lose-lose
  52. push yourself to find the 200% solution
  53. * and check out Getting to Yes by Fisher and Ury for lots more detailed advice
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