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Negotiations Are Having a Moment

It seems like negotiations are all over the news lately — strikes and threats of strikes, stalled contract discussions, and political negotiations of all kinds.

You might say, Vantage wrote the books on negotiation. First, there was Getting to Yes, the international best-seller based on the work of the Harvard Negotiation Project, co-authored by Bruce Patton, my fellow Vantage Partners co-founder. Next came Roger Fisher’s and my Getting Ready, detailing advice on how to prepare for a negotiation. Later, Difficult Conversations (Bruce again) focused on those situations where participants are stuck on whether to talk at all.

And, more recently, my partner Mark Gordon and I wrote on how to negotiate when “yes” just means we’re getting started, in The Point of the Deal.

After working with hundreds of organizations to enhance their team’s negotiation skills, we thought we’d share some of the fundamental mistakes often made in negotiations, and counsel against them.

What to consider when navigating strategic negotiations

  • DON’T assume you know what’s right for the other side more than they do.
  • DON’T assume you’ll be able to get long term benefits from signing a bad deal now and renegotiate later.
  • DON’T overpromise. (Sounds trite, but it’s surprising how many negotiators include terms that weren’t fully vetted from an operational perspective.)
  • DON’T respond in kind to adversarial tactics. (Our quantitative research clearly demonstrates that mutually collaborative negotiations have better outcomes than adversarial ones – both in terms of efficiency and value realized.)
  • DON’T just trade “gives” and “gets” without a compelling rationale or really solving the underlying problems.

In short, when it comes to negotiation strategies and figuring out the best course of action for your unique situation, Vantage is here to help you pave the way for more successful negotiation outcomes. If you've a desire to learn how to better navigate the waters of impending organizational negotiations (internal or external), drop us a line. We'd be happy to partner with you and put a plan in place.

Want to learn more? Visit Maximizing Negotiation Leverage and Value