Thursday, October 16, 2008

Negotiate a Win-Win

I was skimming through some Donald Trump blog archives, and found this interesting one about negotiation. He writes:

My most successful negotiations have come from bridging the gap of misinformation and miscommunication between buyer and seller. Once I can get to the truth about what the parties are truly motivated by, I can then structure a deal that makes everyone happy. It’s a universal principle that holds true in business, marriage, friendships etc.

If as a businessperson, we would shut our collective mouths for a moment and listen to the other side’s position, we will gain the understanding of what they are thinking and needing to be able to accept our proposal /offer (or whatever). We can then incorporate and address those needs in our offer and thereby eliminate any objections they are having.

The hard part about invoking this strategy is that you have to know what questions to ask and be able to give the other party a comfortable way to express their side openly and honestly. This only works if you truly DO CARE about creating the WIN-WIN. The moment the other party suspects you are using their information to manipulate them, prepare for the negotiations to go cold.

Author Stephen Covey cites this principle as one of the 7 Habits of Highly Successful People - "Seek first to understand and then be understood." Try applying this to all of your relational dealings and see how much more effective you are at getting what you want in life.


  1. If you would like to implement some of Stephen Covey's best ideas, you can use this web aplication:

    You can use it to manage and prioritize your Goals (in each of your life's categories), projects and tasks, in an intuitive interface. It has a Checklists section, for the repetitive activities you have to do, important but not urgent (Quadrant II, for example your routines/habits). Also, it features a Schedules section and a Calendar, for scheduling you time, activities and for the weekly review.

    Some features from GTD are also present, like Contexts and Next Actions.

    And it's available on the mobile phone too, so you can access it wherever you are.

  2. An excerpt from EPiC Measure's BrandNu Resource Guide™ references this article and adds:

    Knowing your audience allows you to build associations with clients and others that are genuine. Knowing the needs of your audience will help you skip the sales pitch to the extent that you become a conversational marketer.