Finding fair compromise can be a daunting task, especially if you’re dealing with a particularly difficult or emotionally charged issue. But one thing power negotiators know is that you have to give a little to get a little. Sometimes you have to make concessions when required to reach an agreement. Both of you lose a little, but this is considered a win-win agreement.
Before you go into any type of negotiation, it’s important to ask yourself these key questions to help you be fully prepared.
Questions You Must Answer to Ensure a Win-Win Agreement
What Are Your Goals? – The only real way to come to any type of agreement is to know in advance of the negotiation what exactly your goals are. In addition, make it a point to consider what the other party wants out of the negotiation, too.
What Can You Give? – Before you even go into the negotiation process, it’s important to already have an idea of what you can comfortably give up. You don’t want to go in and immediately give up those things, but you want to know in advance how much you can give and still be happy.
What Happens If You Can’t Make an Agreement? – If you can’t reach an agreement, consider what that will mean for you. Will bad or good things happen based on the agreement that you do come to? If you fail, what will happen? If the other person “wins”, what will happen? Play these scenarios out to determine the importance of coming to a win-win agreement.
What Is the History of Your Relationship? – Before going in to discuss the potential negotiation, you need to analyze the history of the relationship with the other party first. If you know the person, then you probably already have a good idea of how things will be resolved. If you do not know the person, you need to find out as much about them as possible in advance in order to be fully prepared.
Do You Have any Expected Outcomes? – What are you thinking the outcome will be before you even start your negotiation? Are there others who are worried about the issue, and do they have expectations too? Knowing this can affect the decisions you make on the negotiation.
Which One of You Holds the Power Position? – If you hold the power position, then you need to be very understanding of the other person when going through with the negotiations. If the other person holds that position, keep that in mind as you move forward. Knowing the importance of which side of the power you are on will determine your choices during the negotiation process.
What Are All the Possible Solutions? – Go through a list of all possible solutions that could happen, and how each of these would affect you and others. Write down the different scenarios that could happen based off possible agreements so that you will not be surprised by any outcome.
What Are the Consequences? – Determine the costs and benefits of each potential decision. That way you know in advance the ramifications of each choice you make in the negotiation process.
If you both feel positive at the end of the negotiation, then you’ve succeeded in making a win-win agreement. Neither of you had to give up more than you wanted, and you both got what you wanted after the end of the negotiation. A truly successful negotiation will be win-win, and asking yourself these questions ahead of time will help you get there.