Posts Tagged ‘planning’
Just as in Greek mythology where the sirens lured ancient mariners to their destruction upon the rocky shores, the sweet song of business wisdom lures us into thinking that we should plan for a “win-win” outcome when negotiating.
I disagree. It’s not that I think both parties should walk away from the bargaining table unhappy. No, it’s that planning for discussions using any competitive approach—using “win” or “lose” terminology—puts us in the wrong frame of mind for impactful, fruitful discussions.
Rarely does anyone “win” a negotiation. If we are even thinking about winning a negotiation, we’re starting out on the wrong path. The need for victory gives rise to hubris and the means, not the desired end state, becomes the focus of our planning.
Sadly, this compulsion for victory diverts attention from why we are in the discussion in the first place. Our focus should be on achieving our interests, not winning or losing. Look at it another way: if we get most of what we are looking for—but not all—did we win? On a competitor’s scoreboard, the answer is “No.” But did we lose? Of course not! We are well on our way toward where we want to be.
So forget “win-win.” Think results … in meaningful, measurable terms. The sirens may be disappointed, but both parties will be better off!