Expanding the pie – how creativity creates win-win in negotiations
The fixed pie syndrome
Sometimes people have a warped thinking of negotiation success – to have the other party capitulate. Seldom will that happen in this day and age, especially with the advent of social media and consumer-protectionism. Even where there seems to be an imbalance of power, there will be leveling processes to make the playing field less lopsided. One of these processes is a strong BATNA, the others are as mentioned earlier.
So when this happens, another phenomenon will arise; that there will increasingly be more stalemates. No party is willing to concede any ground to the other because there is no need to. The reason in adopting this is because both parties view the negotiation as a fixed pie situation. If the issue is about the purchase of a house, then the negotiation will centre around the price and how much one can knock off, or hold on to, more thousands (depending on which side of the fence one is). Fixed pie thinking has caused a company to lose good people, or for good opportunities to slip through the fingers. This often leads to sub-optimal solutions, and is not the way to the future. To overcome this, we need to learn to enlarge the pie.
What we negotiate for
Every so often, our negotiations centre around money. Yet, there are many more items that can be negotiated for, leaving the money issue aside. These may include:
rent-free periods, or
The list can be endless and these may be easier wins. It doesn’t affect the psychological (and often sensitive) price element. When we enlarge the pie, we enlarge the elements for negotiation. And discussing each of these other non-price elements of the deal, and building in value to bolster the acceptance of the price, we can lead to faster agreements, and a win-win success formula.
So the next time you are going into a negotiation with a fixed price in your mind, think of the non-price elements that you can throw into the pie to enlarge it. After all, we don’t want a great deal to walk away simply because we were unable to think outside the box! And this is how creativity helps us make negotiations a win-win proposition for each and every one of us.
Have a great day!
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