Posted in Decision Making, personal impact, Problem solving

Think win win


We are all negotiators, it can be as simple as who empties the dishwasher to brokering the new lease on the office.

The key to negotiating successfully is to look at every situation long-term which means your mind-set and attitude are more important than the dialogue.  Stephen Covey the author of “The 7 Habits of “Highly Effective People” explains we need to think “win/win” before anything is even said.

The scenarios below are all true and all fit into Covey’s quadrant below, however which goes where?

Case study 1.

Divorcing couple have several assets of very good value, however sadly the settlement is very acrimonious.  The husband has a Ferrari valued at £200,000 he sells the car for only £50,000 as he knows the couple’s assets will be split 50:50 according to the judge’s ruling.

Case study 2.

UPS (United Parcel Service) had a business strategy of mainly employing part-time workers.  In 1996 Teamster Union began negotiating with UPS on gaining fairer terms and conditions for part-time workers.  The discussions did not go smoothly and a two-week strike materialised costing UPS million-dollar financial losses.  Teamster managed to negotiate contract changes from part-time to full-time, wage increases, replacement of car fleets and many more benefits and conditions.

Case study 3.

Sarah Talley of Frey farms ( a family business) sold pumpkins and watermelons to Wal-Mart.  She analysed the culture of Wal-Mart’s hard ball negotiating strategy and knew that if she used innovative tactics of finding money in the supply chain, Wal-Mart would work with her. Frey farms used school buses ($1500 each) instead of tractors ($12,000 each) a cheaper and faster way to transport the pumpkins and melons to the warehouse.

Case study 4.

A store owner re-negotiated his lease with his mall operators and described the experience afterwards “They took me to the cleaners…”.  His approach was to be open, reasonable and conciliatory, and the mall operators seized upon this approach and saw it as soft and weak.

win win

Having read the scenarios where would you put them in the matrix.

When negotiating think about your positioning – make the slice of cake as big as possible the more you have to play with the more likely you will achieve win/win.  The discussion may take longer but the result will be more beneficial for everyone.

Please email to book a 90 minute session on “Negotiating for Success” and to find out where we put the scenarios.


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