Are there alternatives to win-lose negotiation?


Someone wins. Someone else loses.

One person gets what they want. The other person doesn’t.

How often do we “win,” only to discover that it’s a hollow victory? What we said we wanted feels different from the “winning” outcome.

How often do we “win,” only to discover that the relationship with the other person is irreparably damaged?

How often do we “lose,” and feel resentful and angry?

How often do we “lose,” and feel stuck in an intolerably unfair situation?

And how often do we look back and think, If only I had said … done … not done … not said …

What if it didn’t have to be this way?

What if empathy and understanding were part of the conversation, as well as what I want?

What if it were okay to really get your opponent’s point of view?

What if the other person wasn’t an opponent, but instead was a partner in the solution?

I know. That last one is hard to swallow when you’re in a heated conflict or a challenging negotiation. But … what if?