Join Lisa Gates for an in-depth discussion in this video Defining the two big strategies, part of Negotiation Foundations (2012).
Is effective negotiation about getting what you want, or is it about everyone getting what they want? I'm going to define the two big strategies to help you answer those questions. We're talking about distributive bargaining and interest-based bargaining. Distributive bargaining divides up a limited number of benefits or resources. In other words, let's say you have six pieces of pie. Your job would be to get more slices than your bargaining partner. Used as your sole strategy, distributive bargaining is a win/lose proposition.
Somebody gets more, while the other gets less. Interest-based bargaining is about discovering your bargaining partner's interest, his or her needs and preferences. The goal of the interest-based bargaining is to expand the pie of benefits, attempting to satisfy as many of your mutual interests as possible. To illustrate the two strategies, I'll tell you a story about two sisters and an orange. Two little girls are arguing about who gets the last orange. The simple solution you might think is to cut the orange in half and everybody walks away happy, but mom being the uber-problem solver asked her daughters what they want to do with the orange.
One daughter explains she wants to eat it, of course, while the other daughter reveals that she wants to make zest for a cake she's baking. The mother's questions are key to uncovering each of her daughter's interest or wishes. Now she's able to put a stop to the arguing and satisfy both of her daughters at the same time. So notice that both strategies are employed. The mother asks questions that help reveal both daughters' interest and then she distributes the orange according to their preferences.
Most negotiations do become distributive at some point, after you've brainstormed and expanded that pie, you will eventually need to distribute the resources. The bottom line is you'll produce better outcomes by employing both strategies.
- Preparing for a successful negotiation
- Using diagnostic questioning
- Opening the negotiation
- Dealing with conflict
- Framing and anchoring the discussion
- Making concessions and asking for reciprocity
- Encouraging cooperation
Skill Level Beginner
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