Negotiation is a nuanced art form with many possible outcomes. In some forms of negotiation, there is no clear winner. When you understand different types of negotiations, you can work to find the best possible solutions for your situation. You will also be able to identify which negotiation strategies are being used so that you can redirect outcomes that may not be favorable.
Studies suggest that about 87% of people dislike going through the salary negotiation process. There’s also a gender gap in negotiations–31% of women say that they are uncomfortable with salary negotiations, and 23% of men dislike the process. Disdain for the negotiation process is one of the many factors that contributes to the gender pay gap. Learning how to come up with solutions that work for all parties is a gift that translates into greater success for all people involved in the process.
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Can you identify the negotiation technique?
As much as we may feel like we are imposing on others when we enter into a negotiation, being forthright about your needs up front can save you a lot of heartache and loss. Ideally, all of our solutions would be win-win, but if you’ve ever gotten the raw end of a deal, you know that this is not how all negotiations work. There are several possible outcomes for any negotiation.
Win-win: co-create for the result so that both parties can benefit from it
The most desirable negotiations provide positive outcomes for all groups involved. In a win-win negotiation, parties collaborate and co-create desirable results.
For this collaborative approach to work, both parties must have the intention of creating something that works best for everyone involved. When you see a win-win outcome, it is almost always because both parties shared information openly and worked together to overcome obstacles.
When you have to negotiate for a salary at a new job, hopefully the intention is to create value for you and the business. You want to be compensated so that you can perform effectively, and they want to give you a fair amount so that you will be satisfied in your job.
Win-lose: one gains more than the other because of limited resources
A win-lose result is almost guaranteed when there are a fixed number of resources and two parties are forced to compete for them. This type of negotiation is often referred to as “zero-sum” since there are a finite amount of resources available, and one party’s gain directly translates into a loss for the other party. Persuasion and manipulation, withholding information, and threatening with force are a few of the markers of a win-lose situation.
To visualize how a win-lose result looks in the real world, think of dividing a pizza between two people. The fairest distribution would be to divide the pizza in half. If one person takes an additional slice, the other person is guaranteed to get less. The dining partners have engaged in a form of win-lose negotiation.
Lose-lose: both lose but one tries to lose less compared to the other one
When two negotiating parties are unable to reach a reasonable agreement, they may work to undermine the needs of one another. The outcomes of this type of arrangement are never good.