Understand the Secrets of Negotiation – Go Beyond Positions and Strike Winning Deals


Do you want to improve your negotiation skills and become a deal-making pro? This article explores powerful tactics for understanding hidden interests, building trust, and crafting winning agreements. Know how to prepare a strong BATNA, evaluate the options, and navigate commitments. Effective communication is essential—master this tactic for negotiation success!

Not everyone is an expert negotiator, but even seasoned negotiators can refine their skills. This article equips you with powerful tactics to become a successful negotiation and conflict resolution pro.

Beyond Positions—Uncover Interests—It’s important to find common ground during the negotiation process, and this requires looking beyond initial stances. You need to go deeper and understand the underlying interests of both parties. However, interests often converge, while positions tend to clash.

So, ask open-ended questions and demonstrate genuine curiosity about the perspective of others to understand valuable insights. Consider this open, curious approach and overcome seemingly unwavering positions, even with the most stubborn opponents.

The SCARF Model – Building Trust through Legitimacy

Neuroscientist Dr. David Rock offers powerful negotiation insights through his SCARF model that highlights five essential domains impacting human interaction:

  • Status – Our sense of relative significance to others.
  • Certainty – Our capability to predict the future.
  • Autonomy – Our feeling of control over different situations.
  • Relatedness – Our sense of safety and connection with other people.
  • Fairness –Our perception of equitable exchange between people.

Focusing on fairness, which relates to legitimacy, is essential. Both concerned parties should feel the agreement is just and fair. The more balanced these five domains are for both sides, the greater the opportunity to build a positive relationship and reach a mutually beneficial agreement.

Relationship Building -The Foundation for Success

Whenever possible, do a thorough research on the other party beforehand. Use the online tools, connect with mutual acquaintances, and tap into your network to find common ground. Building an ethical relationship builds trust, which is essential for successful negotiation.

BATNA – Your Negotiation Lifeline

Preparation is essential before entering any negotiation process. The Harvard Negotiation Program recommends developing the “Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA)”.  Brainstorm alternative options and have a solid BATNA to gain flexibility and confidence during the negotiation. You can adapt and find other possibilities if it’s presented with unexpected offers. Ultimately, having a BATNA empowers you to walk away knowing that you did your best, even if you don’t reach your ideal result.

Crafting Options – Defining the Problem Clearly

Once you’ve defined the problem accurately, it’s necessary to brainstorm potential solutions. Evaluate every option’s financial, environmental, and social impact. Choose the most appropriate option or consider a hybrid solution that best addresses every aspect. Sometimes, redefining the problem as per the evaluation of options might be significant.

Commitments – Weighing the Long-Term

Think thoroughly about any potential agreement. You should know whether you commit entirely to what you’re offering. Consider the unforeseen circumstances that may prevent you from fulfilling your commitments.

Negotiations are all about reaching an agreement that facilitates future commitments. Just like planning for a divorce before marriage might seem counterintuitive, you should carefully consider the long-term consequences of your obligations before finalizing any agreement.

Communication – The Cornerstone of Effective Negotiation

For successful negotiations, it’s significant to consider face-to-face interaction. Virtual meetings, phone calls, and text-based communication (emails or texts) can impact the effectiveness of the negotiation. Open, honest, and transparent communication builds trust and helps with successful negotiation.

Consider incorporating these strategies and transform yourself from a reluctant negotiator into a confident deal-maker. So, next time you negotiate, follow these tips and see how you strike remarkable agreements.

Author Information – 

This article is written by Michael Gregory, a mediation and negotiation specialist dedicated to bringing out the best in others while resolving conflicts and negotiating winning solutions.