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How to achieve Win-Win negotiations

We all need to negotiate. Sometimes this is informal and more like a discussion or debate but sometimes it is very important and more formal and will lead to a contract agreement.

Win-Lose describes the Zero Sum Game where whatever one side wins is a loss or lost opportunity to the other side.

On the other hand a Non-Zero Sum game describes a situation where both sides win something of value to them even if they do not achieve a fully optimum result in the short term.

Negotiations are to a great extent about preparation and controlled interaction, as well as managed process during the negotiation.

There is skill, as well as tactics and game playing, in some of these situations but the argument is that for your critical business to business contracts it is better to look for a collaborative solution and a Win-Win outcome than to play adversarial, short term, maximising games.

Watch this animation on ‘Negotiation’ (4:45s), which is available on YouTube, and was produced in collaboration with the World Bank Institute.

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This article is from the free online course:

Contract Management: Building Relationships in Business

University of Southampton