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Leadership Tips: Identify Your Needs in Negotiation

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Every day we negotiate. We negotiate at work, in relationships, and in our community.

Where in your life would you like to improve your negotiations?  At work? At home?

Wherever it is, negotiations are a very powerful way to enrich relationships. They are opportunities for all parties to be in a better place than before the conversation. What often gets in the way during negotiation conversations is when one or both parties get stuck on a fixed outcome.

In Fierce Negotiations, we define a position as a fixed idea of the tangible results you want. On the other hand, a need is a tangible plus intangible result. Need involves the motivation supporting the desire to make the deal. In their very nature, needs will always outweigh positions, because they are attached to emotions.

For a simple example, if we are negotiating a location for an annual retreat – it is much harder to find a solution if we stay in stuck positions. Say you want Orlando, and I want Scottsdale. There is really no place to go from there (literally and figuratively). However, if we explore needs, like the desire to be in warm weather, then possibilities open up for where we can both potentially be satisfied. The goal is to blend each other’s needs.

This week’s tip is to identify your needs before negotiating. If you concentrate on the other’s needs and your own – instead of a position – the conversation will most likely take you to a place you may not have predicted.

Where will you go in your negotiations this week?


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