I win, you lose!
Posted at 00:01:48 by Jacky Leonard
“Fairness is not an attitude. It is a professional skill that must be developed and exercised.” ~ Brit Hume
I’d like to think many of you have a fairness value; mine runs through my DNA. Its real importance to you, as with many of your other values, will often only become apparent when you feel it’s being trampled on.
The best negotiations are when both parties feel they have won. You can walk away satisfied that you’ve been heard, treated with respect and benefitted from the exchange. Win-Win! I’ve witnessed, on more than one occasion, cases where one party has walked away rubbing their hands in glee, while the other sits looking a little confused and eventually feeling they’ve been shafted. Win-Lose!
If you’re the winner in this scenario, you’re sense of satisfaction is usually short lived as, even if your ‘opponent’ didn’t fully realise the significance of the interaction at the time, they soon will and they’re unlikely to trust, or do business with you again.
Consider this personal scenario…you want to go to the cinema with your partner, but they want to have a quiet evening in with you. What will often happen is one or other of you will ‘compromise’ i.e. do what the other one wants. That’s OK until you start to feel you’re always the one doing the compromising. What happens then is you begin to resent your partner. After all it’s not fair! Why should they always get their own way at your expense? Win-Lose! Sometimes, even if you’re the one who won the exchange you may feel guilty, so you both feel put out. Lose-Lose! So what’s the answer? Stephen Covey called it synergy. It’s an opportunity for values to be shared and outcomes to be aligned to achieve a win-win.
Let’s look at that scenario again. This time let’s consider what both parties might have wanted. If, for example, what’s important is that you both spend quality time with each other, what you actually do becomes less of an issue. You are now much more open to find an alternative activity that suits you both e.g. a drink at your local followed by a good movie on TV.
Next time you find yourself in negotiation, try to establish what’s important to you and the other party first. You may find it far easier to reach a mutually satisfactory outcome.