How Can You Get To “Win-Win”?

If you want to achieve a win-win outcome, you have to let the other side know it
If you want to achieve a win-win outcome, you have to let the other side know it
Image Credit: Epic Top 10

Hopefully by now we all know what win-win negotiating is all about. When we enter into a negotiation hoping to achieve a win-win outcome, we want to get the best deal possible for ourselves while at the same time leaving the other side feeling that the negotiation went well for them also. Although this may be a good goal to have, it can often turn out to be difficult to do because of the competitive nature of most negotiations. If win-win is something that we really want, just exactly what do we need to do during a negotiation in order to achieve it?

Making Win-Win Work

In your next negotiation, achieving win-win conflict resolution can be elusive. However, just by simply advertising the fact that you’re looking for a win-win situation may be half the battle. When we are in a negotiation and we are looking for ways to get the other side to agree to a win-win outcome, we need to understand just exactly how we can get to where we want to be. Making this happen requires us to fully understand both what a win-win agreement is and what it may mean to the other side. If we can master both of these understandings, then we are on our way to being able to achieve a win-win outcome.


The first thing that we need to understand if we want a win-win outcome to our next negotiation is that we have to consider how to explicitly convey our desire to work toward an agreement. It is very important that the other side have a clear understanding of what we are trying to get out of the negotiation that they are involved in. If they don’t know what we are trying to do, then they may not know what actions they can take to help us be successful. There are a number of different ways that we can go about communicating our goals to the other side. One of the most powerful techniques that we have available to us is to make a public statement of what our intentions are. Because public statements commit us to follow through (or be branded a liar), they can send a powerful signal to the other side.


I’m pretty sure that we all realize that the outcome of a negotiation is often determined by things that happen far away from the negotiating table. What this means for you when you want to be able to achieve a win-win outcome for your next negotiation is that you have some homework that you will need to do. You are going to have to take steps before the negotiations begin. One of the most effective things that you can do is to set up a win-win negotiation strategy by asking influential supporters to make your case back home. If done correctly, then this can cause your negotiation to start off on the right footing and may allow you to reach your win-win outcome more easily.


Finally, we also have to realize that any deal that we are able to reach with the other side at the negotiating table is only the start of a much longer process. The deal that we’ve been able to agree to will then have to be accepted by others prior to the final signatures being added to the appropriate documents. What this means for us is that in addition to paying attention to the negotiation that we are working on, we have another responsibility. We need to be focusing on terms you can sell to your constituents. We are going to have to get their buy in if we want our win-win outcome to be accepted. The best deals lessen the odds of rejection by outside parties.

What All Of This Means For You

When we enter into a negotiation, we are always looking for a way to get a result that will benefit us. If we are also able to create a solution that will meet the needs of the other side, then we may just have created a win-win negotiating outcome. However, in order to make that happen we need to have a good understanding of both what a win-win result looks like and how to make it happen.

Communication is the cornerstone of any negotiation. This means that we need to make sure that we let the other side know that we are seeking a win-win outcome to the negotiation that we are currently engaged in. Understanding that factors outside of our negotiation may have an impact on the negotiation means that we need to ask supporters to make our case for us outside of the negotiations. We also have to realize that any win-win agreement will have to be accepted by others and so we need to make sure that the terms of the agreement will be able to sold to our team.

A win-win negotiating outcome is the best of both worlds for each side. We can be confident that the other side will be willing to implement the agreement if they feel as though it’s a good deal for them. The key is that we need to make sure that we understand how to go about securing a win-win agreement. If we follow these suggestions, then the outcome of our next negotiation should be a win-win for both sides.

– Dr. Jim Anderson Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Negotiating Skills™

Question For You: What do you think is the best way to let the other side know that you want to reach a win-win agreement with them?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

If you want your next negotiation to turn out successfully, you are going to have to be willing to make an investment into it. What you are going to have to do is to find a way to build trust. Trust is something that is critical to any agreement that you will be able to reach with the other side. Your challenge is that we often don’t start a negotiation with a great deal of trust on either side. Trust has to be built. How can we make this happen?