Every good negotiator understands the value of compromise. Compromise is a basic negotiation process in which parties will have to give something up in order to reach an agreement. In compromise situations, neither party gets everything they want, but both parties make concessions in order to find a solution that is acceptable to both. Compromise can be a powerful negotiation tool, but you have to know how and when to use it. If you want to use a compromise strategy to your advantage, you need to understand how to do so effectively.
When to Use a Compromising Negotiation Style
So, how do you know when it’s time to pull out the compromising strategy during negotiations? There are a few different times in which a compromise might be needed in order to reach an agreement:
- When an urgent decision is needed and you need a temporary solution
- When a decision must be made quickly due to lack of time
- When both parties cannot come to an agreement despite lengthy negotiations
- When the other party cannot meet with you because of an unforeseen circumstance or if the decision maker is unable to be present during the negotiation meeting.
- When you want to ensure a positive, lasting relationship with the other party.
Strategies for Negotiating a Compromise
Take Your Time
Some negotiations may be time sensitive but that doesn’t mean you have to rush the process to reach an agreement as quickly as possible. Finding a mutually agreeable compromise may take a little longer than either party anticipated, but doing so will lead to more favorable outcomes for everyone involved.
Prepare in Advance
You should always have concessions prepared in advance just in case the negotiations do not go as planned. It’s safe to assume that most negotiations require a bit of give and take so preparing your concessions in advance will prevent you from giving up too much too soon. Prior to negotiating, gather as much information as possible about the other party including their desires, motivations, fears, and concerns. You need to find out what is most important to them. On that same note, you also need to prioritize your own list of needs and wants. Make a list of which items are of most value to you and which you are most willing to concede. This will help you know which items to compromise on first.
If You Give, Be Sure to Get Something in Return
An important rule of compromise is you should never give anything up without obtaining something of equal value in return. Compromise is all about ensuring that both sides are satisfied with the outcome. Again, determine what you are willing to concede beforehand and have an idea of what you want in return.
Aim to Minimize Your Losses
Compromise is all about give and take, and that means in order to gain something, you will have to give up something of value. With that in mind, remember to stay focused on your priorities and never give up too much too fast. Find out how you can concede to the other side without giving up your most valuable assets. You want to have a good understanding of which items you are willing to give up so you can mitigate your losses.