Why Win-Lose Doesn’t Work In Negotiations

Unfortunately many people approach negotiation as though it is a win-lose type of situation. The fact is this is not an appropriate way to view negotiations at all. It is not about one person giving up while the other person takes it all. Rather, it is about defining needs and working cohesively in order to meet those needs.

It can damage relationships.
Perhaps the biggest problem with this type of negotiation is that while one side wins, the other loses. This is a sure fire way to damage future relationships. Think about it…would you want to do business with someone if you felt like they defeated you? Instead, it is important that both parties feel as though they are walking away as winners.
It leads to refusal.
All too often win-lose negotiations will cause one party to just walk away. It can become frustrating and difficult and this oftentimes leads to one side refusing the proposal altogether. When people feel frustrated and angry it becomes much less likely that an agreement will be reached.

It leads to conflict.
Win-lose negotiation tactics leave one side feeling as though they have to defend themselves. This will certainly put a bitter taste in their mouth. As both parties attempt to prove their point, they tend to lead with their emotions and the situation can sometimes get heated.

The compromise might not be the best solution.
When two parties have worked tirelessly to convince the other, they oftentimes reach an agreement out of exhaustion. That said, the compromise might not be the best possible solution for either party. It is much better to present a clearly defined mission and allow the other side to decide if that is something that is beneficial to them.

Instead of using a win-lose negotiation approach, professionals should aim toward a win-win approach. This involves seeking a resolution that is beneficial to both sides. This is done when negotiators focus on maintaining strong relationships while focusing on the other’s needs. You can also reach a win-win solution by offering a variety of options in order to find gains for both sides. The goal of negotiation is to find an agreeable solution that is beneficial for everyone.