5 Steps to Breakthrough Negotiation

According to Getting Past No by William Ury, a book Ive been reading and blogging about, there are 4 steps of breakthrough negotiation. These apply with your family, friends, coworkers, supervisors, or counterparts in other organizations.

  1. Go to the balcony You cant control the other persons behavior but you can control your own. When the other person says no or launches an attack, dont counterattack (although its tempting). Buy yourself some time to get to the balcony (i.e., big picture that isnt so emotionally intense) and reflect upon your interests and think through the negotiation.
  2. Step to the side Listen to the other side, acknowledge their points, and agree with them wherever you can. Instead of arguing, step to their side.
  3. Reframe when the other side takes a tough position, its tempting to reject it, but that only causes them to dig in further. Instead, reframe the conversation. Try to meet both sides interests by asking questions like What if we were go? or Why is that you want that? or What would you do if you were in my shoes?
  4. Build them a golden bridge Instead of pushing and insisting toward a specific resolution, draw the other side in the direction youd like them to go. Make it easy for them to say yes by involving them in the process and incorporating their ideas. Try to identify and satisfy their unmet interests.
  5. Use power to educate If the other side still resists, make it hard to say no. Dont threaten them or push them into a corner, but instead educate them about the costs of not agreeing. Make sure they know the golden bridge is always open. Dont escalate but use power to educate.

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