Getting to “Yes”: Interest-Based Negotiations

Negotiations are a part of everyday life. Learning to negotiate effectively, beyond the traditional compromise between points A and B, is a skill that will help any professional get more of what they want, when they want it. “Getting to “Yes”: Interest-Based Negotiations” actively engaged participants with the presentation of four key principles to help them successfully navigate any negotiation.
Lynn Fick-Cooper of the Center for Creative Leadership coupled insider advice with partner and group activities. “We are going to learn to how get to success. We are going to talk through it and then apply it,” she said.
Fick-Cooper outlined the three criteria by which any method of negotiation could be fairly judged: It should produce wise agreement, it should be efficient, and it should improve—or at least not damage—the relationship between parties. These criteria help ensure that the negotiation will be durable. “The reality is that everyone’s interests can’t always be met in the fullest. It isn’t just that I’m saying yes right now, but when I leave this room, forget about it. It needs to be self-sustained or sustainable.”
Fick-Cooper spoke to traditional positional bargaining and how the game changing model, Getting to Yes, by Roger Fisher and William Ury is more effective. Positional bargaining doesn’t adequately account for complex situations and consequences. “What we are doing here with the Aligning Forces for Quality Movement is more complex. If we use positional bargaining to spread our work with the community and partners, we won’t get where we need to be. We need wise agreements here,” she said.
The “Getting to Yes” model is outlined around four principles:
Separate people from the problem
Focus on interests, not positions
Invent options for mutual gain
Insist on using objective criteria
To negotiate effectively, Fick-Cooper recommended empathizing, rather than escalating. To encourage a smooth process, understanding the difference between interests and positions is critical. “When we define problems in terms of positions, someone ‘loses’ the dispute. When a problem is defined in terms of underlying interests, it is often possible to find a solution to satisfy both parties’ interests,” she said. Fick-Cooper involved participants in every step of the negotiation process.
Session members partnered up and shared stories about a current negotiation situation in which they needed to achieve a mutual agreeable outcome with someone else. After moving around the room for group discussions and activities, members rounded back with their original partners to apply the learned principles in a mock negotiation. Every meeting attendee was provided with a complimentary copy of Fisher and Ury’s Getting to Yes.

Lynn Fick-Cooper brings more than 20 years of experience in leadership positions from a variety of organizations, including directing government and community affairs for the Greensboro Area Chamber of Commerce; serving as chief marketing officer for Huthwaite, a sales research and training firm outside Washington, DC;

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 @CodyRBarnett: Being at the table isn't enough. People want to meaningfully engage at the table. Take advantage of those at your table. #AF4Q


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