Framing a negotiation

We usually think of negotiations as two or more parties sitting around a table with a juicy orange in the center. This one orange is going to be shared among the parties. Each party’s aim is to secure the most number of slices for themselves.

Seen this way, each party’s aim is to put the other ones down, so that they can justify taking the larger share.

Yet, that orange has the potential to be planted, cared for, and yield a steady supply of oranges in the future. The negotiation could also be about saving the seeds, planting them and ensuring the right conditions for them to sprout, grow and eventually blossom.

Framed the second way, each party sees the other’s hidden potential. The atmosphere in the room turns into one of collaboration, trust and respect.

The best negotiations are the ones where all parties emerge feeling better about themselves. 

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