As John Mackey and Raj Sisodia point out in their recent book; ‘Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business’, “Win-win relationships between all stakeholders correlate to better customer experiences, less employee turnover, higher engagement, lower overhead, higher profits and sustained growth.”
Simply pointing out the benefit to the other side, if they join you in your outcome, can determine the result. Sometimes win-wins are not obvious.
Here is an example from a participant in our “Negotiation Excellence” seminar that I taught at the United Nations. A representative from a small African country asked me to have a drink after class. He wanted to ask me how to ask his boss for a raise.
“Do you need more money to live on in New York?” I replied, looking for more information.
“No. No. I have plenty of money. I need a raise in my designated level. I am a 3, and I need to be a 5 to negotiate with key people in other countries.”
“3’s cannot negotiate with 5’s?”
“That’s right. We can say, “Hello”, but we cannot negotiate a contract or agreement.”
“Why wouldn’t your boss raise you a level?”
“ I have only been here a few months. Takes time to earn a new level. Traditionally, you only get raised one level at a time. He may think I am after his job.”
“Of course not. He is a 6, and all I want is to be able to represent my country in negotiations with 5’s. That’s where the important agreements are finalized.”
“Would it be helpful to him if you could negotiate with these other delegates?”
“Of course, yes.”
“Then open your request with this, the advantages to him of your being a 5.”
“Good idea. He knows, deep down, I do not want his job. It’s a hard job.”
“Then do it.” He paid for the drinks.
The next morning in class, his voice reflected his excitement and enthusiasm as he told the class about his early meeting with his boss in which he showed his boss how moving him up two levels would benefit his country and his boss. He got the new designation, and I got a class of non-resisters to our modules on outcome setting and dove-tailing (win-win outcomes).
Any time you are helping the other person attain their goals at the same time you attain your own goals, you are setting up a win-win, and taking responsibility for yourself and for them. This works to make the agreement hold up, every time.