July 23


Leadership hack 003 – the key to negotiation is understanding why someone wants something

Imagine you are a parent with two children.  They are arguing over who has the last orange.  You have been asked to intervene, which of the follow options would you choose?

  1. Don’t let either child have the orange
  2. King of Solomon style, divide the orange in two and give each of the children half an orange
  3. Decide that one of the children deserves the orange more

All of these options involve disappointment in one form or another.  What would happen if you avoided these choices and tried to understand why the children wanted the orange? Maybe, if you asked them, you would find that one wanted the rind to make a cake and the other wanted the flash to make a juice. Does this make your decision easier?

By understanding why someone wants something, you may be able to give them exactly what they want, and not what you think they want, and in doing so, you are more likely to get what you want.

While many decisions in life and business appear binary, there are usually alternative options. The art of negotiation lies within these alternative options.