Breaking Your Negotiation Strategy – Why Thinking Like a Scientist Is Key

Negotiation can be a tricky business. You want to get the best deal possible, but you also don’t want to end up with a dud of an agreement that leaves both parties worse off than when they began. So how do you ensure that your negotiation strategy is robust and effective? The answer may surprise you: think like a scientist. Instead of trying to find ways for your strategy to go right, try breaking it by identifying all the ways it could go wrong. By doing so, you’ll end up with a much more solid plan.

The Scientific Method Applied to Negotiations

The scientific method involves forming a hypothesis and then testing it in order to prove or disprove its accuracy. In negotiations, this means formulating an agreement and then testing it against potential scenarios in order to identify any weaknesses or failure points. To do this, ask yourself questions such as “What if my counterpart changes their mind? What if the market changes? What if I miss something important?” By anticipating these potential issues and working backwards from them, you can come up with more robust solutions that take into account all possibilities.

For example, let’s say you are negotiating with a supplier on pricing for your product. You think you have come up with an agreement that works for both parties—until you realize that market prices could change between now and when the product will be delivered. To address this issue, you could negotiate for flexibility in pricing based on market conditions at the time of delivery or include clauses in the contract that protect both parties from fluctuations in the market before delivery takes place.  Such strategies help protect against any surprises down the line and lead to better deals overall.

In addition to thinking like a scientist, there are several other key components of successful negotiation strategies: preparation, research, goal-setting and understanding potential risks associated with your agreement. When developing any negotiation strategy, make sure to take all these elements into account in order to develop an effective plan that meets everyone’s needs and interests while minimizing potential risks.

Another way is by looking at alternative scenarios or outcomes that may arise out of your strategy. For example, what happens if the other party refuses your offer? What alternative arrangements can you propose? By looking at different scenarios and preparing multiple contingency plans in advance, you'll be better prepared no matter what happens during negotiations and be able to react quickly if something unexpected arises during discussions. 

Whether your negotiations involve finding new suppliers or developing new partnerships with customers, thinking like a scientist is essential for ensuring success in any negotiation process. By taking time upfront to anticipate any potential problems and working backwards from those scenarios in order to create robust solutions, you will be able set realistic goals for both sides while mitigating risk as much as possible. Ultimately, this will lead to better agreements for everyone involved!

Aligned DEMYSTIFIES what successful negotiation looks like