Collaborative Negotiations: How to Get What You Want by Working Together

What is Collaborative Negotiation?

Collaborative negotiation could happen when both parties have the potential for a long-term agreement, multiple and complex terms, and where trust and creativity are essential. It's important to remember that you're not just trying to get the best deal for yourself but trying to find solutions that work for both parties. Being rigid and adamant about getting your way will get you nowhere. Instead, you need to find creative solutions that meet the needs of both sides.

Some examples of collaborative negotiations include discussions about long-term partnerships, launching exclusive products at a retailer, or purchasing corporate jets.

The parties must work together to find a solution that meets their mutual needs. Otherwise, the negotiation will likely break down and could result in legal action.

How to Succeed in a Collaborative Negotiation

The key to successful negotiation is effective communication. Effective communication means clarifying what you want and why you want it. Listen carefully to what the other side is saying. It's also important to be aware of your body language and tone of voice.

It's also crucial to be willing to compromise and look for creative solutions that meet the needs of both sides. If you're not prepared to do this, the negotiation will likely break down and could even result in legal action.

Collaborative negotiations are often the most complex of any deal type. That means there will be times when you approach an impasse (for a multitude of reasons).

Here are some tips to get you over that challenge:

Summarize early and often

Be clear on all the terms you’ve aligned to (but not agreed to yet) and how far the gap is on everything else.

Take a break

Sometimes taking a step back will allow you to see the whole picture

Continue to share information

“What question should we be asking but we aren’t” is a fantastic way to get people to think outside the box.

Point out the consequences of no deal

Sometimes a quick jolt to the system about the consequences will get both parties back to the table.

If you find yourself in a complex negotiation with long-term implications, chances are you could be better off being collaborative. These types of negotiations require careful communication, openness to compromise, and creative problem-solving. If you're not prepared to do these things, the negotiation will likely break down and result in legal action. On the other hand, if you're willing to work with the other party, you can find solutions that meet everyone's needs.

Aligned DEMYSTIFIES what successful negotiation looks like