Is Win-Win the Ideal Outcome?

When it comes to negotiation or mediation there is usually at least two parties that are trying to sort through what the ideal outcome should be. There are a number of outcomes that come through negotiation or mediation, but which one is right for you? Some may say that you should Win at all costs. However is this best? Let’s look at some other options.

The outcomes can be win or lose for each party. Therefore the outcomes may be:
Lose-Lose
Win-Lose
Lose-Win
Win-Win

Lose-Lose is when both parties do not receive outcomes that satisfy each party. This may be the outcome in some situations, however it is not sustainable. It will not be long until both parties are in conflict as they each feel ripped off by the situation. One of the worst elements of Lose-Lose is that as time goes on both parties are going to end up more aggressive and more emotional towards the other party. This will lead to the further damaging of the relationship.

Win-Lose is when you win, however the other party loses. You may say, at least I have a win. However you have won at the expense of the long term relationship. This means that the other party is less likely to do business with you in the future and you have damaged the relationship, which in the long run damages you. Hence Win-Lose is short term and in the long term ends up being Lose-Lose.

Lose-Win is when you lose and the other party wins. This is also short term, as you will not want to maintain this position and you will either fight back or move your business to another party in the future. Once again this will lead to Lose-Lose in the longer term.

Win-Win is when both parties win. This seems like the ideal situation, which of course it is ideal. Both parties are satisfied with the outcome and the relationship is being built on. The long term outcome is also looking bright. This is certainly an ideal situation.

However what happens when one or both of the parties cannot agree? When the process of negotiation gets to the point that neither party is willing to budge, then we need to look at a third way. This is no Deal. If the relationship is not at the point where we can achieve Win-Win then any other option other than “No Deal” will damage the relationship further over the longer term. As all the other options lead to Lose-Lose in the longer term.

In concluding then we should aim in our negotiations for Win-Win or No Deal. That way we either build the relationship or at least prevent further damage to the relationship. This may not seem easy to implement in the short term, however it is a strategy that will over the longer term pay large dividends and strengthen your relationships.

Created by: Attila Ovari
© Attila & Kim Ovari 2012. The content of this Article may be reproduced with permission of the author. Correct as at 19 May 12

Other articles on leadership can be found at:
Leadership or Management?
Lessons in Persistence from Tiffy
Personal Development Lessons From Ice Skating

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