The Art of Negotiating

Negotiating. From when we were kids with our parents, to the restaurant you’ll eat at for dinner, to taking time off, to salary discussions at work, we negotiate on a near constant and daily basis. But what is the actual point to a negotiation? Many think that it is something to be won against an opponent. This actually cannot be further from the truth. The point of a negotiation is to maximize the utility for the parties involved until there is no longer additional value that can be derived from either side.

The best negotiations that I have seen both in the workplace and outside of it, have been ones that leave everyone in a better place afterward. However, I often see individuals incidentally sabotaging themselves by being either too selfish or trying to “win” in a situation that generally calls for openness and clarity in order to maximize utilities.

Every situation is different. But approaching it with an open mind and with a focus on how to provide utility for everyone generally proves helpful.