William Ury: “Successful Negotiations” – Entrepreneurs News

William Ury, internationally recognized as one of the greatest specialists in the area of ​​negotiation and conflict management, explained that there is a revolution taking place in the way of negotiating that involves the search for mutual benefit.Corporate advantage lies in the ability to cooperate, even with competitors“, he claimed.

The author of «Yes… okay! How to negotiate without giving in», He emphasized that the key is in the mentality with which you are going to negotiate. “Before we divide up the cake… why don’t we see if we can make it bigger….?”, and pointed out that achieving the above implies looking for other alternatives and solutions.

“When you are about to engage in a negotiation, Ury pointed out, dYou have to ask yourself: How is this going to help me? How much am I interested in my own benefit? Or, on the contrary, do I only show interest in the client and forget to look out for my company?; the specialist indicated that the challenge is to reach an optimal agreement in which the gain is mutual, which is achieved by taking into account both the interests of the other and one’s own. In addition, Ury commented, we do not negotiate with computers, but with human beings who have emotions.

Ury presented a 7-step scheme to be successful in a negotiation:

7 steps of negotiation

1) Go out to the balcony

It means, in the middle of the negotiation, having the ability to distance yourself a little and think: why am I here? This gives you more perspective and allows you to stay calm. Going to the mental terrace means seeing the negotiation from above… It doesn’t eliminate reactions, but it does give you a pause. “You buy time to think and let the anger subside,” explained Ury, who has participated as a mediator in ethnic conflicts.

2) Put yourself on the opponent’s side.

It is about doing exactly the opposite of what the other party expects. It is the ability, explained Ury, to understand the other person and put yourself in their shoes. Here, he gave an example of a real event: an employee who attended to customers on the phone, who always had strong complaints. What the employee did was wait for a pause in which the customer breathed, to ask him if he had paper and pencil at hand. Then, the customer, annoyed, generally responded: why? To which the answer was: so that he can write down my home phone number and call me at any time, if he has a problem again. Ury stressed that the employee had known how to surprise the enemy and put himself on his side. The result was that the only time he was called at home was to offer him a job.
Ury also stressed that it is necessary to be able to see both points of view, not just your own. He also said that negotiators listen more than they talk and go further by building trust while defending their side. “Successful negotiators are soft on people and tough on the problem”he emphasized.

Related article: William Ury: Without communication there is no negotiation

3) Focus on the interests behind the positions

Position is reflected in specific demands or stances, while interests are underlying motivations – needs, desires, fears and concerns.
You have to ask: Why?, what for?, why not? And say to the other person: “Help me understand your needs… what would you achieve with this?” said the speaker, which can allow you to see other parallel options that benefit both parties. “Don’t reject, redirect.”
As an example, Ury recounted the case of a businessman who was selling his company and asked for an additional 10% because when he retired he planned to finance an environmental fund and dedicate himself to this activity for the rest of his life. During the negotiation, when this was discovered, it turned out that the purchasing company was forming an environmental protection association, which meant that instead of the additional percentage, they offered the businessman the presidency of said organization, thus obtaining a benefit for everyone.

4) Invent options for mutual gains

You have to be creative and apply creativity in negotiation. “The biggest obstacle to invention and creativity is the inner voice that says, “That can’t be done.”said Ury, who stressed that brainstorming should be encouraged.

5) Use objective criteria to decide what is fair.

There must be fairness in negotiations. The criteria that can be analyzed are very diverse, from market value and costs, to laws and efficiency, passing through aspects such as: reciprocity, equal treatment and scientific judgment, among others, indicated the co-founder of the Negotiation Program at Harvard University.

6) Know your BATNA

The power of negotiation is influenced by what each party considers their BATNA (Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement).
That is, the best course of action to take if you do not reach an agreement. Or, to put it in a question: What to do if the negotiation fails? It is also important to define the minimum that you would accept, in addition to having other alternatives, such as mediation.

Related article: Five keys to negotiation for entrepreneurs

7) Build a golden bridge

Ury said: “On a cliff full of insecurities, try to understand the needs of the other and make it attractive to say yes”.

Transforming the enemy

How do we turn the villain into our best friend? he asked himself. “By giving him the attention and security he needs.” Finally, William Ury shared an anecdote that a lady told him in which the entire negotiation process can be observed: the lady told him about her father, who participated in the Second World War and was taken prisoner. The Germans were going to kill him. The first thing the prisoner did was go out onto the balcony and start negotiating; then, he put himself in the enemy’s place and began to speak to him in his own language: German; he also focused on the enemy’s interests and asked him: why are you interested in killing us? What if they impeach you later? Then, he invented options that could benefit both parties: he told the enemy that he would remember him and that after the war, if the opportunity arose, he would speak in his favor. Result: He knew how to negotiate! They set him free; indeed, after the war, they spoke in favor of the lieutenant who spared his life and, apparently, they even ended up being friends.