When you drill down to the core, there are really only 2 types of negotiations that could potentially lead to a resolution.
Type 1: The Win-Win
The first is based on both parties working towards an agreement that is agreeable to all. Side A gives a little to get a little. Likewise, Side B’s compromise is rewarded with something that benefits them.
You may have heard the George R.R. Martin quote:
“A fair bargain leaves both sides unhappy”
Both sides may recognize points of leverage but they don’t use them to bludgeon the other to death. In the interest of keeping the negotiation moving forward with some sort of goodwill, they accept the give and take that will naturally happen.
Side B receives a counter-offer and while frustrated, they hopefully can employ some empathy and big picture thinking in order to respond.
Likewise, Side B doesn’t make offers with 4 or 5 other parties simultaneously in order to see who submits first. They dance with the partner they’re dancing with.
The closing date is a week later than we want but they’ll leave the washer and dryer behind. While we compromised on a few things, when the dust settles, we’re happy with the end result.
Type 2: The Win-Lose
At its worst, the negotiation is based on destroying the other side. There is a lot of ego and one up/one down involved. The only way I can win is if you lose.
Side B will say or do whatever needs to be done in order to smash through their agenda. They burn bridges, weaken trust and leave a trail of destruction behind them. They love to flex their muscles.
This style gives a 20-minute irrevocable on an offer (quick expiration time). They want those bar stools and they don’t care of any family connection to them.
They hold press conferences and belittle or publicly call out their peers or adversaries. They are brazen and indifferent to the fall-out from their misguided actions.
They will demand something gets included into an agreement not because they need it but because they want it as yet another ‘win’. Another example of Side B being up here while Side A is left down there as the loser.
And then they like to tell people how great they’ve done. They won after all.
Here’s the deal though. As some may find Type 2 to be the more impressive style, Type 1 gets more deals done every day. Type 1 moves forward and sees a solution. Type 2 creates havoc and loses opportunities. Type 1 facilitates while Type 2 destroys.
Make no mistake. Type 2 can get deals done too but in the end, with more collateral damage and long-term issues than Type 1.
I would submit the 45th President of the United States as a great example of why Type 2 isn’t the route you want to take.
When in doubt, search for the road that leads to win-win, even if it comes with a smidgeon of ‘unhappy’.
And…the 3rd obvious permutation of this concept is the Lose-Lose which while possible, for our purposes (real estate), is a negotiation where everyone loses. Sort of like a broken teeter-totter where both ends are touching the ground.
And and…within each ‘Type’ of negotiation, there are countless routes and directions to go depending on who you are dealing with. That’s where things get interesting and the winners win just a little bit more than the other winner.
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