How to Dramatically Improve Your Negotiating with This Simple Technique

Negotiation is a back-and-forth communication that is designed to reach an agreement among parties that have both shared and differing interests.

We all deal with negotiating each day, whether on simple matters like what to eat for dinner to complex decisions involving high stakes business matters with multiple parties.

The purpose of negotiations is to produce wise agreements as efficiently as possible while maintaining or strengthening relationships.

Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In
By Roger Fisher, William L. Ury, Bruce Patton

For many, the traditional or “default” method of negotiation is positional bargaining, where each side takes a specific position followed by a series of concessions. Some will approach these types of negotiations very passively in hopes of being cooperative while others will be very aggressive and seek to “win.”

Positional bargaining can work in some situations but generally, results in

  1. unoriginal, narrow results,
  2. expenditure of significant time and energy, and
  3. dissatisfaction and even resentment among the parties.

The Principled Method of Negotiations, as set forth in Getting to Yes, by Ury, Fischer, and Patton,  outlines a framework to get better results by focusing negotiation strategies on People, Interests, Options, and Criteria.

In this brief podcast, we specifically look at what “Interests” are, and what it means to focus on interests (not positions) to get better results from your negotiations. 

This is the first in a series of short posts that will focus on improving your negotiations skills.  In our next post we explore the idea of understanding your “Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement.” 

About the Author

Seth Sinclair


Seth Sinclair is a leadership coach, management consultant, trainer, and facilitator with a passion for helping his clients achieve their personal and professional goals. Reach out by emailing him at or learn more on our About page.