One of the tenets behind a win-win negotiation is that all parties must be satisfied with the deal. It isn’t a win if someone feels he/she got the short end of stick, right?

In fact, Dr. Chester L. Karrass writes the following in his book “In Business as in Life, You Don’t Get What You Deserve, You Get What You Negotiate:”

The basic principle of win-win negotiating is that there is ALWAYS a bigger and better deal for both parties if they are willing to search for it. Both buyer and seller increase their PROFIT and SATISFACTION without hurting each other.

Maurice E. Schweitzer has an interesting take on satisfaction, in this article on the Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation website. He writes that satisfaction is important because this ensures that the parties will uphold their contractual negotiations more readily and also, that the other party will likely recommend you/refer business to you AND seek you out as a partner for future negotiations.

Clearly, satisfaction is a key component of a successful negotiation. How do you ensure it? Schweitzer writes that negotiators must manage expectations, both before and during a negotiation. There are ways of doing this. For instance, Schweitzer writes:

Your reaction to an opening offer can also influence your counterpart’s expectations. By reacting with a surprised look, a laugh, or a flinch, you can lower your counterpart’s expectations about the feasible bargaining zone. Conversely, by appearing very cooperative or particularly eager for agreement, you may raise your counterpart’s expectations.

Dr. Karrass also writes about expectations. He says:

Every demand, concession, threat, delay, piece of information, deadline, authority limit and question has an effect on people’s expectations.

Being able to  manage expectations is a necessary skill that  help you reach a satisfactory deal. What are your thoughts?

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