How to prepare for a win win meeting

I talk continually with clients about ‘win/win’ and the power of using this principle in plans, meetings and negotiations.

Those people who know me, will know how passionate I am about this principle, and how I teach people: ‘The only outcomes to negotiations I’ll accept is ‘win/win’ or ‘no deal today’’.

Win/win is a phrase that everyone knows, but very few people fully understand.

In my next blog, I’ll explain a little more, but, for now, here are 3 steps to ensure you prepare fully and effectively for any win/win sessions you’re due to have.

So, without any fuss here they are:

  1. Prepare at least one day before: write out your skeleton plan:
    • Intent: what’s my real intent here and how can I ensure this is an intent that the other person will be keen to achieve?
    • Desired Results:
      • What do I think their ‘Desired Results’ might be?
      • What do I think mine will be?
    • Guidelines:
      • What are the facts of the situation?
      • What points / issues do I need to make sure we talk about?
      • What questions might I need to ask?
    • Resources
      • Time: how much to allow for
      • People: who needs to be involved in any way
      • Money: what budget may be needed
      • Other: other resources that may be needed
    • Accountability
      • What would suit me?
      • What are my boundaries?
    • Consequences:
      • What else could we perhaps achieve if this goes well?
      • What are the consequences if this goes badly?
    • Logistics: what do I need to send / communicate with them before the meeting?
  2. Before the meeting, hide yourself away somewhere private to get your head in the right place: it’s hard to think win/win because you’re biologically programmed to think win/don’t care: so you need to get into a more compassionate and caring, but very firm and clear, state of mind. It’s helpful to think on the following principles:
    • This person I’m dealing with is just a person like me, with stresses and pressures, trying to do a good job (however they may define this).
    • I need to understand them first: my tools of open questions, empathy, and onion peeling are the key tools
    • Stick to the tools and let them take the stress and do the job
    • Remember to make sure I am also understood
    • Have ‘no deal today’ ready to use at any time: it’s a ‘get out of jail free’ card!
    • Do not consider any other outcome that ‘win/win’ or ‘no deal today’
  3. Take control of the start of the meeting, with courage and compassion:
    • Make sure to repeat the ‘Intent’ and check they’re OK with this: keep at it at suitable points until this is clear and agreed.
    • Do the same for the ‘Desired Results’ and ‘Possible Consequences’.
    • Both of these need to be clear and agreed between you before any ‘win/win’ meeting can really get underway with vigour and constructivity.

I find that the principle and tools of ‘win/win’ have never failed me in almost 30 years. They’ve been used to conduct tough negotiations, buy and sell businesses, invest, hire and fire, hold people accountable, solve disputes, manage break-ups and divorces … and the list could go on.

If you’d like to learn how to use the ‘win/win’ approach effectively, it’s covered in full in membership of the ‘Slow Sellers Association’, which is due for launch before the end of the year.

Keep in touch for opening offers and further blogs and podcasts on the principles and tools of win/win.

Slow Selling is a UK based not for profit organisation for leaders and managers in independent businesses.

Our systems deliver peace of mind and confidence to caring leaders and managers of start-ups and small businesses who have limited time and resources, and want to grow their business … without sacrificing principles or profits.

To find out more, please click here

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