On a daily basis, situations occur in which we want to serve our personal and business interests. Whether we call it leading, co-operation, decision making or conflict management, the common thread is that we are constantly negotiating.

Consequently, complexity rises. Interests increase, and so do the risks. Nowadays, people increasingly work in projects, with multiple stakeholders, and with ever changing partnerships. Stakeholders are becoming more demanding. Cultural differences and complex personalities also play a substantial role. And sometimes it is you who is acting difficult.

This increase in complexity demands unifying seemingly contradictions: firmness and flexibility, creativity and process management, empathy and strict on the content. Negotiation is an ‘Art & Science’, and requires a specific mind- and skillset. We are able to help you develop this skillset.

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Ons fundament voor onderhandelen
In more or less every negotiation, seven specific topics play an important role. Every topic consists of a dilemma and a principle in order to cope with the dilemma. While using these principles, we build upon the fundamentals of the Harvard methods

1. Relationship


How do we perceive each other?

Do I keep investing in the relationship, at the cost of my own interests? Or am I playing ‘hard ball’, at the cost of the relationship?


Relationship & Content

Separate the factual, substantive discussion from the relationship dynamics if progress is being comprised. Pay attention to both the relationship and the content.

2. Trust


Do we trust each other?

Is the given information the right one? Do we perceive this information in the same way, or are we biased?


Trust & Verify

Separate the personal trust from the subject matter, ask for and provide verification and build on the trust.

3. Style


Open vs Hard

Do I play the positional or constructive role? Do I immediately set boundaries or do I wait?


Interest & Positions

Focus on the interest and views that play a part, for you and for them. Avoid adopting positions and standpoints, but include them when necessary.

4. Value creation


We vs You

Are people ready to look together what’s best for both sides? Is there a will to investigate jointly how to maximise the added value?


My option vs theirs

Think up various options first, together, and then decide together which options serve the interests best.

5. Distribution


Objective vs Subjective

Who gets what? How can we share the costs AND the benefits? Should distribution be based on who shouts the loudest?


Sharing and Fairness

When sharing out the benefits and the burdens, keep it fair and use objective criteria to support your view of fairness in the decision-making

6. Position


Interdependent vs Independent

Do you take responsibility for the process, or do you leave that to them?


My BATNA vs theirs

Know your BATNA – and develop one if necessary- and be aware of theirs.

7. Proces


Our vs My

You don’t want to look to manipulative, but you do want your own interests to be served. Who leads the meeting?


Structure vs process

Bring the guides together and feel responsible for the structure and the process

You can always contact us. We would be happy to advise you.