Negotiation can either be an aggressive act, focused on maintaining power and control and manipulating people, processes, and outcomes for the benefit of just one person, group or institutional structure.
Negotiation can be an assertive act, focused on growing a fixed pie, developing other resources, growing meaningful relationships, telling the truth with candor, and pushing the boundaries of innovation.
Too many people, exposed to the first kind of negotiation, replicate the worst behaviors of aggressive negotiators and then wonder why they experience winners’ curse and other kinds of psychological fallacies.
And to make matters worse, if they are informed that another way exists that works just as well with more beneficial outcomes (for instance, the second type of negotiation) they believe that the messenger is naïve, ignorant of the facts, situationally unaware, or just unempathetic to their approach to “winning” the hostile negotiation they’re currently trapped in.
Assertive negotiation requires self-awareness, storytelling, and a desire to achieve management over resolution. It means behaving in a disagreeable fashion, without going all the way to being disagreeable.
Be assertive in your negotiation. Outcomes that you want to get will thank you for it later.