Having an open-minded perspective is important for all participants in a negotiation to maximize the likelihood of reaching a win-win solution. People with an open-minded perspective typically are more likely to realize there is a “greater good” to be had beyond just “what they want.” This lays the groundwork for collaboration and reduces the pressure to “win at the cost of the other party.” The greater good in this context is a solution where there is enough success for everyone and there is much room for growth. Asking inquisitive questions and making sure all answers are as complete as possible help foster an open-minded perspective.
Aim to collaborate, not just cooperate. These 2 terms are considered roughly the same in most contexts, but in the workplace, especially as they pertain to negotiations, they are very different guiding principles. A negotiation guided by collaboration can achieve win-win while one that is guided by cooperation, while still better than some alternatives, typically ends with each side being somewhat satisfied because they “met in the middle.” This is mostly because people can be cooperating but still competing and trying to win at the cost of the other party. It is a scarcity mindset. Collaboration is a principle where, again, a “greater good” can be had and there is near-limitless room for growth.
Lastly, handling some of the smaller logistical factors will help facilitate win-win solutions. Ensure that there is enough time for the negotiation or series of negotiations to reduce the pressure of needing to “get the win for your side quickly before you run out of time and get the win for the other side later if time permits.” Avoid using personal criticism or jumping on the blame train. When it comes to language, use more “we” and “us” pronouns instead of “you” and “I.”