Whether you are negotiating with your boss, a hostage-taker, or your teenager, the basic principles remain the same. In summary, the five steps of breakthrough nego-tiation are.
I. Go to the Balcony. The first step is not to control the other person`s behavior. It is to control your own. When the other person says no or launches an attack, you may be stunned into giving in or counterattacking. So suspend your reaction by naming the game. Then buy yourself time to think. Use the time to reflect about your interests and your BATNA. Throughout the negotiation, keep your eyes on the prize. Instead of getting mad or getting even, focus on getting what you want. Don`t react: Go to the balcony.
2. Step to Their Side. Before you can negotiate, you need to create a favorable climate. You need to defuse the anger, fear, hostility, and suspicion on the other side. They expect you to attack or to resist. So do the opposite. Listen to them, acknowledge their points, and agree with them wherever you can. Acknowledge their authority and com-petence too. Don`t argue: Step to their side.
3. Reframe. The next challenge is to change the game. When the other side takes a hard-line position, you may be tempted to reject it, but this usually only leads them to dig in further. Instead direct their attention to the chal-lenge of meeting each side`s interests. Take whatever they say and reframc it as an attempt to deal with the problem. Ask problem-solving questions, such as "Why is it that you want that?" or "What would you do if you were in my shoes?" or ``What if we were to ... ?" Rather than trying to teach the other side yourself, let the problem be their teacher. Reframe their tactics, too, by going around their stone walls, deflecting their attacks, and exposing their tricks. Don`t reject: Reframe.
4. Build Them a Golden Bridge. At last you`re ready to negotiate. The other side, however, may stall, not yet con-vinced of the benefits of agreement. You may be tempted to push and insist, but this will probably lead them to harden and resist. Instead, do the opposite-draw them in the direction you would like them to go. Think of your-self as a mediator whose job is to make it easy for them to say yes. Involve them in the process, incorporating their ideas. Try to identify and satisfy their unmel interests, particularly their basic human needs. Help them save face and make the outcome appear as a victory for them. Go slow to go fast. Don`t push: Build them a golden bridge.
5. Use Power to Educate. If the other side still resists and thinks they can win without negotiating, you need to ed-ucate them to the contrary. You need to make it hard for them to say no. You could use threats and force, but these often backfire; if you push them into a corner, they will likely lash out, throwing even more resources into the fight against you. Instead, educate them about the costs of not agreeing. Ask reality-testing questions, warn rather than threaten, and demonstrate your BATNA. Use it only if necessary, and minimize their resistance by exercising re-straint and reassuring them that your goal is mutual sat-isfaction, not victory. Make sure they know the golden bridge is always open. Don`t escalate: Use power to edu-cate.
From Adversaries to Partners
It takes two to tangle, but it takes only one to begin to untangle a knotty situation. It is within your power to trans-form even your most difficult relationships. Your greatest power is the power to change the game-from face-to-face confrontation to side-by-side joint problem-solving. Ob-structing the path are formidable barriers: your natural reactions, their hostile emotions, their positional behavior, their strong dissatisfaction, and their perceived power. You can overcome these barriers by applying the strategy of breakthrough negotiation. You don`t have to take no for an answer.
During the American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln made a speech in which he referred sympathetically to the Southern rebels. An elderly lady, a staunch Unionist, up-braided him for speaking kindly of his enemies when he ought to be thinking of destroying them. His reply was classic: "Why, madam," Lincoln answered, "do I not de-
-stroy my enemies when I make them my friends?"
The breakthrough strategy is designed to do precisely that-to destroy your adversaries by turning them into your negotiating partners.