Philosophy: We negotiate all day, every day. With our family, our co-workers and people who supply us with our daily goods and services. Most of these negotiations are subtle and don’t result in money or visible value changing hands.

Most people don’t think they are good negotiators because they have had an experience of being taken advantage of by a ruthless and sometimes unprincipled counterpart. But ruthless negotiation isn’t successful in the long term. Whenever you have been taken advantage of in a negotiation, even if you seemed to accept the outcome at the time, when you thought about it, you began to find ways to get out of the agreement—to not keep up your part of the bargain. This is why “I win, you lose” negotiations only look successful in the short term.

The only successful negotiation process is “I win, you win.” People who dismiss this as Pollyanna dreaming are misreading the statement. It doesn’t say “I lose, you win.” It says we both win. I get what I want—so do you. There can be no more powerful outcome in any negotiation. And because we both have what we want, we can support each other in the inevitable work that is the result of a good negotiation.

The best success strategy is to listen for interests and ignore positions. Most position statements "I need x or I walk out of the room" or "Here is my offer. Take it or leave it." Don't touch on the real interests behind them. You have to go deeper to find out what satisfies the personal and organizational interests. The skill here is to listen without being hooked by a negative emotion. Then, avoiding a fight, you can get to the heart of the negotiation quickly.