Making everyone a winner may seem like an unachievable objective. Most situations tend to be zero-sum, win-lose situations. Nevertheless, win-win situations exist, and often they can be created by careful attention to people’s interests and expectations.
Professor Horacio Falcao
A win-win approach to negotiation should be based on a risk/reward standpoint. The salient question is: ‘What is the reward of moving fast in trusting (the other party) and what is the risk?’ If the deal is small, you can afford to move faster on trust and reap the rewards quicker if you are right. Conversely, you may want to be more cautious when the stakes are higher, because excess trust may just leave you with a problem.
Falcao advocates starting from a place of ‘zero trust’. “The beauty of win-win is that you don’t need trust to begin with, what is actually needed early on is interdependence”. This can be established early in the negotiation because as two people come together to negotiate, there’s at least an implicit understanding that they need one another to be better off or at least will be better off by working together.