Negotiations are everywhere - but is it just a matter of ripping off the other party? No, says Badr Moudden. And he invokes the tried-and-tested Harvard principle. The system is explained also by simple pictures.
Not like this! Bringing negotiations to a good end can be difficult. The Harvard method is designed to help
Düsseldorf - Whether in shady bazaars, at the polished tables of politics or in the closed boardrooms of business - negotiations take place everywhere and at all times. But how do you bring a negotiation to a good end? What happens when the other party goes on the blink? Then you must stay calm and consider all options. And that also means letting talks fail if necessary.
The Harvard Principle, which first put such considerations into a coherent concept, has been around since the early 1980s. Its core idea - both negotiating partners should derive the greatest possible mutual benefit from an agreement. And they should do so in such a way that they can still look each other in the eye afterwards.
The standard problem in negotiating
K2MATCH Voices: Badr, a negotiation is actually quite simple. Two people with different interests talk about the same thing and both move toward each other. Why does that fail so often?
Badr Moudden: Negotiations often fail because the parties persist in their positions. And there is often no attempt to find out what the motives or motivations are behind the respective positions.
Problem case psyche
K2MATCH Voices: But can a principle undermine the human psyche? In the stock market, this only works to a certain extent - greed and fear always gain the upper hand there, too, even through sophisticated systems.
Badr Moudden: The Harvard Principle does not undermine the human psyche but uses it in a positive sense. It promotes empathy and open exchange with the "other party," which leads to finding creative solutions that satisfy both parties.
The dreaded “concrete head”
K2MATCH Voices: Does it matter whether the other person also knows the Harvard principle? And does the system also work if the other person doesn't play along - is the notorious "concrete head"?
Badr Moudden: No, it doesn't matter if one party doesn't know the method. The one with this knowledge responds to the needs of the other and picks him up there.
Thinking in alternatives
K2MATCH Voices: And the "concrete head"?
Badr Moudden: For the possible encounter with a "concrete head", the method recommends preparing a BATNA (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement) in advance as a personally empowering wild card to be able to break off the negotiation, should that become necessary.
K2MATCH Voices: What is actually the most commonly cited misconception about the principle?
Badr Moudden: Most people think that every negotiation must be concluded. But that's a misconception: "No deal is better than a bad deal," is why it's said. A negotiation should be terminated if no overlap of the parties' ideas can be found.
Simple and easy as children building set
K2MATCH Voices: How easy is the Harvard principle to implement in everyday life?
Badr Moudden: Since this method aims for a win-win outcome and promotes constructive and collaborative engagement, it is very easy to integrate into everyday life.
The main thing is that both are satisfied
K2MATCH Voices: Many strategies advertise "a 30 percent increase in sales." What does the Harvard Principle throw into the balance?
Badr Moudden: The Harvard Principle enables 100 percent retention of personal relationships and lays the foundation for a long-term business relationship. 100 percent of the deals achieved are done satisfactorily for both parties.