.In his latest book , Nalebuff argues that considering the collective’s needs is the most productive way to problem solve. Unfortunately, few people and practically no businesses approach discussions with this mindset, a problem he’s intent on changing. “One of the reasons that people dislike negotiation is that they feel taken advantage of,” explains Nalebuff in his interview with host Tristan Ahumada. The feeling of disenfranchisement is even greater when people assume they don’t have power in a dispute.
He says that many people underestimate the value they’re bringing to the table. “The whole goal of negotiation is to beat what you can get with no deal,” Nalebuff says. “And each party is equally needed to make that happen.” He believes that the smaller party in a dispute has just as much power as the larger party if they really understand what the negotiation is about. Consider Nalebuff’s example in which two people, Alice and Bob, must decide how many slices of pizza they each get out of a 12-slice pie.
If they fail to come to an arrangement, Alice will walk away with four slices and Bob with two. It might seem like Alice has the upper hand in this situation, but only if you discount the remaining six slices. What Alice and Bob should be doing is agreeing to find a way to split the remaining six slices equally. In order to maximize the amount of pizza they each get, Alice and Bob , embrace openness and imagine the possibilities. Most people have been taught that it’s smart to withhold information in a negotiation—that secrecy gives them power.
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