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Interests vs Position

In a negotiation and other areas of business, in addition to knowing your position; what you want, it is important that both sides also know why they want it; interests.

Position: Your pre-determined goals or what you want in the negotiation.

Interests: Your needs, desires, hopes, concerns, fears or why you want what you want. What is motivating you to negotiate?

To negotiate successfully and achieve a win-win outcome you should focus on the interests rather than the position. An open discussion of interests by both sides can help discover the reasons underlying the positions and create a variety of options and possibilities.

Next time you negotiate, dig deep and ask the other side about their interests.