In harsh negotiations, the secret to success stays in treating the whole process as a contest that is to be lost or won. The classic perception of a harsh negotiation is that it’s a “zero sum game.” This means that individuals involved are convinced that there’s a specific amount to be gained. The amount is desired by both parties and as soon as one side wins, the other one automatically loses. It’s just like fighting over the last piece of pie: if one gets it, the other one doesn’t. The result of zero-sum negotiation is demarcated in terms of losers and winners. One party obtains what they want and acts superior, while the other party loses and feels betrayed. Under no circumstances do both parties feel content, or that a close-to mutually favorable deal was made. One must take on the “loser” role and the other one must be the “winner.”

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