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When Pyrrhus, ruler of Epirus, defeated superior Roman forces in a famous battle at Asculum, he gazed at his decimated troops and said, "Another victory such as this and we are lost."
The fruits of win-at-all-costs negotiating methods are Pyrrhic victories--that is, heavy losses negate the gains. To truly win at negotiations, you need to produce outcomes where the gains outweigh the costs.
The Harvard Law Model
Harvard Law School researches the process of negotiating through its Program on Negotiation. With scholars from Harvard, MIT, Simmons, and Tufts universities, Harvard developed the mediation procedure the United States used in the Middle East peace negotiations at Camp David in 1978.
Of course, most negotiations won't need the same exertion as the Middle East Peace Agreement; nonetheless, the Harvard model applies to simple and complex situations alike.
Good negotiators communicate effectively and plan strategically, laboring for fair outcomes. Negotiating is a deliberate, orchestrated, and technical process. Maintaining positive attitudes, applying creativity to problem-solving, and clearly defining the issues are essential. An exclusive focus on conquest is usually a naive, if not foolhardy, strategy, leading to Pyrrhic victories. Balance …