Every workplace request for help, resources, money, time and equipment is a negotiation. And like any negotiation, you have to choose an approach ranging from “win-win” to “I win, you lose.” To achieve the best outcome, don’t look at negotiations as a contest, advises Executive Coach Art Petty in a recent post on his eponymous blog. Instead, he stresses the importance of positive persuasion.

Among Petty’s tips for mastering this important skill:

  • Remember there’s a difference between grudging compliance and active support. Dig deep before beginning negotiations to uncover what the other party really needs and then design an approach that allows everyone to meet their unique interests. Focus on creating positive outcomes for everyone involved and you will improve your odds of gaining an ally along with sustained support over time.
  • Sometimes you need to cede control to gain buy-in. For example, rather than simply asking for a budget increase, try indicating that you have a challenge and need some guidance. Once you give control over something important to the other party, you’ve gained their emotional support in helping you find a way forward.
  • No one loves an ultimatum or a single choice. Offer two or three options and also encourage the other party to add their own creative ideas to the mix.
  • When you run into resistance, show empathy.

See the full blog posting: “11 Principles of Positive Persuasion for Workplace Conversations.”