Principled negotiation is an interest-based approach to negotiation that focuses primarily on conflict management and conflict resolution. Principled negotiation uses an integrative approach to finding a mutually shared outcome. This approach is primarily used by mediation practitioners and academics, although there is some attempt to apply this approach to commercial or business negotiations.
This negotiation approach is closely related to and often a synonym with the phrase “win-win,” meaning that both parties have reached an agreement in consideration of both sides’ interests. In other words, the deal or agreement cannot be improved any further as both parties are happy with the outcome.
To understand the idea of principled negotiation, we look into the work of two Harvard men: Roger Fisher and William Ury. In their book, “Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In,” they explain a good negotiation is more than just getting to a “yes.” When you go into an agreement with another party, the ideal outcome is for both sides to be satisfied and have their expectations met. Maintaining a good ongoing relationship is more important than a single negotiation.