How does the idea of "focus on interest, not current demands" help to achieve a win-win solution in integrative negotiation?


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This idea can help negotiators reach win-win solutions by allowing them to look past conflicts over specific demands.  Instead, the negotiators in an integrative negotiation can focus on interests that they have in common and may be able to bypass conflicts over specific current demands.

Let us imagine a union asking for higher wages and an employer asking for lower wages.  If they focus on these current demands, they will have a hard time agreeing.  But what if they have shared interests that go beyond these issues?  Let's say that they both have an interest in keeping a stable workforce and having the company make money.  Maybe the employer could then do something like giving employees stock options for each year they continue to work at the firm.  This would bypass the issue of wages.  It would allow for a win-win because it would give the workers an interest in staying with the firm and keeping it going and it would allow the firm to keep its employees without having to pay higher wages.

In this way, looking past conflicts over current demands can lead to compromises that will help both sides achieve their ultimate goals.

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