“Negotiating Success Advice This Is How To Quickly Stop Win-Lose Negotiators” – Negotiation Tip of the Week

“When dealing with win-lose negotiators, do not become quarry. Doing so makes you less of a game.” -Greg Williams, The Master Negotiator & Body Language Expert  

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“Negotiating Success Advice

This Is How To Quickly Stop Win-Lose Negotiators”

People don’t realize they’re always negotiating.

Negotiators that view negotiations from a win-lose perspective can be challenging. That can make your interaction with them tedious and unpleasant. Nevertheless, you can achieve negotiation success and stop those with a win-lose mindset.

Since you most likely face win-lose people daily, this article’s advice will be invaluable. So, to discover how to better deal with win-lose negotiators, focus on the following negotiation advice.

Identifying Win-Lose Negotiators

Negotiators negotiate differently. That is why it is crucial to identify those that adopt a win-lose outlook. Note the following to assess whether someone may have that mindset.

Strong Competitiveness: With win-lose negotiators, negotiation is a game where you must lose for them to win. That may lead them to become confrontational and easily provoked into aggressiveness.

Compromise Reluctance: Win-lose negotiators often resist making concessions. They do not seek to find common ground. They may make outrageous demands in an attempt to raddle you.

Short-Term Focus: Win-lose negotiators tend to focus on short-term gains. They may neglect the long-term costs of their actions, placing short-term expediency ahead of the development and preservation of relationships.

When negotiating, it is essential to be aware of these signals. Recognizing a win-lose negotiator lets you modify your approach using strategies to achieve a mutually beneficial outcome.

How else might you improve your plight when dealing with a win-lose negotiator? You can:

Concentrate On Interests Versus Positions

Focusing on interests, not positions, is essential when negotiating with a win-lose negotiator. Positions stem from what each negotiator wants, while interests are the primary reasons behind those wants.

A negotiator may adopt an intractable stance and state an offer as the best they can extend; that is their position. In reality, they may be doing so to impress their superiors about their negotiation abilities; that is their interest.

If you can provide a solution for how they can achieve their interest, impressing their superiors per their negotiation abilities, you will increase your sway with them. That can foster better teamwork between the parties, erode the win-lose attitude of the opposition, and create appropriate outcomes that benefit everyone. You should also be aware of:

The Kiss-Off

Some win-lose negotiators may seek ways to convey finality to the negotiation if you do not accept their offer. They may say, “Thank you for discussing this situation with me. Unfortunately, it appears we cannot agree at this time. Maybe there will be a future negotiation we can engage in. Best of luck.”

That may be a ploy to manipulate you mentally. What occurs after that will give additional insight into the intent of this strategy. If you are too eager to reengage, you will weaken your position. And if you are dealing with a win-lose negotiator, you will have strengthened their hand.

Observe their willingness to reengage if you reassume the negotiation to assess if their win-lose acts are an attempt to conceal something. They may be positioning you for a win-lose scenario if they do not soften their position.  

Your Psychological Mind

Depending on the stakes, some negotiators become timid when negotiating with a win-lose negotiator. Being timid only reduces their ability to negotiate from a stronger position.

Control your thoughts when you psychologically betray yourself because you desire to obtain your negotiation goal. What is the worst that can happen if I do not achieve it? You may feel uneasy, but you will get over it.

You are constantly negotiating. And how you engage with a win-lose negotiator today creates the roadmap for how they will deal with you going forward.

Be Flexible

Another way to deal with a win-lose negotiator is to be flexible. That means, in the planning stage of the negotiation, create multiple strategies,  implementable, based on what the opposition might do.

Should an untenable situation arise, having various paths to implement allows you a greater chance of thwarting the win-lose negotiator’s effort to maneuver you in their direction. And that will make you less likely to be outdone by your opponent.

Win-Lose Perception

She heard he was a win-lose negotiator. So, she prepared for a tough negotiation. She would be stern with him, matching the demeanor he tossed at her.

Once she sensed an elevation in his voice, she raised her voice several octaves above his. He raised his voice in return, and the negotiation turned into a shouting match.

When negotiating, always consider how you perceive what occurs and what stimulates you to do so. Your perception of your negotiation counterpart will determine how you respond. And if you skew your perception, it could cause you to react with less or more enthusiasm than a situation may call for.

Focus On Problem – Not Opposition

When negotiating with a win-lose negotiator, separating them from the problem is essential. Doing so lets you focus on the issue while controlling emotions. Getting caught up in personal feelings may rob you of clear thinking. Instead, separate negotiators from the problem, and focus on finding solutions that work for everyone.


Negotiating with a win-lose negotiator can be difficult, but only if you allow it. By incorporating my advice and keeping calm during negotiations, you can use the strategies mentioned to control win-lose negotiators better. Doing that will give you more control and more winning negotiation outcomes. And everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you’re always negotiating!

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After reading this article, what are you thinking? I’d like to know. Reach me at Greg@TheMasterNegotiator.com

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