Need to negotiate? Think orange


Those of you who have been on our Negotiating for More programme will remember our advice “focus on interests, not positions”.

An easy way to remember this is to imagine two chefs in a busy restaurant. One chef has been asked to produce a glass of fresh orange juice. Another is about to start making a cheesecake. There is only one orange left – and they both make a grab for it.

They both need the orange. One solution would be to cut it in half, but neither chef would be able to make their dish with half an orange.

Positional negotiation would mean the chefs argue about how much of the orange each needs and why they should have it.

If you focus on interests, not positions, then you would ask “why do each of you want the orange?” and you would receive the following replies:

First chef: “I need to squeeze it in order to make a glass of juice”

Second Chef: “I need the peel in order to grate enough rind to flavour the cheesecake”

Which would mean both sides could have exactly what they wanted and only one orange would be required.


Think about focusing on the other side’s “interests” the next time you need to negotiate for more.

Image courtesy of Pat David