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Agile Coaches' Corner shares practical concepts in an approachable way. It is for agile practitioners and business leaders seeking expert advice on improving the way they work to achieve their desired outcomes. If you have a topic you'd like discussed, email it to, or tweet it with #agilethoughtpodcast.

Feb 15, 2019

Dan Neumann is excited to bring you another fantastic colleague of his on today’s show — Mike Cooper! Mike has an extensive background in negotiation and experience with restructuring bank deals, brokerages, negotiating property sales, and managing a bunch of sales folks. After a long and successful career leading software organizations, Mike now focuses entirely on technology consulting and is a Senior Cloud Technical Architect at AgileThought.


In this episode, Mike takes Dan through the foundational elements to ethical negotiating and gives his tips and techniques on how to generate positive, win/win outcomes. He explains what ethical negotiating is and how it is different from the regular, political negotiating, as well as general problems that may arise during ethical negotiation.


Key Takeaways

What is ethical negotiating?

  • Based upon the concept that if an organization is going to do a deal, it’s going to be a win/win deal or there’s going to be no deal at all
  • Structured around mutual problem solving and long-term relationship building
  • Meant to solve problems when there’s a conflict and often is fun and involves a lot of creativity
  • Foundational elements to successful ethical negotiating:

Start by focusing on the people; not the problem

  • You want to work together; on the same side of the table with your “adversary”
  • Slow down and spend time talking and understanding the people
  • Remove the time pressure and think of things in the long-term
  • Generate a lot of options (usually the first option is not the best)
  • True collaboration leads to a win/win solution for the shared problem
  • Reschedule and take personal time if you feel you are freezing under pressure
  • Walk away from a deal where you’re not set up for a win/win
  • Plan before your negotiation session, do your homework, and bring some options to the table initially

Problems that can arise in negotiating:

  • If you feel rushed you may skip generating a lot of options
  • Freezing under pressure from conflict or time strains
  • You can’t feel like a winner unless you’ve put your issues on the table, too
  • You will get pushed around if you keep caving in negotiating (which also leads to a poor long-term relationship, too)


Mentioned in this Episode:

Mike Cooper (LinkedIn)


Mike Cooper’s Book Picks

Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In, by William L. Ury, Roger Fisher,
and Bruce M. Patton

The Laws of Human Nature, by Robert Greene


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