There are many advantages to trying to shift a win/lose situation to a win/win. Yet we will be in situations where the other person either doesn't wish to reach a "win-win" or doesn't realize it is in his or her best interest to achieve a collaborative solution. In these situations it is necessary for us to open lines of communication, and try to increase trust and cooperativeness.
Sometimes conflicts escalate, the atmosphere becomes charged with anger, frustration, resentment, mistrust, hostility, and a sense of futility. Communication channels close down or are used to criticize and blame the other. We focus on our next assault. The original issues become blurred and ill-defined and new issues are added as the conflict becomes personalized. Even if one side is willing to make concessions often hostility prevents agreements. In such a conflict, perceived differences become magnified, each side gets locked into their initial positions and each side resorts to lies, threats, distortions, and other attempts to force the other party to comply with demands.
It is not easy to shift this situation to a win-win but the following lists some techniques that you might use:
1.reduce tension through humor, let the other "vent," acknowledge the other's views, listen actively, make a small concession as a signal of good faith
2.increase the accuracy of communication; listen hard in the middle of conflict; rephrase the other's comments to make sure you hear them; mirror the other's views
3.control issues: search for ways to slice the large issue into smaller pieces; depersonalize the conflict--separate the issues from the people
4.establish commonalities: since conflict tends to magnify perceived differences and minimize similarities, look for greater common goals (we are in this together); find a common enemy; focus on what you have in common
5.focus less on your position and more on a clear understanding of the other's needs and figure out ways to move toward them
6.make a "yesable" proposal; refine their demand; reformulate; repackage; sweeten the offer; emphasize the positives
7.find a legitimate or objective criteria to evaluate the solution (eg. the blue book value of a car)