Guide to using the ‘one-win-everything’ negotiating technique

extract from Virgin

This is a new, thoughtful way to negotiate where everyone wins. And I do mean everyone - you, me, the other people at the table, the public, the environment… the whole entire word.

With the Dalai Lama being the peaceful type, you may be thinking to yourself - does negotiating like the Dalai Lama mean laying down? Well no, it doesn't.

It means getting exactly what you want, while making sure the other side gets exactly what they need. On top of that, you make sure the good of everyone else gets met as well.

Here’s how you can negotiate like the Dalai Lama


Step 1: Smile (and have a sense of humor). Remember, after the negotiation the people at the table do not disappear. When the deal ends, you'll be doing business together so be nice, have fun and make friends when ever possible.

"Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other." - Dalai Lama

Step 2: Sit together (be on the same side of the negotiating table). When you sit across from others, you're often seen as the challenger. You want to be on the same team, and friends sit together. Lose the table, or find a glass one because transparency and closeness is the key to friendship.

"I defeat my enemies when I make them my friends.” - Dalai Lama

Step 3: Find out what problems they want to solve (then help them solve those problems) In 'one-win-everything' we have added a new technique to negotiating, it's called 'helping'. Discover the other side's problems, then help them solve them. Simple.

"An open heart is an open mind." - Dalai Lama

Step 4: Never get angry (No matter what - don’t get angry). Someone will probably offend you, it’s nothing personal so don’t get mad. Take a calming breath in, then out. Think, one-win-everything.

"The way to change others’ minds is with affection, and not anger." - Dalai Lama

Step 5: Ask 'how does this effect the rest of the world'? If this is a win for all, move forward. If not, figure out if and how you can make it a one-win-everything before moving forward. And if you cannot, walk away.

"When you lose, don’t lose the lesson." - Dalai Lama

Step 6: If someone is rude, start over (return to Step 1: Smile). Begin again - never let others influence you in a negative way. Instead, do your best to influence them in a positive way, or walk away.

"Someone else’s action should not determine your response." - Dalai Lama

Step 7: Never say no (instead, give the other person an 'mpossible "yes, if"). This is a very sly Dalai Lama negotiation tactic... never say "no". Always say, "yes, if", then add an impossible contingency.

Here is how it works:

Let's say you are negotiating with a big oil company who want to drill a well on your bird sanctuary. They tell you: "Our study shows it's impossible not to spill any oil, and it kill many endangered birds, but we want to drill anyway."

You want to say: "No way," however using the Dalai Lama's technique you won't have to. Instead, you say, "yes, if you find a way to do it where not a single drop oil gets spilled and not a single birds gets harmed. Plus, you pay me $10,000,000,000 dollars for every harmed bird - do we have a deal?"

You won't have to say no because they'll say it for you - because of your impossible contingency.

The Dalai-Lama says "yes, if" and lets the other side say "no".

I hope you'll only use your new found negotiating powers for good.

And for now, i'll leave the last word to the Dalai Lama: "There is no hundred per cent winner, no hundred per cent loser - not that way but half-and-half. That is the practical way, the only way."


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