Songbird Estates – the owners of Canary Wharf- have rejected a takeover bid from Qatar, saying it undervalues the company.

The Qatar Investment Authority — which already owns Harrods and Chelsea Barracks — is bidding along with a Canadian developer called Brookfield to win full control of Songbird Estates, itself a 69 per cent shareholder in Docklands landlord and developer Canary Wharf Group. Qatar already owns a 28.6 per cent stake in Songbird but the joint venture’s opening 295p a share pitch was immediately dismissed by the Songbird board and the City.

Analysts say that the opening offer from Qatar and Brookfield was simply “far too low”, even coming in below Songbird’s net asset value per share — an important measurement in property — of 319p.

Maybe an improved offer will be made, this being the case, the skilful art of negotiation will come into fill force. In light of hearing the news about Canary Wharf, I went on to read a fantastic article in Forbes about some of the world’s ‘super negotiators’ and the secrets of their success.

In the article, Disney’s uber heavy weight lawyer Lou Meisinger is featured as saying “The best way to break negotiation impasse is to finesse the impasse by transforming it into an opportunity to make a different deal.”

This slick line is described as “the holy grail of Breaking Impasse”. I may not be a Lou Meisinger, but let me share 5 super useful top tips our experts at Creativedge recommend for ‘win-win’ negotiation which all go towards building a meaningful and strong relationship between all parties involved:-

1. Tee it up

In most business negotiations, a win-win outcome is the only sustainable option if you want to build a productive, ongoing relationship with the other party. However, most people are more familiar with a win-lose approach to negotiation; they are already likely to be anticipating confrontation and disagreement. So don’t sit back and simply hope for the best; be proactive, take the initiative and set the tone for the win-win outcome you’d like to achieve with them from the outset.

– Be upfront and honest about the win-win outcome you are seeking

– Restate the benefits of both sides working together, rather than against each other

– Seek out their support and commitment to work towards a win-win result

– Openly share information to demonstrate your desire to cooperate NOT compete – Focus on your common interests in this negotiation, not your different positions

– Jointly agree on the timeframe to complete the negotiation

2. Be creative

The best possible resolution to a negotiation is the one from which both sides walk away thinking they gained more than they expected from the exchange: a win-win situation.

This can best be accomplished when incremental value is created through the negotiation process. The exchange of information is the crux of negotiation. Unless both parties at the table begin to work together to resolve their issues the confrontation can become a brawl or barter, neither of which creates value. Brainstorming is essential, it serves to resolve differences and possibly create unexpected value to one or more of those involved.

It can be used to introduce additional incentives or opportunities for inexpensive concessions into a negotiation. The ‘whole pie’ approach to negotiation is based on the theory that the sum of the parts exceeds their individual values. Before focusing on the basic or primary terms of a negotiation, work with the other side to identify as many additional wants or needs as possible. This expands the scope for discussion. These incremental incentives/concessions potentially add value to the entire negotiation. They may also provide incentives that may help counterbalance concessions required by one of the parties.

The key to adding value through brainstorming as part of the outcome of a negotiation is the difference in value each incentive/concession holds for those involved.

If you don’t mind granting a concession and the other person values the concession highly enough to agree to another concession you value, incremental value has been created. Both of you come away with more than you conceded in your original plans.

3. Get a variety of options

Rather than looking for a single way to resolve differences, aim to consider a number of options that could provide a resolution, and offer gains for all parties.

Then work together to decide which is the most suitable for both sides. Brainstorming could be used to generate different, potential solutions.

In many ways, negotiation is a problem solving exercise although it is important to focus on all the individuals’ underlying interests and not merely the basic difference in position.

Good negotiators spend time finding a number of ways to meet the interests of both sides – rather than just meeting their own self-interests and then openly discuss the possible solutions.

4. Identify concessions

You are not going to walk away from every negotiation with all of your needs satisfied. To truly achieve a win-win out come you will probably need to offer some ‘give and take’ and flexibility in your discussions with the other party, as they will for you.

So before entering into any negotiation, take time to determine:-

– What variables are involved (price, quality, time, support, terms etc.).

– What do you and the other party each have that you can trade?

– What concessions are you both prepared to offer or to ask for?

– What do you each have that the other wants or values?

– What are you comfortable giving away?

The more you can find to trade and vary, the more likely you are to find a satisfactory solution.

And if you do decide to offer some concessions, then ensure each one is conditional on you getting something in return. It’s about win-win not ‘I lose, you win’ Also, make sure that you are not conceding too easily or too quickly and keep an overview on the total picture.

5. Get a fair outcome

Having identified and worked towards meeting shared interests, it’s often inevitable that some differences still remain.

So rather than resorting to a confrontational win-lose bargaining approach, which may leave individuals feeling let down or angry, it can be helpful to seek some fair, objective, independent means of resolving the differences.

It’s important that such a basis for deciding is:-

– Acceptable to both parties – Independent to both parties

– Can be seen to be fair If no resolution can be reached, a great deal of time can be spent in establishing the facts.

However, it should be realised that ‘facts’ tend to provide another area over which to disagree. Another person’s worries even if totally unfounded are still real worries and need to be taken into consideration. Conflicts often arise because of differences in personal viewpoints.

Remember that to accept and understand someone else’s viewpoint does not imply disagreement with that point of view. Rather, it shows respect for the person and the wish to work together to find a mutually satisfactory solution.

Similarly, it is helpful to encourage the other person to understand your viewpoint.

Need more tips on negotiation and a range of other management and trainer issues from experts? Visit the new Creativedge free mobile App providing immediate, expert management and personal development tips and advice.