Interest-based Bargaining and Position-based Bargaining

Interest-based bargaining is a method of negotiating that focuses on meeting the underlying concerns, needs or interests of the parties involved in the negotiation.  The parties are encouraged to communicate what is important about an issue rather than arguing for a specific position or solution. This type of bargaining allows the parties to understand where the other party is coming from and is cooperative.

Position-based or positional bargaining is the traditional method of bargaining.  The parties each commit to a position early in the process and think only of their own wants and needs. It is an adversarial method of bargaining and pits the parties against one another. There is little focus on future relationships.