Planning negotiations

Planning negotiations
Primary topic
Related topics
Methods and techniques


Planning of negotiations is preparatory phase, during which all parties select and define their positions and strategies. The preparation should be to focus attention on five areas:

  • subject of negotiations
  • climate between parties
  • balance of power
  • stakeholders and their goals
  • operating procedures

Key steps of planning negotiations

Diagnosis and preparation

  • selection of the negotiating team,
  • information gathering
  • goal analysis
  • determination of maximum and minimum requirements
  • analysis of the potential difficulties and benefits
  • analysis of potential argument
  • choice of strategy
  • choice of negotiation style
  • prediction of difficulties and ways to overcoming them
  • analysis of potential traps
  • defining of conditions for success
  • analysis of territorial and spatial location of the negotiators (own territory, partner, neutral)
  • selecting time of the negotiations
  • analysis of cultural conditions (understanding cultural differences, customs, traditions, national mentality).

Goal selection

Determination of the desired result. The more goals you set yourself at the preparation stage, the easier it is to negotiate.

Preparation of procedures

The most important tactical and strategic elements of negotiation preparation are:

  • developing options for maintaining flexibility
  • prepare a set of early tactical moves
  • formulation of overall strategic plan.

Before negotiations manager should answer following questions:

  • Why start negotiations and what they relate to?
  • Who will be our opponent? What style of negotiation he uses?
  • What kind of deals we intend to have after negotiation?
  • To what level are we willing to make concessions?
  • Where we are going to negotiate and in what place? (our territory or the opposite side).
  • How long do we intend to carry on a negotiations? How much time can we spend?

Good results in the negotiations are achieved primarily thanks to good preparation. If one of the parties negotiating is better prepared it achieves more.

Preparation for negotiation is a process involving several important elements:

  • analysis of the own interests and interest of other party,
  • analysis of alternatives; what you will do if negotiations are not completed successfully,
  • defining negotiation issues; conversation subject; in which cases you want to take a joint decision
  • development of objective criteria for assessing each of these issues
  • preparation of proposals to solve the problem, including the initial offer submitted to the other side.

References