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Using a Negotiation Process

When you come up on the short end of a negotiation, it is almost always because you haven’t prepared and paid attention to the process. A strong process will help you avoid the twin pitfalls of neediness and focusing on the result and help you prepare for and focus on the things you can control within the negotiation. 

These will all be things on your side that will help you control what is within your control and make the result more likely to go your way. 

The Issues at Stake

This is, by definition, an almost limitless list. Before you go into the negotiation you have to think about all of the items that are at stake and the areas that may be problems in the negotiation.

Our Baggage

What are the issues that are likely to be in their mind? What are the things that could make this go badly as opposed to giving us the result that we want? One of the things that frequently comes up in this area is the question of size, and whether the other side will think that we have the capability to handle our side of the negotiation.

Their Baggage

The question here is one of the things that they consider to be their baggage. You need to conduct some research beforehand to try to identify the areas where they think they have weakness so that we improve our chances of controlling the negotiation.

What We Want

It is essential that we understand exactly what we want. What is our maximum goal and our minimum goal from this negotiation? Above all, we have to know what our walk away ability is and our walk away strategy.

What Happens Next    

At the end of the negotiation, we need to be clear whether we expect to have a resolution or whether this will go on to be another meeting and another round of negotiating. Obviously this may change during the negotiation itself, but before we go into the meeting we need to have a strong sense of what we want to have happen next.