The Power Of Planning Your Next Negotiation

by drjim on December 2, 2008

Planning Before You Start To Negotiate Determines How It All Turns Out

Planning Before You Start To Negotiate Determines How It All Turns Out

Your parents, teachers, best friends, financial planners, parole officers, etc. were all right when they told you that in order to be successful in life you really need to plan, plan, plan. In the world of business, planning is a part of almost all activities; however, it’s in the area of negotiations that business planning will provide you with the greatest return on your investment of time.

With all of this being said, you would think that planning would be second nature to anyone who is getting ready to enter into negotiations. You would be wrong.

It’s not so much that folks forget to research the other side of the table (Google has made that easy to almost instantaneously), but rather that we don’t spend enough time understanding what WE are trying to get out of the negotiating.

The following steps will help you to put together a great plan for your next negotiating session:

Pick A Good Negotiator

Maybe the negotiator is you, but if it isn’t, then make sure that you pick someone who know how to negotiate. Included in this person’s set of skills should be a strong ability to work with teams and the ability to control their emotions.

Plug In To Your Power Sources

The key to having a successful negotiation is to make sure that you are negotiating from a source of power – hopefully a more powerful position than the other side of the table. This means that you need to take the time to identify your sources of power.

Remember that we always have MORE power than we initially think that we do. Additionally, study the other side’s sources of power also. They almost always have LESS power than we initially think that they do.

One Night Stands vs. Long Term Relationships

Are you preparing to negotiate with someone that you will end up having a long-term relationship with? If so, then this means that you have not only short-term goals, but also long-term goals that need to be considered.

Why Are They Willing To Negotiate?

Making sure that you truly understand why the other side of the table is there in the first place can be key to creating a solution that works for all. If you can uncover what their motivation is, then you have solved half of the problem of creating a solution that will work for both of you.

Goals Are Good

Knowing what motivates you is just as important as understanding the other side’s motivation. You need to further understand what it’s going to take in order for you to leave the negotiations feeling satisfied. This means that you need to have very clear goals so that you’ll know when you have reached them.

Become A Time Lord

One hidden aspect of any negotiation is that everything changes. The things that we are negotiating for have had a value in the past, they have a different value today, and they’ll have yet another value sometime off in the future. We need to be able to realize this and consider all three values when we are negotiating for something.

There you have it – the basic building blocks that need to go into the planning that you do for your next negotiating session. With these taken care of, you’re almost guaranteed to be successful!

What type of planning do you do today before you start a negotiation? Do you always have a chance to do this preparation or do you find yourself being thrown into negotiation sessions unprepared? Which of these planning steps do you feel are the most important to you? Leave me a comment and let me know what you are thinking.

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