How to Prepare For a Negotiation

Third Case Assignment (as noted in section 8.1.2. in your Syllabus).

8.1.2. Team Presentation: How to Prepare For a Negotiation

This exercise asks you to focus on an upcoming role play negotiation or a real negotiation that will occur within your life in the foreseeable future. (If one real life negotiation situation is not available, students may choose to select the Elmwood Hospital Case instead. You make choose the particular side you wish to represent. The Elmwood Hospital Case is attached.) In this exercise, your objective is to develop a plan for that negotiation. Here you will find 10 questions that can be used as a planning guide for this negotiation. These questions reflect the important elements to consider when you prepare to negotiation. Not all questions may be relevant or equally relevant to your negotiations so you may not have a specific response for that question area.

The purpose of the planning process is to make sure you consider most, if not all, of the major factors that may impact the upcoming negotiation.

Planning Questions

Here are the major dimensions you should address in planning for a negotiation:

1. Understanding the issues – that is, what is to be negotiated?

2. Assembling the issues and defining the bargaining mix:

• Which issues are most important and which issues are less important?
• Which issues are linked to other issues, and which are separate or unconnected?

3. Defining the interests: What is the other’s primary underlying interests?
4. Defining limits:

• What is our walkaway point on each issue – that is, what is a minimally acceptable settlement for each issue of the issues as a package?
• If this negotiation fails, what is our best alternative to a negotiated agreement (BATNA)?

5. Defining targets and openings:

• What will be our preferred settlement in each issue?
• What will be our opening request for each issue?
• Where are we willing to trade off issues against each other in the bargaining mix?

6. Constituencies: TO whom is the other accountable for the solution—that is, to whom does he or she report or have to explain or defend the outcome? Does this party also have to be involved in issue definition and goal setting?

7. Opposite negotiators: Who is the other party (or parties) in the negotiation?

• What information do we have about them?
• What issues will they have?
• What priorities are they likely to have for their issues?
• What are their interests?
• What has been my past relationship with them? What future relationship do I need to have, or would I like to have with them?
• What is their reputation and style, and how should I take this into consideration?

8. Selecting a strategy:

• What overall negotiation and strategy do I want to select? How important are the outcome and the relationship with the other?
• What strategy do I expect the other will be selecting?

9. Planning the issue presentation and defense:

• What research do I need to do on the issues so that I can argue for them convincingly and compellingly?
• Do I have (or can I prepare) graphs, charts, and figures that will clearly communicate my preferences?
• In what order and sequence should I present the information?
• What arguments can I anticipate from the other party, and how am I going to counteract their arguments?
• What tactics will I use to present my arguments or defend against the other’s arguments?
• What tactics will I use to try to move us toward agreement?
• What roles will different people play in the negotiation?

10. Protocol:

• Where will we negotiate? Do we wish to influence the choice of location?
• When will we negotiate? DO we wish to influence the time and length of negotiation?
• Who will be at the actual negotiation meeting? Do we want to bring other parties to serve a particular purpose (e.g., an expert or an observer)?
• Do we have an agenda? How can we help to either create the agenda or participate in its development?
• What will we do if the negotiation fails?
• Who will write down and confirm this agreement? Do we need to have the contract reviewed by a professional (e.g., attorney, accountant, and/or agent)?

Important: A written summary and group power point presentation is required.
FOR YOUR PRESENTATION USE THE POSITION TABLE TEMPLATE and the Initial Offer Form and the Final Settlement Form at the end of the Case.

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