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Practical Negotiating: Tools, Tactics & Techniques by Tom Gosselin

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Stages: The Negotiation Process Road Map

Up to this point, we have been working through the planning phase of a negotiation. In this chapter, we are going to explore the process of negotiating—when you are actually engaged with the other party. This simple three-stage model has been presented in hundreds of workshops on negotiation for both sales and management audiences. There are probably other models for the phases of a negotiation, but, because simplicity ensures applicability, this model is simple and easy to remember. We use this model as our road map throughout the book to guide us in determining strategy and tactics and to help with planning a team negotiation.

Think about the Negotiation Stages Model (Table 6.1) as both a macro- and micro-level model. Most extended negotiations take place over a series of meetings. On a macro level, you may see the negotiation extend for months with each meeting focused on only one stage or critical task. The parties meet for the opening stage to establish the issues and agenda; then return to their constituents to determine the positions and currencies they might offer at the next meeting. On a micro level, each meeting usually has an opening, exploring, and closing stage.

Table 6.1. Negotiation Stages Model
StagesCritical Tasks
OpeningSet the climate and agenda.

Establish the process.

State and respond to opening positions.
ExploringDistinguish between wants and needs.

Identify alternative currencies/options.

Match currencies to needs. ...

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