Preparation / Negotiating Responsibly by Alain Lempereur, ESSEC Professor
Alain Lempereur, Professor at ESSEC Business School presents the key elements of a successful negotiation. Preparation is the first step of a good negotiation. You need to prepare for the people you represent, the people you will negotiate with and the stakeholders. You need to prepare for the problem. Your motivations, solutions at the table, solutions away from the table and your justification should all be adressed when dealing with the problem. Then you take care of the process: organization, logistics and communication.
Negotiation is about the people, the problems and the process. But it is also about three moments: preparation, the meeting and then implementation. You need to prepare well as a negotiator. How do you prepare well when you have to prepare for the people for the problem and for the process. Let's look at these three pilates. Preparing for the people first. You have three major relationships to take into account. First the relationship you have with your own boss because very often you need to work on your instructions your mandate how far can you go in the negotiation with the other side You need to know where the red line is. You also need to know what kind of authority you have. By the way you also need to think about the other side's mandate. Second relationship should you need to prepare for that's the relationship you have with the other negotiator very important, right? Do you have a relationship with the other side, with these other negotiator? Is it good, is it bad? Do you have to build it? You need to be honest in terms of assessment of this relationship and you need to improve it all the time. Third relationship now to take into account: The stakeholders. you need to be good at negotiating on behalf of someone you need to be also good at negotiating with the other side but you also need to know who is beyond these people and who are these people, all the stakeholders. It could be resources, could be your friends, could be your foes, it could be sometimes third parties. Try to assess this third type of relationship. Draw the map, the relationship map before you go in negotiate. You're ready for the people, time to work on the problems. Four elements for the problems. The first one: your motivations. Yes, you need to prepare your motivations. What is really important to you here? Your needs, your interests your passion sometimes but also you need to prepare for the other side's motivations. What is important for them? You need to put yourself in their shoes before you negotiate and try to guess what is important for them. When you know what the motivations are, then you work on the second element on the problems which are solutions at the table. What could you propose to the other side? What kind of tangible ideas will you bring to the table to make things happen? Your ideas must be realistic, implementable, very concrete. They may be sustainable. You also need to think about creating value with the solution at the table. Third element on the problems. You also need to prepare your solutions away from the table. What are these solution away from the table? Well it is everything you may do if the negotiation fails. Yes you need to be ready for that. Not all negotiations will lead to an agreement, or to an agreement that is good for the interest that you're trying to serve. So make sure you are ready with the solutions away from the table, make sure you also think about what the other side could do if the negotiation fails. Last element to prepare: your justification. Your solutions at the table will be much stronger if you have clear standards, norms. Make sure that what you are saying is anchored in something that makes sense, could be standards, could be demonstrations. So you see you are ready for the problem now: motivation, solution on the table solutions away from the table and justification. Now you have to prepare for the process. You know who you are negotiating with on behalf of who is around. You know how to deal with the problem so you need to know how, how you will manage the process. So what is the process all about? It is about two major elements. First, it's about organization of the meeting. You need to organize the meeting and we will have another take in a video to tell you more about how to do that. But basically, that means being extremely clear about your objectives and trying to already think about methods that will help you translate that into deliverables. Also adjusting the logistics: where do you meet? how much time? when do you meet? who should be there?...