Typical Steps in Negotiation

  • Preparation - Preparation starts with determining if this is a potential collaborative situation so that parties can select the better strategy. Next, parties spend time researching information, analyzing data and leverage, and identifying interests and positions. Finally, they have to consider the relationship they want to build.
  • Information Exchange - The Information Exchange Stage occurs when one party begin to engage the other side, share information and explore options that address interests – what each party need, as opposed to positions – what each party ask for later in the Bargaining Stage.
  • Clarifying Goals - It is helpful to list these factors in order of priority. Through this clarification it is often possible to identify or establish some common ground. Clarification is an essential part of the negotiation process, without it misunderstandings are likely to occur which may cause problems and barriers to reaching a beneficial outcome.
  • Bargain - Bargaining is where the "give-and-take" happens. Parties make and manage the concessions in bargaining. When there is give and take that satisfies both parties' interests, build a lasting relationship and a fruitful outcome. During the Bargaining Stage, parties continue to create value, and with trades, finally capture value.
  • Conclude - In this process when parties reach an agreement. It is important to find out if the other side has the capacity to follow through with the things they said they would do. This is the time to put down in writing the common interests and produce a comprehensive summary of the agreement. Sometimes parties have to consider strategies here to lock-in a commitment.
  • Execute - This stage is the implementation of the agreement. This stage may also be viewed as preparation for the next negotiation opportunity. Parties must ensure that they follow through on promises made in order to strengthen the relationship and to build trust. Parties will learn more in this stage about the other side. This will lead to easier negotiations next time around.