Comprehensive preparation stands as an unequivocal cornerstone for successful negotiations. Research exemplified by Rognes (1995) underscores the pivotal role of thorough preparation in steering negotiations toward favorable results. It is emphasized that meticulous groundwork enables the negotiation team to strengthen its position and achieve better outcomes during the negotiation process.
Yet, divergent approaches persist regarding the specific focal points of preparation.
Some negotiation paradigms emphasize a deep analysis and engagement with the opposing party. They advocate the importance of understanding the objectives and needs of the other side as a fundamental initial step in negotiations. This approach prioritizes fostering mutual comprehension and inclusively considering the interests of all involved parties.2
The Schranner Concept® emphasizes focusing primarily on one’s own position during the preparatory phase. This approach stems from the belief that delving excessively into the goals and needs of the other party during preparation might lead to forming unfounded assumptions. These assumptions could create uncertainty and potentially undermine one’s position even before the negotiation commences. As this doesn’t align with achieving personal targets, the Schranner Negotiation Institute’s experience validates the effectiveness of prioritizing individualized preparation for achieving negotiation success.
Specifically, this approach prioritizes strategic and mental preparation. Strategic preparation involves defining precise objectives and setting a clear walk-away position. This necessitates a comprehensive understanding of the goals to achieve and the conditions under which one would consider terminating negotiations. As critical as strategic preparation, mental readiness holds equal significance. It revolves around nurturing a positive, proactive outlook toward the negotiation process and the involved counterpart. A positive mindset radiates self-confidence and fosters a constructive atmosphere essential for successful negotiations.
Creating this clarity regarding personal goals and boundaries, complemented by a positive mindset, establishes a sturdy foundation for negotiations.
1 Rognes, J. 1995. Negotiating cooperative supplier relationships: A planning framework. International Journal of Purchasing and Materials Management, 31(3): 12-18.
2 Fisher, R., Ury, W. L., & Patton, B. (2011). Getting to yes: Negotiating agreement without giving in. Penguin.