Stages of Negotiation – Project Management

Negotiation generally progresses through Five Stages.

  1. PROTOCOL – During this stage, both parties meeting in the Negotiation setting. If two teams of negotiating, members of each team are introduced.
  2. INQUIRING – At this stage, both parties exchange information and discuss concerns. The objective here for both the teams is to Identify strengths and weaknesses.
  3. BARGAINING– At this stage, both parties  makes offers and Tradeoffs
  4. CLOSURE – At this stage, both parties restate their positions and confirm their trade offs they are willing to negotiate.
  5. ACCEPTANCE – Finally both parties reach an agreement or decide to suspend negotiations

Steps for Preparing to Negotiate..

Successful Negotiation begins with preparations and planning. Before Negotiation , following six steps are required.

  1. List your Negotiation Objectives :
  2. Isolate and Prioritize your variables : Determine the points on which compromise could be done and still objectives could be achieved. There are 2 Variable Optimum and Alternate Variables . Optimum Variables should fully satisfy objectives. Alternate Variables are acceptable but not preferred.

Main goal in the Negotiation is to gain as many Optimum Variables as possible. However , in order to establish a good rapport with stakeholders , there should be willingness to accept alternate variables  – Flexibility Fosters Collaboration.

  1. Analyze Position : Here strengths and areas of vulnerability are being assessed to determine their positions and in the stakeholders. While Analyzing the Positions,  there are several factors identified – Stakeholders Goals, What each Party has other wants ? What allies or resources each party has ? Actions that can counteract stakeholders strengths ? What Actions each party could take to counteract other party’s strengths. What Could be done to capitalize on stakeholders vulnerability ? What could be done to decrease Vulnerability ?
  1. Anticipate Arguments : This step is to use the information about the positions to anticipate  how both parties will argue against each of their alternate and optimum variables. How will both parties substantiate to the arguments.
  2. Talk to People affected by Negotiation: It is important to involve all people affected by negotiations and to get the inputs in terms of strengths and weaknesses. Consulting with Impacted people help identify unconsidered opportunities or drawbacks, Prioritize issues,  ensure adequate information is available prior negotiation
  3. Develop a Proposal : Finally a proposal is developed that holds objectives and variables and identifies which variables are flexible. It should hold the lowest offer that could be accepted.

*** AVOID NEGOTIATION WHEN YOU HAVE NOTHING TO GIVE AND WHEN YOU ARE UNABLE TO COMPROMISE***