Planning and Preparation
Dr. Bruce Fortado
University of North Florida
(1) When do negotiations begin?
(2) Why is planning important?
(3) What difficulties arise in the preparation process?
(4) What can be done to improve matters?
A time line approach to negotiation
* Planning and Preparation (Set Goals, Seek Allies, Research, Prioritize)
* Entry and Initial Contact (Bargaining Mix)
* Clarification and Justification (Facts, Logic, Media)
* Personal Styles and the Use of Tactics
* Hard Bargaining and Problem Solving
* Closure and Implementation
In many cases people do not realize they are negotiating.
They accordingly do not prepare and
carry the talks out in an organized fashion.
Poor results can be expected (Cohen, 1980).
People also love to jump into action with little if any preparation.
Planning is boring.
praised as “a bias for action” by Peters and Waterman (1982) in a book entitled In Search of
Once again, less than optimal results are likely to follow.
People often all try to talk at once when they are not properly prepared.
They frequently get
frustrated and simply repeat themselves or raise their voice.
These methods seldom produce the
One also will have difficulty countering a well prepared opponent’s points.
Since no goals have been set, one may become caught up in making a deal, even a bad deal.
People who fail to prepare tend to wait to the last minute. At this point, they feel rushed.
is often said to be working against them.
People also tend to underestimate their own power.
This flaw tends to be accentuated when little preparation is done (Cohen, 1980).
Ideally, negotiations should begin long before formal exchanges take place about the issues in
Attitudinal structuring, for example, primes the ground for later talks.
has uncovered several other priming processes.
Planting a seed
refers to a person building a
problem awareness slowly over time, long before bringing up possible solutions.
If one needs to
modernize the plant, the workers have to agree on the dilapidated state of the equipment and the
lack of current resources before they would consider pay or work rule concessions.
In order to
plant seeds, one must be patient, have ongoing informal contact, and be able to identify the
leaders on the other side.
One might call planting false rumors to scare people “planting weeds.”
In a different vein, a manager who is far sighted might choose to plant flowers
This refers to
striving to get your best subordinates promoted into key positions in the company.
Doing this is
the opposite of what many short sighted managers do.
A short sighted manager tries to hold his/
her best employees in place to help produce good year end results.
When one plants flowers,
down the road, when important issues come up, these former subordinates are quite likely to
remember and support the mentor who aided their careers.