The Negotiator Magazine

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5. Get A BATNA. A BATNA is your Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement and is the only certain way to be successful in negotiations. By preparing for negotiations with one party by sounding out an alternative deal with another party, you get walkaway power. It means that, even if the alternative isn't quite what you want, you are still prepared to go there, if need be.

6. Prepare The Setting. There are five questions to ask yourself when preparing the setting for a negotiation. They are: Who? (i.e. who is to take part and do what?); Where? (i.e. our place or theirs?); When? (i.e. what is the time scale?); Why? (i.e. what are we negotiating about?); and How? (I.e. how are we to present our case?).

7. Prepare Yourself Mentally. The right attitude towards negotiations is the principal difference between successful and unsuccessful negotiators. Getting into the right frame of mind before you begin should be part of your preparation plan.

There is no guarantee that good preparation will lead to success in negotiations. But the chances are that poor preparation will lead to failure. Don’t take that risk. Pull out all the stops to get a head start and you won’t regret it.

Eric Garner is Managing Director of ManageTrainLearn, the web site company that guarantees to make you a better manager, trainer and learner.

Eric is a graduate of the University of Cambridge and has many years’ experience as a HR manager and trainer. He is a Chartered Member of the UK Institute of Personnel and Development. Eric Garner may be reached through his web site at http://www.managetrainlearn.com

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May 2007