A professionally managed negotiation does not only start when the parties meet at the table. It also does not end when the meeting is over or as the case may be when an agreement has been signed. It actually starts as soon as one party contacts the other one(s), often by telephone, and suggests that one could meet for a negotiation. And the job is not finished as long as one has not debriefed the conversation with two goals in mind: making sure that the agreement will be implemented as planned and taking stock of the lessons learned. In between one needs, of course, to prepare oneself carefully and negotiate effectively.
In order to support the implementation of such an approach, we put here two kinds of instruments at your disposal: the interactive web-based tools of the Negotiation Toolbox and the following four booklets:
In addition, below are some checklists which can be filled in either by hand or directly on your computer:
- A short preparation checklist for negotiations which are not too complex and difficult: Short preparation checklist.
- A much more comprehensive checklist for cases which are complex and difficult, and when a lot is at stake - which justifies a significant time investment in preparation: Comprehensive preparation checklist.
- A similarly comprehensive "Preparation Handbook" which is meant to be used by both parties - thus making sure that they will ask themselves the same questions while preparing, an approach that contributes to increase the quality and efficiency of the negotiation itself. Preparation Handbook.
- A preparation checklist for negotiations which are to be prepared and later conducted by a team (whereas it is likely that the other party will equally be represented by a delegation). The complexity of a negotiation increases exponentially according to the number of individuals sitting at the table. In such cases, the planning the "architecture of the negotiation" is of critical importance – which the checklist takes into account: Working as a team to prepare a negotiation.
- A facilitation checklist to be used in cases in which you want to help two parties conduct a negotiation: Facilitation checklist
- A debriefing checklist. All too often, the lessons that negotiators learn from experience are forgotten once the negotiation is over. Reviewing what happened during a negotiation provides invaluable insights and helps converting isolated experiences into systematic learning. Debriefing checklist.