Prepare, Prepare, Prepare

Posted by Beetle B. on Wed 12 July 2017

Before every meeting, prepare. After every meeting, assess and re-prepare for the next meeting.

Do not try to wing it.

Mapping Out The Way To Agreement


Positions vs interests. Figure out your interests. One way to do this is to ask yourself “Why?” to your positions. You must rank your interests. Not doing so risks making poor tradeoffs.

You need to figure out their interests. Put yourself in their shoes.


Brainstorm options. Suspend judgment while doing so. Try to satisfy both party’s interests.


Avoid a contest of wills! Try to use 3rd party standards. Think of relevant standards in advance.


Figure out your BATNA before negotiation begins. Consider 3 types of BATNA:

  1. Alternative in your power (walkaway BATNA)
  2. Interactive BATNA: What can you do to the other side? Examples are strike, war, etc.
  3. 3rd Party BATNA: Mediator, etc.

Pick one of these three. Try to boost your BATNA. Decide if your BATNA is better than negotiating. Warning: It is easy to overvalue your BATNA.

Identify their BATNA and keep it in mind. You can even try to weaken their BATNA.


3 types of proposals:

  1. High Aspirations (but make sure it is realistic for the other party).
  2. Contentment: May not get all you want, but you’re content.
  3. Live With It: Just barely better than your BATNA. Do not agree to anything worse than this.