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Negotiation and Mediation: From Preparation to Maximum Result

How Do You Mediate Blog by Dennis Huizing

A structured preparation to negotiations will lead to maximum result. It is important that parties are aware of their alternatives prior to starting the negotiation. This article is part of a series that will describe how you can prepare yourself for any negotiation.

Negotiations part I

Before continuing with this article, we strongly recommend you read part I of this series. It will greatly help with grasping the concepts we will describe in this article.

Phases of preparation

Preparing for negotiations has the following phase:

– Identifying your issues

– Determining best alternative to negotiated agreement (BATNA)

– Brainstorm over potential solutions

Identifying your issues

Key to a good preparation is knowing in advance what your issues are. What are the topics you want to talk and negotiate? You will want to prepare each issue in advance, identifying your BATNA and WATNA.

Determining BATNA

Determine for yourself what viable alternatives are for your issue, outside the upcoming negotiation. Knowing your BATNA will give you leverage and confidence in the negotiation. If, during the negotiation, the situation arises where your BATNA is more profitable than staying in the negotiation, walk away. Knowing your BATNA gives you more freedom in the negotiation.

Brainstorm potential solutions

Now that you know what your issues are and you have identified your BATNA for each of them, it’s time to think about potential solutions. Doing research into solutions and backing them up with facts will give you a great deal of leverage during the negotiations. The better you prepare, the better your outcome will be.

Read more about making your negotiation solutions SMART


Being good at negotiation begins with a good preparation and some practice. It may surprise you how much a good preparation can help you towards a good result.


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