Effective Negotiation Skills

Phase 2

Developing a strategy

Always choose the way that seems best, however rough it may be. Custom will render it easy and agreeable. (Pythagoras, c. 500 BC)

Planning your overall strategy is an important part of preparing to negotiate. Yet, at the same time it is important not to make over-elaborate strategic plans beforehand because if the negotiation takes a direction that you had not anticipated then you will need to adjourn to re-examine your approach.


  • What questions should we ask in the first session?
  • What questions are they likely to ask?
  • How will we answer these questions?
  • What is our opening position?
  • Do we have enough factual data and information to support this position?
  • If not, what extra information could be available?

When you are negotiating as a team, also consider the following questions:

  • Who will lead the discussion?
  • Who will check understanding (verify facts)?
  • Who will ask what questions?
  • Who answers the other side’s questions?
  • Who will work to reduce tension and show concern for people?