🌱 (seedling) | Literature note |

Week 2 - The Implementation Strategy

The second topic of the course focuses on effective communication in negotiations. The three pillars of effective communication - Perception, Cognition, and Emotion - are introduced as fundamental components of negotiation. Here is a summarized breakdown:

  1. Importance of Communication in Negotiation:
    • Effective communication is crucial for a successful negotiator. It encompasses the exchange of offers, counter-offers, information, motives, alternatives, and non-verbal cues.
  2. Perception in Negotiation:
    • Perception is the physical and psychological process through which we interpret what our senses capture.
    • People perceive situations differently due to their individual needs, desires, motivations, and experiences, which can lead to biases and errors in perception during negotiations.
  3. Cognition in Negotiation:
    • Cognition refers to how effectively negotiators process the messages they receive.
    • Biases or preconceptions in messages, whether intentional or unintentional, can harm effective communication.
    • Examples of cognitive biases in negotiation include anchoring, irrational escalation of commitment, excessive confidence, and others.
    • One notable phenomenon is self-confirmation, where the same information is interpreted differently based on a group’s existing beliefs.
  4. Emotion in Negotiation:
    • Emotions significantly influence our perception of reality and can become more intense during negotiations.
    • Positive moods generally lead to effective negotiations and encourage long-term, trust-based relationships, while negative moods often lead to short-term results and potential conflict escalation.
  5. Role of Emotional Intelligence (EI) in Negotiation:
    • Promoted significantly by Dr. Daniel Goleman, EI has become recognized as a critical skill in negotiation.
    • EI involves being aware of our own emotions and those of others, and regulating our behavior to find common ground with the other party.
    • Developing EI as a negotiation strategy helps the negotiator to identify and manage emotional expressions, both verbal and non-verbal, which can significantly impact the other party’s behavior.
    • Practicing EI can encourage empathy, understanding, and trust among negotiators, thereby avoiding errors due to incorrect perceptions or cognitive biases.

In summary, effective communication is integral to successful negotiations. This involves managing one’s perception, cognition, and emotion, and leveraging Emotional Intelligence as a key skill to build constructive and empathetic interactions with the other party.

The importance of preparation

main purpose of the preparation stage is to define what negotiation tactic

  • Preparation for negotiation constitutes a fundamental stage in the negotiation process.
  • …granting psychological power and security to the negotiator, it allows the process to be organized according to relevant factors

What do I want to obtain from the negotiation and what are my alternatives?

Think of an ideal, realistic and acceptable result.

Three imperatives of negotiation

  • Determine the result we want from negotiation
  • Calculate the limits or reservation values beyond which we cannot negotiate
  • Determine our BATNA

Verification list

PON checklist

  • What do I want from this negotiation? List short-term and long-term goals and dreams related to the negotiation.
  • What are my strengths—values, skills, and assets—in this negotiation?
  • What are my weaknesses and vulnerabilities in this negotiation?
  • Why is the other party negotiating with me? What do I have that they need?
  • What lessons can I apply from past negotiations to improve my performance?
  • Where and when should the negotiation take place?
  • How long should talks last? What deadlines are we facing?
  • What are my interests in the upcoming negotiation? How do they rank in importance?
  • What is my best alternative to a negotiated agreement, or BATNA? That is, what option would I turn to if I’m not satisfied with the deal we negotiate or if we reach an impasse? How can I strengthen my BATNA?
  • What is my reservation point—my indifference point between a deal and no deal?
  • What is my aspiration point in the negotiation—the ambitious, but not outrageous, goal that I’d like to reach?
  • What are the other side’s interests? How important might each issue be to them?
  • What do I think their reservation point and BATNA may be? How can I find out more?
  • What does their BATNA mean in terms of their willingness to do a deal with me? Who has more power to walk away?
  • Is there a zone of possible agreement (ZOPA) between my reservation point and the other side’s? If there clearly is no room for bargaining, then there’s no reason to negotiate—but don’t give up until you’re sure. You may be able to add more issues to the discussion.
  • What is my relationship history with the other party? How might our past relationship affect current talks?
  • Are there cultural differences that we should prepare for?
  • To what degree will we be negotiating electronically? Are we prepared for the pros and cons of negotiating via email, teleconference, etc.?
  • In what order should I approach various parties on the other side?
  • What is the hierarchy within the other side’s team? What are the patterns of influence and potential tensions? How might these internal dynamics affect talks?
  • What potential ethical pitfalls should we keep in mind during the negotiation?
  • Who are my competitors for this deal? How do our relative advantages and disadvantages compare?
  • What objective benchmarks, criteria, and precedents will support my preferred position?
  • Who should be on my negotiating team? Who should be our spokesperson? What specific responsibilities should each team member have?
  • Do we need to involve any third parties (agents, lawyers, mediators, interpreters)?
  • What authority do I have (or does our team have) to make firm commitments?
  • Am I ready to engage in interest-based bargaining? Be prepared to try to create value by trading on differences in resources, preferences, forecasts, risk tolerance, and deadlines.
  • If we disagree about how the future plays out, can we explore a contingency contract—that is, stipulate what will happen if each side’s prediction comes true?
  • What parties not yet involved in the negotiation might also value an agreement?
  • Have I practiced communicating my message to the other side? How are they likely to respond?
  • Does the agenda make room for simultaneous discussion of multiple issues?
  • Is an agreement likely to create net value for society? How can we reduce potential harm to outside parties?

    Example agenda for a Win-Win … integrative negotiation

    (There is a historic relationship of mutual collaboration and confidence between the parties.)

    1. Program a reunion among peers to define the problem
    2. Share information about the resources of both negotiators.
    3. Conduct a session to analyze the interests and objectives of both parties.
    4. Carry out preliminary field tests.
    5. Initiate implementation and provide follow-up.

Example agenda for a Win-lose … distributive negotiation

(There is no relationship between the parties, nor is there any interest in having one. Short-term results are desired.)

  1. Define the three imperatives of the negotiation
  2. Find out as much information as possible about your counterpart
  3. Decide the opening strategy and anchor to be set
  4. Provide follow-up to the patterns of the negotiation dance and be careful about making concessions.
  5. Exert power to take the greatest amount of the resource that is available.

Internal agenda for a pre-negotiation

when a team of negotiators that is preparing for a negotiation with another organization. This preparation process is known as pre-negotiation.

  1. The negotiating teams frequently sabotage their own efforts, even when technically they are on the same side. This happens when each member has different priorities and imagines different ideal results. 

  2. To successfully negotiate with the counterpart, the first thing to do is for the team to negotiate internally, aligning the members’ interests and developing a disciplined negotiation strategy. 

  3. By revealing the interests in conflict, the team can determine what “trade-offs” can be made. The tactics in role playing teach discipline and reduce the risk of error that could happen in the real negotiation.

Overview about BATNA

Agreement implementation

In this part of the course, the focus is on the critical role of emotions in negotiations and how to manage them through Emotional Intelligence (EI). Here is the summary:

  1. Significance of Emotional Intelligence in Negotiation:
    • EI can be developed and serves as a vital complement to a rational focus in negotiations. It involves recognizing, understanding, and managing one’s own emotions and those of others. This is based on empathy, allowing negotiators to understand the other party’s perspective and adapt their behavior to navigate the negotiation process successfully.
  2. Connection with Three Pillars of Communication:
    • To understand EI, it is necessary to consider it in the context of Perception, Cognition, and Emotion. Effective negotiation begins with clear perception, which guides how negotiators classify, select, and interpret stimuli. Distorted initial perceptions can lead to an emotionally charged negotiation environment, reducing the chances of a successful EI strategy.
  3. Impact of Cognitive Biases:
    • Cognitive biases, such as misinterpreting information, can lay the foundation for frustration and conflict, which then fuels negative emotions.
  4. Strategies to Manage Emotions in Negotiation (Proposed by Professor Alison Wood):
    • First Strategy: Use observation skills to perceive how the other party feels. This includes analyzing their body language, tone of voice, and choice of words. When verbal and non-verbal cues are incongruent, ask clarifying questions based on your perception of the other party’s emotional state. This helps in understanding their perspective and encourages them to express themselves more openly.
    • Second Strategy: Don’t hesitate to influence the other party’s emotions directly. This is not about manipulation but using influence to work towards a mutually beneficial agreement. For instance, introducing humor or empathy can change the tone of an interaction if the other party is showing anxiety or anger.
  5. Complex Nature of Emotions in Negotiation:
    • Emotions that surface in negotiations are diverse, including anger, fear, anxiety, frustration, guilt, regret, surprise, and joy. These emotions are influenced by various factors such as personality, moods, culture, values, and social norms.
  6. Handling Anger in Negotiation:
    • Anger is a complex emotion to manage in negotiations. The recommendation is to foster harmony, compatibility, affinity, and empathy in interactions before, during, and after the negotiation. Even when the other party’s hostility seems unjustified, try to understand their attitude. Recognize that negotiations are typically not instantaneous and multiple meetings provide opportunities for negative emotions to dissipate.
  7. Concluding Note:
    • Due to the complexity of emotions and the challenge they pose in negotiations, the instructor emphasizes the value of Emotional Intelligence. EI contributes to creating empathy, understanding, and trust, which are not easy to establish but are fundamental for successful negotiations.

In summary, the section emphasizes the critical role of Emotional Intelligence in managing the complex array of emotions that arise during negotiations and offers specific strategies to engage effectively with one’s own emotions and those of the other party.

[[asmNZasqTUiJjWWrKi1ImA_ee4c0b40708b4ae29fcd56b6edbd0409_Agreement-Implementation.pdf|Implementation of agreements]]

Many agreements end in failure when they can’t be implemented.

Harvard Business Review: Getting Past Yes: Negotiating as if Implementation Mattered.

Avoid these errors when passing to implementation

  • Forgetting that implementation is the final goal of the negotiation, beyond the deal.
  • Not sharing the lessons learned during the negotiation process with those in charge of implementation.
  • Failing to communicate to the implementers any verbal (non-written) agreements made during the negotiation.
  • Transmitting ambiguous messages in different versions to the implementers with respect to “What” and “Why” in the agreements.
  • Lack of awareness of the implementers of what is known as the “spirit of the deal,” those implicit assumptions in the understandings that led to the deal.
  • Hurried negotiators who rush to make the next deal in the agenda, forgetting the implementers, who often don’t know where to start.

Questions to ask

  • How can we achieve agreements with self-enforcing mechanisms, creating incentives for the parties to fulfill their commitments?
  • How can we monitor the performance and compliance of the agreement during the implementation stage?
  • How can we resolve the conflicts among the parties that are caused by misinterpretation of the information and who will cover the follow-up costs?
  • What are the deadlines or official goals to be confirmed, reconsidered, and elaborated during our agreements?
  • How can we create a culture oriented to implementation and give follow-up to the process of change?
  • How can we build trustworthy relationships and commitments among the negotiators and those responsible for the implementation of the deal?
  • What mechanisms for conflict resolution will we have for problems arising during the implementation and who will pay for these mechanisms?
  • What adverse scenarios can surprise us during implementation and how can we establish alerts for developing contingency plans?


  • Begin the negotiation with the result in mind - Think of the result of the agreement within, say, the next twelve months. Try to imagine how the implementation has developed and if something didn’t occur as anticipated.
  • Create a collaborative culture - Avoid surprises by asking the opinions of the implementers about the viability and practicality of the actions required by the agreements.
  • Develop alignment mechanisms - The interests of the parties should be similar or complementary to the agreements that could be implemented.
  • Consider the negotiation as a process - Combine a disciplined preparation stage with an evaluation of the results obtained in the implementation stage

The exercise

Title: There’s life after the deal

Objective: To emphasize the importance of the implementation phase of an agreement so that the negotiation is effective, that is efficient and efficacious.

You’re the talent and culture director at your organization. In a meeting with the board of directors, they expressed concern that agreements frequently were forgotten and never implemented. They asked you to develop an implementation strategy using a process to change the mentality from one oriented to achieving agreements to one that would seek to implement those agreements and evaluate their effectiveness.

Of course you will meet significant resistance from the fusion and acquisition department, who are used to jumping from deal to deal, without looking at the consequences of their decisions. Because of that, it’s important to help them develop implementation skills in their future negotiations.

The managers don’t have a culture of evaluating results, nor are they accustomed to including other parties in the different stages of the negotiation process. Most of them have been in the company more than 15 years, enjoying admittedly excellent achievements related to sustainable development, but having no worries about competencies that didn’t even exist in the past. Now things have changed significantly and a radical cultural transformation is needed.


  • It has the identification data of the company.
  • It includes a detailed description of the implementation strategy.
  • The implementation strategy considers an evaluation process
  • It includes the best practices that must be used to put the strategy into practice.
  • It includes the justification of the elements enlisted above.


Enjoy this post? Buy me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Notes mentioning this note