Prior to a negotiation, both parties will set clear objectives and develop a plan as to how the negotiation may play out. Typical activities in negotiation planning include setting objectives, understanding the likely goals of the other party, deciding a sequence of issues, identifying knowledge gaps and the questions needed to be asked, allocating roles and responsibilities, choreographing the initial greeting and the first 15 minutes, and developing a ‘script’ of who will say what, when and how to persuade the other party. Most negotiators identify planning as a key negotiation activity, and to be effective the ratio of planning time to negotiation time should range from 1:1 to 1:3 depending upon the value and criticality of the issue at hand. See also Negotiation and Persuasion.
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