Poor planning is the first mistake identified in an article about negotiation pitfalls on the Stanford Graduate School of Business website. I have long emphasized that our biggest challenge as negotiators – and managers of negotiators – is to change our planning and negotiation behavior from off-the-cuff, instinctive negotiating to strategic negotiating based on the experts’ proven research.
The negotiation research is clear – there is a right way and a wrong way to plan for negotiations and to negotiate in most circumstances. And by strategically preparing on the substantive issues involved AND the process of negotiation – based on what you know works and what doesn’t – and then letting this guide your moves, you will substantially increase your likelihood of success. This, in essence, is strategically negotiating.
On the other hand, if you only plan and negotiate instinctively or intuitively and, in effect, wing it, you are leaving your likelihood of success much more to chance. It’s not that you cannot achieve the best possible result. It’s possible, just much less likely.