Consolidation Modules

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The Prepare Step


To negotiate effectively you must have a clear idea not only of what you want to achieve but also what relative importance you attach to the various objectives you have. Equally, you should make every attempt to try to predict from your own knowledge or inferences you are able to make (which you must test in the process of the negotiation) what is important to the other party. This will enable you to assess what the balance of power between the parties is and will help you decide on the strategy you will choose to guide your negotiation.

This module covers the key aspects of the Prepare step, including setting objectives, formulating strategy and the “7 deadly sins of preparation”.









The Argue Step


In this step you will use questions to explore the needs and priorities of the other party and you will also take time to influence and persuade the other party as well as probing to understand their motives and seeking to identify their interests and inhibitions. You should also use this step to influence the other party’s expectations of the outcome of the negotiation and to review what tactics you might be able to deploy when you begin the bargaining process.

This module covers the key aspects of the Argue step, including making an opening statement, dealing with difficult people, and the danger of assumptions.

The Signal Step


Signals are an indication that we are willing to be flexible and to consider movement. Normally signals are apparent in three different forms of our communication – qualifying words – when "impossible" becomes "difficult", in questions which may indicate that flexibility is under consideration and in body language when a gesture or posture might communicate meaning that was otherwise hidden.

This module covers the key aspects of the Signal step, including listening actively, the different types of signals, and the “open door technique”.






The Propose Step


When you make a proposal, you are putting forward a potential offer of settlement. Proposals are what move the negotiation forward when you have completed the Argue Step. It may be you or the other side who make the proposal – you can initiate a proposal or invite one.

This module covers the key aspects of the Propose step, including making effective counter proposals, making use of the bargaining arena, and altering the status quo using a proposal.


The Package Step


If your proposal is turned down, you need to understand why – if it emerges your proposal does not satisfactorily address the needs of the other party, then you must consider how it might be repackaged. In repackaging, you will adjust the variables and their relationship to each other, but you will not increase the size of your offer. You will be trying to address the needs expressed by the other party more effectively.

This module covers the key aspects of the Package step, including recognising inhibitions and constraints, valuing concessions by what it means to the other party, and dealing with proposals which have been rejected.


The Bargain Step


Bargaining is at the heart of negotiating. It is the negotiating step where you trade. Trading can happen at any time in a negotiation. When you are trading, you will always ensure that you get something in return for any concessions you make. Bargaining will mean that you get something you want on which you place a value and in return you concede to the other party something that they value, but which you are willing to give them in order get what you want. Bargains are always conditional.

This module covers the key aspects of the Bargain step, including dealing with aggressive, threatening or intimidating behaviour, and putting a price on demands, and using your wish list.


The Close Step


Closing leads to agreement, but judging when to close is an important skill. Proposing a close too early may lead the other party to think they have not yet achieved enough to warrant closure and they may wish to continue bargaining. Disagreement over any aspect of closure will lead you back to argument. The important issues are judging when to close and assessing how to close. Judging these correctly will lead you to concluding your agreement.

This module covers the key aspects of the Close step, including different ways of closing, last minute demands, and deadlock.


The Agree Step



If we are not conscientious in pulling together all the details to promote a shared understanding of what has been agreed, we risk blame and recrimination at a later time and we jeopardise implementation of the deal. Systematic recording of the deal to promote clarity is important. Subsequently, the deal must be implemented and we need to map out the next steps and monitor actions, accountability and progress.

This module covers the key aspects of the Agree step, including what we have agreed, the deal creep, and the next steps.


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