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The Gap Partnership

Planning 'key' to ensure good negotiation skills

Negotiators should be well prepared before entering a deal

21 July 2010

Good planning can help improve negotiation skills, it has been claimed.

Drew Stevens, PhD, expressed his belief that planning can be the most important step in ensuring negotiations progress smoothly.

He said: "Good planning and comprehension help to avoid miscues and maintain proper and efficient conversation. Exemplars of good negotiation techniques are barely surprised by new information."

With careful preparation, negotiators can avoid many of the pitfalls which often delay proceedings including improper procedures, paperwork, or misread issues.

Mr Stevens detailed the importance of documenting events to guarantee that both sides understand the details of the deal.

Clearer documentation will help facilitate a smoother negotiation process as there will be no misunderstanding between parties.

Furthermore, once the issues of the deal are formulated, Mr Stevens advises firms to draw up a timetable so no single subject takes up too much time.

"What appears urgent to one; is apathetic to another, but it is imperative that issues be immediately addressed," he said.

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