The 5 Disciplines Negotiation Model To Mastering Negotiation Skills

Following a negotiation model in every negotiation situation will help you become a more successful negotiator.

Many things in life are made easier by using a model. Models allow you to complete a task with consistent results each time, like using a recipe.

Crestcom’s 5 Disciplines Negotiation Model was designed by negotiation and training experts, based on industry research, to help leaders and manager negotiate with consistently positive results while building the relationship throughout the negotiation process.

negotiation model_5 stepsTruly great negotiators not only know the strategies and tactics of the negotiation process, they also possess certain qualities and characteristics that bring them success. The 5 Disciplines Negotiation Model can help you develop your skills by providing proven negotiation tactics along with developing those characteristics that will help you become a successful negotiator.

Discipline #1: Prepare

Prepare by determining the outcome that you would like to see as a result of the negotiation. Think about your best-case scenario. What do you personally want to see come out of this negotiation?

You will also map out how you would ideally like the conversation to go. Think about the following questions

  • How will you begin the negotiation dialogue with the other party? What will you say to initiate the conversation?
  • What are the objectives?
  • What do you want the outcome to be?
  • How do you want the negotiation to end?

While thinking about these areas will help you prepare for the conversation, keep in mind that you need to be open and flexible to unexpected shifts in the conversation.

Discipline #2: Know

negotiation model_prepareTo be successful in a negotiation, you need to know the other party. What do they want? What do they need? What can you do better than they can and vice versa? Research prior to the negotiation will give you a good idea of what the other party’s position is and how you can mutually benefit from the impending deal.

It is a common mistake for people to think that a negotiation is a fixed pie, with the “winning” party getting the biggest slice in the end. Truly great negotiators understand how to expand the pie so that both parties win in the end.

Great negotiators also know to ask a lot of questions. Asking questions helps you understand the other party better and what their goals for the outcome of the negotiation are. Prepare questions to ask during the negotiation while you are doing your research to ensure you have thoughtful, relevant questions prepared.

Discipline #3: Create

The goal of the Create Discipline is to generate credible alternatives to your best-case scenario outlined in Discipline #1. Brainstorm multiple ideas and alternatives to use in response to the information you find in the Know Discipline. After you have generated a good quantity of ideas, evaluate them for credibility—which would be the best option for you if negotiations went down this path?

The Create Discipline is also where you define your Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BANTA). Your BANTA defines what you are willing to accept as an alternative to your desired outcome.
How do great negotiators prepare for successful negotiations? Practice this negotiation model with others in your area. Click here to learn how.

Discipline #4: Give & Get

All negotiators, no matter their skill level, need to be prepared to make concessions. Give and get is a big part of any negotiation, and as two parties move toward a joint agreement, each side may need to be creative to compromise. Make a list of possible concessions. Get creative about what they may be. Remember that negotiation outcomes are not a fixed pie. Creative alternatives can often find mutually beneficial compromises to expand the pie and create win-win scenarios for both parties. Your work in Disciplines #1 and #2 is key to being able to get creative here.

Emotional intelligence is an important element in the Give & Get Discipline of the negotiation model if you want to become a great negotiator. Practice patience and pay attention to the other party’s verbal and nonverbal cues. Also, keep your own emotions in check by recognizing if the negotiation is creating triggers for you and managing your responses to those triggers.

Discipline #5: Conclude

negotiation model_concludeDuring the Conclude Discipline, clarify the agreement, define next steps, and have each party sign the agreement or contract. Hold yourself to the highest professional standards, no matter the outcome of the negotiation. Sometimes negotiations fail or they don’t go the way you wanted them to. If you feel as though you have “lost” don’t burn bridges. No matter the outcome of the negotiation, maintain the professional, respectful demeanor that defines your character.

Using this negotiation model, leaders can build and refine their negotiation skills to create value and build positive relationships with clients, vendors, and internal stakeholders. Knowing the negotiation model can only get you so far. You need discipline and practice to make using it second nature. Practice your negotiation discipline every chance you get, whether it is in your professional or personal life. Practice and simulation will help you internalize this important model and help you become a great negotiator.

Practice this negotiation model with other managers in your area. Click here to learn how.


March is Negotiation Skills and Team Development Month at Crestcom.
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