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BBI of Chicago
September 2022

Negotiation Checklist

By: Vanessa Cristina Teixeira.

We, as individuals, citizens, or professionals, always get into a negotiation situation for many different reasons and circumstances.

It is interesting to know a preview about issues that can be crucial for the progress and outcome of a negotiation, as this will undoubtedly increase our margin of success in our negotiation. Therefore, we will bring in this article a negotiation checklist, which we can use in our day-to-day negotiations or business negotiations in a professional environment.

But first, and after all, what is a negotiation, and what gives rise to a negotiation? Negotiation is seeking an agreement between two or more parties, and what gives rise to it is, in turn, a kind of conflict; as a human species, we avoid conflicts evolutionarily. Negotiating is one of the methodologies for dealing with conflicts (other methodologies can be: imposition, arbitration, assignment, and convincing - all different from negotiating). If we enter into a negotiation, whether to buy fruit at the fair, shoes at a store, or bargain a million-dollar contract with some organization, we will deal with another individual who will also play the role of negotiator. Here begins our checklist:

1) What is the real objective of the negotiation?
For example, get a lower price? A more extended payment period? A bonus on the product or service

2) With whom and where will I negotiate?
Note the fundamental characteristics of who will deal with us. In a more elaborate negotiation, in a work environment, for example, it is worth performing more in-depth research on the history of the negotiator: their culture, reputation, position within the organization they represent, and of course, being attentive to their body language and communication. What interests do they intend to defend? Do you first negotiate or bargain? How far are you willing to compromise?

Will I trade alone or as a team? Team negotiation is commonly configured with a leader, the synthesizer, and the observer. Thus, the leader leads the negotiation, the synthesizer makes statements during the transaction and the observer, as the name implies, observes to suggest better strategies to his team. It is worth mentioning that in an individual negotiation, the trader can perform these three roles within his multiple strategies.

Identifying and mapping the negotiating environment is also tremendously important because where we will negotiate can favor or harm our interest in that negotiation. We can do it in-house, in our territory, in the host's “house” or in a neutral environment. Each one has its peculiarities and points of advantage or disadvantage.

3) ZOPA – Wishes and Concessions:
The ZOPA (Zone of Possible Agreement) is where we aim to close the deal, thus having the success of the negotiation. The ZOPA should be a “win-win” denominator, where both sides benefit from the trade. A well-mapped and defined ZOPA helps in the negotiation strategy as well as in the concessions between negotiators, and can also avoid regrets for situations or possibilities that could have been thought of, considered, and for an eventual forgetfulness in the heat of negotiation, went unnoticed.

We can improve many everyday and professional negotiations with this simple checklist. We propose very succinctly an already established methodology for negotiations as we were able to read and map our opposing negotiator, the negotiation environment, and the Possible Agreement Zone, which is the desired point for us to close the negotiation in a healthy way for both sides.


BAZERMAN, Max H.; Neale, Margareth A.; Negociando Racionalmente; ed Atlas, 1998. .

FISHER, Roger.; URY, William; Como Chegar ao Sim; ed Imago, 2018.

RUSSEL, H. Granger; The 7 Triggers To Yes; ed. McGraw Hill, 2007.

SEBENIUS, James K.; LAX, David A.; Negociação 3D; ed. Artmed, 2008.

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