The basis, styles and structure of negotiations

In every person’s life, negotiations play an important role. Every day people have to agree on something at work and at home. Negotiations are of great importance in the life of businessmen, since the success of activities, and subsequently financial income, depends on such business communication.

However, it is not enough to meet a person and start a conversation with him. Experienced businessmen argue that you need to know the structure of business negotiations, their styles and other nuances. All this can help in those moments when there is a need to convince partners or agree on something.

Further, the article will examine in detail the structure of the negotiations, their stages and functions will be described. In addition, negotiation styles and the nuances of business communication by telephone and with partners from other countries will be classified.

The definition of "negotiations"

Before you begin to study the structure of negotiations, you need to understand what they are and what role they play as a whole. So, negotiations are a business communication that is aimed at achieving joint decisions on the issues discussed. As a rule, negotiations mean communication of people who have a similar opinion and pursue the same goals.

negotiation structure

The role of negotiations in business

Such communication should be distinguished from those when partners fully agree with each other's beliefs or, conversely, are critical. Indeed, in the first case it is already cooperation, and in the second - confrontation. The main goal of the negotiations is to find optimal solutions to the issue for both sides and determine a joint action plan.

As a rule, if the parties meet for this, they are interested in cooperation. Therefore, the role of negotiations is to establish fruitful working relationships.

Negotiation structure

Any type of negotiation implies the same structure. Experienced businessmen try to build their conversation by following certain steps. This approach saves time and is aimed at successful communication. So, the structure of negotiations includes four main stages:

  1. Training.
  2. Conduct of negotiations.
  3. Completion of negotiations.
  4. Analysis of the results.

Each of these steps is equally important in the process of business communication. It is important to note that the structure of the process of conducting international negotiations is absolutely similar to that given above. However, it is worth remembering that communicating with partners from other countries also requires additional preparation, since there is a need to study the traditions, norms of communication and other details of those people with whom you have to negotiate. It is worth considering each of them in a detailed way.

business negotiation structure

Stage one: preparation

To a greater extent, the success of any business communication with partners depends on the quality of preparation for negotiations. Specialists at this stage of the business negotiation structure suggest using the following training model:

  1. Determine the subject of negotiations. It is important to understand what will be discussed, because without this moment it is impossible to get the benefit from communication. According to experienced managers, the initiative always comes from someone who is more knowledgeable in the topic under discussion.
  2. A sample negotiation program should be drawn up. A peculiar scenario will help to predict the outcome of communication. Depending on the complexity of the negotiations, there may be several scenarios.
  3. It is necessary to determine the moments in which you can concede to partners, and those in which you cannot categorically concede. In this case, it is necessary to provide that they may entail concessions in favor of the other side of the negotiations.

This model is very versatile. However, it is impossible to implement such an action plan in preparation for business communication if the following issues have not been previously studied:

  1. The purpose of the negotiations.
  2. Partner (his position on the market, state of affairs, etc.).
  3. Subject of negotiations.
  4. Present persons in the negotiations.
  5. Terms and conditions.

A lot of specialists can be involved in the preparation process, however, the person who will be directly involved in communicating with the partner is required to study every detail of the information that has been collected in advance. It should be noted that it is the quality of training that determines the outcome of decision-making. For example, at the first stage of the sales negotiation structure, we study what will be offered to the client, the purpose of the meeting, the client’s solvency and other details that will help promote the product and conclude a deal.

telephone structure

Stage Two: Negotiating

The negotiation structure includes, at the second stage, the following methods of conducting:

  1. Variational method. It is built on the basis that the partner’s negative reaction to the conditions put forward is known. Such negotiations can be called difficult. Therefore, during the conversation should work in order to find the optimal solution to the issue with a differentiated approach.
  2. Integration Method. It is advisable to resort to this method when the partner is fixated on his own interests, but does not take into account the nuances of social relationships. This method is aimed at convincing the other side of the appropriateness of estimating losses in case of neglect of social relationships. The main purpose of applying this method is to convince the partner that the responsibility for making decisions on the subject under discussion lies with all parties to the negotiations.
  3. Balancing method. This method involves selecting the best arguments to convince a partner. These can be facts, statistics, calculations, etc. It is important that when using this method, it is necessary to take the place of a partner and evaluate the situation on his part. This allows you to choose the most appropriate argumentation at the right time.
  4. Compromise method. This method implies that partners are ready to compromise in advance, and in the event of a divergence of views, consistently seek agreement. The compromise method does not imply the rejection of the initial conditions, it is aimed at considering the problem when using all the possibilities. It is worth noting that the compromise method is used when the refusal of negotiations and the inability to conclude certain agreements threatens two parties with adverse consequences.

Stage of negotiations at the second stage

In general, the following stages of negotiations can be distinguished, which include the structure of negotiations at the second stage:

  1. Meeting and getting in touch. Negotiations begin already from the moment a meeting with a partner took place, even if he had to be escorted from the airport and train station. This stage may not be so important from the point of view of the subject of negotiations, but depending on how impressed the meeting party will make on its partner, the outcome of the negotiations will partly depend.
  2. The beginning of the business part. At this stage, the partner draws attention to the information and subject of discussion.
  3. Information transfer. This stage implies that it is necessary to convince the other side that it will act wisely, accepting your beliefs.
  4. Detailed justification. At this stage, the argumentation of their own ideas and proposals. In other words, if a partner is interested in proposals, but is not completely sure of anything, it is necessary to argue all of the above and eliminate all doubts.
international negotiation process structure

Third stage: completion of negotiations

The final stage of the negotiation structure is a mandatory debriefing. If the course of business communication was very positive, then the completion of the negotiations implies a brief summary. This is necessary so that each side is sure that everyone understands each other perfectly. After that, the prospect of new meetings is discussed.

Otherwise, when it was not possible to reach agreement on the outcome of the negotiations, it is important to maintain subjective contact with the partner. It is important to summarize where we managed to find common ground, and talk about those moments that do not suit one of the parties. At the end of a business meeting, which has a negative outcome, it is important not to lose face and try to defuse the atmosphere with a laid-back and friendly farewell. But in no case should one speak rudely at a partner and abruptly interrupt negotiations with his departure. It is worth remembering that it is better to propose discussing the issue a little later, postpone the negotiations, prepare for them more thoroughly and try to find arguments that would allow us to convince the other side of something.

Fourth stage: analysis of negotiations

Even if the parties said goodbye, negotiations do not end at this stage. This happens only after their detailed analysis and preparation of the report. In general, analysis is necessary to compare the goals of business communication and the achieved result, determine further actions and assess the current situation. The analysis can be written (if the situation requires it) or reflective (if there is no need to report to a higher management).

negotiating structure

Understanding the structure of negotiations with customers and partners, it is much easier to build communication. However, in addition to this, it is also necessary to know what styles of negotiations can be.


In general, such negotiation styles are distinguished as hard, soft, trading and cooperating. A rigid style implies steadfastness and concentration only on one's own requirements. Soft is an adaptation strategy. Most often it is used when it is more important for one side to maintain friendly relations.

Trading style implies the principle of compromise, when one side makes concessions, but at the same time “bargains” certain concessions for itself. A collaborative style is communication that is designed to satisfy the interests of two parties.

A brief set of rules for negotiating

Specialists in the field of business communication recommend that you adhere to the following set of rules that will help establish a common language with any partner:

  1. You can’t get personal and humiliate your partner’s personality.
  2. Do not neglect the fears, statements and feelings of the partner.
  3. It is necessary not only to ask questions, but also to explain the purpose of receiving answers to them.
  4. If the interlocutor wants to clarify something or asks to repeat what was said, do not be annoyed. You need to try to convey information so that everyone understands.
  5. You can not give in to emotions.
4 stage negotiation structure

In addition to this brief set, it is worth remembering that one should prepare well, disassemble the structure of negotiations in advance, and master their styles of conduct. All this will help to cope with the task much better.

The rules of persuasion in negotiations

There are several tips from psychologists and experienced managers that can come in handy at times when there is a need to convince a partner of something. First of all, you need to learn how to present arguments. First you need to give a strong argument, then a little weaker, and in the end put forward the strongest, so to speak, trump argument.

In the second turn, you need to remember that you can not put the interlocutor in an uncomfortable position or corner. Respect is the key to a friendly relationship, and you can only be convinced of something when a person is positive.

Thirdly, it is important that the proposed arguments overlap with the interests of the partner. In such a situation, there is a high probability that the partner will express his consent.

Telephone calls

Sometimes you have to negotiate on technical means of communication. Of course, this makes communication a little difficult, as it becomes harder to understand the interlocutor’s reaction.

It is important to remember that the structure of telephone conversations is exactly the same as in the case of a personal business meeting:

  1. Greeting.
  2. Start of negotiations.
  3. Completion.
  4. Analysis.

Generally accepted negotiating rules apply to business telephone conversations. The only thing that is important to remember is that you cannot interrupt a person’s speech on the phone, even if his words contradict anything.

negotiation structure includes


Summing up, it is worth noting that negotiating is an art, mastering which, you can achieve anything. As it became known, knowing the 4 stages of the structure of negotiations, you can predict the outcome of business communication and provide for many steps of the partner.

The most important thing to achieve good results through negotiations is to follow the above rules and respect those with whom you have to agree on something.


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