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How long does effective preparation for negotiations take?

When we think of being preparing for negotiations with discipline, rigor and a process, we may wonder whether that effort will slow us down. This is a fair question. Most of the time, however, you will find that your investment in up front preparation will pay off and actually save you time by speeding up the negotiation process overall. Why? Because when you are well prepared, you can better anticipate potential pitfalls and head them off before they derail you. Generally speaking, if you are working on your own, you should be able to complete all three steps of the Alignor Process in less than an hour once you are familiar with the process. If you are working with a team, and you want to include other team members in the process, it can take as much as four times as long to complete the process because team members may have different perspectives that will come out through the process. That investment in time will generally result in much greater team cohesion and speed in negotiations, however, since you will all have the same understanding of stakeholder interests, options and the risks of not coming to agreement.

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