NST® Structure and Typical Outline


NST® Program Structure


Participants first explore their own negotiating styles, then learn to analyze negotiating situations and shape their negotiating strategy and tactics to each negotiation they enter.


SELF-ASSESSMENT: The Negotiation Skills Inventory provides participants with baseline data on their performance of critical negotiation tasks. Participants use a negotiation model to determine their typical response to disagreements, their understanding of negotiation, their strengths and shortcomings as negotiators, and their personal goals for the program.


NEEDS/CURRENCY ANALYSIS: Participants examine the underlying needs which drive negotiations. They learn how to identify the prime currency of exchange in a given negotiation, as well as to recognize the value of alternative currencies. Simulations provide opportunities to practice planning for negotiation and interactive skills.


TACTICAL ANALYSIS: Participants learn tactics for carrying out each of the stages and critical tasks of a negotiation. They formulate a General Tactical Orientation that helps them select tactics appropriate to any negotiation. Flexibility is stressed. Participants learn to use a range of tactics and to modify their approach as they go.


APPLICATION PLANNING: Participants plan and rehearse an actual negotiation that awaits them back at work so that they can put the concepts and skills from the program to immediate use.

Negotiators at table



A Typical Two-day Schedule


Pre-Program Assignment


Participants use the Negotiation Skills Inventory (NSI) to collect data from their work associates on their typical negotiation behaviors. Participants also assess their own negotiating behaviors in formal and informal negotiation situations.

Day One

8:30 am | Introduction and Program Objectives
Participants explore the difference between problem solving and negotiating, learn a working definition of negotiation, and clarify objectives for the program.

9:20 am | Needs/Currency Analysis
Participants learn the value of understanding needs and alternative currencies of exchange in producing high quality agreements. Planning Guide 1: Needs/Currency Analysis is introduced as a planning tool.

9:45 am | Break

10:00 am | Negotiation Exercise No. 1: Self-Assessment

Participants prepare for and conduct a negotiation in order to collect additional data on their negotiating strengths and areas for improvement.

12:05 pm | Quality in Negotiation

Participants learn the five characteristics of quality agreements and evaluate their negotiation exercise.

12:30 pm | Lunch


1:15 pm | Negotiation Stages and Critical Tasks
Participants explore the four stages of negotiation and the tasks that must be completed at each stage. Participants learn how to use this information as a road map toward a quality negotiation.

1:45 pm | Observing Behavior and Giving Feedback

Participants practice identifying negotiation stages, tasks, and behaviors. They learn how to give and receive feedback during the program.

2:00 pm | Negotiation Exercise No.1: Self-Assessment, Pt. 2
Participants review Exercise No.1 and give each other feedback.

3:00 pm | Break


3:45 pm | Negotiation Skills Inventory
Participants review the data they collected prior to the program.

4:15 pm | Negotiation Exercise No. 2: Fishing Boat, Pt. 1
Participants work individually and in teams to complete Planning Guide 1 for another complex negotiation, identifying issues, interests, positions, and currencies. They then learn a tactical planning tool for each stage of the negotiation in order to manage the process and achieve a quality negotiation.

5:00 pm | Review and Evening Assignment
Participants analyze their “Negotiation Skills Inventory” and complete readings in preparation for Day Two.

Day Two

8:30 am | Day 1 Review/Day 2 Preview
Participants discuss insights from day 1 and clarify objectives for day 2.

8:40 am | Negotiation Exercise No. 2: Fishing Boat, Pt. 2
Participants learn how to use Planning Guide 2 to prepare a tactical approach to managing the negotiation. They learn specific research-based tactical action steps while planning for the exercise and then they conduct the negotiation.

12:15 pm | Lunch


1:00 pm | Negotiation Exercise No. 2: Fishing Boat, Pt. 3
Participants debrief the results, assess the quality of the negotiation, and share feedback.

2:15 pm | Optional Session: Informal Negotiations
Participants identify and practice handling workplace situations that are really informal negotiations.

2:45 pm | Action Planning
Participants use Planning Guide 1 and Planning Guide 2 to do a situational analysis of an upcoming and personally important negotiation.

3:15 pm | Break


3:30 pm | Consulting and Dress Rehearsals
Participants give each other feedback and conduct dress rehearsals to debug their approach.

4:30 pm | Evaluations and Program Close
Participants identify ways to practice and implement their new negotiations skills. They locate the appropriate resources that will help them plan and practice their new skills while managing personal risk. Participants complete program evaluations.


Negotiation Strategies and Tactics® is easily tailored to meet special organizational needs.


The Negotiation Strategies & Tactics Program® is Owned and Copyrighted by Situation Management Systems, Inc. Used with permission.