range and alternatives creation importance in a negotiation

Consideration of Strengths and Weaknesses in Negotiations

When entering into negotiations, it is vital for the negotiator to consider their strengths and weaknesses in the matter at hand. It needs some in-depth review of the situation, an analysis of the other negotiating sides and even of the negotiators themselves. It is only through diligent consideration that the negotiator will be able to take advantage of their strengths and overcome their shortcomings during negotiations. This method of review contributes to the development of a number of alternatives that the negotiator can depend on in the negotiations. A variety advises the negotiator as to what aspects of the agreement to discuss and what to leave out (Zartman and Blaustein, 2007).

Importance of Having a Range of Alternatives

Creating range and alternatives will help me to negotiate better with the Area Director as discussed below.

Subheading 1: Seeking Compromise

To start with, having a range of alternatives will help me to have a ground upon which to seek compromise from the Area Director. I will avoid a situation whereby I get my mind fixed on one thing which could turn against me in the negotiation process. For example, though I strongly want the Director to withdraw two of the citations, I would still consider an option where she agrees to reduce the penalty without withdrawal of the citations. In the event that the Director does not give in to any of my above two alternatives, I still have a third alternative which is to legally contest the citations in an Administrative court. From what I know, the Director would not want the case to take this route because it will waste time and resources for her office. Still, the court alternative would end up being costly on my side as well and it shall be the least to consider. The three options are not equally preferable to me and I will strive to push for the first option where the Director withdraws two of the three citations. I will only be willing to fall back to the other two alternatives only if the Director refuses to compromise and withdraw the citations.

Subheading 2: Open-mindedness and Willingness to Compromise

Having a range of alternatives helps me to have an open mind and be willing to give and take during the negotiation. Depending on the arguments that the Director puts forward, I would be willing to fall back from my first alternative to the second and even third depending on the direction of the negotiation. Having the alternatives also acts to point out to the director that I am willing to compromise my stand in a take-and-give discussion. This will encourage her to also be willing to change her stand for our mutual benefit. According to Odell (2002), a negotiator with a range of alternatives is able to develop and show goodwill during the negotiation process and that is what I shall strive to achieve during my negotiation with the Director.

Pushing for the Best Alternative

Even though I have a range of alternatives on which to fall back, I will push for the first alternative to go through. I will want the Director to withdraw two of the three citations. The purpose of having the range of alternatives is just to make sure that I do not limit myself to possible outcomes of the process. At the very end, I will push for the Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement which in my case is the withdrawal of two of the citations.


Odell, J.S. (2002). Creating Data on International Negotiation Strategies, Alternatives, and Outcomes. International Negotiation, 7(1), 39-52

Zartman, W. & Blaustein, J. (2007). Negotiation and Conflict Management: Essays on Theory and Practice. London, Routledge.

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