Dispute Resolution Reference Guide


Dispute Resolution Series
Practice Module 1
Produced by Dispute Prevention and Resolution Services
Department of Justice, Canada

Appendix A: Checklist for negotiation

  1. Initial assessment:

    1. Authority/Mandate to negotiate and reach an agreement or settlement
    2. Willingness to negotiate
    3. Credibility of other party(ies)
    4. Ability to negotiate (equality?)
    5. Alternatives to negotiation
  2. Contact with the other party to arrange/confirm:
    1. Agenda
    2. Location (neutral)
    3. Timetable
    4. Participating parties
    5. Public/Confidential nature (See statutory requirements, below)
    6. Official Languages
    7. Support services (word processing, etc.)
  3. Preparation of a strategy and interest assessment:
    1. Study the issues
    2. Harmonize/reconcile competing interests within the team
    3. Assess the BATNA (Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement) for all parties
    4. Assign roles for team members (spokesperson(s), etc.)
    5. Create options for mutual gain (“win-win”)
    6. Consult relevant statutes (including the Access to Information Act, the Department of Justice Act, the Official Languages Act, the Privacy Act) and relevant policy directives
  4. Pointers for a negotiation:
    1. Concentrate on interests, not positions
    2. Separate the people from the problem
    3. Listen carefully and actively
    4. Respect the other party (e.g., any cultural, linguistic or other differences)
    5. Create and propose options for mutual benefit (“win-win”)
    6. Use objective standards
    7. Assess progress in light of one's BATNA
    8. Caucus if necessary
    9. Anticipate and avoid responding to provocative tactics
    10. Communicate frequently with the client
    11. Remain within the limits of the negotiating mandate