A negotiation where one or both parties are unprepared can be disastrous. At best, the negotiation devolves into a loose and unfocused conversation. In the worst-case scenario, however, a negotiation can turn into an adversarial confrontation. The RADPAC model is a basic negotiation framework used in business to reach a favorable outcome for two or more parties.
Understanding the RADPAC model
The RADPAC model is a simple framework giving structure to a formal negotiation process and is widely used in business and corporate contexts. Most importantly, the model increases the likelihood a favorable and meaningful outcome eventuates for both sides.
In the next section, we’ll discuss the various components of the approach.
The six components of the RADPAC model
- Rapport (R) – before starting the negotiation itself, both parties must first work to develop rapport with friendly, social conversation. This creates a comfortable and collaborative environment and if done correctly, sets a positive tone for the rest of the process.
- Analysis (A) – to begin the formal negotiation, each party must understand the perspective of the other by establishing facts and empathizing with feelings where possible. The point of this step is to develop an understanding of the other party and establish a basis for negotiation. There is no need for both parties to be in agreement. Otherwise, there would be no need for negotiation in the first place.
- Debate (D) – when many people think of debating, they assume it to be a zero-sum game where one party wins at the expense of the other. However, debating in a negotiation means searching for mutually agreeable solutions by maintaining a collaborative environment.
- Proposal (P) – in the fourth step, one or both parties suggests viable and mutually agreeable solutions. These solutions may partially or completely satisfy the needs of each party, depending on how well the negotiation has been handled until this point. In any case, a compromise acceptable to all should be the ultimate objective.
- Agreement (A) – the agreement stage begins with both parties restating what they have agreed to in the proposal stage. The logistics of the proposal – such as the allocation of time, money, and other resources – should also be discussed and defined. Lastly, the agreement should be recorded and read back to everyone in the room to ensure it is correct.
- Close (C) – a successful close should leave the door open for future negotiation between the two parties. Each party should thank the other for playing their role and then make a firm commitment to undertake any follow-up actions.
- The RADPAC model is a basic negotiation framework used in business to reach a favorable outcome for two or more parties.
- The RADPAC model gives structure and clarity to a formal negotiation process. This avoids a scenario where the negotiation deteriorates into an adversarial confrontation or becomes loose and unfocused.
- The RADPAC model is based on six key steps: rapport, analysis, debate, proposal, agreement, and close. Both parties should take their time moving through the steps to foster a collaborative environment.
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