The Interactive Negotiation Canvas

Welcome to the Negotiation Canvas!

If you click on the fields in the canvas, you will see a short explanation as well as do's and don'ts.

You can also use the Negotiation Guide at the bottom right to guide you through the canvas or to ask questions.

The Interactive Negotiation Canvas
Relationship Key Arguments & Objective Criteria BATNA Agreement Value & Emotions Challenges & Limits Motivation & Interests Negotiation Goal & Key Objectives The Negotiation Canvas


The relationship impacts how we interact during the negotiation and is also an important part of the preparation process. The previous relationship influences the whole negotiation process. The trust already acquired plays a central role since trust is a relevant factor in negotiations. Therefore, actively building personal and organizational relationships is a necessary condition in integrative negotiations.

Guiding Questions: Have you already negotiated with the other party? If so, how might the relationshiph affect the neotiation? What do you know about the other party?


Do seperate the personal relationship from the substance of the negotiation.

Do get information on the other broad ideas, priorities, and preferences.

Do think about the relationship you have with the other party in advance.


Don't neglect the importance of understanding the other party's position, thinking only your relationship will suffice.

Don't allow a good personal relationship to make you complacent in preparing thoroughly for the negotiation.

Don't forget that while relationships are important, they should not detract from the strategic objectives of the negotiation.

Key Arguments & Objective Criteria

Key arguments can be strengthened by using objective criteria. Using objective criteria to resolve differences makes it easier to agree and preserve the negotiators' relationship. Objective criteria and reasons of the other party can also be used in the negotiation process to support the own arguments.

Guiding Questions: What are key arguments and objective criteria (e.g. statistics), for presenting and supporting your interesests? What are possible counterarguments of the other party?


Do think about possible counterarguments in the preparation to feel more confident during the negotiation.

Do use data and facts as the foundation for your arguments to give them credibility.

Do align your arguments with universally accepted standards or scientific findings (e.g. statistics) where possible.


Don't base decisions only on your own subjective views without supporting them with objective facts.

Don't let emotions overshadow the objectivity of your arguments.

Don't undervalue the importance of being prepared to substantiate your arguments with solid evidence and examples.


BATNA (Best Alternative to a Negotiation Agreement) is the plan B in negotiations and represents the most attractive options and alternatives. BATNA gives safety during the negotiation while knowing that the interests and needs could still be met. Developing alternatives from the other party’s perspective helps in reaching win-win agreements.

Guiding Questions: What is your desired outcome/case of the negotiation? What is your lowest acceptable case as the outcome of the negotiation? Reflect on these cases from your negotiation partner's point of view. What are possible alternatives that arise from both parties?


Do develop alternatives and options to uphold the own values.

Do consider the other party's BATNA to anticipate their moves.

Do assess your alternatives thoroughly to know your strongest fallback option.


Don't fixate on just one alternative; explore multiple options.

Don't confuse your goal with your BATNA — they’re different.

Don't underestimate the importance of having a strong BATNA, as it may be the key to a better deal.


During the preparation phase, it is also necessary to think about what could be a possible agreement that both parties are happy with. To this end, the possible agreement should involve the counterpart in the outcome.

Guiding Questions: What is a "No-Go"-agreement for you? What is a possible the negotiation can result in based on the alternatives? You can add the final agreement after the negotiation.


Do reflect on a possible outcome that is based on your alternatives.

Do think about an agreement that would work for you and your negotiation partner.

Do consider the possibility that the negotiation can end satisfactorily for both parties.


Don't fixate on a single outcome — be open to various possible agreements.

Don't neglect the counterpart’s needs and minimum requirements.

Don't forget to include the alternatives in possible agreements.

Value & Emotions

Different understandings of values can influence the negotiation outcome and have a long-lasting impact. In addition, emotions impact negotiators' cognition and strategies. Positive emotions are important for leading the parties into an integrative process and creating a positive attitude towards the counterpart. In contrast, negative emotions can lead the parties to distributive negotiation outcomes and escalate a conflict.

Guiding Questions: What value do you have to the other party (e.g. company), and what value does the other party (e.g. company) have for you? What are possible emotions, feelings or fears that could influence the negotiation?


Do reflect on the own values and those of one's counterpart.

Do prepare yourself to deal with negative emotions that might influence your decision-making.

Do reflect the own emotions and possible fears that may arise during a negotiation.


Don't ignore any fears or concerns that might prevent you from coming to an agreement.

Don't let your subjective values overshadow practical and economic considerations in the negotiation.

Don't allow negative emotions like anger or frustration to control your negotiation strategy.

Challenges & Limits

Integrative negotiations are easier if the parties trust each other; otherwise, this could be a challenge. Knowing the own limits is a crucial aspect when negotiating. So-called resistance points should be included in the own limits. Resistance points decide when someone absolutely stops the negotiation rather than continuing because the settlement would be beyond this point – the settlement would not be minimally acceptable.

Guiding Questions: What are possible challenges or potential conflicting aims that could prevent you from archieving your interests? What are the limits you could encounter?


Do consider potential challenges and conflicting aims you might face during the negotiation.

Do set resistance points beyond which you don't want to pursue the negotiation.

Do identify your limits to protect your interests.


Don't ignore potential warning signs that could lead to an unfavorable deal.

Don't continue with the negotiation if your resistance points have been reached.

Don't agree to any conditions that go beyond your resistance point.

Motivation & Interests

Interests can be unexpressed, intangible, and inconsistent, which is why understanding the needs, hopes, and desires is necessary. Understanding that both parties have mutual interests can be fostered by making a list of the potential interests of the counterparty interests to identify their needs. Additionally, both parties need to be motivated to work together and committed to reaching a goal that benefits both of them. Higher motivation leads to greater negotiation efforts, while less motivation can lead to higher levels of constraints in negotiations.

Guiding Questions: What is the underlying motivation of the negotiation? Whar are the main interests and needs in the negotiation goal?


Do take the other party's interests seriously to see whether a win-win agreement can be reached based on potential mutual interests.

Do prepare a detailed list of your needs, interests, and values.

Do ask "why" questions about the other party's interests to gain a deeper understanding.


Don't ignore the interests of your counterpart.

Don't underestimate the possibility of common interests that could lead to a solution that benefits both sides.

Don't focus on positions but instead on interests.

Negotiation Goal & Key Objectives

Negotiators need to define and specify their overarching negotiation goal and the key objectives that are associated with this goal. The main aim here is to address the problems that are to be negotiated and thus separate the substantive aspects and goals from personal relationships.

Guiding Question: What is the main negotiation goal and the key objectives that should be negotiated?


Do make sure you know your main goal and key objectives before you start the negotiation.

Do prioritize your objectives to go into the negotiation successfully.

Do have a clear idea of what constitutes a win in negotiations for you.


Don't neglect the importance of separating personal relationships from negotiation goals.

Don't enter negotiations without a clear hierarchy of your goals.

Don't underestimate the need to adapt the objectives if new information arises during the negotiation process.

The Negotiation Canvas

Here you can enter basic information about the upcoming negotiation. For example, important facts regarding the negotiation setting such as:

Who will be the negotiating partner? 

When will the negotiation take place?