Negotiation and conflict management - Essay Example

The art of negotiating

Negotiating is an art that is learned and improved on with time. In some instances, people engage themselves in negotiations without even realizing that they are in a negotiation process. This is because some negotiations are very casual and do not require many skills. On the contrary, some negotiations are too demanding because of the stakes at hand(Manning, 2015). In such circumstances, it is necessary to be skilled in order to participate in the process and argue one’s point to the other party before arriving at a desired agreement or solution

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During the negotiation process, the manager employed the use of the low-ball negotiation tactic. This is where one suggests an option that is less that the requested amount. For instance, instead of granting me a pay rise right away, he was of the opinion that the organization was not in apposition to offer such a rise, but would otherwise offer some new benefits that would still result in additional compensation for me. This new proposition, seemed a good option, but was less than what I had requested. Certainly, the manager was using his expert power gained form his previous salary negotiation process to make such as proposition. 

Negotiations and conflict resolution

In addition, as the negotiations progresses, the manager used logrolling as one of his negotiation tactics. This is where he was willing to listened to a number of issues raised, which we both agreed upon as critical issues , before agreeing on how each of us would benefit from each of the issues we outlined(Manning, 2015). For instance, he was willing to discuss matters such as my working schedule, job description, my contribution to the company, and my experience. We then agreed on how each of us would be satisfied by benefiting highly on one matter and compromising on the other to let the pother party win.

In order to understand organizational conflicts, it is critical to understand organizational culture. This is because culture in organizations influences how people in the organizations react or respond to change(Thomas, 2008).  Essentially, organizational change affects the existing organizational norms, values, and beliefs in the firm by introducing new systems and processes that require a shift in the behavior of people in the organizations(Manning, 2015). Change may occur voluntarily where the company initiates the process and controls it to completion, or involuntarily in instances where the change emanates from external factors that the firm has no control over(Thomas, 2008).  Organizational culture can be described as the conglomeration of shared values, assumptions, and beliefs that guide the behavior of people in organizations. Organizational culture influences how people act, dress, interact, and perform their tasks in the workplace. Thus, comprises of espoused values, artifacts, and basic assumptions(Manning, 2015). Organizational culture in organizations is very complex and pervasive and influences how the external world perceives the organization based on how its employees or stakeholders portray themselves.  

The available conflict resolution strategies

There are three effective conflict resolution strategies. The first one is the reconciliation of the interests of the conflicting parties. Interests are the needs, fears, and concerns, which one wants or cares about. The reconciliation of the interests is not an easy process, but it involves the probing for the deep-seated concerns, coming up with creative solutions, and making trade-offs in situations where the interests are opposite. Reconciliation occurs through a process of negotiation and mediation(Manning, 2015). Negotiation sometimes focuses on determining the right party. Reconciliation involves a mix of attempts to satisfy the interests of conflicting parties, discussion of who is right, and referring to the balance of power between the parties. 

The second strategy, which is interrelated to the first one, is the use of rights of the parties involved in the conflict(Thomas, 2008). When determining who is right, the formalized rights may be referred to and in some cases; the socially accepted standards may be used. Rights are not always clear and may have different standards(Manning, 2015). As a result, reaching an agreement on which party is right can be difficult, and assistance from a third party is necessary. The most common procedure is adjudication in which disputants use evidence and arguments to the neutral third party that has powers to establish a binding decision. 

The third strategy is determining who is powerful among the conflicting parties. In determining who is powerful, the strategy that is commonly used is determining who is less dependent on the other(Manning, 2015). In the context of organizations, if an organization needs the input of employees more than the employees need a salary, then the employees are considered powerful(Thomas, 2008). The dependence of one of the conflicting parties determines the how the alternatives for the meeting specific interests are satisfactory. Power is a matter of perceptions and determining the party that is more powerful than the other without a destructive power contest is quite difficult. One party can refuse its dependent on the other party; thus, making it a difficult process(Manning, 2015). The three, that is, rights, interest, and power are interrelated in the sense that interest reconciliation occurs within the power and rights of the conflicting parties. The determination of rights occurs in the context of power. Therefore, when resolving a conflict, the focus may keep shifting from interests to rights to power in a repetitive manner. 

Another strategy used in the resolution of a conflict is lumping and avoidance. This occurs through withdrawal, which takes two forms(Thomas, 2008). First, one of the conflicting parties may decide to lump the conflict by dropping its claim and giving in to the claims of the other party(Igbokwe, 2014). This occurs when the lumping party believes that the dispute will not satisfy its interest. The lumping party may also feel like it lacks the power for effectively resolving the conflict. Secondly, one party may decide to avoid the conflict by significantly curtailing it. Avoidance exists in various forms including divorce, leaving an organization, or staying out of the way of the other party(Igbokwe, 2014). Lumping and avoidance occur in conjunction with power contest procedure of conflict resolution. In some cases, lumping and avoidance occur before one of the two parties make a claim. This leads to the forestalling of a dispute. 

Effective communication

Confits can also be resolved through effective communication. Effective communication is vital for the success of teamwork in organizations. Effective communication is hinged on the different communication styles that team members have. The impact of globalization on communication is evident in such a cross-cultural environment because, unless there are appropriate structures in place to boost communication, the poor commutation is likely to manifest itself in organizational performance(Igbokwe, 2014). Global businesses must determine how to communicate effectively with employees, customers and stakeholders from different cultural backgrounds in order to be able to execute their mission successfully.

These intercultural communications have created a need for new communication competences that can enhance communication in the intercultural environments(Manning, 2015). Some of the key competences that have evolved through the intercultural competencies in the recent past include learning other international languages, accessing information about other cultures and determine the best way to interact with individuals from those cultural backgrounds. Organizations that operate across different cultures encourage their employees to learn one popular language in order to communicate effectively with others.

Intercultural communications

Additionally, various key factors have emerged as significant in facilitating intercultural communications. These include factors such as attention to purpose, Knowledge and understanding, and Self- evaluation(Igbokwe, 2014). Attention to purpose refers to a clear engagement and commitment that people have in their reflective practice. This is important in intercultural communications because it enables individual to focus on the most important issues(Thomas, 2008). Attention to purpose is an important competence in a globalized organization because it ensures that people remain focused on the core objectives of their interactions (French, 2010). 

This helps to stem out subjective interests that may have their foundation in different cultures represented in the organization. For instance, when communicating with people from different backgrounds via Facebook or WhatsApp, it is important not to focus on other matters such as social stereotypes that portray other cultures negatively, but rather focusing on the main issues of discussion that will reflect the practice and intentions of the discussion(Igbokwe, 2014). In the course of this semester, I have worked hard to build strong competence in attention to purpose. I have learned to appreciate the significance of paying more attention on issues that hold people together as opposed to divisionary issues in multicultural environments. 

Knowledge and understanding relate with the evidence of conceptual thinking among people from different cultures, for instance the use of relevant theoretical frameworks. The concepts have to be well explained and applied accurately(Manning, 2015). This empowers the people in the discussions and facilitates them to understand various aspects of the discussion process(Igbokwe, 2014).Throughout the semester, I have learnt a lot about other cultures and gained a lot of useful information that has improved my perception of other cultures. I have also interacted with different people from diverse backgrounds and realized that having the right knowledge about other people is one of the important elements in understanding and appreciating other cultures.

Self evaluation process

Self- evaluation is an important process in inter cultural communication because it helps teams to evaluate their areas of strengths and weaknesses and determine areas that need further development in order to strengthen the communication channels. There are several self-evaluation tools that people and teams can use to assess their areas of strengths and weaknesses. The feedback provided by these tools can guide one on the important areas to focus on when engaging intercultural communication(Igbokwe, 2014). The motivation for self-evaluation is to help and individual determine the areas where they need to improve. Through the process of evaluation, one will be able to determine their areas of success, failures, and lessons learned from both failures and successes, and possible areas for improvement(Igbokwe, 2014). Self-evaluation helps to boost intercultural communication because it requires individuals to be aware of themselves, their strengths, and weaknesses before interacting with other people. This will ensure that one focuses on their areas of strength while leaving out the weakness.

During interactions with people from other diverse backgrounds, it is important to focus on issues rather than personalities(Igbokwe, 2014). Consequently, discussions need to be based on facts rather that assumptions and stereotypes about other people. For instance, in-groupdiscussions, one should use convincing argumentsin order to win over other group members to support his or her ideas and opinions. Arguments based on false assumption and stereotypes cannot gain support of others and will only help to disintegrate the team because of the disagreements that may follow.