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Communication and Personality Role in Negotiation Report

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Updated: May 21st, 2020

Introduction

Negotiation takes place every single day of our lives. It is seen at workplaces, in homes, in the media, and in many other areas. Considering that good negotiation skills lead to greater benefits, it is imperative for individuals or organizations to be equipped with effective negotiation skills.

This paper looks at two types of negotiations. While one displays the role of communication and personality in a successful negotiation, the other type demonstrates the role of communication and personality in an unsuccessful negotiation. A description of the negotiations is first given, followed by an analysis. The role of communication and personality attributes in the negotiations is then discussed. Toward the end, approaches a negotiator can use to influence the other party are explored, and a negotiation strategy is presented.

Description of the Negotiations

The first negotiation, which is a successful one, is about a project manager named Henry. Despite the fact that he was an excellent and committed employee, Henry was underpaid (Ceniza-Levine, 2011). In his job, he worked as an internal consultant in a large company that was dealing with consumer products. Though he was worth more, he received a salary of US$ 60,000. After some time, Henry got an offer to work as an internal consultant in a large pharmaceutical company where he was to be paid US$ 90,000. While a salary of US$ 90,000 represented a 50 percent salary increase, it was less than the market price, which was US$ 120,000. Since Henry was aware of the market rate, he was determined to accept nothing less. It took a lengthy negotiation process, but Henry eventually got what he wanted.

The second negotiation is about Peter, a sales engineer for a telecommunications company who was presented with an opportunity to move to a different employer in the same industry. While Peter was receiving US$ 50,000, his counterparts were being paid nothing less than US$ 75,000. Being unaware of the market rate, he continued working very happily. With time, however, it became apparent that he was receiving unfair compensation. When the opportunity to move finally came, Peter was very excited and could not hide his joy. He applied for the job and was invited for an interview at a giant telecommunications company.

During the Interview, the panelists made it clear that Peter could only be paid a maximum of US$ 65,000 per month. Whereas this was more than what he was being paid, it was less than the market rate. Unfortunately, Peter did not know the exact market rate. Efforts by Peter to ask for US$ 80,000 could not succeed, and he was given the option of either accepting the US$ 65,000 or missing the job opportunity. Because of the strong desire to move, Peter accepted the suggested offer and was, in the long run, hired as a sales engineer in the giant telecommunications company. A few months later, he realized that he was receiving less than what his colleagues were being paid. Although he was happy that his new salary was slightly higher than what he previously earned, he felt cheated.

Analysis of the two Negotiations

Henry’s negotiation was successful for a number of reasons. First, he knew the market rate and was determined to take nothing less. Despite the fact that a 50 percent increase appeared substantial, it was not a fair compensation considering that the market rate was more than what he was being offered. Knowledge of the market price thus played an important role during the negotiation process and enabled Henry to get what he wanted finally. He was also very positive about joining the company and openly expressed his happiness and desire to work for the pharmaceutical company.

According to Ceniza-Levine (2011), it is helpful for a negotiator to maintain a positive attitude in any negotiation process. Another important thing to do is to remain persistent. Apparently, it does not help to give in after the first rejection. As pointed out earlier, the entire negotiation process took quite a long time, but Henry was unrelenting. He remained positive and focused on realizing his objective. It is also wrong to assume that an employer can not accept the demands of an employee. The level of persistence displayed by Henry is a clear indication that he was convinced that the management team at the pharmaceutical firm would finally give in to his demands.

Without a doubt, the failed negotiation had a number of shortcomings. To start with, Peter was not well informed about the state of the market. Unlike Henry, who understood what the market had to offer, Peter was so naïve and only made guesses. In the end, the lack of information made him lose a substantial amount of money in the negotiation process. Clearly, Peter was not well prepared to negotiate for a good remuneration. According to Pollack (2013), a good negotiator takes time to prepare before any negotiation. Usually, adequate preparation requires the negotiator to gather enough facts prior to a negotiation.

In Peter’s case, he needed to take time to determine the exact pay that professionals in his field were receiving. Peter’s negotiation also failed due to a lack of patience. Seemingly, his desire to move was quite strong, and he was determined to leave at whatever cost. Displaying a state of desperation in any negotiation process can negatively affect the outcome of the negotiation. Lack of ability to gather enough information before a negotiation may also lead to poor communication and, subsequently, failure in the negotiation.

Role of Personality Attributes in the Selected Negotiations

Drawing from a study by Rao (2008), an individual’s mood plays a very important role during the negotiation process. Arguably, persons with a positive mood tend to have better negotiations unlike those with a less positive mood. From the given scenarios, it is clear that Henry maintained a positive attitude right from the start and it contributed to the success of his negotiation. He passionately explained his interest to work for the pharmaceutical company and was convinced that the company would give him what he wanted. In the end, being positive enabled him to get the job with a better remuneration.

On the other hand, Peter’s approach was a bit cold and it appears that he was not very enthusiastic about the negotiation. As a result of his less positive approach to the negotiation process, he failed to get the right remuneration. In addition, Henry was a creative negotiator unlike Peter. Before approaching the negotiation table, He spent time gathering important facts about the job including salary details and what others in the profession were being paid. As a result of his creativity, he ended up with a very successful negotiation. A keen examination of Henry’s negotiation skills also indicates that he was a patient person. Without patience, it is likely for a negotiator to make rushed decisions that could affect the outcome of a negotiation process.

It is obvious that Henry was willing to wait for as long as was necessary to get what he hoped for. On the contrary, Peter was in a hurry to move and this affected his chances of having a successful negotiation. As a result of being impatient, he eventually settled for a pay that was less than the market price.

How Communication Affected the Outcomes of the Negotiations

During negotiations, both verbal and non-verbal communications are very important. Debatably, non-verbal communication has an even greater effect on the outcome of a negotiation process (Anthony, 2014). This is based on the allegation that in some situations, actions tend to speak louder than words. Certainly, the non-compromising stand taken by Henry enabled him to end up with a successful negotiation. Unlike Peter, he was unwilling to back down and was determined to take as long as was necessary to negotiate a good salary. Peter on the other hand appeared unstable and was ready to take up the offer given to him.

While Peter finally got something slightly better than what he was being paid, it was less than the market price. As pointed out by Anthony (2014), it is imperative for a negotiator to take time and prepare well before any negotiation process. As part of the preparation, the negotiator must be aware of the various alternatives that are available to him or her. He or she must also know the objective of the negotiation. Where possible, the negotiator should have a sketch of what to expect in a negotiation process. While Henry prepared quite well prior to the negotiation, Peter was ill prepared. The outcome of the two negotiations clearly shows that effective communication is very important in any negotiation process.

Ways in Which a Negotiator May Try to Influence the Other Party

A negotiator may influence the other party in a number of ways. First, it is necessary to be soft on the other party without ignoring the weight of the issue at hand. Rather than creating a difference, a negotiator should concentrate on making sure that a common ground is realized between the two parties. The negotiator should also ensure that he or she is ahead of the other party in the negotiation process. Ostensibly, this is realized through proper preparation and gathering enough facts about the negotiation. It may also be necessary for the negotiator to be innovative about available options. Instead of being rigid, the negotiator should be flexible. Furthermore, the negotiator must have a clear agreement with the other party. In the given scenarios, the need for good preparation could not be ignored.

Strategy that Would Build Trust and Improve Both Negotiations

The following strategy is based on the existence of good relationships. In order to improve both negotiations, it is necessary for negotiators to understand the human side of negotiations so as to ensure that every person involved in the negotiation process is happy and secure. First, the element of trust is very important. It is thus imperative for all parties to a negotiation to work toward ensuring that trust exists. Secondly, parties to a negotiation should be ready to compromise when necessary. While adopting a tough stand may be helpful at times, it can equally be the source of discouragement for those involved in a negotiation process.

Although Henry was able to get what he wanted, it was at the expense of developing a good relationship. It helps to know that an individual can compromise especially when it appears important to do so. It is also helpful for individuals in a negotiation to deal with the ego problem. Seemingly, having a big ego can lead to unsuccessful negotiations and people may be heart in the process. Negotiators must thus be aware of the negative effects of a big ego to a negotiation. Finally, it is important for every negotiator to be mindful about his or her communication style. The chosen communication style must be one that promotes human dignity.

Conclusion

Negotiation is an important part of our day-to-day lives. It is seen in every aspect of our lives and requires individuals to be creative in order to realize the best outcomes. Consequently, individuals must take time to understand how to negotiate effectively.

Among other things, every negotiator must have effective communication skills in order to succeed. Undoubtedly, the style of communication used can lead to either success or failure in a negotiation process. In the same way, personality traits can affect the negotiation process differently. While some traits may lead to successful negotiations, some may result in unsuccessful negotiations. It is the responsibility of the negotiators to assess a given situation and determine the best approach to adopt in order to succeed. As has been explained, the best negotiation strategy is one that demonstrates respect for humanity.

References

Anthony, L. (2014). . Web.

Ceniza-Levine, C. (2011). . Web.

Pollack, P. G. (2013). Elements of an Unsuccessful Negotiation Strategy. Web.

Rao, S. R. (2008). . Web.

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