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In business, the art of negotiation is very critical in reaching a compromise in all the process of decision making. Notably, bringing the two parties together to agree on a common course is a necessary practice in ensuring success in the running of company operations.
There are a number of definitions, which have been advanced on the definition of negotiation, depending on the context from which the author does his study. For instance, “Negotiation is a process where two parties with differences which they need to resolve are trying to reach agreement through exploring for options and exchanging offers-and an agreement” (Fells, 2009, p.3).
Since the company operations are prone to conflict of interests, the art of negotiation becomes a very useful tool for ensuring that the two opposing sides agree. Often, this is achieved through the application of various communication theories in solving the conflicts.
Knowing that Danya was a best performer, the supervisor was hesitant to grant the leave so that he could meet the strict deadlines he had to meet. In this case, the supervisor applied authoritarian theory in executing his mandate over the workers through applying direct control. The problem was about denying Danya the leave she applied even though she was a very dedicated worker.
Furthermore, the controversy was complex because Danya had bought air ticket and feared that she would lose her money if the company did not grant her leave. On the other hand, the supervisor considered this time so crucial that he could not grant her the permission to be absent.
Due to her dedication at work, the supervisor knew that he would not meet the strict deal that the short contract required without her contribution. Rejecting her leave application only showed that the supervisor acted within his legitimate mandate since “Legitimate power is based on a person’s position or role in an organization” (Dwyer, 2006, p.155). In using his position, the supervisor considered the amount of work that his team was expected to complete within the short timeframe.
Apparently, settling this problem was not easy because “the most important element of effective negotiation, says Rowe, is preparation, preparation, preparation” (Goodman, 2007, p.64). For example, Danya did not consult the supervisor if she could be granted leave before rushing to buy the flight ticket. Similarly, the supervisor was not prepared to receive a leave application from Danya; hence there was no preparation to counter the concern of each party.
According to Elearn (2009), in order to solve this problem, the concerned parties had to negotiate a number of issues, meaning that the number of solutions might increase. Therefore, in offering solutions, it is significant that the two parties observer the problem solving steps “The first step in negotiation is scanning alternatives, a task that normally involves research”, without rushing to justify non-practical means (Spangle & Isenhart, 2003, p.71).
Considering this case, some of the solutions include the following. First, in her quest to see and buy for her grandchild a gift and pay them a visit, Danya was exercising the social responsibility theory. Although she had a social role to play at the family level, Danya had to negotiate with her son and the entire family members to inform them about the situation at the company.
She would inform them that the leave she had applied could not be granted because of the new workload that the workers had to complete within a short time. The second solution to this dilemma would be that Danya should negotiate airline authority or the travelling agent that sold her the ticket, explain to them the reasons for cancelling the trip and if she could be refunded the money.
Third, Danya should negotiate with the supervisor and explain to him the reason for applying for the urgent leave, and that if not granted; she would lose the money she had spent to purchase the flight ticket. Fourth, the Danya should negotiate with the supervisor if he could consult the company authority to employ another person on temporary basis to help ease the workload and complete the contract according to the schedule.
In making sure that the solutions addresses the supervisor and Danya’s concerns, “the overall intervention strategy seeks to engage and commit the two parties to mature and responsible negotiations with the aim of achieving mutually beneficial agreements, or so-called “win-win solutions”” (Gatchalian, 1998, p.222).
In negotiating for amicable solutions, the bargaining parties should not be overwhelmed, thus should respect the principle that states, “don’t leave the negotiating table without writing it all down in a positive summary document agreed by both parties” (Shetcliffe, 2006, p.18).
Unfortunately, Danya became emotional and felt that her dedication and loyalty to the company have been overlooked. In an emotional response, she disregarded carrying herself ethically and bursts into tears and stormed out of the office, which is not justified according to Leimbach (2011).
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The Best Solution
In order to find the best solution, Spangle and Isenhart acknowledged that the “Participants explain their perception of the problem, identify specific issues that need to be addressed, and lest interests that need to be satisfied for a satisfactory agreement” (Spangle & Isenhart, 2003, p.78).
Here, Danya and the supervisor should advance and justify their argument so that after thorough scrutiny, the best compromise is reached for all. The best solution is that Danya should forgo the trip and concentrate on the new contract. Finally, “It is important to reiterate that the BATNA is an alternative outcome that is acceptable to you and still constitutes a win” (Leimbach, 2011, p.36).
Stimulus Response Theory
In finding the best solution, the supervisor ought to have used the stimulus response theory in convincing her about the task ahead. The theory advocate for proper communication aimed at influencing one’s decision.
Solution Implementation and Evaluation
Implementing the solution is another milestone that the two parties should negotiate properly. For example, guided by the win-win principle, “Negotiators are not, therefore, usually aiming to beat an opponent or extract an exploitative deal: They want one that satisfies their requirements and serves their interests” (Guirdham, 1995, as cited in 2008, Negotiating win-win solutions, p.75).
In regard to this principle, the company should accept to refund the Danya’s money. This could only succeed if the parties applied modeling behaviour theory. The theory advocates for changing the people’s attitude and behaviour to adjust to the environment.
In case the airline authority or the travelling agent that sold her the ticket accepts to refund her the money, then she should not expect compensation from the company, but negotiate with the company to grant her leave once the contract ends.
In negotiating this deal, “It requires the negotiator to refrain from placing blame and instead create a cooperative relationship at the outset” (Lens, 2004, p.508).Therefore, it means that the company operations are not hampered with, at this critical time, and Danya would finally get leave to visit the family.
In summary, the manner in which the organisation solves its problem shows its level of maturity. Although problems arise in the execution of duty, the management must be ready to apply the relevant communication theories in negotiating a compromised position. The common ground helps in solving the cases, which the different parties bring to the negotiating table.
Dwyer, J. (2006). The Business Communication Handbook. 9th edn. Australia: Pearson.
Elearn. (2009). Positive Working Relationships Revised Edition. London: Taylor & Francis.
Fells, R. (2009). Effective Negotiation: From Research to Results. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Gatchalian, J. C. (1998). Principled negotiations – a key to successful collective bargaining. Management Decision, 36(4), 222-225. Web.
Goodman, B. (2007).The Art of Negotiation. Psychology Today, 40(1), 64-65. Web.
Leimbach, M. (2011). Don’t leave good business on the table: Five strategies to NEGOTIATE win-win deals. Agency Sales, 41(5), 34-37. Web.
Lens, V. (2004). Principled negotiation: A new tool for case advocacy. Social Work, 49(3), 506-13. Web.
Shetcliffe, J. (2006). The art of negotiation. Insurance Brokers Monthly, 56(8), 18- 19. Web.
Spangle, M. & Isenhart, M. W. (2003). Negotiation: Communication for Diverse Settings. New York, NY: Sage Publications.