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A Personal and Reflective Journal 

What makes good Journal?

  • Less emphasis on description but good description of events
  • More emphasis on analysis

- Explain why

- Link causes and effects

  • Show insight through prediction

- What would happen differently if…

- Predict effects of various alternatives and explain why these will happen; support your arguments

What makes bad journal?

  • Not enough analysis; too much description
  • Not enough emphasis on effects of strengths and weaknesses, on both process and outcome
  • No suggestions for future with predictions of possible effects and explanations built on known concepts/models/theories from the course
  • Not enough insights about yourself and the negotiation process

The keys to effective negotiation

  1. Recognize that negotiation is a science.
  1. Apply the principles of that science in a timely and systematic manner.
  1. Recognize that negotiation, while taking place between corporate bodies, is actually carried out by human beings.

"Most deals are 50% emotion and 50% economics."

Staff to use (refer) in the assignment:

Things to include:

BATNA

Reservation Value

Lowball / Highball

Strategy and Tactics of distributive bargaining

Strategy and tactics of integrative negotiation

Ethics in negotiation

Communications 

Solution

Personal and Reflective Journal: On Negotiation

Negotiation is a key skill that has to be developed in order to ensure professional success in both the short- and long-run. In today’s business world, it has become imperative for individuals eyeing at organizational leadership to improve on their negotiation skills. It is with the quest of developing my negotiation skills that I enrolled myself for the course and in lieu I did obtain immense knowledge about the art and science of negotiation. Going through the course, attending the classes, participating the lecture sessions, obtaining the class notes, and participating in the class exercises I have learned some important skills that contribute to the overall development of the skill of negotiation.

Attending the classes and participating in presentation and lecture sessions, what I have understood is that, negotiation is not a merely mechanical process devoid of emotions. It is a science which must be enriched by the art of incorporating human emotions in the right proportion. What I have learned from the class is that, while negotiations take place between corporate bodies, they are actually carried out by human beings, and in the process most deals are made up of 50% emotion and 50% economics. The course has made me understand some basics of the negation process. As a tool for decision making, negotiation is a science that is applied in different scenarios in different phases of life. Not only in the professional life, but in the personal life too, negotiation is often considered as the last resort. Attending the classes, listening to the lectures and participating in the presentation session I have learned that “Negotiation is a problem-solving process in which two or more people voluntarily discuss their differences and attempt to reach a joint decision on their common concerns. Negotiation requires participants to identify issues about which they differ, educate each other about their needs and interests, generate possible settlement options and bargain over the terms of the final agreement” (Moore, n.d.). I have understood that successful negotiations are processes that eventually end in a win-win situation in which the parties to the process actually get mutually benefited at the end of the negotiation process. The outcome of some negotiation processes are tangible exchanges in which money, commitment, etc are ensured, whereas in some other negotiation processes intangible aspects, including change in behavior, change in attitude, apology, etc are ensured (Moore, n.d.). So, what I have learned from the course is that, negotiation can result in either tangible or intangible benefits and sometimes the process may give rise to both tangible and intangible benefits for the parties to the negotiation process.

The course made me understand that good negotiations are in want of implementation of some specific strategies. One of those strategies is the strategy of BATNA. Standing for Best Alternative To A Negotiated Agreement, BATNA, if properly applied as a strategy of negotiation, may eventually result in a win-win situation for the parties to the negotiation process. BATNA is both a strategy and a negotiation skill, and I have learned that at the bargaining table BATNA becomes a negotiator’s essential skill for developing the best strategies (Subramanian, 2017). Moreover, what I have learned about the applicability and outcome of proper implementation of BATNA is that, a negotiator must not only assume that the deal on the table matches his/her BATNA point by point; rather, he/she must translate his/her BATNA in order to fully understand how much it is essential in the context of the current negotiation process (Subramanian, 2017). Hence, what I have learned from attending the classes and listening to the lectures is that, BATNA is an effective negotiation skill and strategy, but only if implemented practically and rationally. Moreover, while learning more about BATNA and its application I have also learned about some specific dilemmas that are often infused in a negotiation process. In this context I must confess that attending the course I have been highly benefitted in terms of learning about negotiation related concepts like Reservation Value. I have understood that on many occasions, Reservation Value comes to play a decision role in a negotiation process. It becomes imperative, sometimes, for negotiators to translate their BATNA into a specific value at the bargaining table and such value often is translated into an amount at which the negotiators are indifferent between reaching a particular deal and walking away to their BATNA (Program on Negotiation: Harvard Law School, n.d.). Furthermore, in the course of completing the course on negotiation, I have learned about different negotiation tactics, one of which is the High Ball/Low Ball strategy of negotiation. In the High Ball/Low Ball strategy, “Negotiator starts with an extremely high or low opening offer. Affects decision anchor point and adjustment from the opening offer is usually insufficient. Risk is that other party may consider negotiation is a waste of time” (Huber, 1998). It has been interesting for me to learn that though apparently the aforesaid strategy might seem to be a real wastage of time; on many occasions, application of the High Ball/Low Ball strategy has resulted in an effective negotiation.

Moreover, through the process of attending the classes and participating in presentation and lecture sessions, I have learned about the strategy and tactics of distributive bargaining. I have learned that distributive bargaining is among those widely applied negotiation strategies that have a history of rendering positive and fruitful results. I have understood that distributive bargaining is a negotiation process which is more applicable to situations in which the parties to the negotiation process are trying to divide or distribute something either in the form of tangible or intangible benefits. Bringing on the allegory of a pie, the distributive bargaining process can be properly explained. In this context, and in the context of explaining the distributive bargaining approach, one may state that, “Disputants can work together to make the pie bigger, so there is enough for both of them to have as much as they want, or they can focus on cutting the pie up, trying to get as much as they can for themselves” (International Online Training Program On Intractable Conflict, 1998). Interestingly, what I have learned is that, though might apparently seem to be a collaborative process; the process of distributive bargaining is more competitive compared to the process of integrative negotiation bargaining. Furthermore, enrolling myself to the course and going through the interactive sessions in the class, I have also learned about yet another form of negotiation approach – integrative negation – which is both a strategy and tactics of negotiating. What I have learned is that, the fundamental structure of integrative negotiation is one within which “the parties are able to define goals that allow both sides to achieve their objectives. Integrative negotiation is the process of defining these goals and engaging in a process that permits both parties to maximize their objectives” (Lewicki, Barry & Saunders, 2017). Hence, what I have learned is that, integrative bargaining has more chances to result in a win-win situation for all the parties involved in the concerned negotiation process.

But whatever might be the approach towards negotiation, the course has made me understand about the importance of adherence to principles of ethics in the course of any negotiation process. Ethics in negotiation is a concept that has to be emphasized in a thorough manner in order to ensure that the negotiation process ends in a note that is advantageous for all the stakeholders to the process. In terms of negotiation, ethics may be applied from different perspectives, including the perspective of utility and deontology. Sometimes, the concept of virtue ethics also comes to play an important role in the context of negotiation. The theory of utility (or the utilitarian ethics) states that the morality of any action depends on the action’s consequence. As a form of consequentialist ethical theory, utilitarianism states that if the result of an action is good then the action is good and if the result is bad then the action should be considered bad (Nathanson, 2002). Moreover, the theory of utility also emphasizes the greatest happiness principle which states that one must indulge in any action which results in the greatest happiness for the greater number of people (or stakeholders to the action). From this perspective, it can be said that a negotiation process must adhere to such strategies which eventually give rise to an outcome beneficial for all the stakeholders to the negotiation process. Then there is the perspective of deontological ethics which states that an action’s morality depends on the universality of the principle that the action is following. Unlike the consequentialists, deontologists believe that, the rightness or wrongness of an action determines the result, and hence, individuals have the duty to do what is right and to refrain from doing what is wrong. In this respect it can be said that in a negotiation process, negotiators must adhere to some universal principles that define which action is right and which action is wrong. Negotiators, in order to maximize the benefits of every stakeholder to the conflict must implement strategies that are inherently good, refraining from the use of tactics that are integrally bad. Moreover, what I have learned from the course is that, negotiation may also follow the principles of virtue ethics, and adhering to the principles of virtue ethics, the negotiators may indulge in following the footsteps of those wise negotiators who have shown wisdom in reaching consensus in past negotiation processes. Also, I have understood the value of communication in a negotiation process, and this understanding must be attributed to the course that I did attend. Improving the interpersonal communication skill is an important part of the overall process of developing oneself into a good negotiator. Negotiations are often infused with conflicts and contradictions where each party is willing to ensure his/her own benefit. It is in such scenario that a hold on interpersonal communication skills can play a key role in conflict resolution. Being an active listener and adjusting the nonverbal cues and verbal communication to the need of the situation must be considered among the skills needed to evolve into a good negotiator. This course has made me understand that in order to become more competent in terms of interpersonal communication one must ensure that he/she has also developed the skill of being sympathetic and empathetic apart from developing both the analytical skill and the skill of rendering proper judgment. 

 

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