In week 11, we were tasked as engineers to negotiate for a position with Operation Paradrop. We were tasked to negotiate with the communication support team. We discussed the importance of our roles and how we would be able to demonstrate our ability to work as a cohesive unit for Operation Paradrop. I will further discuss the result of the negotiation in the individual reflection. I will also reflect on the outcome of the negotiation by discussing the critical events that transpired during the simulation and I will also elaborate on the lessons that were learned.
Communication in negotiations
Initial communication between the two teams indicated that there were going to be issued throughout the simulated negotiation. Throughout the duration of the negotiation, I felt that the opposing party lacked the expected communication skills as I had to always initiate the conversation. This gave the impression that they were not well equipped for the negotiation. Using the model that Lewicki, Saunders, and Berry (2011) devised, our party acted as Communicator A which delivered our message (proposition) to Communicator B to receive and interpret, where they then would eventually respond back. As previously mentioned, it was evident that the other group was not prepared for the negotiation, this was due to the limited or lack of nonverbal communication during the negotiation. The lack of eye contact, constant adjustment of body and their tone of voice had indicated that we would have an advantage in ‘winning’ the negotiation (Poon, 1998). Though the goals for both teams seem to be integrative and collaborative, our team seemed to approach the negotiation with a far more integrative approach (Barry & Friedman, 1998). The lack of communication showcased by the other team indicated that they could fail to reach their goal and therefore agreement), succumbing to our proposition and just agreeing to everything we say (De Dreu, Weingart & Kwon, 2000).
Coming into the negotiation, I believe that our party was well equipped; we thoroughly analysed and dissected the case-study and were ready for any situation that would possibly arise. During the negotiation, it was also evident that our party had overwhelmed the opposing party with information. Utilising Desesky’s Intercultural Communication Process, the noise was drastically amplified and the messages that were conveyed may have been too difficult to decode. I believe that our group did exceptionally well due to the preparation that was undertaken prior to the negotiation, however, it was also evident that the other group was not prepared.
Powers in negotiation
Coming into the negotiation, the team and I decided to take a collaborative and integrative to our approach as the goal of the simulation was to demonstrate our ability to work as a cohesive unit for Operation Paradrop. Initially, the power difference between the two different departments was minimal, however as the negotiation went along, we found that the power differences expanded. It was noticeable that we had more power than the opposing party. Given that we were well equipped with our role and background, by using expert power (French & Raven, 1959), I believed we effectively explained and demonstrated how our team worked well as a cohesive unit. Though I believed we did everything right. Though the majority of the negotiation went well, I believe I may have given too much information and may have exerted our informational power on the opposing party and therefore overwhelming them. I previously mentioned that the other team did not communicate as much as our party, and I believe this could be possibly linked to how I provided too much information and therefore overwhelming them. In hindsight, I should have slowed down the negotiation and portion out the amount of information that was given in a single time. To show that we can work together in a working environment, our team shouldn’t have overwhelmed our potential associates. As Neale and Scott (2011) present, giving too much information can cause a power shift; our party felt this was the case as we sensed that we had more power which presented problems in power and communication throughout the negotiation. Due to the complexity of the simulation and there not being a real ‘winner’ in this negotiation, I believe we needed to take a different approach.
Lessons learned as an intercultural negotiator
Prior to undertaking MGB225, I had little to no intercultural negotiation skills and knowledge. However as time went on, the various frameworks, models, and theories taught in this course has helped developed and strengthened the necessary skills for me as a negotiator. My understandings of utilising strategies and tactics have expanded when dealing with different cultures.
By learning about the dual concerns model (Sorenson, Morse & Savage, 1999) and applying it in the case study simulation, I was able to identify some of the strengths and weaknesses I possessed as a negotiator. Reflecting upon my experience as a negotiator in the negotiation simulations during the semester, I’ve realised that I excel in collaborative and integrative negotiations. I also came to the realisation that it came with both advantages and disadvantages. Due to my nature, I identified that I tend to struggle when it came to distributive negotiations. I would often say too much and give the other team an upper hand through informational power. I also identified that I would struggle with utilising the hardball tactic as I would try too hard to be collaborative and integrative. I now understand that in reality, not everyone is collaborative or integrative, I’m thankful that I was able to learn about distributive bargaining and that I can hone my negotiation skills. In future negotiations, I am able to discern the type of negotiation I’m getting into and adapt accordingly to set myself up for success.
Due to me being more of a collaborative and integrative negotiator, I would always try to find where both parties could meet halfway; I would always try and satisfy both my teams and the opposition’s needs. The relationship between the two parties was just as important as the result (Lewicki et al., 2010), I found that I was always able to effectively produce fair counter offers by interpreting the opposing team’s messages. I understand that everyone has different negotiation styles and thanks to what I learn and the skills I’ve acquired, I feel more comfortable in working out what the other team wants and procuring fair offers that won’t jeopardise the relationships between them.
Lessons learned as a team player
Planning and partaking in negotiation simulations has taught me a significant amount of being a team player. I have witnessed how important it is to communicate when you are in a team. As Yost and Tucker (2000) stated, incorporating effective communication leads to better performance. This was evident when we communicated thoroughly as opposed to when we communicated poorly and was further evident in our quality of work. Poor communication within the team prior to our negotiations made it difficult for us to plan our strategies. In the future, I aim to employ effective communication with my team to ensure success. Furthermore, as a team member, I have learned that I need to accommodate and be flexible to other teams that I may be a part of. I also found that I had to sacrifice some of my own time to come and meet with my group. I believe the sacrifice was beneficial in the long run for both my teammates and me.
In conclusion, from undertaking MGB225 Intercultural Communication and Negotiation skills I have developed and honed my skills as both a negotiator and a team player. I hope in the future, I will be able to utilise all the knowledge and skills of this unit.
– Barry, B., & Friedman, R. A. (1998). Bargainer characteristics in distributive and integrative negotiation. Journal of personality and social psychology, 74(2), 345.
– De Dreu, C. K. W., Weingart, L. R., & Kwon, S. (2000). Influence of social motives on integrative negotiation: A meta-analytic review and test of two theories. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 78(5), 889-905.
– Deresky, H. (2011). International management managing across borders and cultures (7th ed.). Sydney: Pearson.
– French, J. R. P. & Raven, B. (1950). The bases of social power. In D. Cartwright (Ed.), Studies in social power. Ann Arbor, MI: Institute for Social Research.
– Lewicki, R.J., Saunders, D.M., & Barry, B. (2010). Essentials of negotiation (5th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.
– Neale, M. & Scott, S. (2011). Too much information: The perils of non-diagnostic information in negotiations. Journal of Applied Psychology, 96(1), 192 – 201. Retrieved from https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/apl/
– Poon Teng Fatt, J. (1998). Nonverbal communication and business success. Management Research News, 21(4/5), 1-10.
– Sorenson, R. L., Morse, E. A., & Savage, G. T. (1999). A test of the motivations underlying choice of conflict strategies in the dual-concern model. International journal of conflict management, 10(1), 25-44.
– Yost, C. A., & Tucker, M. L. (2000). Are effective teams more emotionally intelligent? Confirming the importance of effective communication in teams. Delta Pi Epsilon Journal, 42(2), 101.
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