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Negotiation’s Concepts and the Negotiations Case

Situations when the number of resources is limited, but the desire for them is not, are widespread globally. The only solution to that is negotiations: they allow to see which mutual benefits can be achieved from each resource, how they can be distributed to minimize conflicts, and which responsibilities everyone can take. Scientific studies of negotiations provide tools that help to perform effective negotiations. One example of a personal negotiation situation is when several friends come to live together: they need to rent an apartment and solve issues connected with them.

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Assessment of the Situation

In our situation, four persons are involved: all of them are 21–27-year-old. We are all relatively close friends, and we decided to live together for at least a year. My closest friend and I attend college, another one works from home and has Chinese origin, and his closest friend is a musician. To achieve a successful cohabitation, we need to negotiate and decide which apartment we should choose, how we will be paying for it, and define the fields of responsibility for each of us.

Communicational Skills

Negotiations are an utterly social process: therefore, social skills and communications are crucial for it. Social competence is vital for the negotiation process, as it enables the formation and maintains beneficial relationships (Baker & Exner‐Cortens, 2020). It includes social awareness, emotional intelligence, the ability of decisions making, and responsibility. Communication during negotiations include the ability to state clearly what is needed, why it is needed, and how to achieve it in the best way (Lewicki et al., 2021). Studies of anger during negotiations show that it prevents information flow in the process, thus lowering the chance of successful conflict resolution for all parties (J. Brett & Thompson, 2016). In that way, the success of negotiations depends heavily on the general social awareness of negotiators and their understanding of their goals.

Conflicts

Value claiming and value creation are two core processes of negotiations: the first is used to maximize one’s value, and the second is to maximize common value. The conflict can be defined as the strong dissonance between the value claiming tactics of two negotiators, leading to anger and other negative emotions (Lewicki et al., 2021). It can follow from a misunderstanding between negotiators from different cultures, such as Western and Asian (Gunia et al., 2016). Cognitive biases are common reasons for conflicts: they lead to the situation when negotiators see only part of the complete picture, often prejudiced by their own beliefs and assumptions. (J. Brett & Thompson, 2016). Thus, to reduce conflicts, one should be good in critical thinking, emotional intelligence, and control and be ready to understand differences between people and cultures.

Negotiations’ Goals

Negotiators are motivated by the prospect of fulfilling their goals, which, in turn, motivates them to communicate with others and reach agreements. People are usually motivated by three types of social motives: prosocial, with the desire to maximize benefits for self and others; pro-self, maximizing benefits only for self; competitive, maximizing the differences between self and others (J. Brett & Thompson, 2016). In that way,

Distributive Strategy

This strategy primarily utilizes tactics of value claiming: when using it, a negotiator concentrates on the influence on other parties of negotiations to achieve the desired goals. Skills associated with this strategy are the ability to make ambitious offers, defend one’s opinion vigorously, and challenge the opinions and offers of other parties (Chapman et al., 2017). Thus, this strategy is mostly rigid and leads to a situation where one party should benefit more.

Integrative Strategy

On the contrary, this strategy primarily utilizes tactics of value creation. It is based on different approaches, one of which the is questions and answer strategy when negotiators ask each other about their preferences (J. M. Brett et al., 2017). It leads to the situation when they know each other better and thus has increased mutual trust, enabling them to solve conflicts and reach decisions more efficiently. The integrative strategy has become more and more popular in the modern world due to its general efficiency (Lewicki et al., 2021). Skills associated with it are adaptivity, ability to ask questions, politeness, and critical thinking (Chapman et al., 2017). In that way, this strategy is the best option for negotiations, as it can fulfill the needs of everyone participating in them.

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Strategy and Tactics for Negotiations in Specified Situation

Knowledge about intracultural relationships can be necessary, as one of us has a Chinese origin; however, as we are all friends, we mostly pay no attention to cultural differences. We should choose the integrative strategy: it is essential that we are satisfied and have no reasonable complaints. Unreasonable complaints, such as egoistical desire to pay less than others, should be prevented. Despite none of us tend to behave egoistically, it is crucial to create conditions that prevent such behavior, even in theory, such as implementing the responsibilities for each of us.

Intents and Strategies

Our intent is quite simple: to live comfortably together, with fun and mutual aid and without conflicts. It includes the necessity to maintain the common budget in order to ensure that the apartment is paid in time and that everyone pays fairly; communications with the apartment’s owner should also be well-adjusted. We should not interfere with each other, for example by loud music or trash. Considering that one of us lives in the other place roughly half of the time, it is reasonable to state that he must pay twice less than me and two other mates. To achieve our goals, we should use the integrative strategy: ask each other about preferences and desires and write them down during meetings, making decisions and conclusions based on them.

Outcomes

The desired outcome of our situation is described in the following points:

  • We all live together in the rented apartment, without conflicts and, what will be better, without any possibility of conflict.
  • We replenish our budget regularly and according to our agreement. One of us appointed to keep it reminds us to do this; another appointed to contact the owner pays a rental cost regularly.
  • None of us is involved in interfering or deceiving each other and has no motivation to do this.

My Personal Assessment: Strengths and Weaknesses

I am rational and have a good understanding of others; I also think in the big picture. Due to that, I can see my own and other parties’ biases and decide on what to do with them. I am empathetic and good at making people feel comfortable; thus, I understand their needs and tend to make them better. Those are my strengths which I can use to adjust the communications well in the negotiation process. However, I quickly lose patience when facing irrational people who refuse to listen, leading to conflicts with them. If the situation cannot be solved for a long time, I can lose patience too, feeling bored. In addition, thinking about the big picture, I lose important details sometimes, which may worsen the entire deal. Those are my weaknesses; thus, I should learn to be more patient and careful, controlling my emotions.

First Meeting

In the first meeting, we reached several key agreements: the main reason we chose to live together was that it is economical, reasonable, fun, and exciting. We had to choose between a two-room and three-room apartment; we quickly pitched upon a two-room one, deciding that it would be enough, while less expensive; no one from us argued with this decision. I am good at conversations; thus, I was appointed to find the apartment and communicate with the owner.

I am especially close with one of my friends, and we decided to live in one room together; another two are also good friends, though not thus close. One of them is a musician, and he is planned to live only half of the time in the apartment. He is an introverted and primarily closed and individualist character. Another one works from home, and they are close friends with the musician: in that way, we decided that they will be living in another room. He is Chinese, frank and friendly, and has a strong analytical brain. In that way, we decided to appoint him as the keeper of our budget. We have also decided to live together for at least a year, setting a timeline.

The musician claimed that he should pay twice less than the rest of us because he will be living with us twice less amount of time. I responded that it would be fair to note the number of times he will be sleeping in the apartment: he should pay his whole part if it is more than 20 days a month. He was trying to argue, but two other friends supported me, and he eventually consented. To be fair and transparent, we decided that we would buy a journal, and everybody would be noting whether he would sleep there on this particular day and any other notes. Our Chinese friend and I were appointed as keepers of the journal. All our decisions were written in the notebook by my close friend, and everybody will be able to read them.

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Between the Meetings

I searched for a suitable two-room apartment for three days; I was confused for the first time, but I quickly understood what we needed to find out. Several options were rejected either by me or one of us, but ultimately, I found several options that were not rejected. The first owner was inaccessible, but we came to an understanding quickly and agreed to the meeting with the second one. Then, I agreed on the time with my mates, we adjusted it a bit to be comfortable for each of us, then I contacted the owner, and he agreed to the new time. We concluded that we would conduct a second meeting right before it and will go to our new home right after this.

Second Meeting

This meeting happened four days after the first meeting: at this time, I had found a good apartment, and we had prepared our money to pay for it. Here, we formed the common budget, as we had already known the rental cost for the apartment of our choice. Our payments were calculated to be the same for the three of us and twice less for our musician friend, who will not be living with us for all time. I took the whole sum, contacted the owner, and we together came to him. We paid the rental cost, obtained four copies of keys, and our cohabitation started after that. Then, we have bought a journal, written our names there, and started to check our presence in our new home. In addition, we agreed that in case of any conflict, we should come together as soon as possible to talk and write down all causes of conflict until resolving it.

Summary and Outcomes

After all meetings, we have reached an agreement which enables us to live together. One of us was assigned as the “secretary” and our budget keeper because of his deliberative and analytical character; thanks to him, we remember replenishing our budget each month. I was appointed as the “mediator,” responsible for contacts with the owner and paying each month from the budget. We started to keep a journal, where we wrote about our lives and checked whether we were sleeping here this night.

Conclusion

Negotiations are the essential social tool: it ensures that people will be in good relationships and satisfied. Behavioral psychology specialists explore the negotiation process and provide tactics and strategies to reach an agreement and resolve conflicts. Social awareness and emotional intelligence are important for negotiations and enable to reach better results without conflicts. As one can see from my situation with cohabitation, good negotiations provide a solid basis for cooperation. Overall, improving the negotiating skills improves the person’s whole life, as it provides a tool for solving conflicts, reaching goals, and obtaining strong social support.

References

Baker, E., & Exner‐Cortens, D. (2020). Adolescents’ interpersonal negotiation strategies: Does competence vary by context? Journal of Research on Adolescence, 30(4), 1039–1050.

Brett, J. M., Gunia, B. C., & Teucher, B. M. (2017). Culture and negotiation strategy: A framework for future research. Academy of Management Perspectives, 31(4), 288–308.

Brett, J., & Thompson, L. (2016). Negotiation. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 136, 68–79.

Chapman, E., Miles, E. W., & Maurer, T. (2017). A proposed model for effective negotiation skill development. Journal of Management Development, 36(7), 940–958.

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Gunia, B. C., Brett, J. M., & Gelfand, M. J. (2016). The science of culture and negotiation. Current Opinion in Psychology, 8, 78–83.

Lewicki, R. J., Barry, B., & Saunders, D. M. (2021). Negotiation: Readings, exercises, and cases (8th ed.). Mc Graw Hill India.

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