Search This Blog

Friday, July 9, 2010

Dealing with Conflict-Step 4- Work on Negotiating

Once you have successfully gotten through the first 3 steps, you can begin to focus on step 4 which is “working on negotiating”. It is important that you have first mastered the first 3 steps because negotiation will not be able to take place if for instance, one person has not been listened to and understood or the other person has not assertively expressed their needs. Furthermore, if you have not managed to achieve step 1 which is “staying calm” then all the efforts to resolve conflict will be useless. Negotiation therefore comes at the end, when the people involved in the conflict have managed to calm themselves, when they have listened to and understood each other and when both parties have communicated their needs and wants in an assertive manner.

Negotiation has been defined as follows:

“Negotiation is a form of decision making in which two or more parties talk with one another in an effort to resolve their opposing interests…a process by which a joint decision is made by two or more parties.”(Pruitt 1981, pp xi-xii in Anstey, 1998, p. 91)

“Negotiation is a process for resolving conflict between two or more parties whereby both or all modify their demands to achieve a mutually acceptable compromise…a process of adjusting both parties’ views of their ideal outcome to an attainable outcome.” (Kennedy et al 1987, p.14 in Anstey, 1998, p.92).

The Process of Negotiation

Three things have been identified as helpful in the negotiation process. (Gift of the Givers: Self Discovery and Growth Course Manual, 1999).

1. Compromise
The parties negotiate with each other until they arrive at a solution that is acceptable to both. In the process both give up something of their original position and meet each other half-way in an attempt to be tolerant towards each other.

In the negotiation process you can make a list, (mentally or you can write it down) of all the things that you are willing to compromise on.

You should not put things on the list unless you are absolutely sure that you will be able to give it up.

2. Accommodation

Both are willing to give, and to accommodate the other’s point of view, and yet to be honest about stating any specific uncertainties they may have.

You have to be able to accommodate the other person by understanding their wants and needs and meeting these needs and wants to a reasonable extent.

It is essential in the conflict resolution process for both parties to compromise something in order to accommodate each other. If this is not done then there will not be successful conflict resolution.

After having listened to and understood the other person’s requests, make a list of the things you think you can give to them. Once again you should only put things on the list that you are absolutely sure you will be able to give to the other person. It is very important that you keep up to the things you promise to do.

3. Seeking alternatives
Parties look for a solution that will have the greatest significance for them. They are concerned about the issue, the problem that needs to be solved and about what will be best under the circumstances.

 When seeking alternatives it is crucial that both parties are equally involved.
 You can sit together and brainstorm about possible solutions.
 The atmosphere should be a pleasant, happy one and both parties should feel comfortable to share their thoughts.
 After brainstorming, all the suggestions can be evaluated. The advantages and disadvantages of all the suggestions can be looked at.
 Thereafter the solution that seems most acceptable to both parties should be chosen.
 The Plan has to be carried out and each person should accept responsibility and try equally hard to keep to the plan.
 There should be no blaming each other.
 Remember all this is being done in order to achieve peace.
(Gift of the Givers: Self Discovery and Growth Course Manual, 1999).

References for this post:
-Anstey, M. (1998). Negotiating Conflict. Cape Town: Juta & Co,Ltd.
-Gift of the Givers Careline. (1999). “Self- Discovery and Growth Course”.

  Unpublished Course Manual.

1 comment:

  1. You've just been awarded 2 awards. Check it out: