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Quick Communication Check Unit 3. Dealing with conflict


Dealing with conflict

Match the word on the left to the correct meaning on the right.


1. compromise a. pay special attention to something

2. consider b. think carefully about something

3. focus on c. agree on less than you really want/a middle position

4. resolve / solve (a problem) d. explain

5. have a break in a meeting e. find a solution to a difficulty

6. delay a meeting to a future date f. adjourn

7. say what you mean g. postpone



Rejecting proposals

Which of the following words indicate rejection is coming? Mark them with an R (rejection). Mark the others with an A (agreement).


1. Unfortunately... 7 It's a pity, but ...

2. Sadly ... 8 We don't think ...

3. We regret that ... 9 We cannot possibly ...

4. I'm pleased to say ... 10 I'm sorry, but ...

5. Fortunately ... 11 It's possible that ...

6. I'm afraid... 12 Happily ...



3 Ending the negotiation – without agreement

Choose words from the box to complete the following sentences.


proposal reach unfortunately possibly agree postpone success but regret compromise



1. _______ on this occasion we cannot _______ agreement.

2. I'm sorry we cannot _______ accept this _______.

3. We _______ that an agreement is not possible today.

4. Perhaps if we _______ a decision we can agree in the near future.

5. It's been an interesting meeting _______ we have not been able to _______.

6. We have tried to find a _______ but it seems without _______.


Summary Units 1-3

In business, you don’t get what you deserve, you get what you negotiate.

What is Negotiation?

In simplest terms, negotiation is a discussion between two or more disputants who are trying to work out a solution to their problem. This interpersonal or inter-group process can occur at a personal level, as well as at a corporate or international (diplomatic) level. Negotiations typically take place because the parties wish to create something new that neither could do on his or her own, or to resolve a problem or dispute between them.


Types of negotiations

When parties negotiate, they usually expect give and take. The disputants will either attempt to force the other side to comply with their demands, to modify the opposing position and move toward compromise, or to invent a solution that meets the objectives of all sides.

There are three main types of negotiation:

1. The win-win format: two parties try to find a mutually beneficial agreement and establish the basis for a lasting relationship.

2. Both teams look more for independent advantage with less emphasis on a long-term relationship.

3. The win-lose format: when two sides see their counterparts as opponents.


Planning negotiations

Effective planning is crucial to meeting negotiation objectives. If the parties are to reach a stable agreement, specific events must take place before the parties ever come to the table.


1. Parties must frame the problem, and recognize that they have a common problem that they share an interest in solving. The way in which parties define the problem can shape the rest of the planning process.


2. In the early stages of framing, negotiators must also determinetheir goals, anticipate what they want to achieve, and prepare for the negotiation process. The combined list of issues and priorities from each side determines the negotiation agenda.


3. After assembling issues on an agenda, the negotiators must prioritize their goals and evaluate the possible tradeoffs among them. Work out what you can concede.Find something in the deal that for you will not be important but for your counterpart may be of significance. This will be like gold to you! A 'sweetener' can be what clinches the bargain in your favour. Save this item for the final offer you make.


4. Know yourself.Know your own weaknesses. If you are a more gentle personality your natural aversion to conflict may toss you into concessions that aren't necessary! If this is you, learn about yourself and take counter action. If you are overly stubborn and never give way to minor points, know this about yourself. Your stubbornness, holding out for 100% your own way, may cause you to lose a really great deal!


5. Negotiators should also be aware of the underlying interests and goals of the other side. Planning involves assessing the other party's priorities and interests and trying to get a better idea of what that party is likely to want. Negotiators should gather background information about the other party's current needs, resources, and interests. Negotiators should be aware of the other party's negotiation style, reputation, and the strategy and tactics they commonly use. Don’t forget the cultural peculiarities of the other side!


6. Planning for negotiation also involves the development of supporting arguments. Negotiators must be able to present supporting facts and arguments, anticipate how the other side will respond to these arguments, and respond to the other party's claims with counter-arguments.


7. Work out different scenarios ahead of time.Being caught by surprise will NOT strengthen your position! Think through all the different possibilities which may eventuate and plan for each and every one of them. It is useful to brainstorm and write down on a piece of paper what could possibly happen. For example, if they said, "XYZ" - I would respond with, "ABC". This way you can be prepared for just about anything that may happen.


8. Have an exit strategy.If everything goes against you, you will be saved by your contingency planning! If you don't feel in control, stop talking. Immediately!!! Make sure you are listening to the other person. If you are doing most of the talking the chances are you are doing most of the conceding. Offer to break the meeting and reconvene at another time when you have been able to consider what has already been put forward.

9. Set up the negotiation meeting itself, if this is appropriate. If you can choose the time and the place, you can add further control over the tone of the meeting.


10. Invite the other party to the negotiation meeting.


The negotiating process

After small talk to establish a good rapport, both groups normally present their opening position. However, strategies and tactics have been prepared and there is usually room to maneuver. Parties will prepare an ideal position but will be prepared to make concessions and move to a fallback position to meet the required conditions. Proposals and counter-proposals will be made as part of this process. It may also be necessary to identify and overcome obstacles to a settlement. After a great deal of bargaining or haggling, both parties should compromise without losing face. Finally, a deal will be reached and a contract will be signed.


The purpose of the opening stage of negotiation is to position yourself and your needs, letting the other party know what you want, both as a outcome and in the process of negotiation

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