In using compromise as a negotiating tactic, I had to concede on a few issues that were relevant to the project I wanted to carry out. It had become quite apparent to me that SeaTech as a company had always centered their production on anti-fouling hull material. The company had never thought of doing their production of the anti-fouling coating. The project I am working on right now is of equal importance to the new idea I want to develop in relation to the paint and this means that I need all the help I can get. To get this project underway and in a timely manner, I need all the help I can get in terms of personnel. I could use at least four lab assistants and two junior engineers who will help with my project but the company thinks that this is too much to ask, as they cannot devote all these employees to my project. I therefore had to compromise and be content with the allocation of one lab assistant for the development of the paint project. This strategy hurt me in the sense that it slows down my work and will mean that the project will take longer to complete a there are few people working on it. More hands on deck would mean a speedy and more efficient outcome. This tactic however helped me to show Tracy that I was ready to work within the confines and limitations that they would provide. In negotiating as noted by Lewicki et al (5), there is a give and take expectation as both parties have to modify or give in to aspects they do not wish to concede on. I had to compromise my position for requesting additional personnel on my team as this project was important to me and the additional personnel were not the most important aspect in my project. Lewicki et al (5-6), notes that sometimes a truly creative negotiation may not need compromise as both parties may invent solution that meets the aims of both sides. In this case, I had to compromise, as we did not reach an agreement that sorted the objectives of both parties involved. Tracy thought that the additional personnel I was requesting would slow down SeaTechs other project as they would have less people to work with yet mine was an experimental project.
I also employed logrolling as a negotiating tactic in this case. In getting this paint project up and running, I had a range of requests that I made to Tracy that would ensure the successful completion of the project in a timely manner. However, the requests I made had different priorities as some were of utmost importance to me while others I could slacken the demand. When Tracy pressed me I chose to concede on the ones that were of lesser priority to me so that I could get the demands that were of most importance to the project. Conceding on the number of personnel was something that I could work around and secondly, the request for more lab time to be allocated was an aspect I could also adjust. I had initially requested to be allocated at least fifteen days to access SeaTechs high tech laboratory since I believed that this project needed more time. I agreed to lesser access days in the lab a I knew I could maximize the few days allocated. However, this tactic hurt me in the sense that, fewer days meant that I would have to exert myself more in the days allocated to get the maximum benefit of the lab. This meant that on the days I used the lab, I would have to forgo most of my personal time and give it all to the project in the lab. The tactic however helped me as I would be seen to have compromised on some aspects therefore, I was able to get the most important items in my list of requirements.
I employed the concept of expanding the pie, which ensures that both teams in a negotiation win. This is because I realized that antagonizing Tracy would pit us against one another. She had the authority to decide on all the aspects I required to kick start and carry out this project successfully so I had to present my ideas in a manner that ensured both me and SeaTech benefits. I communicated the benefit this project will have on SeaTech as a company that will be the first to ever come up with an anti-fouling paint and the cost-effective result that the project will have thus saving the company money. The material development team also needed such a paint to improve on their production and the company would be producing it rather than outsourcing. However, since others in the company were not optimistic about the viability of the project, I felt that this tactic hurt my chances of fully explaining the benefits of the paint project. The tactic brought a deadlock where some thought that I would undermine the competitive advantage of the company by making such paint available to the market.
Nonspecific compensation or interest substitution as a negotiating tactic means that one negotiating party gives the other something like a reward that is unrelated to the original source of clash. I employed this tactic as a buyoff. In this case, I gave the other engineers the chance to work on the anti-fouling fiberglass project that I was engaged in full time to free up time for the paint project. They were interested in my position at that project and I wanted to dedicate my time to the paint project so I gave them what they wanted and got what I wanted. This tactic benefitted me to get the item that was of most importance to me in my list of requirements; time.
In bridging and super ordination, we both did not get what we set out to achieve but we came up with some workable compromises that addressed some areas of contention. Tracy agreed to funding for my project although there are some aspects he cut back from my project.
Tracy employed the bogey tactics in her negotiation, which mean that she directed her focus on a decoy target. She responded to my request for funding by mentioning that she was willing to fund the project but there was less money and thus asked me to help her on what to do about my situation. This tactic ensured that Tracy could get the real information she wanted by focusing on my answer to her question posed as a funding dilemma yet she wanted other information related to how much funding I wanted and how I was going to use these funds. This tactic helped her to assess the viability of the paint project and the position the company would be placed in if they went ahead and funded my project.
She also employed the low-ball tactic by offering a low figure of funding for my paint project. This tactic benefited her by ensuring that I would counter her offer with a slightly higher suggestion but not beyond what she had considered her initial threshold. This meant she was ahead of me in thought. I had no option but to concede. However, it also hurt her since I gained the advantage of asking for Sara Jackson to take over my duties in material development. Tracy could not say no as she felt that she had taken much from my project.
I learnt that negotiations re part of day-to-day life and that as Lewicki et al projects, they happen for two reasons; the creation of a new thing that neither party could achieve on their own and to resolve dispute. In this case, the negotiating process employed the Pareto optimality that looks at how resources are allocated. The instances that occurred here showed that sometimes it is difficult to make one party happy without making the other party uncomfortable. This mean that in negotiations, at least one party may walk off feeling a little shortchanged by the entire process. I have also learnt that in a negotiation, there are at least two parties or more. The case covers all aspects of intragroup, interpersonal, and interpersonal negotiation. There is also bound to be conflict in any negotiation and people aim to find solutions and reach an agreement.
Lewicki, Roy J., Bruce Barry, and David M. Saunders. Essentials of negotiation. McGraw-Hill/Irwin, 2011.
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