INDIVIDUAL REFLECTIVE JOURNAL
INDIVIDUAL REFLECTIVE JOURNAL
Part 1- Reflection on the first three Negotiations
Negotiation refers to a process of coming into agreement where two or more persons come together to discuss certain issues and make a decision or business deals. It entails dispute resolution due to a difference in the people’s background and principles regarding certain issues. Negotiations exist to show proofs that objective or goals have been accomplished when both parties reach a consensus on the subject matter. It entails formulation of new plans and initiatives where the group with the best ideas prevails over the negotiation (Reardon, 2004).
We conducted various negotiations in a span of five weeks where three of the negotiations will be elaborated in details. The first negotiation was a face to face negotiation where our group was selling used cars to customers. It was our first negotiation so we were a little bit upset. Our group played the role of the salesperson acting on behalf of a local Australian while the other group played the role of the foreign customer that was to buy the used car that is Commodore 2003, six cylinder, automatic, air conditioned, one owner and eight months registration. I played the role of the marketing manager and I was to negotiate with the customer about the car details and I did well at that. The marked price for our car was $12 500 but after serious bargain we ended up selling at $11 500 with 8 month registration and 1 year insurance and we were content with the settlement. Our major weakness was that we did not have a clear plan on how to go about it because more parties were talking at the same time but to our advantage the customer was really interested in buying the car making the deal in 30 minutes time. From the negotiation we got to learn that an effective form of leadership was required to moderate the negotiation (Cialdini and Robert, 2009) as the buyer would have used this as an advantage to make us lower our prices further down. Therefore, the price agreed upon of $11500 was satisfactory on our part hence a win for us because it was within our zone of possible agreement.
The second negotiation was an online one in which our group acted on behalf of Him and Her company, Australia while the other group acted on behalf of Beijing Fashion Manufacturing Company. It was the worst negotiation we have ever done since the other group took 40 minutes of our time answering the first question. We could not see each other as we were working from different computer laboratories through emails. I played the role of designing the time frame for our Company. We found out that online negotiations consumes time and lacks a better output as we spent one hour forty five minutes negotiating. Nevertheless, online negotiations as we evaluated was convenient for businessmen negotiating across a wide geographical coverage. Hence it saves the costs and the expenses of travelling in order to meet the negotiation representatives. Although where time factor is an issue, e-negotiation may at times be slower due to network complications. In this negotiation, both parties wanted to win but the victory was on our side.
The last was a face to face negotiation about the Best books Company. In the negotiation we were very confident where our group acted on behalf of the Best Books which is one of the highest publishers in the world. We had a clear plan for the negotiation. The other group was representing one of the best selling Author in China-Paige Turner. The other group was a bit nervous hence it was a challenge dealing with them due to cultural difference. The group was trying to change publishers hence opting to sign with Best Book sellers. My role was to negotiate about the signing of Bonus and the number of books where I did well as planned. We had 8 axes to negotiate with her senior representatives and the axes were: The royalties 10%; Contract signing bonus $ 15000; Number of print runs fro the book 5; Number of weeks that Paige has to promote the book 25; Number of books 3; Advance $ 15000; Number of countries where the book will be sold 14 and finally Number of book clubs that will adopt the book 3. The negotiation was successful as we signed the contract with the author due to well planning of our strategies and executing them diligently according to Amanatullah et al, (2008) preposition.
Part two: Observation of Team and dynamic decision process
When we held our first group meeting I considered the meeting to be an ineffective one because no one turned up on time. A long with high time wastage every group member had a variety of complex ideas in mind to be shared due to the distinctive diversities from which they come from. My team consisted of 5 members from Saudi Arabia. We were all from the same cultural background which enabled us to easily communicate to each other. We met 3-4 times a week for two hours. All the team members were punctual and regular in attending the meetings. One of the members was more active in terms of creativity and developing ideas to form strategies thus a variety of ideas emerged as we kept moving on with the negotiations every week (Williams and Geis, 2000). The rest of the members were mostly reserved to themselves listening and speaking only when spoken to. Basing on the fact that we were from the same country our views and thoughts were more less the same hence there was no possible conflicts regarding our discussions or language barriers. The groups were assigned by the lecturer and it was a coincidence for us to fall in the same group which to some extent denied us the opportunity of interacting with other members from other countries and experiencing the different culture. However, we got an opportunity to interact with other members from different backgrounds during the negotiations
With the past devastating experience I had in the last debate in Mob course I exuded a strong sense of self assurance as time went by as I was in a position to comprehend and evaluate the different personalities various people have and be in a position to adapt to them. From the negotiations I developed excellent interpersonal skills in negotiation with persons from different cultural backgrounds to successfully make deals with them (Brett, 2001)
Part 3: PLAN BEFORE FINAL NEGOTIATION
Before the final negotiation, there are a few things that had to be determined. First, we had to find out exactly what points Datong was not ready to budge on in the least, and focus the least on them. If they entirely needed 100 engineers then it had to come at the cost of either the railway or the workforce and if it was possible, get them to agree to the maximum we wanted (either no money invested or 40 mines closed). However, for the most part we offer them the second highest point value, as it will seem a gesture of good faith thereby we will appear more generous. This type of approach we used is referred to us structural approach where we evaluated the structural make up demands of Datong before we applied the strategic approach according to the plans and methods formulated (Shell and Richard, 2009).
Our biggest precedence was to maintain the 60/40 profit share, as that represented the highest point of our bargain. It was not to be conceded upon even if it meant capitulating even slightly more on any of the other points. With lack and replication of incentives for Fernet Brio to have a higher financial investment, emphasizing on the amount of money already poured into the safe mining technology, only one of the minor points would need to be capitulated upon. This made it seem as though the offers we were providing for the railway, engineers and the mines were more generous compared to what we had already spent on the technology; if Datong gave us the flexibility on any of these points without asking for more, we would have taken the deal. Due to the 15 years Datong and Fernet have worked together, it was possible to use that as leverage for coming up with some kind of compromise for this deal, given the threat of dissolving or souring the business relationship.
Part 4: Reflection on the final negotiation
Our last negotiation took place in the final week of the trimester which had the highest grades being awarded and therefore it was very challenging and important for both of the teams to show up their best efforts to win over the battle. As mentioned earlier we had a strategic plan in place where we had assigned responsibilities and authorities to each individual so that preparation and the final process were smoother. The tasks mainly dealt with identifying the group participants in the field of finance, strategic management, technical support and lastly the human resource aspect (Raiffa et al. 2007). The responsibility assigned to me was the role of splitting the profit which was our major important point of the whole bargain. As both groups were well prepared from the past experiences, it was to be the best for us to have a win-win negotiation result instead of win-lose whereby one of the team would be dissatisfied.
The negotiation began with a short presentation from our group, then the two groups went a head to make introduction of their respective group members alongside with handing in the handouts from our team. In accordance with (Cohen, 2002), regarding the issues to discuss and agree upon by managers, the first and foremost subject is usually the splitting of profit which was to be shared between partners. We were to receive 60% of the total profits and they had to get the remaining 40%. The second agenda was about improving the existing railway system where we agreed to pay as per the terms and conditions of the agreement with the Chinese federal government. We were to contribute 15 million AUD to finance the upgrading of the coal railway to facilitate faster transportation of coal from the mines.
The concluding results from the long time discussions and negotiation that took place revealed that both teams concurred on fixed terms but the victory was on our side due to the intense and strong strategic planning we had done. Towards the end of the negotiation, we decided to close down 25 mines, hence reduction of 1000 jobs, training of engineers was agreed upon as we had to provide 50 Australian engineers to work in this project. We were happy with the outcome since our strategic plan and main objective of securing 60% of the profit was realized. In overall, the negotiation went pretty well despite the fact that our opponent team took a long time in making their choices towards their selected options making the process of negotiation to take longer time than expected. Perhaps this was their strategy to delay the whole process in order to win the bargain (Fisher and Ury and Patton 2010)
From the many negotiations that I have participated in throughout the trimester I have acquired a variety of expertise necessary for any negotiations with anyone from different cultural background. I can now identify the various requirements for an effective negotiation which involves strategic planning and utilization of information and facts in a group that is dynamic to effectively and strongly convey the intended objective. I have also learnt that the most influential and vital thing in negotiation is to never undermine your opponent. They might appear shy or slow but they can execute ideas diligently as with the case of my group members. Ultimately, from this course I have gained the necessary skills in marketing, how to engage in international business with foreign clients and be in a position to make good deals out of it.
Amanatullah et al, (2008) relational orientation of negotiators: a study of the effects on
Negotiation outcomes in dyadic negotiations, Columbia University press
Brett, J. M. (2001). Negotiating globally: How to negotiate deals, resolve disputes,
And make decisions across cultural boundaries. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Cialdini and Robert B. (2009) Influence: the psychology of persuasion. Rev. Ed. New York: Morrow.
Cohen, S. (2002). Negotiating skills for managers. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Raiffa et al. (2007), Negotiation Analysis, Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press.
Roger Fisher, William L. Ury, and Bruce Patton (2010) getting to yes: negotiating agreement without giving in. 2nd ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
Gerald R. Williams and Joseph M. Geis, (2000) ‘Negotiation Skills Training in the Law
School Curriculum’ in Michael Wheeler (Ed), Teaching Negotiation: Ideas and Innovations 203, 211
Reardon K. (2004) negotiation Analysis: the science and art of collaborative decision making.
Cambridge, Harvard University press
Shell and G. Richard (2009), bargaining for advantage: negotiation strategies for reasonable people. New York: Viking.