Five simple steps to Negotiation

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It’s nearly that time, the time of entering the big bad world of work and as it draws upon me I need to take charge of my future and be prepared for upcoming job interviews. The sheer thought frightens me, as I know I can often be too polite and obliging, when really I should learn to speak up for myself more, however, I also recognise that in order to  secure my dream job I have to be calm, confident and learn the important tool of negotiation.

‘Negotiation is an interpersonal decision-making process necessary whenever we cannot achieve our objective single-handedly.’

Thompson (2005 p.2)


Now, I’m not saying it will be easy, but by following Robbins (2005) five step process it helps to break down the different stages of negotiation, so you can tick each one off as you go through the process and hopefully get that bit closer to securing your dream job.

The Negotiation Process

1.       Preparation and Planning

2.       Definition of ground rules

3.       Clarification and justification

4.       Bargaining and problem solving

5.       Closure and implementation

Robbins (2005)


The first and most crucial step is ‘Preparation and Planning.REMEMEBER: failing to prepare is preparing to fail! Before you attend the interview you need to work out precisely what you want to achieve, what your objectives are for the interview – perhaps you could create a checklist of your preferred needs such as salary package or working hours.

To help with such preferences this is when you’re BATNA best alternative to a negotiated agreement’ comes in to play. It’s all about compromise, you can’t just demand the employer satisfies all of your needs and requests; you need to propose an offer that is also within their BATNA so both can feel content.

You need to then define your ‘Ground Rules’ so both parties can exchange and discuss initial proposals, this helps to shape the role you may be offered in the company.. The next step is ‘Clarification and Justification’. Remember, there are potentially hundreds of applicants fighting for this job so what makes you different? Justify WHY YOU? Prove to them why they NEED to employ you. Explain your skills and mention relevant work experience or contacts that demonstrate why YOU are the best person for this role.

Next on the checklist is., ‘ Bargaining and Problem Solving.’ This step is the ‘give and take.’ If you are offered a lower salary than you expected, but it is a job which has future prospects and you know you will enjoy working there, then negotiation is the key. If you accept the job you can always ask for a salary review in the upcoming year and prove to them why you have earned the right to a higher wage.

And finally, ‘Closure and Implementation.’  In other words the formalizing of the agreement. Once you have accepted the job offer ensure the essential negotiations agreed are written in a formal contract.

 Now you can RELAX. it’s simple really, be confident and be clear on your needs beforehand. . Negotiation is a vital skill to help you develop your future, so enjoy it and achieve the best possible outcome for yourself and your employer.

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 Do you think you can do it? Has negotiation ever worked for you in a certain situation?


Breaking and Entering- The big debate

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No one can guess their reaction to waking up in the middle of the night and being confronted by an intruder in their home. The sheer panic and terror of protecting your family safely, verses the anger towards this stranger who has the audacity to break into your home will no doubt have emotions running high.

David Cameron has branded burglary a ‘crime of violence’ and recently stated,

 “When that burglar crosses your threshold, invades your home, threatens your family, they give up their rights.”

However, if both parties believe they have certain rights conflict will occur. How do you deal with conflict when it is unexpected and in a state of panic?

1. Competing/forcing – get your way

(Assertive and un co-operative)

2. Avoiding – avoid having to deal with conflict

(Unassertive and un co-operative)

3.Compromising – reach an agreement quickly

(Mid-range on both dimensions)

4.Accommodating – not upsetting the other person

(Unassertive and co-operative)

5.Collaborating – solve the problem together

(assertive and co-operative)

Thomas K (1976)

Personally, I believe if anyone could commit such a serious crime of breaking into a house whilst a family is in residence, they deserve to be punished by the law and by the homeowner. My own house was broken into and although I wasn’t there when it happened, the sheer terror at every noise and checking every window and door is locked will never leave you. Your feeling of safety and protection in your own home is shattered.

However, I cannot imagine how I would react if I was faced with the burglar.  I feel the best conflict resolution approach would be to use the accommodating and compromising method as there may be less chance of aggravating the intruder if they had a weapon.  You could accommodate them and let them take whatever they want if they didn’t harm your family. Although, every individual will act differently and if the competing style was used then the end result could be dreadful.

I feel the government need to do more to protect the home owner, especially if the situation gets out of control. The burglar could be unarmed and the homeowner could use a weapon which may result in punishment for the owner. It could also encourage more burglars to carry weapons now the law has changed.

When conflict occurs between a homeowner and an intruder the best conflict style must be used for a safe outcome. However, until you are put in that situation you don’t know how you would respond. If you are unfortunate to have someone break into your home, emotions may get the better of you….

Comment below on your opinion of conflict between a homeowner and a burglar

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Students Lose Out In High Court Battle

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The current topic of students GCSE grades being rejected for remarking has caused uproar from students, schools, unions and councils.  The high court has now decided to reject the demands to raise pupils GCSE grades, sat last summer. This decision may appear disobliging to some, but surely one rule must apply to all, in order to set a fair benchmark?  The ruling has of course affected hundreds of pupils who were expecting to obtain at least a C grade and instead, they are now left extremely disappointed as the grade boundaries have been increased.

The decision to lower the summer exam grade boundaries to the lower level used for January exams last year was overruled due to an “unrealistically high proportion of students obtaining a C grade.”

Being a student myself, I can sympathise with the pupil’s disappointment as I know how vital these grades can be. If I hadn’t obtained the right grades I wouldn’t be where I am today. This decision might impact on more students giving up on their studies if they feel the grades they need are unattainable.

What about you? Would this spur you to get motivated and achieve the grade you want so badly?

Many pupils claim they missed out on sixth form places because of the changes. Where would you be now if this had happen to you? It’s certainly something to think about.

This decision has caused conflict to arise with the pupils and schools against the high court as they feel this is an unfair judgement on their future. This links in with a conflict definition as,

“a process which begins when one party perceives that another party has negatively affected, or is about to negatively affects, something the first party cares about.” Buchanan & Huczynski (2007:764)

The conflict in this situation occurred due to the pupils feelings that the court has negatively affected their future ambitions as they did not get the grades they expected.

With the five dimensions of conflict resolution approaches, it is evident the court decided to use the ‘competing’ style as they were forceful and uncooperative. Do you think this was the right approach or could they have been more compromising or accommodating?

Although the pupils must be heartbroken about the outcome, I believe if the judge had used the accommodating approach and raised the grade levels for some of the student population, they would have had to change the grade for all pupils for a fair outcome.

This could lead to more complicated problems in the future, such as not enough places at colleges or Universities which in turn could cause even more issues. .As much as I sympathise with the students, I agree with the competing style of the court as it lead to their decision to be fair to all students. This approach resulted in the same outcome for everyone involved, a decision which I believe to be unbiased and fair-minded.

I hope this encourages and motivates future pupils to work really hard to obtain the grades they want so disappointment like this can be avoided in the future. It would be easier for students to rely on something they can control rather than setting all of their hopes on a decision that is out of their hands.

What do you think?

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