Negotiating culture in the USA

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Communication is a very important skill used in relating with people.  This determines how well one can be a good leader or a functional team member.  Korobkin’s principle is premised on the principle that all negotiations share the same structural features and raise the same set of issues. Legal negotiations do not differ much from any kind of negotiation or that of a deal-making negotiation. The book is mainly for legal negotiations yet it finds easy application in one’s daily life. He spells out the three approaches in teaching negotiation as the following:

 (1) Communicate theoretical insights and conceptual models of the negotiation process.

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(2) Give students an opportunity to apply these concepts to unfamiliar situations and to their personal negotiating experiences to deepen their understanding of the material.

(3) Use simulations to provide students an opportunity to apply the concepts in an actual, interactive negotiation situation, both to reinforce their understanding and to allow an opportunity to develop an informed but personal approach to negotiating.

This is especially useful as one looks at the negotiating process in an educational set-up or a personal experience that illustrates how a successful negotiation is achieved.

            Enhancing the idea of Korobkin  is the concept of BATNA which was conceived by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their book Getting to Yes: Negotiating Without Giving In. Known as the Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA), this is important to negotiation because one can only make a good decision when he knows what his alternatives are. BATNA is the standard that secures a person that can protect a person in accepting terms that are unfavorable to him. Thus, it states that when a proposed agreement is better than one’s BATNA, then, one can accept it. Thus, having a good BATNA increases one’s negotiating advantage.

Meanwhile, negotiation and coordination in high-performance teams is achieved through the use of negotiations of organizational goals and how the mission and vision are communicated. The manager of today is challenged to meld the demands of the organization and the needs of the individual worker into a functioning whole. Education in today’s work environment will be successful if we formulate activities that are engaging as much as they are educational, and if we adapt to new technologies that will help complement classroom interaction. Drive and resilience are especially important when someone sets out to do something no one else has done or when that person faces setbacks and failures.

Ethics in the workplace can involve people who negotiate and face situations in their work or dealings with other people in which ethical dilemmas arise. The individuals in these cases are faced with ethical questions in their relations with customers, employees, and members of a larger society. More often than not, the answers to these questions are difficult because it involves weighing of values. Conflicting values in a given situation are not capable of compromise. One has to choose one over another. Sometimes, the ethically correct course of action is clear, and hopefully individuals act accordingly. But the answers are often not simple. The dilemma is most commonly presented when ethical concerns come into conflict with the practical demands of business.

This ties up with learning, just as importantly since this involves self-examination from the employees and up the organizational chart, seeking for strengths and maximizing it, zooming on mistakes and inefficiencies and eliminating or minimizing them, and after every step of improvement, includes patting everyone involved at the back and rewarding them for a job well done. If the managers knew what makes their employees unsatisfied and unhappy, they can offer more to the existing and incoming batches of employees. An efficient means of keeping employees associated with the values and goals of an organization is by developing a culture that encourages employees to focus on a higher purpose for their work. Values that support this kind of consistent operation include the idea that people are basically, good, rational and interested in achievement. Leaders that unify an organization believe that the individual has something to contribute to the organization.

The strategy of compromise rests on the faulty premise that your needs and mine are always in opposition. And so it is never possible for mutual satisfaction to be achieved. Acting upon this assumption, each of us starts out making an outlandish demand, so that he can ultimately have room to make concession. When the pressure builds on both of us to lay aside our differences for the sake of society as a whole, we compromise at a midpoint between our extreme positions. This solution is accepted to avoid a deadlock, but neither of us is really satisfied.

Our needs frustrated, we find some solace in reciting old bromides and cliches: “Half a loaf is better than none,” or “Give a little, get a little,” or “A good negotiation outcome is one where both sides are somewhat dissatisfied.” Needless to say, neither of us feels much obligation to support this arrangement which has not given either side what it really wanted. If we were to apply “the compromise formula” literally to some of life’s negotiation dilemmas the solutions would be ridiculous. Let me show you what I mean with the following simple situation that happened long ago when I was in grade school.

The process of learning anything new means that one is open for growth. Growth brings changes. Negotiating is a learning experience and the result, if one really works at it, is growth and change. It is a sense of personal readiness to try something new, to experiment, to take the risk—possibly to get a lot of benefits, possibly to fall on one’s face. Both are realistic possibilities. Yet each time one negotiates successfully, one build confidence to tackle situations that are more important. It may take time before one begins to feel capable of negotiating. But when one finally learns that there is no need to passively accept the things that happen, that can help change conditions and improve situations such that events will seem much less overwhelming.


Korobkin, Russel. Negotiation Theory and Strategy. Aspen Publishers February 2002

Tannen, Deborah, Men and Women on the Job. William Morrow Inc. 1994.


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Negotiating culture in the USA. (2017, Jan 12). Retrieved from

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