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Climate Setting

Diposting oleh belajarpsikologi on 21 November 2010
People’s behaviour can be interpreted in many different ways. An enquiry from someone the negotiator knows and trusts might be interpreted very differently than one from a stranger or someone she does not trust.
When strangers meet, first impressions can be very important. If one party creates the impression that they are unsure of their ground, believe that they themselves have a weak case, that it is important for them to reach an agreement or that they are anxious to settle quickly, they will encourage the other party to believe that they have the stronger case. The other party might then make high demands, stand firm and push the first party into making substantial concessions. If, on the other hand, the first party appears confident and launches into an attack immediately, the other party may be pushed into a defensive position or provoked into making a counterattack. However, this kind of win—lose climate is not inevitable. 
If the negotiators are able to present themselves as people who are genuinely seeking a mutually beneficial agreement, then the possibility of a collaborative negotiation exists. Also applies in the context of a negotiation. The nature of their encounter influences how the negotiators interpret each other’s behaviour and how they will respond. When negotiating, especially with strangers, it is easy to get drawn into a competitive interaction where one party seeks to maximize his or her benefit at the expense of the other. Careful management of the initial encounter might increase the possibility of discovering a common purpose and establishing the trust that is necessary for collaborative negotiation. 

Responding immediately to the other party’s competitive thrusts will, almost inevitably, eliminate this possibility and encourage, at least initially, a competitive climate for negotiations. Scott (1981) emphasizes the importance of not being drawn in this way if the negotiators would prefer to test the possibility of a collaborative relationship. He advocates the introduction of neutral topics, which can provide the space necessary for the parties to assess each other’s aims and intentions.


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