Positions vs Interests Essay Assignment Project
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In this chapter, I learned that our position in a negotiation refers to something we have decided upon, while our interests are what caused us to decide upon that (each party’s needs, desires, concerns, and fears). I also learned that the basic problem in a negotiation does not lie in conflicting positions, instead, it lies in conflicting interests. Since a position is likely to be concrete and explicit, but the interests underlying may well be unexpressed and intangible, one good technique to understand each party’s interests in a negotiation is to examine each position they take and ask yourself “Why?”(Fisher et al., 1994).
Once upon a time, I was trying to negotiate a salary raise with my boss at my first job. She continued saying “it’s coming very soon” and never came. One day I got tired of waiting for the salary raise and decided to quit. During this period of negotiation, neither my boss’ interests nor mines were met. She continued having economic problems with the company, which was the reason why she was not raising my salary, and she had to start searching for new employees to fill my position. Me, on the other hand, all I wanted was some honesty and respect from her side, she had been promising that raise for a while now and I felt unappreciated. Our positions somehow varied during this period of negotiation. In the beginning, I was trying to act worth it for that raise on every move I did at the company and patiently earn it. At this point, my position was not conflicting with her position of holding that raise from me. But then my position changed, and I decided that either she increased my salary or I will quit. At this point, she got in a position where she told me that “maybe I should quit if I was not feeling ok within the company”. And that was mostly it, last day before I left the job, she proposed that salary raise to me, but I guess at that point the relationship had broken.
If my ex-boss and I would have focused on interests rather than positions, maybe we would have found more effective solutions for both parties. She may have found a different way of rewarding my job dedication so I would not have felt unappreciated. I could have been more dedicated to my sales and that would have come with benefits for the company as well. Eventually, these could have brought the possibility of becoming a manager at the company and I would have had earned more than just a salary raise.