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  Issue 48 April 2005

   

Conflicts in the organizations and their overcoming (2)

Avoiding is also a way of negotiating

There are often conflict situations within an organization, in the relations with other organizations and individuals out of it and the manager is forced to solve them. Most often conflict situations occur in the process of making decisions, negotiating with associates about the salary, reaching agreements about sale of the organization’s products/services, when negotiating with the government for certain benefits for the organization etc.

In all these cases most often it is about opposed views of the involved parties that strive for realization of their interests. The process that needs to be passed in order to bring closer the interested parties’ views and attitudes is actually conflicts resolution.

Most frequently used ways of dealing with conflict situations are: opposing, cooperation, compromise, avoiding and adjusting.

Opposing is not recommended when keeping the relations with the other party is important (e.g. the other party is considered to be a strategic partner), when regular cooperation is not established yet (with new clients), for routine relevant and irrelevant issues.

Adjusting is also a win-lose situation, where one party withdraws from its positions and gives in. It is recommended to be used when the issue that is negotiated for is irrelevant, one party is helpless, but it does not want to block the opponent. This way of conflicts resolution should be avoided if one party uses it only to be accepted by the other party, because the result is most often disrespect for both the organization and the negotiator.

Avoiding is a way of negotiating which results in dissatisfaction of both parties involved in the conflict. It is a lose-lose situation and it should not be used when it is important to keep the good relations and to realize the interests in negotiating. Avoiding often leads to freezing the negotiations and explosive arguments. It is recommended to be used when relations are not very important, the time is short and the decision does not have to be made, when you have a weak negotiating position, but you want to block the “opponent”.

Collaborative way of negotiating is actually what we, as managers, should aim at. Cooperation is a win-win situation where differences are respected and a common suitable solution is wanted. This is actually principled negotiating and its results cause satisfaction for both parties involved. However, this style of negotiating has its disadvantages. It is not recommended to be used when there is little time available, when the other party’s goals are objectively wrong and the conflict happened for irrelevant things. The collaborative way of conflicts resolution is best to be used when keeping good relations and solving the conflict situation are equally important, when creative solutions are necessary, when there is enough time to run the process.

Compromise as a way of conflicts resolution is a democratic process which at the same time is positioning and enables division of differences of the involved parties. In the process of reaching compromise each of the parties partly gives up its requirements so there is no lose-win situation, that is, each of the negotiating parties partly loses and partly wins. Leading to compromise solution must be used when good cooperation is to be kept, but time and resources are limited, when finding any solution (that does not have to be the best one) is better than complete solution of the problem. It is not recommended when the best possible solution is necessary or when one of the parties cannot reconcile to the consequences (lost things) with the agreement.

As a foreigner staying in the Republic of Macedonia for a long time has noticed, we “chat“ a lot but address each other very little. It is typical of our managers, too. They act routinely with conflicts, driven by their personal feelings, attitudes and values. Negotiating as a way of dealing with conflict situations (that inevitably occur in working) has not so far been paid enough attention at the management schools. Contacting with representatives of foreign companies in our country, we see that negotiating skills, as necessary tools for successful work, are regularly applied. If every manager’s imperative is productivity, in order to achieve bigger organization’s productivity, it is necessary for him to be able to negotiate successfully. In the next issue we are going to talk about negotiating as a managerial tool.

 

Concept Page

 

A few definitions of negotiating:

- Negotiating is a process through which one person is trying to convince another person to change or not to change his/her opinion;

- Negotiating is art of winning;

- Negotiating is using mutual pressure in order to reach the goals of an organization in interaction with another organization;

Negotiating is “bargaining”;
The highest form of sale;
A process where one party talks to the other in order to reach an agreement in war, with the trade union or the management, with buyers or sellers of goods, services, with governmental organizations, with clients, friends and in the family;
-         Negotiating is basic means to get what you want from the others.

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