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Conflict

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Conflict
Negotiating II
Conflict may be productive in
some cases:
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In any business situation, there
are often a number of
different ideas about the way to
proceed.
Only one way can be chosen, so
conflict is inevitable
However, discussing different
ideas will lead to the best choice
During discussion some problems
may arise:
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Is it good to keep defending an
idea which is apparently not the
best choice?
Some people are not willing to “lose
face” by abandoning a longcherished idea
There may be conflict between
different levels in an organisation’s
hierarchy or between different
departments (some ideas from
elsewhere may not be welcome)
Examples of unproductive
conflict:
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There are disputes (arguments)
between colleagues or between
managers that go beyond ideas and
become personal
In countries with high levels of
employee protection, dismissing
(firing) employees can lead to a
process of litigation (where an
employee sues their company for
unfair dismissal.
All this can cost a company big
money and precious time
Labour-management conflict
can take the form of:
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Strikes and go-slows (a goslow is a form of protest where
workers deliberately slow down
in order to cause problems)
The goodwill of a company’s
customers, built up over years,
can be lost very quickly
But there are cases where the
public sympathise with the
employees and there is no
damage
Many countries use arbitration
between the two sides:
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Arbitration is a form of
alternative conflict resolution in
which the parties (the opposite
sides in conflict) present their
cases to a neutral third party
and agree to respect his or her
decision
More and more companies in the
US use ADR to resolve conflicts:
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ADR is alternative dispute
resolution which includes
methods other than lawsuits
These methods include
mediation, conciliation,
arbitration and settlement
(negotiation) and are less
formal and cheaper than court
process.
Resolving conflict by negotiating is
a part of local mentality:
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Different nationalities deal with
conflict in different ways:
For example, it is typical of a
Russian negotiator to bang his fist on
the table in the middle of the meeting
and leave the room.
Russian negotiating teams are often
made up of experienced managers
whose moves are planned in
advance like a game of chess
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German managers are very
direct an they speak their mind.
They consider it important to
clarify everything and get to the
point quickly
The Germans do not approve of
too much enthusiasm or
compliments, they rather
concentrate on the objective
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Americans have a natural talent
of communicating: they use
small talk and smiling very often
They also use a liberal sense of
humour to get close to their
negotiating partners
As a rule, the atmosphere is
informal: business partners eat
and drink and don’t use their
academic titles
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The American attitude “time is
money” has a great influence
on their business
communication
Americans tend to develop a
personal relationship with their
business partners
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Spanish negotiators usually
interrupt you in the middle of the
sentence and they talk at the
same time which is an accepted
behaviour in Latin cultures
The business people in Spain
do not rely on careful
preparation. They use
spontaneous ideas and quick
thinking.
The good side is that in Spain
An example of badly handeled
conflict:
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Two professional managers working
in the same team keep arguing with
each other.
The rest of the team avoids the
problem and eventually the
frustrations build up.
Finally, there is a huge fight and a
lot of bad things are said.
All of this happens because
everybody avoids the problem
instead of saying: Look, we have an
An example of well handeled
conflict:
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One colleague has a way of
working which the other one
doesn’t like.
The other colleague starts
showing his frustrations by
being agressive.
The first colleague points
directly to the problem, and they
address it toghether.
The result is a new agreement
Negotiating II
Some useful language and
examples
Calming down:
soultions:
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I understand
what you’re
saying.
I can see your
point of view.
Well, I know
what you mean.
Why don’t we
come back to
that later?
Creating
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A compromise
could be to...
How about if ...
What if...
Let’s look at his
another way.
Another
possibility is...
Closing a negotiation:
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Let’s see what we’ve got.
Can I go over what we’ve
agreed?
Let’s go over the main points
again.
OK, I think that covers
everything.
We’ve got a deal.
Fine. Right. That’s it then.
An example: A parking
problem
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We just don’t have enough
spaces for everyone. We need
the spaces for managers and
customers who visit us. Sorry,
Tracy but that’s it.
Well, you’ll have to think
again. Our staff arrive early.
They need somewhere to park.
Look, Tracy, I understand what
you’re saying, but it just isn’t
possible anymore.
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The staff are not going to accept it. I
warn you, Tom, this could lead to a
strike.
Tracy,... You know we’ve got a
parking problem. We’ve got to do
someting about it. OK, how about
this? What if we keep five spaces
for staff, and it’s first come, first
served.
Sorry, that isn’t good enough. It’s
not a solution to a parking problem,
and you know it.
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There is another possibility.
How about if the staff park their
cars in the car park near the
station?
Some of them do that already.
But they have to pay quite a bit,
you know.
OK, what if we could help
towards the cost? We might be
able to pay, say, thirty percent.
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Yes,... It’s worth considering. It
might help.
Right. I’ll discuss this proposal
at the next board meeting. Staff
will park in the public car park,
and we’ll contribute thirty
percent towards the cost.
Fine. That’s it then.
Economic terms
Time clauses
Match the economic terms to their
definitions:
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Interest rate
Exchange rate
Inflation rate
Labour force
Tax incentives
Government
bureaucracy
GDP (gross domestic
product)
Unemployment rate
Foreign investment
Balance of trade
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Total value of goods and
services produced in a
country
General increase in
prices
Cost of borrowing money
Price at which one
currency can buy another
Percentage of people
without jobs
People working
Low taxes to encourage
business activity
Money from overseas
Official
rules/regulation/paperwor
k
Difference in value
between a country’s
imports and exports
Time clauses
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We use time clauses to give
information about actions in the
past, present and future:
Do you remember when you
had your first interview? (past
time)
When I find the missing
documents, I’ll bring them to
you. (future time)
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We use a present tense, not will,
to refer to future time in a time
clause:
Until inflation is under control,
planning will be difficult. (NOT
will be under control)
Once we finish the project, we’ll
have more time.
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Note that:
1) a present perfect in a time
caluse refers to a future
situation:
I’ll get back to you as soon as
we have decided what to do.
2) while means “during the
time that” or “at the same time
as”:
While I was in Italy, I went to
see Alessandro.
Complete these sentences with
when, while, before, after, until,
as soon as:
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Don’t make a decision _______
we’ve seen the report.
I’m meeting with Atsuko this
afternoon. Send her up _______ she
arrives.
Let’s sort out this problem
_________ she gets here.
I’m coming to Paris tomorrow
afternoon. I’ll phone you ______ I
arrive.
Can you type this report for me
______ I’m away?
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