Communication in Negotiating

Negotiation is a dialogue or exchange of ideas between two or more individuals or parties, anticipated to reach an understanding, agree on a point of difference, or gain advantage in the results of a negotiation, to produce a settlement upon courses of action, to bargain for personal or group advantage, to craft results to fulfill various interests of two individuals or parties involved in a negotiation procedure (Saylor, 2013). Negotiation is a procedure where every party involved in the discussions tries to gain a plus for themselves by the end of the process. Negotiation is anticipated to aim at a negotiation or compromise. Negotiation can basically take a wide-ranging variety of forms, from a skilled negotiator acting on behalf of a specific association or position in an official setting, to an informal compromise between friends. Negotiation can be compared with mediation, in the sense that a neutral third party listens to every side’s opinions and efforts to help craft a pact between the parties (Saylor, 2013).

Types of Negotiations

Distributive Negotiation

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Distributive negotiation is sometimes referred to as positional or hard-bargaining mediation. It tends to approach negotiation on the model of bargaining in a market. In a distributive negotiation, every side often assumes an extreme position, acknowledging that it will not be accepted, and then employs a blend of guile, cheating, and brinksmanship in order to concede as little as possible before reaching an agreement (Saylor, 2013).

Integrative Negotiation

Integrative negotiation is sometimes referred to as interest-based or principled mediation. Basically, integrative negotiation is a set of methods that attempts to improve the quality and probability of negotiated agreement by offering a substitute to old distributive negotiation methods (Saylor, 2013). Generally, distributive negotiation undertakes that there is a fixed quantity of value to be shared between the parties, integrative negotiation frequently attempts to generate value in the course of the mediation. Integrative negotiation concentrates on the fundamental interests of the parties rather than their random starting positions, approaches mediation as a collective challenge rather than a personalized conflict, and insists upon adherence to impartial, principled standards as the basis for negotiation (Saylor, 2013).

What is this dispute about for Kelly?

Apart from Mr. Higashi’s constant pressure for Kelly to sign up for Japanese culture which he recommended instead of letting Kelly choose the form of Japanese culture she preferred, Mr. Higashi had this chauvinistic attitude. Actually, Kelly reached a point that she stopped regarding Mr. Higashi as a supervisor. This was due to the fact that Mr. Higashi constantly gave wrong information or ignored all together. One of the ALTs Andrea stopped approaching Mr. Higashi if she encountered a problem and instead she consulted one of the office ladies. This were some of the issues that actually led to the main dispute between Kelly and Mr. Higashi.

Kelly woke up one morning with this high fever and as required she reported the matter to her supervisor Mr. Higashi. Mr.Higashi demanded a medical note from Kelly indicating that she was actually treated in a medical facility immediately she reported back at work. However, according to the contract signed by the ALTs, in the event that an ALT was sick for three or more consecutive days that is when an ALT is supposed to present a medical notification or certificate. Kelly had reported that she was going to be out just for two days which did not warrant a medical certificate. On the other hand, Mr. Higashi made Kelly sign a document that she was out on paid leave instead of a sick leave.

Dispute about Mr. Higashi?

In this case, Mr. Higashi was for the argument that Kelly and the other two ALTs had no basis for complaints since that was a standard procedure in Japan and it was well known that employees in Japan did not make use of their vacation time. As such, any employee who fell sick used his paid vacation. However, Mr. Higashi did not consider the fact that the ALTs were under a contract which had clearly stipulated rules. Additionally, Mr. Higashi had a problem trusting the ALTs. For instance, Mr. Higashi got really suspicious that Mark and Suzanne had also fallen sick at the same time when Kelly fell sick.

In these types of conflicts is a compromise possible?

In this types of conflicts a compromise is possible since the parties are guided by clearly laid out rules and regulations. For example, it was in order for Kelly to look for CLAIR’s contact details since in such situations it is wise to go back to the drawing board and review the stipulations that were put in place at the first time. By doing this, it is thus possible to reach a compromise between the parties involved in the matter.

How is communication across cultures impacted in this negotiation?

In this negotiation communication is impacted across cultures in various ways. For example, Mr. Higashi expected the ALTs to follow the cultural practices held dear by the Japanese but on the other hand, the ALTs were also guided by their own cultural practices and they wanted their cultural practices respected which of course Mr. Higashi was not ready to do. He expected the ALTs to act as normal employees in Japan but again the ALTs were guided by rules they signed. Again, there were barriers in communication since it is only Mr. Higashi who seemed to understand the English language especially in the office setting where the ALTs worked.

What are the tangible and intangible factors in this situation?

Tangible factors basically include items that are quantifiable for instance, terms of agreement and price. On the other hand, intangible factors refers to deep psychological motivations that can directly or indirectly influence the parties when negotiating (WordPress, 2010). In this situation, the tangible factor is the term of agreement as stipulated in the ALTs’ contract. The intangible factor is the psychological effect seen between the ALTs especially during the dispute with Mr. Higashi.

What are the intangible factors in the negotiation?

The psychological effect is the intangible factor in the negotiation. From the communication between the ALTs and Mr. Higashi, it was clear that the ALTs were not psychologically motivated to continue with activities at the office under the supervision of Mr. Higashi. First he was not guiding the ALTs as per the contract signed and he was constantly ignoring them and providing them with wrong information about Japan.

Which are more important, the tangible or intangible factors?

The vital factors are the intangible factors since in order to perform their duties effectively and cooperate with the fellow employees and their supervisor, the ALTs should feel psychologically motivated.


Saylor (2013), Negotiation. Retrieved on 9th January 2016 from

WordPress (2010), Negotiation skills for business people. Retrieved on 9th January 2016 from