Conflict and Negotiation

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Decision making is about coming to agreement on the perceptibly best (optimal) course of action, given several competing odds and scenarios. In many cases, there is more than one person involved in the decision making process. Given the realities faced by the various parties involved in deliberations that must lead to decisions, and the shades of information and viewpoints available to these parties, steps that lead to decisions must be clear on desired outcomes and accommodate different perspectives. Conflicts and the need to negotiate must arise sometimes become people are need-driven and see things from their own points of view - for good reason. For instance, in my experience, I have encountered several instances where HR, business units and IT seemed to be working at cross-purposes even though they insist they are all focused on doing the best for the same organization: •The HR manager was looking at employee time-tracking software from the standpoint of compliance and what needed to be in or out to protect the company from reputational risks such as litigations and regulatory penalties. •The frontline business unit manager’s focus was on quick delivery so as to book the next sale and achieve his target profitability. •The IT manager serving both the HR and business manager was looking at both group’s needs from the standpoint of overall company priority since IT resources were limited. It thus becomes important for participants to be clear on the overall goal, even though they come from different points of view. There is always the need to do some give-and-take with regards to points of view, so the final decision has the coverage, goodwill and support it needs to serve the needs of all concerned and the organization as a whole. Conflict can be either functional (constructive) or of dysfunctional (destructive), depending on whether or not the negotiation process is focused clearly on solving problems or distracted by a selfish investment in rigid...
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