Face Negotiation Theory

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Stella Ting-Toomey
2011
Face-Negotiation Theory: Research and Assessment
Stella Ting-Toomey
2011
Face-Negotiation Theory: Research and Assessment

Face-Negotiation Theory:
Research and Assessment

Roberta Beauty Redding

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Professor Philip Auter

CMCN 384

March 27, 2011
Face-Negotiation Theory:
Research and Assessment

Roberta Beauty Redding

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Professor Philip Auter

CMCN 384

March 27, 2011

Face-Negotiation Theory:
Research and Assessment

Stella Tingy-Toomey’s face negotiation theory goes in depth on how “people of different cultures respond to conflict” (Griffin, 2009). How does one protect his/her public self-image or refrain from embarrassing the other disputant(s) when arguing? Tingy-Tommey feels as if one’s self-image is the important variable that links culture to disputants’ ways of managing conflict. According to Tingy-Toomey, there are two types of cultures that exist; individualistic and collectivistic (Griffin, 2009). Each culture presents a different way that its members perceive the self, goals, and duties. In individualist cultures people are concerned about themselves and their immediate families, where as in collectivistic cultures people identify themselves with group loyalty (Griffin, 2009). One of these cultures will usually dominate the other one when conflict arises. Ting-Toomey’s theory suggest that cultural knowledge, mindfulness, and face-work interaction skills must be present and understood if one wants to communicate effectively across cultures (Griffin, 2009). Stella Ting-Toomey began her research on the face-negotiation theory in the 1980s. The face negotiation theory is an objective theory that “explains, predicts, and advises” with an analysis based only on self-report data resulting from experiments conducted by Ting-Toomey and her co-researcher, John Oetzel (Griffin, 2009). The theory has been revised and is now supported by empirical evidence, but still faces scrutiny. However, the theory can be tested by facing the “put-up-or-shut-up” test (Griffin, 2009). Culture Meditation

It is not always easy for people who are in disagreement to resolve their dispute and satisfy both parties. Em Griffin, a retired communications professor, once served as a mediator at a professional staffing center that offers free services to parties at variance. Em stated, "My role as a mediator is to help people in conflict reach a voluntary agreement that satisfies both sides… As a mediator, I’m a neutral third party whose sole job is to facilitate the process of negotiation” (Griffin 2009). Sometimes the disputants may need a mediator that simply guides the process without controlling the outcome. The table below “lists some of the techniques that mediators use to ensure progress without suggesting the shape of the solution... However, “the model of negotiation doesn’t work well equally well for everyone” (Griffin, 2009). The techniques are ways of building comfort zones so that the disputants can feel free to talk about the burdening issues. Griffin postulated that “On rare occasions when Japanese, Vietnamese, Chinese, or Koreans came to the office, that they were more embarrassed than angry” (Griffin, 2009). Table 1Selected Techniques of Third Party Mediation|

Techniques| “Mediator”|
Guarantee confidentiality:| “What you say today is strictly between us. I’ll rip up my notes before you go.”| Summarize frequently:| I’d like to tell you what I’ve heard you say. If I don’t get it right, fill me in.”| Consider the Alternative:| “What are you going to if you don’t reach an agreement today?| Move toward agreement:| “You’ve already agreed on a number of important issues. I’m going to begin to write them down.”| Note: I only chose 4 out of the 12 techniques listed in book’s chart.Figure 31-1...
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