Negotiation for Success
Vanessa Abrams Case
Did Vanessa Abrams give in?
How did she get into this position and what choices did she have?
Why didn’t she pursue them?
What key principles were violated, and what was the consequence of the violation?
Have you had similar experiences and how did you handle them?
At the conclusion of the non complete negotiations, Vanessa Abrams said, “I ended up giving in.” Do you agree?
Did she give in? Was there something left to negotiate? Looking at what she wanted and what she got, there was still things that she could have negotiated. She did get one years salary if she was fired, but she felt that this was not worth a thing. As such she did not get what she really wanted.
How did Abrams get herself in this position? What other choices did she have?
She negotiated based on advice that she received from her lawyer who did not have the background about the relationships involved. How important to her were the points put into the memo? Did she merely put these things in as she was told that she should get 'something' for signing the non-disclosure?
She didn't follow the style of negotiation that worked for her in the past. This is due to the fact that, once she had it 'placed' in her mind that she should get something for signing the non-disclosure, she did not seek to have actual negotiations and conversations. She merely was demanding of her position.
She negotiated in a distributive style rather than trying to collaborate. In the process she lost some things important to her. (i.e. being part of the management committee)
She got into this position by trying to negotiate in the style of her attorney - hard-ball.
Both parties valued something differently and there may have been opportunities to create value from this. What does she have that she didn't value highly that they might? What do they have that they don't value highly that she would?
She had the choice to discuss the issues with Jerry before she decided to play hard-ball. This may have brought into the open their interdependent goals.
She could have been prepared to walk.
Jerry said he really didn't have to do anything for her but in the end he did make a concession - she could have discussed this further with him to see if there was anything further he could do.
The fact that he was prepared to give her 1 years salary if she was fired was a concession and shows that he was still prepared to look at other options. Perhaps there were more committees that she would be interested in being part of as that seemed to be important to her.
She felt that her only leverage was the fact that she didn't sign the non- disclosure document however as she was a major revenue producer, she had leverage in this.
She could have discussed the option of increasing her commission if she signed the document as she was the main revenue producer for the company (30 %to 40%).
She could have looked at the option of changing some of the clauses in the non disclosure document so that she could sell everything except what the current company was selling.
Why didn't she pursue them?
She didn't look at what was important to her.
She loved to work for the company and didn't want to leave.
She really liked to be involved with the company and was an important part of the management team as evidenced in her sales results, making all decisions around pricing, assigning consultants to accounts and workloads. She oversaw training and was responsible for Public relations. She was on the management committee and wanted to still be involved with the management discussions.
She took advice from someone who didn't know the relationships involved and by the sounds of things what the industry norm was.
She was making good money with the company and therefore felt that she couldn't walk...
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