Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Negotiating or Bargaining?

I recently attended a 2 day course on the power of negotiation. It was an interesting experience firstly as my fellow course goers were all people who work outside of the education world—this in itself can be refreshing. Secondly the content was of interest in that everyone’s nature tendency when placed in a situation requiring negotiation, most people resort to “bargaining”. My thoughts were how true this is and how destructive it can be. The situations where you “sell” something to employees for instance with the pay-back being less of something else, in other words you bargain your way into getting others to do something they don’t want to do.
According to the course provider, negotiation is much more about both parties understanding each other’s perspective and working together to reach solutions. Is this unrealistic? I’m not sure. I do know that over my years as a principal I have done quite a lot of bargaining—is this ok? Lots of food for thought.