In real world, conflicts and negotiations are almost a daily fact of life because different parties usually have competing interests or different opinions on a particular issue such as salary negotiation, joint ventures, and competitive strategies. This is why I am particularly excited at the opportunity to take this course because I expect to frequently employ the lessons learnt in this course in the real world. After studying the course syllabus, course objectives, and course materials, I have gained a reasonable understanding of what I could expect from this course.
One of the skills I will learn in the course is to recognize issues and/or conflicts and gain a better understanding of them. I believe one cannot plan solutions unless the problems or issues are properly understood. Similarly, I also expect to learn how to identify the needs, desires, and/or priorities of the other parties. It is easier to reach an agreement or mutually acceptable decision if we also know what the other party wants. Thus, a successful resolution is the outcome of not only understanding one’s own priorities but also the priorities of the other parties.
The topic of negotiation has been gaining importance as judged by the sheer number of articles in electronic and print media and I hope the course will introduce me to many of the negotiation theories that have been proposed or developed by scholars and real-world leaders. The theories help us understand whole or parts of the overall negotiation process and, thus, provide us with a practical framework for the real world.
I also hope to improve my communication skills through this course because effective communication skills help one increase the probability of a cooperative attitude from the other party. I will also learn how one can adopt a communication style according to the situation and/or the characteristics of the other party. Similarly, I also expect to learn about cross-cultural issues related to negotiation because more and more companies are doing business in international markets or deal with foreign entities and different cultures may have different communication and negotiation styles.
I hope the course will employ different learning tools to help the students develop their negotiation skills such as lectures by professionals, videos dramatizing real world situations, and in-class simulations. In addition, there may also be business cases as well as class discussions in order to determine how well the students are grasping the course material. I also expect some of the business cases to address cross-cultural negotiation issues because more and more students will be working on international assignments due to globalization.
I also hope to learn strategies for devising solutions that may have higher probabilities of appealing to the other party. This may involve adopting a win-win mindset, influencing others to adopt a cooperative attitude through strategies such as displaying genuine interest and concern for others, taking advantage of one’s reputation and credibility to solve conflicts, and working together to create long term relationship.
I expect to learn about negotiation in both individual and group settings. Similarly, the course may also discuss the factors that shape negotiation and how one can recognize such factors to either contain them or use them to one’s own advantage. After taking this course, I hope to become more confident regarding my job prospects after graduation as well as access to leadership opportunities in the long term.