In the conflict, the sales people felt that the sales manager was not doing his best in supporting them during sales and marketing. The salespersons had spent one month asking for brochures and business cards to assist them in approaching clients during the launch of a new product. On the other side, the manager felt that printing brochures and business cards for the sales persons would be costly to implement.
How it was negotiated
The Principled Negotiation was not used in this case. However, the principled negotiation could have been used in this situation in order to benefit both sides. This approach could have been used appropriately since it is usually an interest- based approach during conflict resolutions (Lens, 2004). The two sides could have put their own interests aside and take up the interests of the company as a whole.
The four principles of PN could have been very beneficial in this case. This is because the first principle would have been to separate the people from the problem. The sales manager could have first connected with the sales people emotionally and empathically in order to make negotiations productive. The next principle is to focus on interests, not positions. The sales manager could have ensured that his focus is on the interests of the sales department but not his rigid position. The third principle is to invent options for mutual gain. The sales manager could have encouraged the parties to come up with various options by brainstorming over the issue (Lens, 2004). The fourth principle is to insist on using objective criteria. Even when under pressure, the manager could have taken time to observe the situation in accordance to everyone’s needs. There was no BATNA (Best Alternative to a negotiated agreement).
What I would have done
As the principal representative for the sales manager’s side, I would have chosen a BATNA (Best Alternative to a negotiated agreement). This would have helped the sales manager to have another option if he felt that the competitive style was not working (BATNA, 2003). I could have made a decision to use compromising style of resolution in case the competitive one did not work. This is because at the end of these negotiations, the sales people did not feel satisfied because none of their sentiments was heard. Once the sales manager realized that the sales persons were not okay with the decisions that he made, he could have used the BATNA. Lack of BATNA created tension between the two negotiating parties and the sales team felt very demoralized. This would eventually have a negative effect on sales and profits of the company.
BATNA (best alternative to a negotiated agreement). (2003).
Lens, V. (2004). Principled Negotiation: A New Tool for Case Advocacy. Social Work, 49(3), 506-516.