This case presented me a huge impression since it was the first time we did case in groups, where as all the cases we did previously, including the sophisticated Riverside vs. DEC case, were all individual works. One thing I found vey difficult about this case was the fact that one needs to listen to both the other party’s arguments and his/her partner’s statements, and the uneasiness of reaching consensus among partners is vividly demonstrated when one is not familiar with the teammate’s negotiation style.
For example, after we made our deal, which was to sell the house with 380,000$ and birds for 20,000, Valerie actually blamed Steven’s negotiation style: “you always rush things and make decisions so quickly that leaves no alternatives for others. ” For us, even though Marlee and I shared the goal, which was to sell the house as high as possible, our approaches were totally different. Marlee tried very hard to come up with something that can benefit both parties in the long term.
In response to the other party’s request to lower the price, Marlee asked if they possess anything that we can invest in, so that we can cooperate in a long run. I really appreciated her effort to be more creative. However, her statement sounded unpractical to me; I just felt that it was not the right time to bring “future cooperation” on the table when we have not settled down on anything. If I were the other party, I would have felt being offended since Marlee’s statement of “investing on us” sounded like she wanted to exploit on my MBA degree and knowledge.
There are two things that went well in the negotiation. First of all, even though Marlee and I had some different opinions, we did not reveal it by all means to the other party. I think this internal cohesiveness is very important when we negotiate as a team. In other words, a team’s statements would seriously lack persuasiveness when teammates are disagreeing and fighting with each other; I realized it from watching Steven and Valerie.
The other thing was that we did not lie. We old the pair of cockatoos for 20,000$, not 16,000$ which was what the case material indicated. I asked 4,000$ more since the house has the perfect environment for the cockatoos to breed, and baby cockatoos could worth 7,000$. By taking this aspect to the calculation, I thought asking for 20,000 was rational. For the house itself, I asked 700,000$ in the first place. It seemed very irrational for the other party, but still, I did not lie since the info I acquired from the case material says I could “well get as much as 450,000$” for the house.
I just did a reverse calculation by adding the broker’s fee and the 28% capital gains tax on the gains over my basis in the house to see how much it is that could leave me with 450,000$ gain. In conclusion, I think it was fairly creative for us to separate the birds from the house since that way we avoided the tax that we had to pay when we sell the house altogether as one commodity. In retrospect, this case was a good lesson that taught me people sharing same goals does not mean they can work well with each other; group cases need more preparation as one needs to cooperate with his/her teammate in the first place.
It is easy for a team to come up with a general plan for the negotiation but as this plan can be pursued from many different perspectives, one must make sure his/her approaches do not conflict with other teammates. This is extremely difficult. For the jazz class, it was an awesome experience!!!! To tell the truth, I did not know what “listening to others” really mean before I watched how they played jazz that day. it was a perfect demonstration on how to listen to other people.
I learnt that listening to others requires echoing and leading as well. In addition, what was truly impressive was the fact that everybody was listening the whole band playing, not just one instrument. From the group case, I realized how difficult it is to listen to many people speaking at the same time. The band’s play taught me that a good listener can find out what others are doing, and respond to them flexibly at the same time, which is an essential quality for a great negotiator.