In the specific field of probation, this can occur in a judicial setting or even with probationers.Although as a probation officer you have the final word as to what a probationer must do, it is much like being a leader or supervisor of an organization. You have those who are under you that you must compel to stay within the boundaries and complete their given responsibilities. Sometimes this lies in communication and getting them to come to the realization of not just what they must do, but why it is important and what the consequences are for failing to perform adequately.The area that I chose to perform a negotiation exercise in was n the formal setting in the judicial sector of a Circuit Court case.
In these types of settings, you have the presiding judge, a prosecution representative of the state, the charged defendant and his legal representative, and a law enforcement or probation officer who represents the charges against the defendant being presented before the court. Prior to the attendance of the case, I read the book “Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In”. I grasped the concept of several key factors that must be present for a successful negotiation.The first of these is to understand the strategic theory of negotiation.
It is defined as the “process of communicating back and forth for the purpose of reaching a joint decision” (Fisher, Ury, & Patton, 1991). Of course in this type of judicial setting, the only person on the other side of the table is the defendant and his legal counsel. The judge in this aspect would be viewed as an arbitrator who listens to both sides and makes a final decision. In the text, this would be considered “face saving” where the judge makes a fair decision consistent with principal, law, and precedent.
This avoids the concept of winning and losing in negotiation and helps one side avoid the feeling or appearance of backing down (Fisher, Ury, & Patton, 1991). The case I conducted the negotiation exercise in involved a case before Judge Burnside with a twenty-three year old male that we will call “David”. David was facing two counts of petit larceny, two counts of daytime burglary, and three counts of nighttime burglary. In Getting to Yes (1991) the authors break the basics into three stages.
The first stage is analysis.In this I had to diagnose the situation, gather information about the case and consider any problems or other positions that may arise in the hearing. The second stage is planning. During this I reviewed my objectives to ensure they were realistic and what was the most important.
The third stage is discussion. This of course is the act of negotiation in the communication phase. In this you must understand that each side has a difference of perception of what is fair (Fisher, Ury, & Patton, 1991).When you go into a hearing for any case you understand that when there are numerous charges, there is going to be some type of plea bargaining to move the case along. I did not enter the negotiation with extraordinary or unreal expectations outside of this paradigm. Although I am very familiar with David and his criminal history, I followed the steps outlined within the text.
The first part of this was separating the people from the problem. After taking who the defendant in the case was out of the equation, I next focused on the interests not the positions.It is good to see someone who has victimized others to be locked away for as long as possible and receive a “just punishment”. As part of the second step, my ultimate goal was to ensure that David received a fair punishment and reduced his likelihood of recidivism for similar actions.
The third step involves inventing options for mutual gain. In this type of situation you do not want the defendant to gain anything, but if the defense does not feel they are getting something in return it can drag out the legal process and frustrate both parties.I examined the charges and determined which were the most important and what the ultimate results I wanted from this plea agreement. In the fourth step I used an objective criterion.
What do others in this type of situation receive in punishment for these types of crimes? I knew that probation was unacceptable, and that I had to make a suggestion of what a fair amount of incarceration would be based on impartial sources of state code and precedent (Fisher, Ury, & Patton, 1991). During the negotiation, I attempted to ensure that there were no misunderstandings or emotions that would obstruct agreements or reinforce prejudices.I wanted to ensure that not only the other side, but also the prosecutor and judge in the case understood my perception and basis for recommendations. During the entire process I attempted to place myself in the defense’s shoes and leave out my interpretations of what they expected.
I began by speaking with the defense attorney in the case. I explained the charges and circumstances surrounding each. I explained the possible penalties for each which included a 1-10 year penitentiary sentence and advised him that although that was fair in state code, that is not what I was seeking.As I went through each charge on the list and penalties, I asked what he felt would be a fair time for the one. As we went through each and totaled the times of over ten years, he could see that even with fair standards that it could be an excessive amount of time for his client to be incarcerated. I listened to what the defendant’s concerns were from his attorney.
I repeated some of his concerns back to clarify understanding by saying things such as “So what he is most concerned about is being away from his wife for a long time? ” and “He says that he is remorseful for his actions, and feels they were stupid”.After this we discussed my interests. I explained that I knew we both wanted the extremes on both of our sides, no time and maximum time. I related that I only wanted what was realistic and fair.
As I went on and stated, “Correct me if I’m wrong, but as I understand it David is looking at potentially several years in jail, and numerous criminal convictions which could have enhanced penalties for subsequent convictions”. I advised him that I would take all the factors into consideration and speak with the prosecutor on the case. A good negotiator will take the time to ensure that the agreement he makes is one that he wants.I wanted time to not only provide my suggestions and concerns with the prosecutor, but also to receive input and suggestions from another involved party for approval. After the prosecutor and I spoke about the charges and we took all the factors into consideration including his young age, we came to a decision that we could have him sent to the Anthony Correctional Center for a year and suspend the sentence pending the outcome.
I ensured that I put the problem before my solution in conducting this negotiation exercise by waiting to this point to express my suggestion.The plea was accepted by the defense and approved by the presiding judge. One of the methods that I was not able to use, but would definitely like to attempt is the use of silence. The text illustrates how silence can be your best weapon. In attacks or cases where an insufficient answer is given, it is suggested to just wait. You should not go to another question or make a statement, because this will only allow them to avoid answering the actual question.
Often if you just remain silent the other person will begin to talk or offer more information just because of the silence and the way it makes people feel.I believe that this could be a very useful tactic in negotiations (Fisher, Ury, & Patton, 1991). During this negotiation exercise I did not encounter any difficulty in the area of personal attacks, sides becoming defensive on their position or difficulty in reaching an acceptable compromise with both parties. If there were difficulties, I could have established my Best Alternative To A Negotiated Agreement (BATNA).
This would have kept me from making an agreement that would normally be unacceptable if we had not reached an agreement and the process would have continued (Fisher, Ury, & Patton, 1991).In future negotiations, there are other key concepts that I must be aware of. Among these is the fact that I should identify shared interests and stress these. The success of a negotiation can depend on compelling the other side to make the decision that you want. You can make that choice as painless as possible to make that decision easy. You do this by giving them answers instead of problems to make the process easier.
You can also shape these solutions so that they appear legitimate. Finding a precedent or standard assists in this (Fisher, Ury, & Patton, 1991).One major stumbling block in the negotiation process is when the other side will not negotiate or will not budge from their view. When you have someone who is set on their position, it is very important to not reject their ideals or defend your own.
You should never push back. This only creates a back and forth shoving match that often will get out of hand and cause more problems (Fisher, Ury, & Patton, 1991). The text suggests using negotiation jujutsu. Although you may feel like it, this does not involve striking your opponent. This technique involves side stepping or deflecting the attacks against the problem.
This keeps focus on the problem and avoids damaged feelings and emotions becoming high. You should allow them to let off steam if this begins, and then re-form this as an attack on the problem (Fisher, Ury, & Patton, 1991). Another tactic is to invite criticism of your ideal. The key is instead of asking them to simply accept or reject your proposal, ask what’s wrong with it to obtain specifics of the problem. Find out what is fails to take into account and you can gather their insight. You may also ask for their advice.
What would they do if they were in your position?In some situations they may come to realize your aspect and break the ice in the negotiations to help get the process going into the right direction (Fisher, Ury, & Patton, 1991). One tactic that may be used against you is the use of dirty tricks or misrepresentation. The most common of these is misrepresentation of the facts. In a laboratory study, they found that participants used misrepresentation in 28% of their negotiations. This was more likely to occur when negotiators had individual motives and least likely to occur once both parties realized their common interests.There were two forms of misrepresentation found that were used in the study.
These were by commission and omission (O'Connor ; Carnevale, 1997). In using dirty tricks, participants can use phony facts, make you think they have the authority to make certain decisions when they don’t, not disclose all of the facts, create stressful situations with actions or the environment, begin personal attacks, use threats, or use the good-guy/ bad-guy routine. The first step in combating this tactic is to recognize it. Sometimes simply acknowledging and bringing it up to the other party will eliminate it.Remember to also separate the people from the problem and unless you have a good reason to trust someone then don’t.
Also, if you can verify factual assertions it reduces the incentives for deception. The main thing is to not become a victim. Sometimes establishing the rules may be appropriate when you see dirty tactics being used (Fisher, Ury, ; Patton, 1991). It can be very difficult to come up with alternate ideals, especially when the other side is not very helpful or cooperative. There are several steps listed in the text to inventing creative options.
The first is to separate the act of inventing options from judging them.The concept of “there are no bad ideals” is a good one to keep in mind. The second is to broaden options on the table rather than sticking to one single answer. It can be easy to see the one solution in only one way, but there may be options to use that same solution with variations of certain aspects.
The third is to search for mutual gains. Everyone wants to win, but no one wants to be the looser. You must to assemble deals that allow everyone to come away with the feeling of something or to at the very least to save face. The fourth is to invent ways of making their decision easy.If you can take away the problems and the solution seems obvious, it can assist you in the negotiation (Fisher, Ury, ; Patton, 1991).
An excellent way to produce many ideals is brainstorming. Brainstorming is a process for developing creative solutions to problems. It works by focusing on the problem, and then coming up with as many solutions as possible and push these ideals as far as possible. Any criticism or evaluation of ideals is postponed at this time. In conducting a brainstorming session, there are things that must be performed before, during and afterwards (Fisher, Ury, ; Patton, 1991).Before brainstorming begins, you must refine your purpose of the session.
Too many participants can also cause issues so it is best to select those you wish to participate. You should also change the environment from the original negotiations. This will produce a neutral more relaxed surrounding. You should also be informal to allow for the feeling of freedom to contribute in the process by each participant. Most importantly you need to choose a facilitator. The facilitator will be the one who keeps the session on track and enforces the rules through re-direction (Fisher, Ury, ; Patton, 1991).
During the brainstorming session, you need to sit the participants from both sides in a side-by side fashion facing the problem. This allows participants to see themselves as working together against the problem not each other. You must clarify the ground rules including the no criticism rule. This will help them understand and stay on track, and reduce feelings of personal attack if they are called on a rule.
You then begin the brainstorming process and record all of the ideals in full view of everyone. This can be done by hand writing or electronic methods (Fisher, Ury, ; Patton, 1991).After the brainstorming session, you must select the most promising ideals. Then you take those selected ideals and invent improvements. After you have completed this, you should set up a time to evaluate the ideals and decide the best course of action and if there is a solution within the suggestions (Fisher, Ury, ; Patton, 1991).
If you conduct a negotiation and you have the choice of an individual or a team, which one is the best? Although I ultimately believe this relies inherently on the totality of the circumstances, research has shown that negotiation teams were more successful in many aspects.In an experiment published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the effectiveness of team and solo negotiators were examined. The results were that when at least one party to a negotiation was a tem, joint benefits increased. The teams were more likely to develop mutually beneficial trade-offs among issues and discovered compatible interests. Teams increased information exchange and accuracy in judgments about the other party’s interests (Thompson, Peterson, ; Brodt, 1996). Negotiation can be an important aspect of your professional and personal life.
It is not just for extreme situations involving groups or organizations.The art of being a successful negotiator can help you in everyday life from purchases, relationships and determining the best solutions to solve a problem. Negotiation teaches you not just how to talk, but also that you must listen. You must be an effective communicator. In negotiation knowledge is very crucial.
Sometimes how much you know determines the extent of your power over the other. You must learn to establish common goals. Both parties should benefit from the deal. Creating a win-win situation is the best outcome, and helps facilitate finding a solution to a common problem.