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Lost in Translation: The Cost of Poor Negotiation

We are all social creatures, and our main objective is to get along with each other on a daily basis and be able to resolve the everyday issues in a constructive way. This is where negotiation comes into play. Negotiation is an integral part of human interaction. It happens in various aspects of life, from business deals to personal relationships. While some people look at negotiation as a way to get what they want, this subject is way more complex. According to the article “The Losses from Failed Negotiations” by Brad Larsen: “35% of negotiations fail due to the poor negotiation techniques”. Feel free to visit https://cepr.org/voxeu/columns/losses-failed-negotiations#:~:text=This%20is%20a%20new%20result,the%20negotiations%20in%20the%20data to learn more statistics about negotiations in different industries. Also, don’t hesitate to follow Brand Larsen on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/brad-larsen/ to be able to further discuss the art of negotiation.

I have negotiated with a lot of people in my personal and professional life. For example: I have recently bought a car that had a higher millage then stated in the description. Despite the high milage I enjoyed the way the car drove and did not see any other issues with the car. By voicing my concerns about the millage and affective communication skills I was able to lower the price of the car by $1,000. While this is an example of a successful               

negotiation, I have also been in quiet a few unsuccessful negotiations. For example: a few days ago, a customer’s package got held up by UPS. When I called UPS, the customer service representative was extremely rude and told me that the customer will receive his package in a week. When I started telling her that the guest has already been waiting on the package for 2 weeks and is unhappy, the UPS representative simply hung up on me. 

I have heard a lot of people talk about how they feel accomplished, happy, and satisfied after having a successful negotiation, so I wanted to talk about how the poor negotiation made me feel. 

Firstly, after having such a poor negotiation experience, I started feeling frustrated. In my opinion, effective negotiation requires a balance of assertiveness, empathy, and strategic thinking. In my case, I felt like I was not heard or respected. I did not receive any empathy from the customer care representative at Ups and were not willing to make an exception and help keep the customer satisfied.

Moreover, the conflict that I had with UPS resulted in suboptimal outcomes for all parties involved. Negotiation is ideally a win-win process, where both sides seek to maximize their gains while maintaining a cooperative relationship. However, when dealing with UPS I did not experience that. UPS representative negotiated poorly, which not only made me upset, but also inconvenienced the customer that I was trying to help. Honestly, I felt disappointed and just wished that I never had to deal with UPS again. 

In general, I think that the poor negotiation eroded trust and damaged my relationship with both UPS and a customer. I believe that effective negotiation requires honesty, integrity, and transparency. Otherwise, the relationship between the negotiate parties will be ruined which may also impact the way these parties interact in the future. In my case, the customer left unhappy so he will probably never order form our store again, and I was upset with the way I was treated by the UPS agent; therefore, I will be apprehensive to contact UPS again. 

Overall, despite the negative emotions evoked by poor negotiation experiences, negotiations give us opportunities for growth and learning. Reflecting on these encounters allows us to identify areas for improvement in our own negotiation skills. By understanding the pitfalls of ineffective negotiation tactics, we can make sure to do our best to make both sides of a negotiation feel happy and satisfied with an outcome of the deal. Negotiations are not just about deals; they’re about discovering the art of compromise, mastering the dance of communication, and ultimately, embracing the journey of growth and learning. How are you going to be affective in your next negotiation? What will you do differently compared to your last negotiation? 

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