The Use Of Communication Cards For Negotiations In Zimbabwe

1327 words - 6 pages

INTRODUCTIONNegotiation is nothing more than a process for reaching an agreement when there are conflicting interests. The basis for negotiation is exchange: whenever we attempt to influence another person through an exchange of ideas or something of material or psychological value, we are negotiating. Further, negotiation is the process we use to satisfy our needs when someone else controls at least in part what we want or need.Negotiating to a formula is that type of negotiation done following certain laid down procedures or principles. The negotiating people are guided on how they should behave during negotiation.When the Manager and subordinate are negotiating to a formula, the two are ...view middle of the document...

g. The following are examples of such communication cards:EMPLOYEE CARD - GENERAL FRAME (GS1E)1. Be polite and constructive all time2. Talk about problem and do not attack supervisor3. Talk to your supervisor if you have a problem4. Do not complain to other workers5. Ask your supervisor for opinions and suggestion6. Give your supervisor your opinion and suggestion7. Make sure you do what you said you will do8. Ask for a follow-up date to check progressMANAGER (SUPERVISOR) CARD - GENERAL FRAME (GS1E)1. Maintain the self esteem of the employee2. Do not attack the person - focus on the problem, not the person3. Do not assume an offence has been committed4. Ask for the employee's opinion and suggestions5. Allow the employee adequate time to think through the problem and come up with solutions6. Help the employee to develop a suitable Action programme7. Always set a specific follow up dateThis is like a "thinking cage" meant to destroy the thinking capacity of those involved in the negotiation. They are told on how to behave and answer questions.In 1998, my company a major financial institution invited a communications consultancy company (Organization and Training Development) to train every one in the company in communication skills. The pretext was that as an organization, we were failing to communicate and hence we needed some communication tools. After training, employees were given employee cards and Supervisor / Managers were given both employee and supervisor cards.Everyone in the company was supposed to follow what the cards say (in a stereo type manner) during negotiations and problem solving.If one goes through all the set of cards, one may think that these cards were meant to improve communication by removing friction and encouraging politeness.In my company however, these cards brought disharmony between managers and employees. When employees started flashing these cards, i.e. quoting statements from their cards, some managers felt challenged by employees and friction arose. The employees were also not happy because the cards discouraged discussion of their problems with their colleagues.The climax in the use of these cards was reached when the employer (executive) decided to restructure the organization. During exit packages negotiations, the executive tried by all means to enforce the use of cards.These negotiations to a formula were extended even to the other employees who were retained by the organization. The executive decided that some employees' salaries were too high and therefore needed to be frozen until a particular time when fall within the acceptable levels.The use of the communication cards for negotiation made it difficult for the...

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