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Cooperative and Competitive styles of negotiation aim to ultimately come to a problem resolution. In the cooperative style, the negotiator seeks for a win-win situation. The competitive style is a one-sided approach where only one benefits more than another. Overall, they can be effective styles when employed for the proper reasons. Here are some of their differences:
- All parts listen to one another; all aim to seek benefit for one another so there is better, open communication
- The want for the common good gears toward a friendlier, most satisfying atmosphere.
- Parties share roles, assign tasks, and share responsibilities for the good of everyone involved.
- Rather than plan, cooperative negotiators collaborate. This gives validity to each of the members and their unique attributes.
- Examples of cooperative strategies include a) role playing solutions, b) lunch collaborations, c) team building problem solving activities, d) group-based analysis, e) horizontal and vertical sharing.
The competitive negotiation strategy is more complicated because it is limited to the points of view, needs, and wants of a few. The insistence of one party to dominate over another brings about potentially chaotic situations such as:
- Miscommunication, in the form of false interpretations and empty promises. Once miscommunication begins, the whole meeting goes hayward.
- Antagonism caused by one party's obvious want to dominate occurs mainly because the other party does not feel validated or respected.
- Lack of communication also entails the dimming of boudaries and the absence of delimitations that could enforce more effective productivity. People will not want to trust each other's abilities, nor will they trust anything discussed.
- One party will feel threatened by the other.
- Rather than collaborative efforts, there will be more power struggles and a tendency for survival of the fittest rather than mutual cooperation towards a goal.
- Examples of competitive negotiation include a) pre-conditioned agendas, b) false pretenses, c) pre-planned dynamics d) debate and arguing.
Keep in mind that, according to Qin, Johnson and Johnson in "Cooperative versus Competitive Efforts in Problem Solving" (1995), cooperative groups continuously outperformed competitive groups in mostly every area. The reason behind it is mainly based on communication and common goal; on the way that roles are shared and on the common goal of the group as a whole.
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