The purpose of this work is to write a memorandum to a colleague describing the characteristics of effective leaders for the public sector in the 21st century. Included will be negotiation and mediation skills and the reasons that these characteristics are important in today's leaders. In the work of Michael E. Siegel on Leadership in American Presidents presented is a "model of effective leadership based on a four-part framework used to analyze the performance of three recent American presidents" stated to be Carter, Reagan, and Bush. The framework reportedly can be utilized by leaders as well as managers in the public and private sector organizations in self-analysis as to performance in what is stated to be "four critical areas of leadership." Siegel (2001) This is particularly true in the business world of today but it has been true throughout the history of business negotiations and all of its many processes. It is a commonly acknowledge fact in the business world that a superior leader is the difference in success or the failure of pursuits of the company or organization and as well that skillful and artful negotiation either successful builds or clumsily tears down empires through the many transitions in the every-changing world of business.
January 19, 2005
Negotiation Skills are Vital in Leadership
Negotiations are a vital business process which every individual who is employed in the capacity requiring leadership should consider worthy of the time in studying and in attaining skill in performing. To complicate matters the global society that has shrank rapidly since the advent of the Internet encompasses many cultures, societal factors and religions that intermix with business processes and negotiations.
In the work of Michael E. Siegel on Leadership in American Presidents presented is a "model of effective leadership based on a four-part framework used to analyze the performance of three recent American presidents" stated to be Carter, Reagan, and Bush. The framework reportedly can be utilized by leaders as well as managers in the public and private sector organizations in self-analysis as to performance in what is stated to be "four critical areas of leadership." Siegel (2001)
Those four areas according to Siegel (2001) are as follows:
1. Policy or vision
2. Politics or strategy/implementation
3. Structure or organization/management; and
4. Process or decision-making.
Siegel states that an individual leader may not consider themselves personally to be a "visionary" and due to this members of that leader's staff will feel "adrift without vision."
Further stated is that: "vision helps set the agenda and give purpose to the enterprise." Political strategy is necessary if the leaders intend to be effective. Deliberate management style and structure is vital as well according to Siegel who writes that: It is critical that a leader consider the positioning of her staff, her own accessibility, and how she wants to be perceived by all the staff up and down the hierarchy. A leader needs to understand her particular decision-making style and the available resources to help her make the best decisions possible.
This is particularly true in the business world of today but it has been true throughout the history of business negotiations and processes as it is commonly acknowledged that a superior leader makes the difference in success or failure of the pursuits of the business. Negotiation is defined as "an instantly recognizable human activity that helps people achieve goals and resolve problems." Shell (1999)
Further stated is that: "Negotiations proceed through a form of prudently cooperative communication" and "negotiation also "commonly follow a recognizable four-[pronged] path." Shell (1999)
Listed as those four identified elements are the following:
2. Information exchange
3. Explicit bargaining
As pointed out in this work it is true that we are all negotiators as we negotiate each and every day whether it be as to what we would like prepared for dinner or what television show the family will choose to view. In fact Shell (1999) points out the fact that negotiation begins as children in negotiation for who will take the first turn in jump-rope or to slide down the sliding board first. Negotiation is described as an:
"Interactive communication process that may take place whenever we want something from someone else or another person wants something from us." Shell (1999)
In the work written by Eisenhardt (1997) entitled: "Management Teams Can Have a Good Fight" stated is that there are six tactics to separate issues from personalities in conflict situations. Eisenhardt (1997) The following are the six tactics stated by Eisenhardt et al. (1997):
1. Focus on the facts: When focusing on the facts arming oneself with information and data about not only the business for which you are working but concerning the business of the competitors is necessary in order to debate issues that are critical in the negotiation process.
2. Multiply the alternatives:
Allowing for several options or alternatives better prepares for the optimization of the company position in the negotiation process as well as providing prevention measures toward the polarization of only two possibilities
3. Create Common Goals:
The creation of common goals brings all individuals together in collaboration with everyone's best interest in achievement of the best viable solution.
4. Balance the Power Structure:
Through balancing the power structure the whole team is infused with a sense of power and ownership in "strategic decisions, establishing fairness and equality." Eisenhardt (1997)
5. Use Humor:
Humor is an element that cannot be underestimated in relieving tensions and the promotion of collaboration among the team members fostering "tactfulness, effective listening and creativity." Eisenhardt (1997)
6. Seek Consensus With Qualification:
In the situation where a team cannot come to an agreement stated is that "Through balancing the power structure the whole team is infused with a sense of power and ownership in "strategic decisions, establishing fairness and equality." Eisenhardt (1997)
In the work entitled "Essentials of Negotiations" Lewski et al. (2000) states that there are two reasons for which negotiations occur which are stated to be:
"To create something new that neither party could do on his or her own," or "To resolve a problem or dispute between the parties."
Further stated that that the "fundamental processes of negotiation is essential for anyone who works with other people" due to the fact that there are so many issues which eventually come into the negotiation process. The reasons people fail to negotiate may be that "they do not recognized that they are in a bargaining situation." Lewski et al. (2000) Failing to negotiate may be due to failing to "identify a good opportunity and not achieve their goals" as well as "not manage[ing] their problems as smoothly as they might like to."
There are several characteristics that are considered to be "common to all negotiation situations." Lewski et al. (2000) which are listed as follows:
Two or more parties are involved [may be two organizations, groups or individuals].
A "conflict-of-interest" exists which demands a resolution be found.
Negotiation commences with each party believing they may be able to influence the other party to reach a better deal.
An agreement is the preference of both parties rather than aggressive confrontation with one side either "capitulating, permanently breaking off contact, or taking the dispute to a higher authority for resolution." [Paraphrased] Lewski et al. (2000)
Give-and-take: Each side to the negotiations will give and compromise in some way.
Intangibles as well as tangibles are inclusive in the successful negotiation process.
Stated by Lewski et al. (2000) is a point that is critical to keep in mind during the negotiation process. That point in the interdependency of the relationship of both sides of the negotiation in a goal that interlocks the parties together toward the ends of accomplishing their goals. In some instances mediation will be needed and this should be prepared for in advance of a deadlocked negotiation. Siegel writes that during his administration as U.S. President that Jimmy Carter, in a diversification attempt named two men with very different natures to one another to foreign policy posts, in fact the highest post in the government. Cyrus Vance and Zbigniew Brezezinski were stated to have taken "diametrically different positions" on nearly all policy decisions during the Carter administration. This is precisely what Siegel (2000) cites as an example that may arise in negotiations for which the successful leader will be prepared to handle ahead of time.
This Memorandum has stated many specific core motivations in leadership to ensure that they have prepared their team with skills and information that will maneuver them skillfully and artfully through the negotiation process. The business environment in today's world is transitioning and constantly shifting in the volatile environment. Today's business environment is characterized by the demand for flexibility and the willingness to welcome diversity in the dealings and processes of business. Therefore, as this Memorandum has demonstrated,…