Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
Course- Negotiation and Conflict Resolution
School of Business and Economics
Negotiation is a multi-faceted concept, primarily comprising of psychological factors such as perceptions, cognitive biases, and emotional quotient. Although cognitive abilities and emotions affect a negotiation, perception greatly impacts how a negotiator perceives his or her social environment; the perceiver considers previous experience, current relationship with the other communicator, behavior before making a perception. (Barry, Lewicki, & Saunders, 2014). With reference to the topic of discussion lets deep dive into the concept of perception that is derived by observing at a distance, the body language of two strangers communicating with each other.
Observing two strangers
Once back in the summer of `99, at an idle afternoon, I was sipping a strong black arabica and reading a novel by Agatha Cristie in one of the local diners in New Rochelle, north of Manhattan. It was a hot and humid day outside; quite an untypical east-coast August afternoon. I could often see through the glass façade of the diner, few passerby walking through the sidewalk. All of a sudden I noticed a young man and a woman in their early twenties halted in front of the diner. The man was Caucasian by ethnicity whereas the woman was Asian, and both of them were carrying backpacks. At a first glance, I perceived on the basis of their ethnicity that they are not related to each other. According to Lunenburg (2010), proxemics is one of the forms of nonverbal communication used to perceive physical space and conversational distance between the actors involved in a communication; hence on the basis of proxemics if two communicators are within two to 4 feet they belong to a personal zone category wherein both of the individuals are well acquainted with each other. Thereby looking at the physical space which is approximately 3 feet I perceived that they must be friends coming back from a school nearby. As mentioned by Lunenberg (2010), Kinesics describes the gestures in a nonverbal communication. I noticed the man looked up in the sky and then to the ground; rubbed his forehead with left palm and placed his right palm on his throat for two seconds while having a conversation with the woman. On the basis of the kinesics, I perceived the man must be thirsty in this hot and humid weather and trying to persuade his friend to come along with him to the diner to grab a cold beverage. According to Phutela (2015), sign language is also a part of the nonverbal language, which was portrayed by the woman when she looked at her watch indicating that she is constrained by time. But after having a discussion of 5 minutes I encountered them entering the diner to grab chilled iced-coffee for them and then walked away.
As we can see that perception is very opinionated therefore there are chances to make distorted perception. Hence it is important to not be completely depended on perception in a negotiation.
Barry, B., Lewicki, R.J., & Saunders, D.M. (2014). Negotiation. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.
Lunenburg, F.C. (2010). Louder Than Words: The Hidden Power of Nonverbal Communication in the Workplace. International Journal of Scholarly Academic Intellectual Diversity. Volume 12, Number 1.
Phutela, D. (2015). The Importance of Nonverbal Communication. The IUP Journal of Soft Skills, Vol. IX, No. 4.
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