It recently became apparent to me that I am a tough negotiator. During a recent Negotiations and Power classroom exercise, I was chosen to “role play” the part of an employer who was being asked for a raise by a junior employee.
A fellow classmate and I “dueled” it out in class to the cheers and jeers of our fellow classmates. I used ever single distributive negotiations tactic I could think of…I laid on guilt, bewilderment, questioning, and surprise to help empower my position in the discussion. In the end, we came to a stalemate, but I found that even though I was “role playing,” I was incredibly entrenched in my character’s position. There was no way that I would make any concessions to my opponent. My competitive streak definitely got the better of me.
However, there were learnings from the exercise; it provided me first-hand experience with a raise negotiation situation and insight into my personality style in conflict. Introspectively, both these lessons will pay dividends in the very near future, as I prepare for my career after b-school and partake in salary negotiations.
In my mind the best way to learn is not only through theoretical teachings, but also through experiential application, and my Negotiations and Power class is just one of many examples at Smith where real-world situations are applied to theoretical lectures and readings.