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Personal Negotiation

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Submitted By jraffoul
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Whilst on my learner license, I got a car to practice my driving. During the times I wasn’t using it, my family would drive it, in particular my mother would use it for work. After getting my provisional license, I begun driving more often, ranging from university to weekend outings. While I walked to work, and most weekdays weren’t a problem, conflict arose when both my mum and I needed the car. When this would happen, we would first discuss why we needed the car, where we were going and for how long would we need it. On some occasions we were able to give each other a lift, however when we couldn’t agree on who would take it, we had to look at other options. On days that I had to attend university, my mother realized she could take my sisters car, as she wasn’t working those days. While we still continue to have disputes over the car, we try to find alternative means allowing for us both to share the car.

In deciding how the car was split between the two of us, we had to consider the interests of each other. To begin with, my mother job requires her to travel to multiple offices during the day. While her position is to have the car to help her get around, her interests are primarily focused on the family. As the head for the family, she also regularly does the shopping for the family, drives us around to family gatherings and picks up my brother from work on some days. That being said, she also likes the car to go to the local shopping centre, uses it to transport things for the house while we are renovating and going out with the weekend with my dad. As for myself, I also want the car as a means of transport. Rather than continuing to rely on family and friends, and feeling a sense of debt to them, I needed the car to get to university, on some occasions to travel to work, and visiting friends. Since I got my provisional license several years after I was entitled to do, the car gave me that freedom to go where I wanted, whenever I wanted. In the hope of saving money, I also wanted the car for the weekends so I wouldn’t have to rely on taxis.

When looking back on how my mother and I negotiated with each other about who would have the car, there are several identifiable strengths and weaknesses on both ends. To begin with, neither one of us was well prepared or had a thorough understanding of each other’s interests. In examining my approach, I neglected to prioritize the importance of my mothers interests compared to my own. In linking with the behavioral style questionnaire, and top scoring in the section of giving priority to achieving results, I was more focused on the end result of having the car rather than weighing up the alternatives or other ways of satisfying my interests. As for my mother, by feeling a sense of guilt since the car was mine, and as I reinforced this on multiple occasions, my mother withdrew her stance, and in most occasions she was more willing to give up the car and would find an alternative or change her plans to suit me.

At times when we discussed who would have the car, I would remind my mother that I rarely use the car, and didn’t drive for a long time. Appealing to the passive side, I knew that my mother would eventually give in. However the same could be said with her negotiating style. My mother would let me know that she is looking for an alternative, and allow me to take the lead, whilst at the same time know I am hesitant to confront her. In the end, I was satisfied with a solution that allowed me to have access to the car, but not at the expense of my mother’s work. So in these situations, I would find an alternative way of managing my interests.

In reflecting on the negotiation, I would improve on my preparation and appreciation of my mother’s interests. My mother could also improve by focusing on the details, and not getting side tracked by my conversations. Overall the improvement is on my end to allow for more considerations and take the time to understand the issues, and not feel like everything needs to be resolved at a fast pace.

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