2 Conflict may be productive in some cases: In any business situation, there are often a number of different ideas about the way to proceed.Only one way can be chosen, so conflict is inevitableHowever, discussing different ideas will lead to the best choice
3 During discussion some problems may arise: Is it good to keep defending an idea which is apparently not the best choice?Some people are not willing to “lose face” by abandoning a long-cherished ideaThere may be conflict between different levels in an organisation’s hierarchy or between different departments (some ideas from elsewhere may not be welcome)
4 Examples of unproductive conflict: There are disputes (arguments) between colleagues or between managers that go beyond ideas and become personalIn countries with high levels of employee protection, dismissing (firing) employees can lead to a process of litigation (where an employee sues their company for unfair dismissal.All this can cost a company big money and precious time
5 Labour-management conflict can take the form of: Strikes and go-slows (a go-slow is a form of protest where workers deliberately slow down in order to cause problems)The goodwill of a company’s customers, built up over years, can be lost very quicklyBut there are cases where the public sympathise with the employees and there is no damage
6 Many countries use arbitration between the two sides: Arbitration is a form of alternative conflict resolution in which the parties (the opposite sides in conflict) present their cases to a neutral third party and agree to respect his or her decision
7 More and more companies in the US use ADR to resolve conflicts: ADR is alternative dispute resolution which includes methods other than lawsuitsThese methods include mediation, conciliation, arbitration and settlement (negotiation) and are less formal and cheaper than court process.
8 Resolving conflict by negotiating is a part of local mentality: Different nationalities deal with conflict in different ways:For example, it is typical of a Russian negotiator to bang his fist on the table in the middle of the meeting and leave the room.Russian negotiating teams are often made up of experienced managers whose moves are planned in advance like a game of chess
9 German managers are very direct an they speak their mind. They consider it important to clarify everything and get to the point quicklyThe Germans do not approve of too much enthusiasm or compliments, they rather concentrate on the objective
10 Americans have a natural talent of communicating: they use small talk and smiling very often They also use a liberal sense of humour to get close to their negotiating partnersAs a rule, the atmosphere is informal: business partners eat and drink and don’t use their academic titles
11 The American attitude “time is money” has a great influence on their business communication Americans tend to develop a personal relationship with their business partners
12 Spanish negotiators usually interrupt you in the middle of the sentence and they talk at the same time which is an accepted behaviour in Latin culturesThe business people in Spain do not rely on careful preparation. They use spontaneous ideas and quick thinking.The good side is that in Spain you can enjoy creative, if intense, negotiations.
13 An example of badly handeled conflict: Two professional managers working in the same team keep arguing with each other.The rest of the team avoids the problem and eventually the frustrations build up.Finally, there is a huge fight and a lot of bad things are said.All of this happens because everybody avoids the problem instead of saying: Look, we have an issue here, let’s deal with it.
14 An example of well handeled conflict: One colleague has a way of working which the other one doesn’t like.The other colleague starts showing his frustrations by being agressive.The first colleague points directly to the problem, and they address it toghether.The result is a new agreement and a better understanding between them.
15 Some useful language and examples Negotiating IISome useful language and examples
16 Calming down: Creating soultions: I understand what you’re saying.I can see your point of view.Well, I know what you mean.Why don’t we come back to that later?A compromise could be to...How about if ...What if...Let’s look at his another way.Another possibility is...
17 Closing a negotiation: Let’s see what we’ve got.Can I go over what we’ve agreed?Let’s go over the main points again.OK, I think that covers everything.We’ve got a deal.Fine. Right. That’s it then.
18 An example: A parking problem We just don’t have enough spaces for everyone. We need the spaces for managers and customers who visit us. Sorry, Tracy but that’s it.Well, you’ll have to think again. Our staff arrive early. They need somewhere to park.Look, Tracy, I understand what you’re saying, but it just isn’t possible anymore.
19 The staff are not going to accept it The staff are not going to accept it. I warn you, Tom, this could lead to a strike.Tracy,... You know we’ve got a parking problem. We’ve got to do someting about it. OK, how about this? What if we keep five spaces for staff, and it’s first come, first served.Sorry, that isn’t good enough. It’s not a solution to a parking problem, and you know it.
20 There is another possibility There is another possibility. How about if the staff park their cars in the car park near the station?Some of them do that already. But they have to pay quite a bit, you know.OK, what if we could help towards the cost? We might be able to pay, say, thirty percent.
21 Yes,... It’s worth considering. It might help. Right. I’ll discuss this proposal at the next board meeting. Staff will park in the public car park, and we’ll contribute thirty percent towards the cost.Fine. That’s it then.
23 Match the economic terms to their definitions: Interest rateExchange rateInflation rateLabour forceTax incentivesGovernment bureaucracyGDP (gross domestic product)Unemployment rateForeign investmentBalance of tradeTotal value of goods and services produced in a countryGeneral increase in pricesCost of borrowing moneyPrice at which one currency can buy anotherPercentage of people without jobsPeople workingLow taxes to encourage business activityMoney from overseasOfficial rules/regulation/paperworkDifference in value between a country’s imports and exports
24 Time clausesWe use time clauses to give information about actions in the past, present and future:Do you remember when you had your first interview? (past time)When I find the missing documents, I’ll bring them to you. (future time)
25 We use a present tense, not will, to refer to future time in a time clause: Until inflation is under control, planning will be difficult. (NOT will be under control)Once we finish the project, we’ll have more time.
26 Note that:1) a present perfect in a time caluse refers to a future situation:I’ll get back to you as soon as we have decided what to do.2) while means “during the time that” or “at the same time as”:While I was in Italy, I went to see Alessandro.
27 Complete these sentences with when, while, before, after, until, as soon as: Don’t make a decision _______ we’ve seen the report.I’m meeting with Atsuko this afternoon. Send her up _______ she arrives.Let’s sort out this problem _________ she gets here.I’m coming to Paris tomorrow afternoon. I’ll phone you ______ I arrive.Can you type this report for me ______ I’m away?
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