2 discussion post replies (250 words)


Kayla Discussion Post for Reply


Crucial conversations can be awkward and uncomfortable, especially when in bargaining situations. When in a supervisory position, individuals have to be comfortable with being honest and also straight forward regarding any issues and not beating around the bush. Supervisors should also have knowledge of bargaining and knowing the different types of bargaining situations they could be in, so they aren’t caught off guard. This discussion will cover the difficult conversation that Melanie has to have with Matt regarding his performance appraisal and promotion, what is distributive bargaining and how can Melanie use to influence Matt’s viewpoint, and how did Jethro influence Moses with distributive bargaining.


Difficult Conversations

I would start the conversation off with Matt letting him know my apologies that his wife lost her job and I understand the added pressure of having a new baby on the way. However, he is not ready for promotion, and we can discuss the specifics during his performance appraisal. To avoid beating around the bush, I would be direct with letting Matt know where he stands and not give him false hope that he has a chance at getting a promotion. “Creating a simple problem sentence helps you both start with a clear purpose and hold yourself accountable” (Grenny et al., 2021, p.48). Having a simple statement to address the issue is important, but it’s also to consider how to strengthen the relationship at the same time. Matt will be upset and will probably be defeated considering he was excited to have this conversation and truly believed he would get the promotion. To help build the relationship during the crucial conversation, Melanie could work with Matt on getting him more training for his current job, show him how he should be dressing to meet company standards, and figure out his motivations.

Distributive Bargaining and Influencing Viewpoints

Distributive bargaining is a win-lose scenario where resources are limited and  “the goals of one party are usually in fundamental and direct conflict with the goals of the other party” (Lewicki et al., 2020, p.26). Acting as Melanie, I would want to know what Matt’s resistance point is and try to bargain within that range. “Researchers have shown that when negotiators have unequal alternatives, the person with the stronger option usually claims a larger share of potential outcomes compared to the person who has the weaker alternative” (Bolkan & Goodboy, 2021). Knowing Matt’s alternative can help Melanie get Matt to agree to a deal where she didn’t have to use her BATNA or her show her resistance point. Because Matt is focused on a promotion right now, Melanie needs to tell Matt why he would not be a good fit for that position if he is hard set on it. She could explain to him that because he can’t maintain the standards of his current job, he will fail at that job. She could provide a bargaining point that if he focuses on his current job and starts excelling in these categories based on her expectations, they can reevaluate in 4-6 months. Downplaying the promotion while giving a bargaining chip with the current job will help get Matt to reevaluate his resistance point and possibly take her up on the offer.  Proverbs 16:9 says, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps (Bible, 2016). While Matt is planning on this promotion, the Lord has to establish that path for him for it to prosper. Matt needs to continue having faith in the Lord that when the time comes, he will get the promotion, or another opportunity that he didn’t see coming. Timing is everything, and the Lord has a plan for all of us that we need to trust and believe in.

Jethro’s Distributive Bargaining

In the passage, Jethro used distributive bargaining by telling Moses how his current method was ludicrous. Instead, Jethro focused on changing his resistance point by convincing Moses to train and teach select capable men to help judge the people, but only allow difficult cases to be brought to Moses. Jethro belittled Moses’ current operation to get him to change his perception. When Moses changed his tactics, Jethro was able to see how Moses’ current operation was weighing him down and make him believe that he was not capable of handling all of the judgements on his own. Instead, he got him to distribute the responsibility to other individuals to do the majority of the work on his behalf, and only handle certain cases. Jethro was able to see how much power Moses has with judging cases and empowering other individuals to do the work on his behalf.



Bible, T. H. (2016). Proverbs 16:9. Retrieved from Bible Gateway: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs+16%3A9&version=ESV

Bolkan, S., & Goodboy, A. K. (2021). Negotiating in distributive bargaining scenarios: The effect of sharing one’s alternative. Communication Studies, 72(4), 720-733. https://doi.org/10.1080/10510974.2021.1953101

Grenny, J., Patterson, K., McMillan, R., Switzler, A., & Gregory, E. (2021). Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High (3rd ed.). McGraw-Hill Professional. 
Links to an external site.

Lewicki, R., Barry, B., & Saunders, D. (2020). Essentials of Negotiation (7th ed.). McGraw-Hill Higher Education (US). 
Links to an external site.

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