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ARTICLE EQUITY X DESIGN

COLLABORATIVE NEGOTIATION IS YOUR POWER TOOL

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or many, the education we receive in architecture school champions design thinking, drawing, structures, BIM and CAD technology. Yet a long standing critique that is still debated today centers on the question: How well is academia preparing architectural candidates for professional practice? Negotiation in particular is an area which we do not receive training or exposure in school. Whether it’s for personal goals, such as asking for appropriate compensation during the hiring process and annual salary adjustments, or firm oriented business goals of negotiating fees for client proposals and contractor’s construction change orders, having the right training and opportunities to practice your negotiation skills is critical for success in professional practice. The Missing 32% Project 2014 Equity in Architecture Survey compared men and women’s earnings, as well as their perceptions and behaviors surrounding salary negotiation. Overall, however, salary negotiation was fairly uncommon: only 34% of women, and 29% of men reported having negotiated their salary in the past. Amongst those who had negotiated salary increases, men and women experienced similar rates of self-reported success. Between those who had not negotiated in the past and those who had negotiated successfully, we saw that successful negotiators of both genders made more money on average than their nonnegotiating counterparts. This outcome suggests that salary raises and potential advancement relies on one’s ability to initiate and develop skills for successful negotiation. We can become more effective negotiators by understanding the general theory of conflict resolution and the key negotiation styles that categorize behaviors in the negotiation process. We can also utilize self-observation and awareness of our own default negotiation style and then work towards improving our skills. Thomas Kilmann Conflict Resolution Model. The Thomas Kilmann model provides five options for conflict resolution: Competing, Accommodating, Avoiding, Compromising, and Collaborating. The model is organized into a vertical axis representing assertiveness and a horizontal axis representing cooperativeness. Each of the five negotiation styles vary on the mix of assertiveness and cooperativeness.

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1. Competing. The Competing option is at the top left of the model which means you take a wholly assertive and uncooperative approach to resolving the conflict. It means standing up for your rights, defending a position which you believe is correct, or simply trying to beat the other side. 2. Accommodating. The Accommodating option is at the bottom right of the model which means you take a wholly unassertive and cooperative approach. This might take the form of selfless generosity or charity, giving in to another person's orders when you would prefer not to, or yielding to another's point of view. 3. Avoiding. The Avoiding option is at the bottom left of the model, which means you take an unassertive and uncooperative approach to the conflict and don't deal with it. Avoiding might take the form of diplomatically sidestepping an issue, postponing an issue until a better time, or simply withdrawing from a threatening situation. 4. Compromising. The Compromising option is at the centre of the model because it is both assertive and cooperative, but only to some extent. Both sides get something, but not everything. It might mean splitting the difference between the two positions, some give and take, or seeking a quick solution in the middle ground. Lack of time is usually the driver for this position. There may be a feeling of dissatisfaction from not getting all that you anticipated. 5. Collaborating. The Collaborating option is at the top right of the model and is at the opposite extreme of avoiding. It means being willing to believe that when two parties are at loggerheads,

THE ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN JOURNAL OF THE YOUNG ARCHITECTS FORUM

YAF Connection 13.02  

APRIL EQUITY x DESIGN This issue focuses on the theme of EQUITY IN ARCHITECTURE. Featuring architects, designers, and emerging professional...

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