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Topic 1: Read the Case: “To Open or Not to Open – That is the Question” on page 217 of the digital book and answer the five questions that follow it.
Topic 2: See In Practice: A Negative Emotional Spiral in Hospital Human Resources (p. 207 in your digital book). Imagine that you are Ryan, Mary’s supervisor. Had Mary confronted you in the manner that she did Ryan, how would you have handled the situation? Have you ever been in a similar situation as an employee or as a supervisor? How was it handled?
CASE: To Open or Not to Open—That Is the Question
James had eight years experience in health care human resources and wanted to move up into an administrative position. So he decided to go back to school part time for three more years and get a master’s of business administration (MBA). As James was approaching the completion of his MBA, his boss, Jayne, knew that he was looking for a new position with a new salary. Before they sat down to talk, neither of them knew exactly what the new salary should be. James was making $63,000 currently and Jayne had no idea what James could make on the open market—3 percent more, 5 percent more, 10 percent more? She wants to be fair, but she also needs to keep her budget under control. James decided to use this uncertainty to his advantage, so he did research and decided to make a strong opening offer.
James: “Jayne, I really appreciate you meeting with me.”
Jayne: “No problem. I’m really proud of you finishing your MBA. Congratulations!”
James: “Thank you. I of course do not want there to be any tension between us, so in anticipation for our meeting, I’ve tried to do quite a bit of research on what a fair salary increase would be. Is it okay if I present you with this information?”
James: “Okay, so the first thing I did was look at the average starting salaries for everyone graduating from my MBA program. This is based on 330 graduates over the last three years and the number was $91,000. Of course not all of those are based in health care, so the next thing I did was look at those in health care with 10–15 years experience and an advanced degree. It’s not easy to get this information, but from three people in this company and three others I know, the salaries ranged from $75,000 to $97,000 with an average of $88,000. Finally, I looked at the last person in my position to get an advanced degree, and she received a 20 percent raise, which for me would be $12,600 and take me to $75,600. So in averaging $75,600, $88,000, and $91,000, I came up with about $85,000. I was hoping we could start the discussion around there.”
Jayne: “That’s really impressive research and I respect that. We probably can’t go that high but let me see what I can do.”
The impetus is now on Jayne to negotiate James off his number, which is $85,000. This creates a much different negotiation than if Jayne opened with a 5 percent raise, which would have anchored the negotiation around $66,000. The impact is that the $85,000, along with the justification, changes the way Jayne is thinking about the negotiation. She might realize that they need to go to $80,000 to keep James now, whereas perhaps before the negotiation, she might have had $75,000 in her mind as the high number.
Where do you think this negotiation will end up?
What would you have done if you were James?
When dealing with conflict, do you think about how to begin?
What are other types of opening “offers” that have nothing to do with money but that still set the tone for the negotiation?
How can you use various types of openings to your advantage?
See In Practice: A Negative Emotional Spiral in Hospital Human Resources (p. 207 in your digital book). Imagine that you are Ryan, Mary’s supervisor. Had Mary confronted you in the manner that she did Ryan, how would you have handled the situation? Have you ever been in a similar situation as an employee or as a supervisor? How was it handled?
IN PRACTICE: A Negative Emotional Spiral in Hospital Human Resources In the following example of Mary and her boss Ryan, we can see emotional contagion in action. Mary, an HR benefits administrator in the hospital, has been experiencing a bit of frustration with her career progress. While she started out in patient advocacy and later moved into advocacy training, her current job has taken her from patient contact completely. She feels that her boss, Ryan, has taken advantage of her willingness to work “any task” and forced her away from her passion. Ryan, as her boss, has been quite pleased with Mary’s performance, and counts her among his top performers. She is conscientious with all assigned tasks, and seems willing to do whatever he asks. This is precisely why he approached her about moving into a benefits position. Mary has just had lunch with a colleague who was asking about her career, a conversation in which Mary “realizes” that she is not happy about her position. Without thinking through the conflict, she is placing the blame largely on Ryan and has decided to approach Ryan about this conflict: Mary(already upset): “Ryan, I’d like to talk with you right now about my position.” Ryan: “Sure, Mary, what’s the problem?” Mary: “Why have you put me into this dead-end job?” Ryan: “What are you talking about? You are one of my best performers!” Mary: “You know exactly what I’m talking about—no one else wanted to do benefits and you knew that I wouldn’t say no to you.” Ryan: “If you think accusing me of something is going to get you what you want, you are sorely mistaken. I’ve done nothing but try to help you.” Mary: “I want out of this job and a move back to patient advocacy. If I don’t get that, I’m moving to another hospital.” Ryan: “If that’s your attitude, then my answer is no.”