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Role Negotiation

Acknowledgement

Role Negotiation was first described by Roger Harrison.

The idea

The expectations of others largely decide a person's role. When these are clear, role conflict and role ambiguity can reduce. Everyone knows what everyone else expects. Role negotiation is a process for clarifying these expectations. You negotiate with an individual not a group.

The method

  1. Each person writes down privately the following: -
  2. In order for me to achieve my objective (For example to contribute effectively to the work), I would like you to: -

    Do these three things....................................................................................................................

    Keep doing these three things.......................................................................................................

    Stop doing these three things.........................................................................................................

  3. Each person then shares their information with their partner. At this stage just listen and seek clarification, don't argue or get defensive! It helps to have equal time to talk.
  4. The parties now negotiate their expectations. A party can: -

Say "Of course I will accede to your request". This would be sensible if the request is easy and gives you an immediate benefit.

Say "I can't do that because......" The request might violate your values, by being (say) unethical, or it might be politically impossible..

Say "I would be prepared to meet your request if you would help me with this one of mine". The request might not give you an immediate benefit and demand work. Acceding would help your colleague and the team. You would also get something back directly.

4 The parties record and preferably display their agreements. This helps people to follow through with their decisions.

Hints

Using these materials 

I am entirely happy for you to use or draw on any these materials in any way you think will be helpful. I am keen the work of the people I have learned from, used.  

Please will you say where you found them? One way might be to give a link back to www.nickheap.co.uk or to info@nickheap.co.uk. This will help these positive ideas to spread, and help my business, too.

Contact me

If you would like to discuss any of this further, or meet, please call Nick Heap on +44 (0)1707 886553 or email info@nickheap.co.uk

Thank you 

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